Booknotes: A World-Class Education - Vivien Stewart

  • 0

Hello, 

Vivien Stewart is Senior Advisor for Education at Asia Society. 

Vivien Stewart begin haar boek A World-Class Education  met 'n globale oorsig en verwys na Thomas Friedman se boek van 2005 The earth is flat, waarin Friedman, 'n New York Times-skrywer verduidelik hoe die lande van vandag met mekaar verbind is soos nog nooit tevore nie. Die geykte "global village". 

Friedman beskryf hoe die tegnologie en vryehandel gelei het tot die integrasie van die markte en nasies en hoe individue, maatskappye en nasies mekaar bereik vinniger en goedkoper as ooit tevore.

Hierdie transformasie van die wêreld het relatief onlangs begin. Die ekonomiese liberalisering van China het begin in die 1980's, die ontwikkeling van die demokrasie in Suid-Korea in 1987, en het die val van die Sowjet-Unie en die ontwikkeling van vrye handel in die vroeë 1990's meer as 3 miljard mense wat voorheen vasgevang in hul eie nasionale ekonomieë in die globale ekonomie ingetrek. In een sin, is daar nie meer nie grense nie. 

Die integrasie van ekonomieë het 'n komplekse wisselwerking van kapitaal, handel, inligting, geldeenhede, dienste, "supply chains", kapitaalmarkte, inligtingstegnologie tot gevolg gehad wat deel vorm van 'n meer ingewikkelde stelsel en het veroorsaak dat daar groter mededinging onder die lande heers.

Die verhoogde mededinging het sy oorsprong in 'n verskeidenheid van oorsake: 

Eerstens, het outomatisering die verlies van groot getalle van laervaardigheidposte tot gevolge gehad. 

Tweedens, weens die aard van "global village" en kragtigheid van tegnologie, is dit so maklik om 'n werkspan om die wêreld te skep as wat dit is om een die kantoor langsaan te begin. Hiervan kan ek getuig, ek is werksaam in IT en die twee stelsels waarna ek kyk word onderskeidelik vanaf Dublin, Singapoer en Nieu-Zeeland ondersteun deur ons diensverskaffers. Net soos die span wat besig is met die implementering van 'n nuwe stelsel, van Indië is en twee meter weg van my sit. 

Die werker van vandag, en dit word dalk tot vervelens herhaal, is in direkte kompetisie met werkers elders. Die student, skolier, werker van vandag ding mee nie net met die studente in sy land nie maar met studente in Singapoer en Sjanghai, Bangalore en Helsinki, 'n baie kort lys, maar bevestigend van die idee.

Net soos die ekonomie globaal is, is dit ook nou meer op kennis gebaseer, (Knowledge based), en het die samestelling van vaardighede vereis dramaties verander.

Hierdie werklikhede het 'n fundamentele verandering veroorsaak van wat nodig is in 'n onderwysstelsel.

Vivien Stewart uit haar A World-Class Education is nou aan die woord. 

My purpose is to identify the key factors that have enabled these countries to develop strong systems of schools that are setting the gold standard. I have deliberately selected systems—Singapore, Canada, Finland, Shanghai (China), and Australia—that differ greatly from one another. 

Daar word met Singapoer begin: 

When Singapore became an independent nation in 1965, it was a poor, small, tropical island with few natural resources, little fresh water, rapid population growth, substandard housing, and recurring conflict among the ethnic and religious groups that made up its population. Today, visitors to Singapore see a gleaming global hub of trade, finance, and technology. Singapore's students are also consistently high performers on international assessments. Lacking other resources, this island republic viewed human capital as its most precious asset.

Dit is die volgende wat ooreenstemming met van die omstandighede hier: 

Singapore consists out of different ethnic (Chinese, Malay, Indian) and religious (Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Taoist) groups. The school system were merged into a single Singaporean system, and a bilingual policy was introduced so that all children would learn both their own language and English.

Hierdie samevoeging het nie onmiddellik sukses gebring nie en is die gebreke in die projek soos volg aangespreek: 

The watershed Report on the Ministry of Education (Goh, 1979), informally known as "the Goh report," highlighted the high dropout rates and low standards of students and education. A new education system was introduced in 1979, moving the country away from a one-size-fits-all approach to schooling and creating multiple pathways for students in order to reduce the dropout rate, improve the quality of education, and produce the more technically skilled labor force needed. Three different types of high schools—academic and polytechnic high schools that could lead to college, and technical institutes that focused on occupational and technical training, were introduced. A major focus of this period was on the production of technically trained people at all levels.

This led to the foundation of a postsecondary Institute for Technical Education (ITE) for those who left school after grade 10 and for adult job changers. Today, ITE's facilities and equipment are comparable to a modern high-tech university, and close working relationships with industries in each sector keep it current with changing demands and new technologies. ITE's strong curriculum allows interested graduates to go on to polytechnics and universities as well as directly into industry.

The image and attractiveness of vocational education greatly improved, and there has been strong market demand for ITE graduates. In many countries, technical education is looked down upon as a dead-end option, out of step with the changing needs of employers. But vocational education has been an important part of Singapore's journey to educational excellence.

Every course has close ties to its industry, including the most modern multinational corporations. This keeps the courses up-to-date, the equipment modern, the internships readily available, and the path to jobs relatively smooth. To combat societal prejudice against less-academically inclined students, the ITE carried out a marketing campaign for its "hands-on, minds-on, hearts-on" type of applied learning. Singapore is recognized worldwide as a global leader in technical education.

In ander areas van die stelsel het die volgende ontwikkelings plaas gevind: 

Schools were organized into clusters and given more autonomy. The old school inspection system was scrapped and replaced by a school quality improvement model under which each school sets its own goals and annually assesses its progress on academic performance and a wide range of other indicators of a healthy school climate.

The curriculum, pedagogical, and assessment changes opened up more "white space" in the curriculum and engaged students in deeper learning. A major investment was made in ICT to facilitate self-directed learning and place greater emphasis on project work. Art and music are being emphasized more in the curriculum, and elementary schools are putting more emphasis on play and on stimulating student curiosity.

Net soos Suid-Afrika voorheen het Singapoer dieselfde agterstand en struktuur gehad wat Suid-Afrika lank gekenmerk het: 

The education system that was in place during Singapore's colonial period was only for the elite and was segregated by ethnicity and religion. But with the changes an universal state-funded system in which talent and hard work would prevail were implemented. Over time, the Ministry of Education has developed a range of polices to promote equal opportunity, including community support programs and early intervention programs in school. 

The success of these efforts in closing the achievement gaps among groups and creating an education system and society that is open to talent from wherever it comes has created the belief in the general population that education is the route to advancement and that hard work pays off for students of all ethnic backgrounds and all ranges of ability.

Die tweede land wat deur Vivien Stewart bespreek word is, Kanada. Dit gaan ek wat hierdie brief betref uitlaat en eerder in detail ingaan op 'n aspek van Finland wat volgens my waardevol hier ook kan wees en vul die bevindinge van Amanda Ripley aan wat alreeds bespreek was: 

Finnish educators believe that with early diagnosis and intervention, all students can achieve success in a regular classroom. A nested series of supports responds quickly to any signs that a student is falling behind. 

First, all teachers are trained in diagnosing student difficulties; if a student does not understand a particular area, the teacher will work with the student after school to make sure he or she grasps the key concepts. Thus, students' difficulties do not have to wait for an end-of-year exam to be detected and addressed. 

Second, this support from the classroom teacher is supplemented by a special teacher who has additional training in learning difficulties and is assigned to each school to work with students who need extra help catching up. 

Third, every school has a "pupils' care group," which includes the principal, special support teacher, school psychologist, and classroom teacher. 

This multidisciplinary team meets regularly to discuss how classrooms are progressing and can access a broader array of municipal services if a student needs support that is beyond the school's capacity to provide. 

In some schools, teachers stay with their students for more than a year, getting to know them well and taking deep responsibility for their learning. The final level of support for students is provided through the national health care system, which is tax supported and available free of charge to families (Grubb, 2007).

Wat vir my ook uitgestaan het was die volgende: 

The Finnish school model has no grade structure and is more like a college, with each student designing an individualized program, starting courses at different times, and often able to include both academic and vocational courses. The curriculum is also more global, with all students expected to learn two languages besides Finnish.

Daar word dan aanbeweeg na Sjina: 

China's astounding economic performance has been extensively reported. Far less widely known are the dramatic gains it has made in education in a relatively short period of time. Since the end of Mao's Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), the first step was to rebuild the education system from the ruins created by the Cultural Revolution. In just 30 years, China has virtually eliminated illiteracy, expanded nine years of basic education to every part of the country, and dramatically expanded the number of Chinese students enrolled in higher education, both at home and abroad.

After studying the curricula of more than 30 countries around the world, the Ministry of Education introduced a curriculum reform effort in 2001.

The changes introduced more arts and humanities, move away from knowledge transmission and rote forms of learning to more participatory learning, and change the form of assessments to promote the kinds of "creative and problem-solving" skills thought to be appropriate for the 21st century global knowledge economy. In 2001, the teaching of English from 3rd grade on was introduced throughout China to ensure that Chinese students could engage with the world, following several decades of national isolation. 

The changes also had as a goal the promoting of equal opportunity in education. 

These efforts include creating boarding schools in rural areas to overcome the problem of children living long distances from school, providing scholarships to encourage people in rural areas to go into teaching, abolishing textbook fees in rural areas, and implementing a vast, satellite-based distance learning network that enables master teachers to work with students and teachers in rural areas to improve the quality of instruction.

Then for the first time in 2009, a mainland province of China participated in the PISA. When the results were released, Shanghai students came on top of the PISA rankings in all three subjects, math, science, and reading.

Shanghai has developed a strategy for strengthening lower-performing schools by pairing stronger schools with weaker ones and urban schools with rural ones to help them improve. Teacher distribution policies also try to ensure that higher-grade (master) teachers are spread among schools. The province has also created its own higher education entrance examination (to replace the national university entrance examination dreaded by every Chinese student) with a broader curriculum focus and measures of problem-solving skills. 

Although Shanghai is the most advanced area in China, other parts of China have not yet achieved its level of economic or educational development but it is a harbinger of what might develop in many parts of China over the next 20 years.

Like most East Asian countries, China emphasizes math and science. This is implemented through rigorous national curriculum standards, strong subject matter preparation, and ongoing professional teacher development. 

As a result, both girls and boys do well in science.

Because respect for education is deeply ingrained in Chinese history, going back to the Imperial Civil Service Examination system, a meritocratic system lasting from 603 to 1905 created the strong cultural belief that effort, not ability, determines success. 

Die volgende land wat aangepreek word is Australië en is van die probleme wat Australië ervaar aanwesig in Suid-Afrika ook. 

An analysis of trends in PISA from 2000 to 2003 to 2006 showed a steady decline in Australia's reading performance relative to other high-performing countries, while some of the top performers like Finland and Korea raised their performance and other while ower-performing systems, such as Poland, raised their performance significantly in relation to the decline showed by Australia. 

What this meant is that the social background of students predicts more of the differences in educational performance than in other countries and the variation in performance among schools is mostly attributable to the background of the students, that is, whom the schools enroll rather than what the school does.

This had to be resolved and a program was developed to make school accessible to all young Australians, regardless of their social or economic background or the school they attend. 

The program looked at the curricula in other high-performing countries (e.g., Singapore and Finland) to ensure that Australia's curriculum would be world-class. The curriculum implemented is built around disciplines but also gives attention to general capabilities, such as creativity, ethical behaviour, ICT literacy, intercultural understanding, literacy, numeracy, self-management, social competence, teamwork, and thinking skills and also incorporates cross-curriculum themes, such as indigenous perspectives, Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia, and commitment to sustainable living. It also tries to reduce the amount of content in math and science to provide greater space for students to work in depth.

Daar word afgesluit met die aspekte wat Vivien Stewart gevind het ooreenstemming toon in die lande ondersoek: 

What are the commonalities? 

Countries that excel in education set ambitious standards for their students and they cover a smaller number of topics in greater depth, enabling students to learn something well before they move to more difficult content.

World-class standards also have greater rigor.

Math and science standards in high-performing countries have greater coherence. Topics follow the logic of the discipline,

Commitment to equity:

The long-term costs of educational failure are high for both individuals and societies. An equitable and inclusive educational system is one of the most powerful tools that a society has for increasing social equality.

High-Quality Teachers and Leaders:

Successful countries are placing great emphasis on the recruitment, preparation, support, distribution, compensation, and evaluation of teachers. 

Alignment and Coherence:

High-performing countries demonstrate that there are various ways to produce alignment and coherence. Singapore, for example, has a "tightly coupled" system in which the Ministry of Education, the teacher training center known as the National Institute of Education (NIE), cluster superintendents, principals, and master teachers all work closely together to bring about any change in practice. Finland's very different system has lots of local autonomy but ensures consistency of teaching approaches 

and practice through government-funded university teacher preparation programs, all of which share a common philosophy and approach to education; high-quality 

teachers; and networking among schools to share best practices. In East Asian systems, teachers work together every week to improve lessons and routinely open their classrooms to other teachers. These practices produce consistent instruction and a way to disseminate new curricula that produces consistent practice across large numbers of schools.

Management and Accountability: 

All education systems struggle with the balance between centralization and decentralization, between top-down prescription and bottom-up responsibility. What systems that are high performing or significantly improving do is combine intelligent, multifaceted, transparent accountability with initiatives that build professional knowledge and capacity to implement and evaluate best practices at the school level. Doing so creates a culture of continuous improvement and ever-higher expectations.

Student Motivation:

Anyone who has ever visited classrooms in Singapore or China cannot help but be impressed by the intense engagement of students with the lesson and by the sheer amount of time students study outside school. Dating, television, and sports all take a backseat to schoolwork. An intense belief in meritocracy—the idea that effort, not ability, is the prime determinant of success—combined with an examination system that creates a strong incentive to work hard and the value placed on education by families as a route to social mobility in societies where there is or has recently been real poverty all create a powerful motivation to study hard.

Why is it so hard to motivate all students? 

After reviewing the research on student motivation, Goslin (2003) argues that there are four things we need to do to increase student motivation and engagement: 

(1) modify our belief in the importance of effort versus ability; 

(2) increase the distribution of rewards for academic achievement so that so that they go to more than just the top students; 

(3) ensure that teachers have access to the best classroom practices on instruction and engagement; 

(4) rebalance the time devoted to competing demands like television, social activities, or employment after school versus studying. High-performing

Global and Future Orientation

Countries that have high-achieving educational systems have all also used international benchmarking studies as a way to improve their systems to move up the educational value chain. How do countries learn? The education departments in some countries have specialists whose job it is to understand and follow developments in other countries and assess the potential of those developments for local application. Others send teams around the world to study some high-performing countries or to analyze different approaches and experiences with a specific education question that confronts them. High-performing countries are oriented more toward the future than the past. Singapore, for example, regularly conducts visioning exercises, scanning the global horizon in order to create "future school designs,"

There is no one way to run an effective national or state system of education. All systems must struggle with finding the right balance between top-down and bottom-up, between uniformity and diversity, between central control and local autonomy. In general, when achievement is low and uneven, strong government intervention is needed.

Hiermee is die reis na 'n paar lande afgehandel en die lesse wat daaruit geleer kan word. Soos verwag kan word is veel meer uitgelaat as wat uiteindelik geplaas is, maar is die hoop dat die leser 'n idee kan vorm wat kan werk in onderwys en die uitdagings wat die jonges van vandag in die gesig staar en het hulle al die ondersteuning nodig wat hulle gebied kan word. Met die voorbehoud dat hulle ook hard werk. 

Om te werk van die begin af is klaarblyklik ons lot en is die skool werklik nie daar om te luier nie. 

Van 2 to 65 is 'n lang pad. 

Baie dankie

Wouter

  • 0

Reageer

Jou e-posadres sal nie gepubliseer word nie. Kommentaar is onderhewig aan moderering.


 

Top