Volume 17 Issue 2

Transition of Planning Process of Turkish Teacher Education Reflected on Curricular Structures

By: Selahattin Turan

ABSTRACT: The planning efforts, including teacher training reforms, from the beginning of the first modernization attempts have been underlined by the notion of westernization and the passion to be ‘modern’ since the declaration of the new Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923. In the early years of the Republic, significant reform laws were adapted and put into force including the “Law of Unification of Education.” Since the early years of the Republic, education has always been identified as a transformational change agent within all aspects of Turkey’s social, political, and cultural structures, facilitating the dynamics of modernity. Modernization as a challenge has always created an ideological conflict between “conservatives” representing “status quo” and reformers struggling with the current challenges with the conservative paradigm. The aim of this study was to critically examine the transitional planning process of teacher education programs. In addition, another goal of this research project was to present the conflicts concerning Turkish educational reforms in the last decade by emphasizing a direct linkage between shifts in curriculum structure during in the 1996 and 2006 academic years. From a theoretical perspective, this study also purposed to examine the paradigmatic shift of Turkish teacher training programs within the initiatives of Turkish Higher Educational Council (HEC) in the last two decades. The results of this study indicated that the political agenda always has dictated the development of teaching policy in the country with little attention to social-cultural milieu on the governmental structures created to administer the policy since the declaration of the New Turkish Republic.

The Feasibility of Implementing Total Quality Management Principles in Chinese Education: Chinese Educators’ Perceptions

By: Tak Cheung Chan and Yiping Wan

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate, through the perspectives of a group of Chinese educators, the feasibility of implementing the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) in Chinese education. This study took a qualitative approach by posing openended questions to the Chinese educators. Then, a focus-group discussion, a small group discussion, and individual interviews were followed up to provide opportunities to brainstorm critical issues relating to TQM. The fi ndings of the study indicated that Chinese educators considered TQM principles in general to be helpful in fostering the quality of education in China. They found five TQM principles to be particularly compatible with traditional Chinese culture. Diffi culties in implementing TQM principles in Chinese education also were discussed. They further agreed that the present Chinese opendoor policy could provide an inviting environment to implement TQM for educational improvement.

Don’t Supersize Me: The Relationship of Construction Cost to School Enrollment in the US

By: Craig B. Howley

ABSTRACT: Conventional wisdom holds that economies of scale necessitate the construction of larger schools: anything done bigger is presumed to be done cheaper. The study reported here doubted that claim with respect to school construction. It posed two questions: (1) are larger high schools less costly to build than smaller schools and (2) what contextual variables predict cost? Just one scholarly peer-reviewed article has examined the relationship of construction cost to size, and conventional wisdom continues to prevail. Lack of scholarly interest in these questions is surprising, perhaps scandalous, in view of the large sums spent and the political battles often waged when new schools are built. The findings show that the smaller half of these 9-12 schools (planned to enroll from 138 to 600 students) were, on average, no more expensive per student to build than the larger half (planned to enroll 601-999 students) and were less costly per square foot ($96 vs. $110, significant at p < .01). Interestingly, subsequent enrollments for smaller planned schools were shown to have been underestimated, whereas subsequent enrollments for schools planned as “larger” were shown to have been overestimated. These tendencies, in fact, would tend to render planned smaller schools less expensive and planned larger schools more expensive per student, a key cost metric. The findings reported here probably represent conservative estimates. Total cost was well predicted (explaining 76% of variance) by five variables, with total square feet accounting for by far the most variance. Rural location tended to reduce contracted cost. Cost per square foot was less well predicted (25% of variance) by four variables. Cost per student was more fully predicted (40% of variance) by two variables. For all equations, local wealth revenue was associated with higher cost. The report concludes with nine recommendations for school construction planners and five recommendations for researchers.

Improving Reading Skills of Second Grade Students: Integrating Accountability and Assessment in Elementary School Reading Instruction with a Preservice Teacher Education Class

By: Eleanor V. Wilson, Meghann Dellinger, Ashley Green, Jaclyn Murphy, Melia Hatfi eld, Courtney Long, Victoria Fantozzi

ABSTRACT: This paper discusses issues of accountability and assessment in elementary education from three perspectives: (a) improving struggling second grade students’ reading ability; (b) providing pre-service elementary education students with the opportunity to assess student needs, design instruction, and evaluate gains for the efficacy of instruction; and, (c) addressing state and national licensure standards for future teachers, which require the ability to assess student needs, design instruction to meet these needs, and then to assess instruction. The paper summarizes the ways in which these three perspectives influenced the development of a school/university reading program and the importance of balancing these aspects as one plans for such a collaboration.