Volume 19, Issue 3

Educational Planning and Implementation:  The Concept of Degrees of Freedom

By Dan E. Inbar

There is a huge gap between the formulation of a plan and its implication. Often it is intensely difficult to bridge. Implementation is the Achilles’ heel of educational planning. Even when a plan is rational, comprehensive, coherent and consistent, its implementation may well be partial, slow and inefficient. And the end result may even be inferior to what would have been expected in the absence of any plan (Waterson, 1965). This article attempts to establish a conceptual frame of reference which might serve as the basis for analysis, resulting in a series of systematic propositions about interconnections between the scope and content of plans, the power required for implementation and the implementation process itself.

The Teaching Capacity Model:  A Tool for Strategic Planning in Higher Education

By Paul E. Gabriel and Di Di B. Galligar

This paper illustrates a practical approach to resource planning in higher education. The Teaching Capacity Model (TCM) applies a well-known economic tool to quantify the relevant opportunity costs facing a research university when it considers strategic policies designed to enhance the undergraduate educational experience. Two possible strategies considered in this paper are (a) increasing the number of full-time tenure-track faculty engaged in undergraduate teaching or (b) reducing the average undergraduate course size. Using hypothetical data for a mid-sized research university, the TCM clearly presents the implications of these strategies in terms of: (a) the reallocation of faculty from graduate programs, (b) the need for increased faculty productivity (teaching loads), and (c) the additional full-time faculty resources required.

An Evaluation of Effectiveness of the Curricula for Translation Programs at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels in Iran:  Problems and Suggestions

By Ramin Rahimy

The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the curricula for translation programs (training translators) at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Iran. Observations and experiences indicated that Iranian senior translator trainees at the undergraduate and graduate levels were not competent enough to perform satisfactorily in real situations of translation/interpretation careers. To investigate the sources of this problem, a pilot study was conducted that demonstrated traces of deficiency in the university curricula rather than weaknesses in the trainers per se.

To investigate the deficiencies in the curricula, nine hypotheses were formed that questioned the curricula in different ways. The hypotheses were tested through triangulation (Mackey and Gass, 2005): data were collected via questionnaire, observation, interview and test of the translator trainees. The participants of the study included two groups of senior translator trainees at the undergraduate and the graduate levels, two groups of teachers for the undergraduate and the graduate levels and one group of translation experts. The data of the study were analyzed via SPSS using descriptive statistics. The results of the study indicated that there were more deficiencies in the curriculum for translator training programs in Iran at the undergraduate level than the curriculum at the graduate level. Finally, an optimized curricular model for training translators in Iran was presented.

Quality of Life and Standard of Living:  Planning for Conflict or Cooperation

By Agostino Menna

This study addressed the decisions Canadian school boards make in terms of quality of life and standard of living and how these reflect their notions of the purposes of education. In addition, it investigated the benefits of education from the perspective of the indicators quality of life and standard of living. The study was not designed to measure the monetary value of education but rather the values of education from the perspective of school boards (districts), administrators, and trustee. Therefore, this research is about “why do we invest in education?” The study also highlights the value component of trustee/superintendent decision making by specifying and categorizing types of indicators that define quality of life and standard of living from their personal and professional perspective.

Results suggested that school boards have multifaceted policies, plans, and priorities which relate to quality of life and standard of living. The indicators most valued by the school boards consisted of employment/income, health, safety, and human rights. The research revealed that administrators had intrapersonal value conflict between their personal and professional values; whereas, trustees (elected to govern school board) had no intrapersonal conflict between their personal and professional values. This conclusion was related to the fact that trustees were making decisions based on both personal and professional knowledge and experience, and were being more genuine in their roles. Superintendents who are defined as senior managers, were somewhat more constrained by their roles, and the need to project congruency with their professional values and their school board’s official position, even in cases where it may have conflicted with their personal values.