Balancing change and tradition in global education reform

| November 29, 2010

Title: Balancing change and tradition in global education reform
Editor: Iris C. Rotberg
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Education
Check it out: LB43 .G56 2010

From the Publisher: In Balancing Change and Tradition in Global Education Reform, Rotberg brings together examples of current education reforms in sixteen countries, written by “insiders”. This book goes beyond myths and stereotypes and describes the difficult trade-offs countries make as they attempt to implement reforms in the context of societal and global change. In some countries, reforms are a response to major political or economic shifts; in others, they are motivated by large upsurges in immigration and increased student diversity. Irrespective of the reasons for education reform, all countries face decisions about resource allocation, equality of educational opportunity across diverse populations, access to higher education, student testing and tracking, teacher accountability, school choice, and innovation.

The essays in this volume reveal:

· the policy choices about the school reforms made by countries throughout the world

· the consequences associated with these choices

· the role that societal values, historical antecedents, and political structures play in facilitating or constraining reform

Balancing Change and Tradition in Global Education Reform is an invaluable resource for policymakers, faculty, students, and anyone interested in how decisions made about the education system ultimately affect the quality of education, educational access, and social justice.

About the editor: Dr. Iris C. Rotberg has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University. Her areas of expertise include: school reform, the education of low-income children, math and science education policy, federal policy in financing education, and international comparisons of student achievement. Dr. Rotberg is Co-Director of GSEHD’s Center for Curriculum, Standards and Technology (CCST). She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lab School of Washington and the Free the Children Trust, a college scholarship program for inner-city youth. She has published articles in journals such asSciencePhi Delta Kappan, and Harvard Education Review. She was formerly a Program Director at theNational Science Foundation; a Senior Social Scientist at RAND; Principal Investigator for the Technology Policy Task Force of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; and an Assistant Director at the National Institute of Education. Dr. Rotberg can be reachedirotberg@gwu.edu or at (202) 994-2735.

On the Web: (Reviews of First Edition) “The book is, in essence, a world tour of public education in the early 21st century. For every teaching and learning issue that divides this country, the book shows that several other countries are having the same argument. For every cry of despair at the assorted failures of American schools, Rotberg introduces a host of nations—including some that American critics admire—who are hearing the same complaints about their education systems from their own experts.”—Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

” the chapters are…lucid, accessible, and insightful, and the concluding chapter is a thoughtful synthesis of the themes that weave throughout the book….Rotberg gets the editing business right; as a result, education policy makers, scholars, and practitioners interested in comparative education reform will find the book’s sum is greater than the individual parts…. I recommend the book because the individual case studies are informative. Reading Balancing Change and Tradition in Global Education Reform is like being on an interesting, sixteen stop, world study tour. I also recommend the book because Rotberg carefully and thoughtfully pieced together the concluding chapter. Readers who read the book from beginning to end will still be processing the sixteen stories and the wide-ranging content as they begin the final chapter. By identifying the themes that weave throughout the chapters, Rotberg helps the reader make sense of this worldwide intellectual journey. … Rotberg does more than identify the themes; she illuminates them by constantly referencing the most essential points made by the individual contributors. What results is a theme, example, example, theme, example, example rhythm that provides readers with a thoughtful, manageable, and memorable conceptual framework that should enable them to draw upon the work in their own professional activities.”—Ron Byrnes, Teachers College Record