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Higher Education System Reform

An International Comparison after Twenty Years of Bologna

Edited by Bruno Broucker, Kurt De Wit, Jef C. Verhoeven and Liudvika Leišytė

The Bologna Declaration started the development of the European Higher Education Area. The ensuing Bologna Process has run for already 20 years now. In the meantime many higher education systems in Europe have been reformed – some more drastically than others; some quicker than others; some with more resistance than others. In the process of reform the initial (six) goals have sometimes been forgotten or sometimes been taken a step further. The context too has shifted: while the European Union in itself has expanded, the voice for exit has also been heard more frequently.

Higher Education System Reform: An international comparison after Twenty Years of Bologna critically describes and analyses 12 Higher Education Systems from the perspective of four major questions: What is currently the situation with regard to the six original goals of Bologna? What was the adopted path of reform? Which were the triggering (economic, social, political) factors for the reform in each specific country? What was the rationale/discourse used during the reform?

The book comparatively analyses the different systems, their paths of reforms and trajectories, and the similarities and the differences between them. At the same time it critically assesses the current situation on higher education in Europe, and hints towards a future policy agenda.

Contributors are: Tommaso Agasisti, Bruno Broucker, Martina Dal Molin, Kurt De Wit, Andrew Gibson, Ellen Hazelkorn, Gergely Kovats, Liudvika Leišyte, Lisa Lucas, António Magalhães, Sude Peksen, Rosalind Pritchard, Palle Rasmussen, Anna-Lena Rose, Christine Teelken, Eva M. de la Torre, Carmen Perez-Esparrells, Jani Ursin, Amélia Veiga, Jef C. Verhoeven, Nadine Zeeman, and Rimantas Želvys.
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Edited by Joy Higgs, Steven Cork and Debbie Horsfall

“What might the futures of practice be like?” is far from a straightforward question. Emphasising "the" before the word future, implies one future. But futures thinkers have identified a range of futures that people think about. In this book we reflect on possible, probable, and preferable futures in relation to practice and work. Readers are invited to consider how their own engagement in shaping possible futures will support ways of working that they deem preferable, even those they can hardly imagine. Challenging Future Practice Possibilities also examines influences that are maintaining the status quo and others that are pushing interest-driven change. Authors consider the major challenges that practice and practitioners face today such as wicked problems, fears for the future and complex demands and opportunities posed by the digital revolution. A number of examples of future-oriented work directions such as protean careers and artificial intelligence enhancing or even replacing human workforces, are considered along with concerns like the vulnerability of many work situations and workers. In some cases workers and employers alike are unprepared for these challenges, while others see adapting to these situations as yet another pathway of practice futures evolution.
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Education for Employability (Volume 1)

The Employability Agenda

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Edited by Joy Higgs, Geoffrey Crisp and Will Letts

Universities are expected to produce employable graduates. In Education for Employability, experts explore critical questions in the employability agenda: Who sets the standards and expectations of employability? How do students monitor their own employability? How can universities design whole curricula and university environments that promote employability? What teaching and learning strategies facilitate the development of employability?

Responsibility for developing and sustaining employability lies with a broad coalition of the individual students, the university, possibly alumni and industry and is accomplished through the intended curriculum as well as co-curricular, extra-curricular and supra-curricular activities, events and learning opportunities.
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Navigating Uncertainty

Sensemaking for Educational Leaders

Shelley Hasinoff and David Mandzuk

In Navigating Uncertainty: Sensemaking for Educational Leaders, the authors introduce a 5-step sensemaking approach for managing the kinds of challenging problems, dilemmas and crises that occur daily in educational systems. Drawing on complexity theory, social capital, and sensemaking, they make the case that educational leaders can no longer rely on traditional scientific principles or their own instincts to manage complex problems but need a new way to think about their certainties and their relationships. The authors illustrate their approach with scenarios, based on the real-life experiences of principals, superintendents and deans and provide several innovative tools to help educational leaders better understand and navigate the uncertainties they face every day in their jobs.
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Lauren Stephenson, Barbara Harold and Rashida Badri

In a world of constant change, the ongoing education and empowerment of women is a transformation of profound significance. In the UAE, and in Dubai in particular, the emergence of women into positions of leadership has accelerated over the past thirty years and continues to gather pace, reflecting a worldwide trend. Emirati women's entry into leadership positions in all fields has resulted in social and economic benefits across education, health, commerce and community services – all of which have strengthened the role of women at the grassroots level. As the world grows smaller, the global circle of opportunity for women grows wider. Throughout the UAE and all across the globe women are assuming their rightful place as leaders in education and in society.


The authors conducted a ten-year collaborative narrative research project culminating in a book of jointly constructed stories of five exceptional female Emirati educational leaders. The five women from Dubai are Raja Al Gurg, Raya Rashid, Fatima Al Marri, Rafia Abbas, and Rashida Badri. Through stories of lived experience, this book recognizes the expertise and contributions of these women to the fields of education and leadership; provides exemplars for educators; demonstrates to younger generations what successes and challenges this generation of women faced in order to achieve recognition as successful women and members of the local, regional, and global community; and makes their leadership perspectives and experiences accessible and engaging for all types of audiences.
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The Teacher’s Role in the Changing Globalizing World

Resources and Challenges Related to the Professional Work of Teaching

Edited by Hannele Niemi, Auli Toom, Arto Kallioniemi and Jari Lavonen

The teacher's role is changing rapidly throughout the world. Traditional ways of working as a teacher are being challenged and teachers are faced with new areas of expertise they need to manage as educational professionals. These characteristics, challenges, and changes in the teacher’s role have been identified internationally and are both conceptual and practical. Teachers’ work now includes much more than teaching in classrooms and has expanded to designing new learning environments, collaboration and networking with others and mentoring colleagues. The Teacher’s Role in the Changing Globalizing World addresses the significance of considering these issues, researching them, and emphasising the importance of actively influencing and protecting the parameters of the teacher role.
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Out-of-Field Teaching Practices

What Educational Leaders Need to Know

Anna Elizabeth du Plessis

Society perceives the role of school leaders as ‘fixers’. Yet the author poses some confronting questions: can they fix or manage the out-of-field phenomenon without having in-depth knowledge and understanding? Can educators teach the next generation of teachers and school leaders without appreciating the realities of the workplace? Can policymakers develop effective policies without a deeper understanding of the workforce issues that influence quality education beyond the obvious issues?
Many dilemmas face today’s teaching workforce and workplaces. The book takes the reader on a journey as experienced in real life by teachers and school leaders. It aims an extreme global focus on the quality of education and on governments’ achievements in providing opportunities to prepare the next generation of students for their future.
The author’s assessment exposes more concerns than assurances.
Anna du Plessis’ academic career includes more than 25 years of classroom experience across three countries. Her journey in leadership positions started during her fourth year of teaching. Her compassion for teachers, school leaders and students stimulated a search for a deeper understanding of the lifeworld and challenges facing educational practitioners.
The objective in this book is to share information that will improve education systems, strategies, decisions, policies and actions. Readers of this book might be parents, student teachers, prospective school leaders, educational directors, policymakers or teacher educators.
Only knowing and understanding can inform well-directed decisions.
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Experiments in Agency

A Global Partnership to Transform Teacher Research

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Edited by Supriya Baily, Farnoosh Shahrokhi and Tami Carsillo

This book is about teacher agency and leadership, but it is also an experiment in shifting the balance of power in research and writing. It is about making accessible the process of academic publishing in a way that capitalizes on the knowledge of people in diverse contexts and with novice eyes and is an experiment in sharing academic writing between master teachers and doctoral students. It is also a book on the power of action research and the belief we have as teacher educators about the transformative power of teachers in their own classrooms. Pairing master teachers from ten countries who were part of the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program with graduate students, this book provides a framework to decolonize research practices in an effort to re-envision research methodologies on a global scale. The book also provides a tangible way to see how research processes support local transformation, and direct engagement of those at the margins to play a greater role in the production of scholarly knowledge. The cross-national scope of this book, with authors working in classrooms in countries as diverse as Turkey, Chile, and Bangladesh coupled work of novice US-based scholars to engage in the conceptualizing, researching, data analysis and writing of chapters speaks to the importance of new voices in the field of research. Additionally, the combination of teacher research projects in the classroom juxtaposed with chapters that speak to the process of teacher research in a global context provides both theoretical and empirical foundations for teacher research.
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Women of Influence in Education

Practising Dilemmas and Contesting Spaces

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Edited by Nita Cherry and Joy Higgs

The goal in writing this book was to stimulate more comprehensive conversations about women in leadership situations (particularly secondary and tertiary education contexts) by understanding how women have gone about creating positive differences in educational environments.
Frequently books about women and leadership deal with the politics of this discussion space and the statistics of women succeeding to and through the glass ceiling, or not! The focus of this book is on a different space: on learning from the experiences of women doing leadership work.
The research strategy underpinning the book was to listen to the voices and stories of 28 women occupying senior roles in education. Half of these women were principals of independent Victorian secondary schools and the other half were in professorial and senior leadership roles in Victorian universities. Through this listening and pondering on their experiences the authors came to recognise that these women of influence were working in contested spaces and facing multiple practice dilemmas. Readers are invited to explore these spaces and dilemmas, considering the learnings from the women whose lives, views and experiences are represented here.
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Cultivating Knowledge

Promoting Research to Enrich Everyday Practice

Scott Tunison

Over the last decade or two, there has been increasing consensus that academic research, if used judiciously to guide practice, improves both educational policy and pedagogy—ultimately leading to better outcomes for students. Yet, despite this potential, there remains a deep ravine between the body of knowledge built through research—especially at the intersection between specific interventions and improved student achievement—and the actions taken by policy makers, administrators, and classroom teachers in their regular practice. There are myriad reasons for this research-practice divide. Among them is that it is difficult for district-based people to access primary research. Furthermore, multiple waves of well-intentioned research-based but largely unsuccessful school reform efforts have resulted in skepticism among practitioners about research and, at the same time, damaged researchers’ credibility in the field.
This book is divided into three broad areas. First, it develops an engaging analysis of the root causes for the research-practice gap in education. Second, it describes the framework developed and used in a public school district by the author to address the root causes and provides evidence of its efficacy to facilitate greater incorporation of research into school- and district-level practice. Through a process the author calls Knowledge Cultivation, the framework uses weekly research summaries for district leaders that are relevant to their “real-time” issues along with suggestions about ways in which the research might be useful. The final section of the book includes the actual research summaries used by the author over a five-year period.