Revista Research in Comparative and International Education
Julio 16, 2014




Research in Comparative and International Education
ISSN 1745-4999

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Volume 9 Number 2 2014

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CONTENTS [click on author’s name for abstract and full text]
Patricie Mertova. Academic Perspectives on Internationalisation in Three Countries, pages 137‑148Xiantong Zhao. Policy Change and Private Higher Education Development: a case study, pages 149‑164Marta Ruiz-Corbella & Beatriz Álvarez-González. Virtual Mobility as an Inclusion Strategy in Higher Education: research on Distance Education Master degrees in Europe, Latin America and Asia, pages 165‑180

Jeremy Cunningham. Schooling for Conflict Transformation: a case study from northern Uganda, pages 181‑196

Cheng-Yu Hung. Teachers’ Perceptions of National Identity in the English and Taiwanese Citizenship Curricula: civic or ethnic nationalism?, pages 197‑212

Satomi Izumi-Taylor, Yoko Ito, Chia Hui Lin & Yu-Yuan Lee. Pre-service Teachers’ Views of Children’s and Adults’ Play in Japan, Taiwan, and the USA, pages 213‑226

Scott Kissau, Marion Rodgers & Helga Haudeck. Foreign Language Teaching: an international comparison of teacher beliefs, pages 227‑242

Beverly Lindsay & Eric Jason Simeon. Relationships between Global Citizenship and University Rankings, pages 243‑257 VIEW FULL TEXT

Schulgeschichte in Deutschland: Von den Anfängen bis in die Gegenwart (Gert Geissler), reviewed by David Phillips, pages 258‑259 OPEN ACCESS 258 VIEW FULL TEXT

Academic Perspectives on Internationalisation in Three Countries
PATRICIE MERTOVA Associates in Higher Education Policy, Development and Quality (AHEPDQ), Australia
This article examines the perspectives of senior academics on internationalisation of higher education across three countries: England, Czech Republic and Australia. In particular, it investigates the perspectives and experiences of academics in a range of leadership positions in university faculties and schools. The research utilises a critical event narrative inquiry method which is particularly suited to investigating complex, human and culture-centred aspects in examined phenomena, such as internationalisation in higher education. The article highlights the similarities and differences between the perspectives of the academics in the three higher education systems and investigates the reasons for these with implications for practice and further research.


Policy Change and Private Higher Education Development: a case study
XIANTONG ZHAO Department of Lifelong and Comparative Education, Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom
This research aims to explore the development of private higher education and related policy changes in China in the light of Foucault’s notion of governmentality in neoliberal China. Essentially it is a synthesis of macro-level and micro-level analysis. The researcher examines policy development in combination with wide social, political and cultural backgrounds. Meanwhile a case study is carried out to investigate managers’ comments on some policy documents issued at different times, in which the development of the case college is outlined as well. Data is collected through case study and interview, and it is found that central policy documents have undergone an evolution and have affected private higher education to a large extent. Yet universities and colleges are not passively accepting government’s decisions, they may make various strategies within the policy permission to survive. Drawing on the conception of governmentality, some insights are provided to explain the broad social, political and cultural contexts underlying policy phenomena. It is argued that the process of policy development is a consequence of the ‘reform and openness’ decision caused by political elites’ changing rationalities of governing the state.


Virtual Mobility as an Inclusion Strategy in Higher Education: research on Distance Education Master degrees in Europe, Latin America and Asia
MARTA RUIZ-CORBELLA & BEATRIZ ÁLVAREZ-GONZÁLEZ Faculty of Education, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain
Mobility of higher education students is one of the main indicators of competitiveness among universities, and a key aspect for quality in education. Colleges with virtual and distance methodologies include student mobility programmes. Within this context, the Active Projects (Erasmus MUNDUS Programme, EC: Net-Active and Active-Asia) compare and evaluate the feasibility of Virtual Mobility programmes for students in distance learning courses at institutions in Europe, Latin America and central Asia. The methodological information, organisation and content of 256 master’s degrees offered in distance learning programmes at universities from the three regions were analysed. This article presents and discusses the main results, particularly convergences and divergences among these regions, the issues affecting online and distance higher education, focusing on the development and delivery of postgraduate studies (MSc courses) and, especially, the possibilities of inter-institutional collaboration through Virtual Mobility. One of the main conclusions is that in order to advance towards internationalisation, higher education study plans should offer master’s degrees comparable, understandable and consistent with other academic offerings. This article is the result of research conducted over six years by a team of scholars and experts from Europe, Latin America and central Asia.


Schooling for Conflict Transformation: a case study from northern Uganda
JEREMY CUNNINGHAM Independent Researcher
Civil wars are impeding progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Educational access contributes to peace-building after civil war but little is known about the role of the school curriculum. A framework derived from a synthesis of peace education, human rights education and citizenship education is proposed and then examined through a qualitative case study of eight educational institutions in a district in northern Uganda emerging from a 20-year civil war. The schools promote reconciliation values, develop some problem-solving and communication skills, and reveal some knowledge of human rights. There is little understanding of history, or of local, national and international political/legal systems, and minimal development of discussion and critical thinking skills. It is argued that the framework can be used to investigate other schools and to inform the design of a curriculum that can contribute to conflict transformation, with the ultimate aim of reducing the risk of civil war re-eruption.


Teachers’ Perceptions of National Identity in the English and Taiwanese Citizenship Curricula: civic or ethnic nationalism?
CHENG-YU HUNG Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
This article examines and compares the hotly debated issue of national identity in the Taiwanese and English citizenship curricula and investigates the extent to which schoolteachers’ perceptions fall in line with the written curriculum. The author describes the background to the evolution of national identity in each country. Following this preliminary understanding, the theory of civic-ethnic nationalism is used as the criterion to examine the nature of nationalism underlying the curriculum. The Taiwanese citizenship curriculum with its 60-year long history has transformed from being a tool for the promotion of an ‘imagined’ Chinese national identity to a more Taiwan-oriented programme. With fewer disagreements, ‘British-ness’, as a consensual identity constructed from a civic construct, creates an inclusive umbrella to accommodate citizens with different ethnic, cultural, and religious identities. However, English citizenship education teachers question whether it has a robust-enough and deep-enough magnet to engage every citizen with varying backgrounds and further enhance social consolidation. On the other hand, this umbrella-type national identity seems to provide a valid solution for the Taiwanese citizenship curriculum designers to heal the long-lasting tensions caused by the ‘Taiwanese-Chinese identity’ divide. On closer examination, the Taiwanese curriculum chooses to sidestep this contentious issue and is therefore strongly criticised by the school teachers interviewed here. This research attempts to demonstrate the strengths and limitations of each curriculum’s discourses of national identity and suggest what each may learn from each other.


Pre-service Teachers’ Views of Children’s and Adults’ Play in Japan, Taiwan, and the USA
SATOMI IZUMI-TAYLOR Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership, University of Memphis, USA
YOKO ITO Faculty of Education, Chiba University, Japan
CHIA HUI LIN National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan
YU-YUAN LEE Applied Foreign Languages Department, Nan Kai University of Technology, Taiwan
Teachers’ perspectives of play differ widely because of social and cultural influences that can be seen in their values and beliefs about play in different countries. In a global community, sharing educators’ knowledge of play and their perspectives of how to educate children through the use of play would be appropriate and complementary in understanding early childhood education in different countries. To understand the meaning of play, American, Japanese and Taiwanese early childhood pre-service teachers’ perceptions of play were examined. The participants consisted of 25 American pre-service teachers, 25 Japanese pre-service teachers, and 25 Taiwanese pre-service teachers. Qualitative analysis of the data yielded four themes for play: learning and development; social skills; creativity; and children’s work. There were three themes regarding the meaning of adults’ play: being both similar to and different from child’s play; preventing stress; and enjoying interacting with others. One theme of enjoyment emerged for the understanding of playfulness. More American and Taiwanese participants agreed that play relates to learning and development than their Japanese counterparts. Japanese and Taiwanese participants viewed play as being more than learning and development, while none of their American counterparts did. Both Japanese and Taiwanese participants claimed that although play can support children’s development and learning, children should enjoy play for the sake of playing. One theme that differentiated the groups was the notion that play is children’s work. While several American and Taiwanese participants mentioned this slogan, this was not the case for the Japanese.


Foreign Language Teaching: an international comparison of teacher beliefs
SCOTT KISSAU College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
MARION RODGERS & HELGA HAUDECK Ludwigsburg University of Education, Germany
Recent research has reported professional agreement among foreign language (L2) teachers with respect to the beliefs and behaviors associated with effective L2 teaching. While such research may contribute to an emerging professional consensus, it must be acknowledged that the participating teachers in the related studies were all living and working in the United States. To better understand if the teaching beliefs agreed upon by hundreds of American L2 teachers are supported by L2 teachers in other countries, the researchers used a mixed methodology to compare the beliefs of over 250 L2 teachers and L2 teacher candidates in the United States and Germany to investigate the extent to which the two groups shared similar beliefs about L2 teaching. The study’s results suggested there to be a core set of fundamental beliefs associated with effective L2 teaching held by both groups. However, they also underscored the influence of contextual factors in each country on the degree to which various beliefs and behaviors associated with L2 teaching are deemed appropriate. These results serve to inform all teachers currently teaching or planning to teach an L2 abroad.


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