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Teachers as Conscientious Objectors  

Doris A. Santoro

Teachers often characterize their interest in and commitment to the profession as moral: a desire to support students, serve their communities, or uphold civic ideals embedded in the promise of public education. These initial and sustaining moral impulses are well documented in research on teaching and teacher education. However, moral commitments can also be a source of teachers’ dissatisfaction and resistance, especially in the age of the market-based Global Education Reform Movement. This article explores the phenomenon of conscientious objection in teaching as an enactment of professional ethics. Conscientious objection describes teachers’ actions when they take a stand against job expectations that contradict or compromise their professional ethics. Teachers who refuse to enact policies and practices may be represented by popular media, school leaders, policymakers, and educational researchers as merely recalcitrant or insubordinate. This perspective misses the moral dimensions of resistance. Teachers may refuse to engage in practices or follow mandates from the standpoint of professional conscience. This article also highlights varieties of conscientious objection that are drawn from global examples of teacher resistance. Finally, the article explores the role of teachers unions as potential catalysts for collective forms of conscientious objection.


High-Stakes Assessment in Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies  

Robert J. Sternberg

High-stakes assessment is playing an increasingly important role in higher education at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Such assessments are sometimes used for group purposes—to assess how well a university is doing in educating its students—and other times for purposes of evaluating individuals. High-stakes assessment at the undergraduate level generally involves assessments of learning and reasoning at the end of the college experience. Sometimes, pretests are also given to compare cognitive skills before and after the college experience. There are several different approaches to measuring learning and performance outcomes: (a) standardized instruments and inventories; (b) indirect methods that focus on students’ perceptions of learning and engagement; (c) authentic performance-based methods, such as portfolios; and (d) locally designed tests and inventories. Each of these methods of assessment has different advantages as well as disadvantages. For example, standardized tests are normed, and thus it is possible to compare the performance of students at, say, one university to those at another. But standardized tests also measure outcomes that some scholars feel are less meaningful than the outcomes measured by other kinds of assessments. Indirect measures, such as of student engagement, look at students’ level of engagement with college but tell less about cognitive gains than some other kinds of measures. Performance-based measures such as portfolios have the advantage of measuring outcomes presumably relevant to each individual student; they are harder to score than some other kinds of measures, however, and they do not lend themselves readily to comparisons across colleges and universities. Homemade tests produced by individual institutions can be tailored to the goals of those institutions but generally lack the standardization and generality of some other kinds of measures. Assessments of graduate and postgraduate students are of a different ilk. Generally, graduate, postgraduate, and hiring institutions are looking for presumed research and teaching competence. Publication records as well as letters of recommendation serve as primary bases for evaluating students going onto the job market. It is possible to entertain more sophisticated measures than just counting publications, such as various measures based on citations in the scholarly literature.


Values-Based Leadership and the Quest for Inclusive Organizational Practices  

Heather Rintoul and Anthony H. Normore

Values-based leadership is, at its core, decisional leadership. Traditionally, educational leadership has tended to fall into a range of rationality dealing with consequences and consensus. This “do things right” approach has come under intense scrutiny by decision makers searching for more ethically justifiable responses through a new vision of education and schooling, a “do the right thing” style of decision making. Decisions based in principle—that is, morals and ethics—are commonly deemed as being authentic, fulfilling, and more justifiable than decisions based on rationality and preference. Embedded in this new moral urgency lies an inherent tension in that “to do the right thing” routinely begs the question “the right thing for whom?” Differences have arisen in terms of what values-based leadership and inclusion means—whose values, who is included, how to address leadership for inclusive practices, thus rendering conceptualization and implementation of inclusive practice qualitatively different according to context. The achievement of all students must be viewed both as an economic and values-oriented imperative consistent with inclusive practices. The term, inclusion is socially constructed and can carry with it stigmatizing and exclusionary effects that ultimately result in perpetuating oppressive forces on already marginalized individuals. Values-based leadership has an emphasis on school settings that are welcoming and affirming to all students, especially those most at risk for failure. Its underlying beliefs and assumptions guide practices and policies of inclusive practices and sound moral decisions. Moral decisions are made, not in isolation, but rather through a journey of interaction and association with others. Unfortunately, this interpersonal journey is often fraught with anxiety because everyone’s experience is sourced in a different worldview. Unravelling the intricacies of resolution possibilities has become increasingly complex because often there may be several equally appropriate responses to any dilemma; therefore, the decisional challenge becomes how to adjudicate between and among possibilities. Values-based leadership for inclusive practices concerns various marginalized groups including English-language learners, those who experience gender discrimination, those who are in the foster care system, and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. The broader conceptualization of inclusive schools adds to extant discourses about students with exceptional needs and provides effective strategies that school leaders operating from a social justice framework can implement to create more inclusive school environments for all students.


Value Creation and Value-Creating Education in the Work of Daisaku Ikeda, Josei Toda, and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi  

Jason Goulah

Daisaku Ikeda (b. 1928), Josei Toda (1900–1958), and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871–1944) are Japanese educators, Buddhist activists, and the progenitors of the global Soka movement for peace, culture, and education. As such, their perspectives and practices shape curriculum in multilingual, multicultural, and multiracial contexts around the world. While each has established his own unique ideas and contributions to curriculum, together they share important commitments and perspectives, introduced by Makiguchi and developed successively by Toda and Ikeda, that have had a remarkable impact on human being and becoming. Arguably the most important among these is the principle of value creation, or “sōka,” and its implications for value-creating approaches to education and the actualization of a meaningful, contributive, and genuinely happy life. Makiguchi was an elementary school teacher and principal who introduced his theory of value and value-creating pedagogy in the 1930 work Sōka kyōikugaku taikei, or The System of Value-Creating Pedagogy. Drawing on decades of his own classroom practice, Makiguchi distinguished truth, or facticity, from value, seeking to clarify the psychological processes of cognition and evaluation. While objective truth matters, he argued, it is not in and of itself the source of value or meaning in our lives. Rather, value is derived from the subjective and contingent meaning we create from that truth. Thus, Makiguchi maintained that creating value in terms of beauty, gain, and good—that is, value that serves oneself and others—is the means of cultivating happiness. Toda was a close colleague of Makiguchi and applied value-creating approaches to great success in his Jishu Gakkan, a tutorial school he founded. If Makiguchi introduced and practiced value-creating approaches at an individual level, and Toda applied them institution-wide, then Ikeda, who was Toda’s direct disciple, must be recognized for distilling them into their crystalline essence, expanding this essence globally, and memorializing it as the foundational ethos and namesake of the Soka schools and universities he founded. Moreover, whereas Makiguchi theorized value creation as a pedagogical concept and, with Toda, broadened it to include the realm of Buddhist humanism, Ikeda has continued and expanded upon these, also characterizing value creation as an ontological orientation for all people in all aspects of life, from children to senior citizens and from civil society to professionals and activists in areas ranging from peace, culture, and human rights to biospheric sustainability and social movements. In all this, value creation and value-creating approaches constitute a curriculum of content, context, engagement, agency, hope, and becoming for oneself and others.


Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and School Leadership in Action  

Tomoko Takahashi

Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871–1944) was a geographer, elementary school teacher and principal, and educational reformer, who was active in the early-to-mid 1900s in Japan. As a school leader and scholar-practitioner guided by a passion for supporting teachers and improving education for the happiness of children, Makiguchi scrutinized pedagogy as a science and proposed a number of reforms of the Japanese education system, key elements of which, he believed, were failing teachers and students alike. His proposals included, among many: the establishment of standards of competency expected of school principals as well as a system of examination to uphold these standards; the abolition of a government-led school inspection system that pressured and restricted teachers from freely conducting teaching activities; and the establishment of an “education research institute” and an organization for the training of teachers. The growing number of modern educational scholars and practitioners paying attention to Makiguchi’s work and philosophy find his ideas not only valid and applicable to education in the 21st century but also remarkably innovative and insightful. His proposal for school leadership was still but a voice in the wilderness in the 1930s. It was also a bold and audacious attempt for him, especially at the time of the militarist regime. Makiguchi is often compared with his contemporary John Dewey (1859–1952). Evidently, Makiguchi and Dewey were both visionaries, passionate school leaders, and fearless reformers. Bearing this in mind, Makiguchi deserves much more attention than he has received thus far—at least as much as Dewey, if we are to balance the historical account of progressive education as a transnational phenomenon.


Children’s Literature in Education  

Kerry Mallan

Children’s literature is a dynamic entity in its own right that offers its readers many avenues for pleasure, reflection, and emotional engagement. As this article argues, its place in education was established centuries ago, but this association continues today in ways that are both similar and different from its beginnings. The irony of children’s literature is that, while it is ostensibly for children, it relies on adults for its existence. This reciprocal relationship between adult and child is, however, at the heart of education. Drawing on a range of scholars and children’s texts from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this discussion canvasses some of the many ways in which children’s literature, and the research that it inspires, can be a productive and valuable asset to education, in that its imaginative storytelling is the means by which it brings the world into the classroom and takes the classroom out into the world.


From Buddha to Tagore and Gandhi: Value-Creating Curricula in India  

Namrata Sharma

It is common practice to use theoretical frameworks developed in the West for education worldwide, but important contributions come as well from non-Western education perspectives that shed light on the emergence of ideas within given regional diasporas. Value creation serves as a valuable lens through which to examine the ideas and relevance of three thinkers from the Indian subcontinent—the Buddha (6th or 5th century bce), Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), and Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948). The term “value creation” encompasses a Japanese approach to curriculum (based on the work of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, 1871–1944) that is founded on an interdependent view of life and aimed at developing learners’ capacity to enhance their own existence and contribute to the well-being of others. Using value creation as a lens to examine the contributions of the Buddha, Tagore, and Gandhi can allow for a discourse on the indigenous nature of their respective ideas that are rooted in Eastern philosophies based on similar interdependent worldviews. The emergence of alternative curricular in the Indian diaspora that are based on such interdependent worldviews, offer an integrated approach to education. A value-creating framework can be useful to examine the Indian educational scene and the many attempts that have been made for the individual learner to be the focus of education.


An Exploration of Evolving Approaches to Teacher Identity Revealed in Literature on Teaching from 2010 to 2018  

Catherine Beauchamp

Teacher identity is conceived in complex ways, in part because of the attention that must be paid to both the personal and the professional dimensions of teaching experience. In addition, teacher identity as a concept is closely intertwined with the notion of teacher agency, as well as with the potential for a teacher to encounter ongoing challenges in the development and adjustment of identity in diverse educational contexts. Literature on teaching from a range of areas—teacher education, preservice teaching, in-service teaching in schools, and university or higher education teaching—reflects a variety of existing approaches to teacher identity. Despite the complexity of the concept, understanding teacher identity remains of critical importance to individual educators, to institutions and to society as a whole.


Water Conservation in Schools  

Olga María Bermúdez and Marcela Lombana

Water is indispensable to life because all the functions of living beings rely on its presence: breathing, nutrition, circulation, and reproduction. Water forms part of all living bodies, both animal and vegetable. It is a natural resource necessary for human life. This natural resource has been threatened by climate change and its scarcity has been reported in many locations worldwide. According to the FAO, in 2014 almost 50 countries were faced with water shortages: Africa is the continent with the highest percentage of water stress (41%), while Asia has the highest percentage of countries with total water shortage (25%). Confronted with this critical problem, it is necessary that people of all ages, races, and cultures become aware of the value that water represents and take action in both the individual and collective spheres. To ensure that the next generation understands water’s properties and functions, and learns to value and take care of it, this action should start in schools, which play a fundamental role in the education of children and young people.


Practicing Care and Compassion  

William H. Schubert and Ming Fang He

To understand the practice of care and compassion in education and curriculum it is necessary to begin with its contextual sources in a diverse array of spheres: historical, religious, social, and educational theory and practice. The legacy of practicing care and compassion in education is embedded in the history of human civilization and the multiple meanings of care and compassion in the Western and Eastern worlds and in the Global South, including dominant cultures and those they dominated. The contributions of women to the understanding and practice of care and compassion in education have been underemphasized, as well as those by unofficial educators, who are not governed by nation-states or wealthy institutions that dominate those who rarely experience care and compassion. By the mid-1800s, an array of cultures and nations began to see a need for public education that attended to all citizens and not just the elite. At the same time, science had become a prime mover in consideration of education and questions were raised by Herbert Spencer and others about what and how knowledge should be selected for members of society. Eventually, a range of ways to conceptualize education were introduced, making curriculum development a site of debate. The practice of care and compassion must be integrated into the development and design of curriculum. Thus, it is important to present curriculum orientations that facilitate the practice of care and compassion. Those who wish to practice care and compassion in education should begin by studying time-honored and still practiced orientations by Ralph Tyler, Joseph Schwab, Paulo Freire, John Miller, Daisaku Ikeda, Nel Noddings, and Martha Nussbaum. The work of these curriculum scholars illustrates the ways in which care and compassion can be incorporated into the practice of teaching and learning. For example, Tyler offers an empirical-analytic perspective; Schwab provides a practical or eclectic approach; Freire provides a critical reconstructionist or radical love orientation; Miller proffers holistic possibilities; Ikeda advocates and exemplifies dialogic and value creation; Noddings calls for a feminine basis for caring; and Nussbaum invokes the intelligence of emotions. Those who wish to teach care and compassion must heed caveats raised by scholars who address individuals and groups who suffer the most, including the so-called wretched of the earth as well as those who have experienced imperialism and colonialism or have had their culture and history removed. Deep and abiding questions must be asked about how care and compassion for these oppressed persons, who make up the majority of the world’s population, can be taught and learned.


Ecofeminism and Education  

Jennifer Hatten-Flisher and Rebecca A. Martusewicz

Ecofeminism is a theoretical, political, and educational movement that draws specific parallels between the domination of women and other marginalized groups, and the degradation of nature. While much of ecofeminist thought is focused on examining the interconnectivity between social and environmental injustices, ecofeminism is as vast and varied as its feminist and ecological roots. Yet, ecofeminism is not without its critics. After being widely accused of essentializing women’s relationship with nature, the term fell out of favor with a lot of scholars in the 1990s. Those who have remained loyal to the term have argued that this was an unfair mischaracterization of the larger foundational ideas within ecofeminist work. Given the global environmental and social crises currently sweeping the planet, ecofeminism offers important, albeit diverse, theoretical, practical, and pedagogical perspectives for developing effective responses to such interrelated crises. As such, scholars across a variety of disciplines are revisiting (and reclaiming) ecofeminist thought. In the field of education, ecofeminism is influencing the ways that we approach questions of justice by offering an intersectional framework that insists on recognizing the interconnected roots of racism, sexism, poverty, ablism, and other social problems with ecological degradation. An ethics of care is woven throughout to form the basis of a pedagogy of responsibility whereby students learn to both critique these cultural foundations of violence and identify practices and relationships that help to create healthy sustainable communities.


Addressing Dilemmas and Tensions in Inclusive Education  

Brahm Norwich and George Koutsouris

Inclusive education has become a prominent international ideal and value in educational policies and practices. It is a seemingly simple concept about opportunities, equality, and solidarity that has wide global appeal. However, inclusion as applied to education connects with various social and political values that have been contested over many decades. One issue that underlies inclusion as a value is whether it represents a single coherent value or multiple values that can come into tension leading to dilemmas that need to be resolved. This issue is often overlooked in considerations about inclusive education but does affect various key issues about differentiation in the design of curricula and assessment, the location of provision, and how difference is identified and labeled and about participation in the social interaction between students who are different. This is an issue that needs to be addressed.


Teacher Education and its Effects on Teaching and Learning  

Annemarie Palincsar, Gabriel DellaVecchia, and Kathleen M. Easley

Exploring the relationships between teacher education, teaching, and student achievement is a complex undertaking for a host of reasons, including the complexity of teaching, the number of different approaches to teacher education, the challenges associated with measuring teacher knowledge and teacher effectiveness, and the multiple mediators that operate in the study of teaching and learning. Teaching expertise requires technical skills that support instruction, theoretical knowledge, codified knowledge that guides professional decision-making, and critical analysis, which, in turn, informs the enlistment of technical skills and the development of codified knowledge. There is little consensus regarding the specific teacher characteristics that consistently lead to student achievement, although one hypothesis that has received considerable attention in the literature is the importance of teacher subject-matter knowledge. One of the challenges to making definitive statements regarding teacher education and its effects on teaching is that there are multiple approaches to teacher training. These approaches differ in terms of the candidates recruited, admission requirements, course content, the duration of training, the roles and extent of field-based experiences, and relationships with schools. Among claims regarding alternative preparation programs (i.e., programs that are not university-based), for which there is emerging support, is that alternative route teacher education programs are attracting a pool of prospective teachers of diverse age and ethnicity. Furthermore, alternatively certified teachers are choosing to teach in urban settings or settings with large numbers of minoritized students. With respect to measuring the effects of teacher education, a number of methods have been deployed including correlational studies investigating, for example, the relationship between the number of reading courses a teacher has taken and student performance on reading assessments, descriptive case studies of educational systems that are identified as successful, syllabus studies, and quasi-experimental studies. The field is developing more sophisticated and comprehensive measures and methods, as well as theoretical constructs to guide the study of teacher education and its effects on teaching and learning. The study of teacher education and its effects on student learning will benefit from the use of multiple methods—for example, large-scale studies complemented by carefully constructed case studies. In addition, this area will benefit from interdisciplinary scholarship by teams that include scholars who have a deep understanding of teaching and learning, adult development, school systems, and economics so that the field can acquire a more coherent and comprehensive understanding of the complexity of becoming a teacher.


Globally Minded Leaders  

John M. Heffron and Rosemary Papa

The pressures—economic, political, and cultural—on educational leaders to think and act globally have perhaps never been greater than they are today. However, although it may go without saying that we live increasingly in a world of interdependent causation, of interconnectedness (and not simply between the local and the global, but between people and forces everywhere), this fact alone fails to fully explain the need for globally minded leaders in education. When so much of today’s interdependence tends to favor the strong over the weak on an essentially uneven playing field, a favorite complaint of critics on both the right and the left, the ways and means and ultimate purpose for producing such school leaders lie elsewhere, beyond today’s competitive stance. It lies in identifying and providing an unshakeable moral foundation for universal norms of social justice and equity; it lies in a revolutionary new approach to the knowledge base required of globally minded educational leaders, one that turns for guidance to humanistic thinkers around the world, past and present, the only test of their relevance being a philosophical one, not a psychological, an empirical, or a purely practical one; and it lies in embracing the multifaceted yet singularly cognizant of the human at heart. All this because the aim first and foremost is to develop thinkers, and then and only then practitioners. Practice follows from theory and theory from abstract, almost mathematical logic, a dialectical process of reasoning and argumentation. Globally minded school leaders distinguish themselves as masters of the lost art of argument, engaging actively in public dialogue and debate that seeks information, not some false standard of objectivity in the betterment of the human condition. Finally, the anthropological attitude that pursues processes of meaning making and value creation—not limited to an understanding of indigenous cultures, but extending to human and social relations in all their infinite variety—is the attitude of the globally minded leader. Such a one, in this sense of the term, is never finished, but in a perpetual state of becoming, a learning organization bound only by the self-imposed limits of his or her own curiosity and imagination. But the nature of one’s convictions is especially important here; it determines one’s actions, which in turn determine our value as human beings and as citizens of the earth, in linking commonalities of thought to actions that matter. Where do our convictions lie? This is the question globally minded educational leaders, in their challenges to sovereignty at home and abroad, are continually asking themselves on this journey with their learners.