Our new on-line format allows us to have enormous flexibility in accessing knowledge, views and voices. In a single article we are now able to include links to blogs, social media, academic references, teaching resources, educational opinion, video links and newspaper articles. ‘Worlds of Education’ has the capacity to be an infinite resource but for that to happen all those who read it have to be active participants. In short, we want to hear from you-your ideas, your views and your information. We look forward to hearing from you!
A new format necessarily means new experiments and new outreach. This edition is informed by Education International’s Mobilising for Quality in Education (MQE) campaign which will be launched simultaneously in New York and Paris on October 4th this year. The key theme of our campaign is that qualified teachers are the most important educational resource in any education system and that to achieve high quality education for all it is vital that teachers start their careers with high quality initial training and are supported by the best professional development throughout their careers. Above all teachers must be treated as respected professionals. Teaching must also receive the best of professional and technical support and be provided in safe, secure and supportive learning and teaching environments. Our next edition will draw fully on the campaign and contain news and responses to its launch.
The articles in this edition herald EI’s campaign. David Browne’s special report from Peshwar on Malala Yousafzai’s courageous stand for girl’s education in Pakistan has become a symbol for fighting for all girls to have equal rights to education around the world. Fernando Reimers’ article is a call from a senior Harvard academic for the teaching profession to be at the centre of defining education as a public, moral good. Open Society Foundation’s Mary Metcalfe focusses on the same theme and applies it to education in Africa. President of the Australian Education Union Angelo Gavrielatos describes the battle to achieve a fair and equitable education funding system in Australia.
EI’s vision behind its Mobilising for Quality Education campaign is described by David Edwards while Haldis Holst highlights the tough challenges facing the education systems in Haiti and Pakistan in reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
One Union’s programme for providing quality teaching and learning support in the classroom is outlined by President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten. We’d like to hear about more such initiatives.
The evaluation of higher education globally is at the centre of a crucial debate particularly about initiatives to rank Higher Education Institutions. General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers Mike Jennings and EI Consultant David Robinson take a critical and acerbic view about the latest attempts in this area.
In this first edition we’ve invited three contributors from England to analyse the state of educational research and curriculum reform in that country – a country whose recent reforms have had a powerful and sometimes malign influence on education reform globally. John MacBeath and Maurice Galton are senior academics who have made major contributions to the development of teacher policies and have consistently called for the empowerment of the teaching profession. Here they explore how governments use and abuse educational research. Warwick Mansell is a respected independent educational journalist who reflects on the English Government’s approach to curriculum reform and the mistakes which have been made.
Worlds of Education is your resource. We hope you enjoy reading and above all using it!
Fred van Leeuwen
General Secretary Education International