Klein, Joseph, and Lizi Shimoni-Hershkoviz. “The Contribution of Privatization and Competition in the Education System to the Development of an Informal Management Culture in Schools. A Case Study in Israel.” International Journal of Educational Management 30.4 (2016).
Regulation and privatization of education systems has led to a “league standing” mentality regarding school achievements. The present study examines how school principals deal with the pressures of competition and achievements while aspiring to imbue pupils with values and a broad education. 12 high school principals were interviewed about external demands imposed on them, their educational policy and modes of operation. Publicly, school supervisors advocate a balance between core studies and education for values and enrichment. Informally they pressure principals to allocate maximal resources to preparing for high risk tests at the expense of other educational activities. School administrators and teachers, while dissatisfied with this approach, maintain a covert informal culture that concentrates mainly on external test achievements, which contrasts to their public value-rich educational vision, and undertake actions that raise educational, management and ethical questions. Placing the schools’ informal culture on the research agenda will increase institutional transparency and may contribute to a greater correspondence between school visions advocating knowledge and values, and the policy actually implemented. Raising this subject for discussion may contribute to a demand for more transparency in how schools allocate their resources. It may also help to increase the correspondence between the values and vision promulgated by schools and the educational policy they actually implement.
Comparing the PISA 2012 achievements of Turkey and Israel in Mathematics and science has been an intriguing challenge. Israel was one of the first 12 countries taking part in the first International Mathematics assessment: The TIMSS 1963/4; it had the best achievements both in grade 4 and 8 (ibid). Turkey started participating in International evaluations only in 1999. Since the 1963/4 first international examinations, the Israeli situation has changed substantially by the 80ies, and not in any desirable direction. Turkey, on the other hand, has demonstrated a gradual, constant improvement in the PISA achievements – both in mathematics and science. In this study a brief comparison between these two countries will be presented regarding the achievement in the first decade of the 21st century. This article consists of three main parts: Why comparing Israel and Turkey?, Achievements comparisons between Israel and Turkey, and Why are the Israeli PISA 2012 results actually lower than reported.
The Israel Literacy Measurement Project is an attempt to create a valid and reliable measure of knowledge of Israel. Beginning with the question, “what does it mean to be literate about Israel?” the team worked to establish assessment standards. Drawing on definitions of literacy in other social science disciplines and in consultation with subject experts, the research team developed a test bank of validated Israel-related questions. The question bank can be used with college-aged young adults to assess the extent and content of their Israel-related knowledge.
This study applies discourse analysis to Israeli media coverage of national and international standardized examinations within Israel’s public education system. Through systematic analysis of the topic in the two main Israeli financial publications between the years 2000 and 2013, we explore the nature and narrative of the media and compare the coverage of national and international standardized testing. We find that most of the media attention was devoted to international examinations, while national examinations were covered in a more limited yet critical way, perceived as unnecessary and even dubious. International examinations, in contrast, were described as axiomatic components of the education system. Articles on both national and international standardized testing criticize the education system, blaming teachers, the Ministry of Education, budget constraints, and marginalized populations for Israeli students’ inadequate results. We frame our analysis by alignment of the articles along global–local and also neoliberal–humanistic axes. We structure our assessment within the global–local nexus and discuss the broader implications of the role of the testing in framing the local educational public discourse.
The issue of quality has become lately the key element of assessing performance in higher education throughout the world. In order to increase efficiency,continuous improvement and promotion of teamwork, the checking and assessment of quality in higher education has become of paramount importance. This paper presents the process of evaluation of higher education in Israeli colleges. This is a requirement by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) that supervises the standards and controls the quality of delivery through its Quality Assurance Division. This is done via a “Self Evaluation Process”, through which every department/faculty in each college is evaluated every 5 years or so , on a number of parameters. The study presents and discusses these parameters of evaluation and presents the main elements in the process of self evaluation problems, strengths and weaknesses , that are part of this process. It further enables to compare this method to other methods of evaluation of higher education in other countries. In addition, it presents the benefits of the self evaluation approach, to the individual institution and its staff (academic, managerial and support).
International surveys have served as agents of change for the introduction of reforms in curricula worldwide. The Israeli Ministry of Education set a goal of raising Israel’s ranking in international surveys so that Israel will be among the 10 leading countries in the Program for International Student Assessment and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). The Ministry of Education therefore acted to reduce the gap between the intended and the attained science curriculum by intervening on two curricular levels: the intended and the implemented. Over the years, documents that contributed to the adoption of contents and skills from the international surveys were added to the science curriculum, until the publication of the new science curriculum. The intervention was successful and in TIMSS 2011, Israel ranked 13 out of the 42 participating countries. The present research examines the influence of international surveys on science education in Israel, over the course of time (1996–2011). Analysis of documents accompanying the curriculum shows a clear message that international surveys are standards that should be used for teaching, and every additional document closes the gap between the science curriculum and the international surveys.
This article presents and discusses the findings of a study which focused on student teachers’ evaluation of their practice teaching in the context of a university–school partnership model integrated for the first time into the academic programme of a university teacher education department in Israel. A questionnaire was developed to examine the contribution of the major curricular components of the partnership for student teachers’ experience of learning to teach, as evaluated by the student teachers themselves. The questionnaire was delivered to 119 student teachers placed in 9 selected school–university partnerships. The findings of the study underscore the added value of supporting different kinds of mentoring frameworks within university–school partnerships. The international significance of the study is discussed with a focus on implications for emergent tensions, dilemmas and connections between local and global forms of university–school partnerships.
The objective of this research study was to identify the factors affecting the professional characteristics of teacher educators by comparing two models of teacher education. The research findings revealed four major focal points that have an impact on professional characteristics: the operational model adopted by the institution where teacher educators work; the breadth and depth of teacher educators’ research and scholarship and the degree to which such scholarship is required as part of the assessment criteria; the cooperation between the training institution and the practical field (i.e., the schools where the students do their practice teaching); and the informal relationships between teacher educators and their students. The novelty of the study resides in the fact that these points affect teacher educators’ professional characteristics and that focusing on these characteristics facilitates a comprehensive view of methods, tools and directions that may expedite the professional development of teacher educators.