The trap of English as universal medium in colonial and postcolonial discourse on India : a historical review of attitudes towards English in India
- This thesis examines the spread and promotion of English on a global level, from a historical perspective in particular ‘Third World’ contexts. The globalization of English as an exclusive language of power is considered to be a trap, when accompanied by an ideology aiming to universalize monolingual and monocultural norms and standards. World-wide English diffusion is related - not to any mystical effects of some psycho-social mechanisms or transmuting alchemy - but to a global rise of military, political, economic, communicational and cultural Euro-American hegemony. The fact that the English language has become perhaps the primary medium of social control and power has not been given a prominent place in the analyses of established social scientists or political planners. On the contrary, the positively idealized dominance of English as a universal medium has become part of a collection of myths seeking to deny the global reality of multilingualism. Not allowing for the existence of any power besides itself, the perpetuation of this hegemony of English within a multilingual scenario has become a contradiction in terms. Centuries of colonialism, followed by neo-colonialism, are seen to have resulted in a world-wide consensus favouring centralization and homogenization of state and world economies, administrations, language, education and mass media systems, as prerequisites to local and global unity. The particular case of India as encountered by a colonizing Britain is used to illustrate the historical clash between differing language and educational traditions and cultures. It was on the strength of their own predominantly positive attitudes towards diversity - encoded in their promotion of complex social and religious philosophies, as well as varied economic and educational practices of pluralism and hierarchy-without-imposition, unity in diversity, etc. - that the people and their leaders finally achieved Indian independence from British colonialism. Contemporary Indian society, however, is still grappling with the legacy of a Eurocentric civilizational model - encoded in the neo-colonial system of English education - and in conflict with its own positively idealized and actively promoted traditions of pluralism. On national and international levels, the destabilization and destruction of diversity continues to threaten more than the linguistic and cultural uniqueness of numerous communities and individuals. For those majorities and minorities who refuse to give up their ‘differences’, political, economic and physical survival is at stake. A paradoxical reality, seldom acknowledged, is that while for the politically and economically already powerful language groups, the enormous resources spent on formal (language) education have become a means to maintain their material and political capital, whereas for the majority of modern societies' marginalized members, powerful linguistic barriers to full economic or political participation remain firmly in place. The justifications for perpetuating exclusionary policies and sustaining structural inequality have come from monocultural ideological assumptions in education and language policies as one of the key mechanisms for state control of labour. This thesis concludes that the trap of an ideologically exclusive status for English can be avoided by theoretically positivizing and institutionally promoting existing multilingual and multicultural peoples’ realities as an integral part of their human rights, in order to resist global Englishization.
Differential patterns in comparative education discourse
Donna Annetta Coursey
- This dissertation study argues that 'policy advice formation', as a discourse development, is a differentiated hybrid resultant from merger between comparative education and policy studies disciplines. Through discourse analysis based on John Creswell's format, this study identifies revisions, restatements and shifts in emphasis of theories, methodological models and challenge topics of comparative education and policy studies. Findings which display the development of policy advice formation' discourse. In conclusion, this study found differential patterns seemingly formed because of collaborative affects of standardization in education science knowledge expressed within discourse.
Socioscientific decision making in the science classroom: the effect of embedded metacognitive instructions on students' learning outcomes
- The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of cooperative training strategies to enhance students' socioscientific decision making as well as their metacognitive skills in the science classroom. Socioscientific decision making refers to both “describing socioscientific issues” as well as “developing and evaluating solutions” to socioscientific issues. We investigated two cooperative training strategies which differed with respect to embedded metacognitive instructions that were developed on the basis of the IMPROVE method. Participants were 360 senior high school students who studied either in a cooperative learning setting (COOP), a cooperative learning setting with embedded metacognitive questions (COOP+META), or a nontreatment control group. Results indicate that students in the two training conditions outperformed students in the control group on both processes of socioscientific decision making. However, students in the COOP+META condition did not outperform students in the COOP condition. With respect to students' learning outcomes on the regulation facet of metacognition, results indicate that all conditions improved over time. Students in the COOP+META condition exhibited highest mean scores at posttest measures, but again, results were not significant. Implications for integrating metacognitive instructions into science classrooms are discussed.
Aging in place in late life: theory, methodology, and intervention
Agneta Malmgren Fänge
- Editorial: This special issue focuses on aging in place in late life. Aging in place is about being able to continue living in one’s own home or neighborhood and to adapt to changing needs and conditions. It is of high concern due to the increasing number of old and very old people in all societies and challenges researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in many societal and scientific areas and disciplines. We invited authors to contribute original research papers as well as conceptually driven review papers that would stimulate the continuing efforts to understand the different aspects of aging in place in late life. The papers that were submitted came from very diverse disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, occupational therapy, nursing, architecture, public planning, and social work. Given the number and diversity of papers submitted, we can conclude that aging in place is an important concern throughout the world and that different kinds of measures are taken to come up with local, national, and international solutions that enhance aging in place. It remains a very complex issue that needs and deserves to be investigated from many different perspectives and assessed by means of different methodological origin, covering qualitative and quantitative measures, as well as mixed-method approaches. Subsequently, the selection of papers presented in this issue only sheds light on some aspects of sociophysical person-environment exchange as people age, contributing to the ongoing discussion in the field of environmental gerontology...
Distance education at conventional universities in Germany
- Germany’s educational system has undergone a series of transformations during the last 40 years. In recent years, marked increases in enrolment have occurred. In response, admission requirements have been relaxed and new universities have been established. Academic distance education in the former Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was ushered in by the educational radio broadcasts around the end of the 1960s. Aside from the formation of the FernUniversität (Open University) in West Germany in 1975, there were significant developments in distance education occurring at the major universities in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). After German reunification in 1990, the new unitary state launched programs to advance the development of distance education programs at conventional universities. Germany’s campus-based universities (Präsenzuniversitäten) created various entities, including central units and consortia of universities to design and market distance education programs. Hybridisation provides the necessary prerequisites for dual mode delivery, such as basic and continuing education programs, as well as for the combination of distance and campus-based education (Präsenzstudium). Hybridisation also has also opened the door for the creation of new programs. Following an initial phase in which distance education research is expected to centralize a trend towards decentralisation is likely to follow. The German Association for Distance Education (AG-F) offers a viable research network in distance education. Two dual mode case studies are also be surveyed: The Master of Arts degree, offered by the University of Koblenz-Landau, with Library Science as the second major, and the University of Kaiserslautern, where basic education will continue to be captured within the domain of the Präsenzstudium or campus-based education. The area in which distance education is flourishing most is within the field of academic continuing education, where external experts and authors are broadening the horizon of the campus. Multimedia networks will comprise the third generation of distance education.