29 nov 2007
Values, Ethics and Teacher Education
Values and ethics are automatically incorporated into any teaching/learning environment or endeavour, whether or not they are consciously stated objectives. The focus on "quality of education" has sharpened as people have become concerned about a perceived rise in materialism as standards of living have improved; materialistic ambitions increasingly fill the ideological gap created by the move to a pluralistic society in which there is a less general consensus of values and ethics. There is increasing demand for insight into the potential of the formal teaching/learning process for inculcating, learning/unlearning (as the case may be) and consolidating values. The manner in which teachers are trained has far-reaching implications for the youth in schools, and a systemic inquiry into the structure, role, responsibilities, aims and curricular objectives of teacher education is the obvious starting point. This paper tries to delineate the global normative aims of education as a model for assessing the composition of the teacher education curriculum in Pakistan. It looks at the intended curriculum, bearing in mind that the formal and the active curricula may not necessarily converge. The paper accepts that ethics and values education is still in a formative stage. However, one critical question that will remain open at the philosophical level is "which values should be included?" and this needs to be vigorously researched to establish guidelines that have global consensus. The next crucial question will then be "how best to teach to ensure that these ethics and values are internalised by learners?"
29 nov 2007
Academic Performance, Students' Background and Affirmative Action at a Brazilian University
This paper describes the results of a detailed study relating the performance of undergraduate students admitted to Brazil’s State University of Campinas (Unicamp) from 1994 through 1997 and their socioeconomic and educational background. The study is based on a hierarchical model for the relevant variables involved. The main result is that students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, in both educational and socioeconomic aspects, have a higher relative performance than their complementary group. We report on an affirmative action programme established at Unicamp for undergraduate admissions, partially motivated by those findings, and present evidence from an initial evaluation showing the programme’s positive impact. Finally, we comment on the effect this study and the Unicamp programme have had on the present debate about affirmative action access policies in Brazilian higher education institutions.
by Renato H.L. Pedrosa, J. Norberto W. Dachs, Rafael P. Maia and Cibele Y. Andrade, Benilton S. Carvalho
29 nov 2007
Universities, the State and the Market
This paper analyses changes in the governance of universities as a result of growing demands from society as well as of a strong penetration of management ideology into all kinds of institutions. For this purpose the paper uses a theoretical framework focusing on two governance mechanisms in social systems: entry control and performance control. These belong to a larger set of homogenising forces, which the new institutionalists label as (1) coercive, (2) normative and (3) mimetic. Using this theoretical framework to analyse the development of Swedish universities, the author concludes that their governance has undergone a considerable change. Coercive forces that were previously exercised through detailed budgeting have, in recent years, been operating through representation in leading bodies and through the selection of university leaders. This has occurred through a crowding out of normative forces. At the same time there have been strong mimetic forces based on modern management ideas.
29 nov 2007
Values, Principles and Integrity
This paper is based mainly on responses – nearly 300 – to a web-based survey of academic staff in UK higher education. The survey examined their personal and professional values and their views on the values that should underpin higher education. Their perceptions of current reality in terms of national policy and processes and of institutional management expectations, with examples provided of events that disturbed them, raise questions about the longer term health of higher education as it has been understood. The project was seen as a pilot aiming to provoke debate about how well traditional values and standards "fit" with mass levels of higher education provision, and government emphases on the economic role of higher education. The findings are set in a theoretical context drawing on models by Clark (1983), Becher and Kogan (1992) and the author (McNay, 1995, 2005a).
29 nov 2007
Revenue Generation and Its Consequences for Academic Capital, Values and Autonomy
The greatest challenge for institutions of higher education in most OECD countries since the 1970s has arguably been to cope with reduced public support. Many institutions responded to reductions in funding, first, by cutting costs and lobbying governments to reverse cutbacks, and then – when it became clear that funding levels would not be restored – by seeking out new sources of revenue. Some institutions decentralised resource allocation in order to encourage units to generate non-government revenue. Recent research into the revenue generation strategies of Canadian universities suggests, drawing upon the work of Pierre Bourdieu, that such measures, while potentially effective in stimulating resource acquisition – and beneficial in other important respects – change internal values and conditions in ways that may ultimately undermine universities’ autonomy, public credibility and capacity to create knowledge. Can leaders and managers enable their institutions to secure vital revenue, without diluting the values and conditions that have made universities unique and valuable to society? Can decision makers in government foster entrepreneurialism and responsiveness on the part of higher education institutions without compromising their raison d’être? This paper sheds light upon these questions.
29 nov 2007
Individual and Institutional Liability of Researchers in the Case of Scientific Fraud
How have university institutions generally tackled the fight against scientific fraud? We intend to throw light on the very process of public disclosure of scientific fraud, as it has transformed in the last 30 years within the framework of scientific research institutions.
By focusing our analysis on the "denunciation process", we intend to refer to the dual issue of the researcher’s individual liability on the one hand and the institutional liability of the structures on the other. Passing from the individual stage, which involves criteria such as the truth of the research, to an institutional stage, which involves common ethical references, the analysis will highlight that the issue of research integrity (the accuracy of an assumption made by the researcher and its actual object) has been replaced by an ethical value more widely shared by the international scientific community. Chapter 3 below will demonstrate that this ethical value can be defined either as "confidence in science as a whole" or "the duty of objectivity relative to freedom of research".
The disclosure of scientific fraud is not only a private stage on which an "individual drama" is unfolding, involving the researcher’s personal conscience or that of their closer associates; it is a "public stage" where inter-subjective references clash with collective values. This switch from private issue to institutional context has yet to be clarified in the knowledge society; while we know exactly what standards in terms of ethics and deontology are being breached by researchers when they do not comply with truth criteria, the collective institutional values involved in the case of scientific fraud have still to be examined...