10 SES 05 C, International Teacher Education Issues
Kazakhstan has recently engaged in substantial international educational policy borrowing as it reforms its education system dramatically, across all sectors of education, taking a Eurocentric perspective on teacher education. This paper examines how educational policies and practices are locally negotiated and adapted after being transferred from one context to another on the international level, then transferred from the central government to a local level. The focus is on the local level, where “end users” (principals, teacher trainers, teachers and students) adapt internationally borrowed policies and engage in the situated politics and practice at the point where international trends and policies meet local knowledges and realities. The purpose of the paper is to analyse how meaning is made at the local level of the language and culture of new educational imports, through processes of translation, adaptation, negotiation and appropriation.
The interpretative framework of the discussion is based mainly on theories of educational borrowing (Steiner-Khamsi 2004; Phillips and Ochs 2010), theories of educational change (Fullan 2007; Hargreaves 2007), and translation theory (Pym 2009) and Jean Piaget's ideas of schema, accommodation and assimilation.
In an era of globalization, there has been much debate over the impact of international transfer of educational policies and practices. The notions of transfer, translation and borrowing imply a continuum of two processes - reception and translation. As Steiner-Khamsi (2012: 458) points out, "reception examines the initial contact with the global education policy at the local level and focuses on the selection process. Translation addresses the local adaptation of the global education policy". Here, we will capture processes of translation and reception of policy import on both international and intra-national levels. We will make the case that apart from the analysis of evaluation of international transfer of educational policy and practice on the country-level there is also good reason to explore processes of constructing meaning of the internationally borrowed practices at the local level, for example, a teacher working in a classroom.
There seems to be little theoretical treatment of issues and difficulties which practitioners as recipients of 'travelling reforms' encounter as they attempt to make meaning of new educational practices and, more importantly, the new 'foreign' concepts which accompany these practices. The instability of the original concepts – especially when taken out of context – is highly likely to have a different meaning for the local actors as they take the cascaded policy further down their own locale.
Anderson-Levitt, K. (2011) Translating anthropologies of education. Anthropology News. p.13. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1556-3502.2011.52213.x/pdf Fullan, M. (2007) The New Meaning of Educational Change. New York, NY: Routledge. Hargreaves, A. (1994) Changing Teachers, Changing Times: Teachers’ Work and Culture in the Postmodern Age. London: Continuum. Saldana, J. (2009). An introduction to codes and coding. The coding manual for qualitative researchers, 1-31. Silova, I. (2005) Traveling policies: hijacked in Central Asia. European Educational Research Journal, 4, (1). 55-59. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (Ed.) (2004) The Global Politics of Educational Borrowing and Lending. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2012) The global/local nexus in comparative policy studies: analyzing the triple bonus system in Mongolia over time. Comparative Education, 48, (4). 455-471. Phillips, D. & Ochs, K. (2010) Researching policy borrowing: Some methodological challenges in comparative education. British Educational Research Journal, 30, (6). 773-784. Pym, A. (2009) Exploring Translation Theories. London: Routledge.
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