22 SES 05 B, Policy, Management and Governance in Higher Education
The Bologna Declaration of 19 June 1999 aimed at greater compatibility and comparability of the European systems of higher education with the objectives of increasing its competitiveness and mobility. There is, however, discussion, whether these top-down policy directives contribute to a standardization of the heterogeneous European education systems. One the one hand, researchers following a rather nomothetic world culture approach, assume disappearing national differences in education due to similar institutionalizations of world models and supra-national bodies like the OECD. On the other hand, however, this approach is criticized for neglecting political, economic, and cultural contexts of reforms initiated by external actors. As shown by various studies, attempts to harmonize or standardize multiple countries’ education systems are hindered in achieving convergence by effects of (1) the specific societies’ socio-economic development that is connected with its education system, (2) differences in the societies' social and institutional characteristics (2) as well as (3) specific cultural traditions (Janmaat, Duru-Bellat, Méhaut, & Green, 2013). Accordingly, a key finding of comparative studies that investigate the organization of classroom teaching in different countries, was, that culturally embedded concepts of instruction shape and reproduce communication and action structures in the classroom (Hiebert & Stigler, 2000) (Roth et al., 2006). Thus, it can be expected that global policies are rather re-contextualized and adapted to local contexts by particular states (Steiner-Khamsi, 2004).
This contributions’ objective is to show, how the European policy’s attempts (e.g. ‘the Bologna reforms’) to standardize European higher education systems are reflected by educational research.
Science and policy follow their own logics (codes and programs); therefore, it is not clear, how interactions between two different subsectors of society take place. To obtain more knowledge about these interactions, this study investigates, how the standardization attempts by European policy is perceived from educational research. It is especially asked, which dimensions are stated to be ignored by the policy reforms’ foci and if there are culturally specific differences.
The following research questions guide this study:
1) Does educational research reflect European policy’s directives to standardize European higher Education systems rather affirmatively or critically?
2) Which aspects of the higher Education systems are stated by to be excluded by the Bologna reforms’ main foci?
European Ministers of Education. (1999). The Bologna Declaration of 19 June 1999: Joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education. Retrieved from http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/education_training_youth/lifelong_learning/c11088_en.htm Hiebert, J. & Stigler, W.J. (2000). A Proposal for Improving Classroom Teaching: Lessons from the TIMSS Video Study. The Elementary School Journal 101 (1). doi: 10.1086/499656. Janmaat, J. G., Duru-Bellat, M., Méhaut, P., Green, A., & Shuayb, M. (2013). The dynamics and social outcomes of education systems // Rethinking Education for Social Cohesion: International Case Studies. Education, economy and society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Roth, K. J., S. L. Druker, H. E. Garnier, M. Lemmens, C. Chen, T. Kawanaka, D. Rasmussen et al. (2006). Highlights From the TIMSS 1999 Video Study of Eighth-Grade Science Teaching. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2004). The global politics of educational borrowing and lending. New York: Teachers College Press.
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