ERG SES D 06, Educational Reform
The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the methodological approaches and preliminary findings of a research project aimed to conceptualize and systematize the results of comparative analysis of education reforms in European countries (the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Finland) as a prerequisite for modernization of education. The objectives are to define the content of European education reforms and modernization processes, effective ways of their implementation, positive and negative trends, possibilities of using innovative European experience in modernization of education in Ukraine. The research questions are:
- Why can the transition from education reforms to modernization of education be an adequate response to challenges of modern civilization?
- Can the European experience be useful in modernizing the Ukrainian educational system?
The theoretical framework of the study is based on concepts of theories of education, philosophy of education, education policies and documents of the European Council, CEDEFOP, OECD and other organizations.
By means of analysis of education reforms in the above mentioned European countries the study focuses on the following issues:
- Reasons for initiation of education reforms.
- Political and structural aspects of European education reforms reflecting the search for efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality.
- Modernization and education reforms, their interrelationship and interdependence.
- Modernization of higher education in European countries in the context of the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Strategy.
- Transition from education reforms to modernization of education in Ukraine and implementation of the European experience.
It has been found that modern education reforms are a multidimensional process of changes caused by a complex of conceptual factors, such as globalization, transition to knowledge economy and integration, as also by socio-economic transformations and crisis of national education.
In this paper we will discuss the following aspects of educational reform policies of the European countries: the influence of political forces, content of reforms, their implementation in practice, results which allowed defining both positive and negative trends. To analyze the structural aspect of education reforms we used the structural-functional approach which helped to gain insight into the goals of transformations, identify differences and common features of education reforms in the four countries, show the importance of the transition of education systems to innovation in order to ensure efficiency, economic feasibility and quality of education.
The examples of implementation of education reforms in the European countries have proved that reformation of education is an essential precondition of modernization as it lays the conceptual and legal foundations for systemic changes in this field according to the vectors chosen by society. The modernization of education can be viewed as changes that support and ensure the dynamic development of education in accordance with the goals of reforms and creation and implementation of models of anticipatory development of education to meet the needs of society.
The study of education reforms in the European countries allowed identifying the main stages of reformations. It has been found that the formation of the new education system is based on simultaneous implementation of education reforms at national and European levels, as they are carried out within the Bologna Process aimed to create the European Higher Education Area, the Lisbon Strategy (2000) and the “Europe 2020: A European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth”.
The reformation and further modernization of Ukrainian education is complicated by the fact that the education sector in this country could not be reformed gradually. The importance of the European experience of transition from education reforms to modernization of education, possibilities and ways of its implementation in Ukraine in the process of joining the European educational space have been defined.
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