The paper concerns the main conference themes on educational policies, theories and reforms. It outlines a theory for curriculum reform and implements it for evaluation of Estonia’s (ambivalent) policies on curriculum administration, development and theory. The theory is also used for analysis of German syllabuses and textbooks for social sciences (Kerncurricula für Sozialkunde und Politik).
A new curriculum theory.
A new curriculum theory for formation of good specialists and active citizens was elaborated as a civic initiative after 2010. Main curriculum theorists have isolated the main concepts of students, culture and society. They have relied on an authoritarian model of curriculum administration. They considered themselves as main actors and ignored the active role of others (students and wider society). Society, man (student) and culture were taken as factors of curriculum development (Bobbitt 1918, Tyler 1949, Taba 1962, He et al. 2015, Rutiku et al. 2009). They put themselves and their activities outside of the system man-society-culture. As a result, the subject knowledge and student development have contradicted to each other.
I started to integrate the concepts of man, society and culture, in order to fulfil the gap between human advancement and knowledge acquisition. It was necessary to abandon from the simple and linear concepts of man. There should be a collection of concepts (Haav 2014, 2015). The initial most general definitions of man are sociological and semiotic. In sociology, the essence of man is a system of his or her social relations. In semiotic, man is considered as a collection of one’s actual sign systems. If society is taken as a system of all social relations between people, then the sociological concept of man is integrated with that. If culture is defined as a collection of all sign systems created by men, then the semiotic concept of man is integrated with that. These are the most general initial concepts. They serve also like methodological devices for linking other complementary concepts. The latter should not contradict to the system of initial integrated concepts of man, society and culture. There is no final definition. In social and educational sciences, these concepts should be in the centre of curricula. So far, this is not the case. Other sciences can be considered as different aspects of relations between people, society, culture and nature.
Campaign for outcome-oriented curricula in HEI.
This theory was not used in the national and European campaigns for introduction of outcome-oriented curricula into higher education (EC 2011, 2015, Cort 2014). Estonia conducted for curriculum reform an extensive campaign in 2006-2010. The European Social Fund supported this. The administrators heralded an educational reform towards student-centred teaching and learning (Biggs, Tang 2007, 2008, Rutiku et al. 2009). They followed the curriculum theory and designed the guides with all main steps: formulation of outcomes, restructuring of the curricula, active participation of main educational partners like students and employers. The guides proposed a list of possible outcomes in terms of relevant special knowledge, skills and values. Still, the Guides didn’t rely on any relevant theory of formation of specialists and citizens. In 2010, the curricula and syllabuses were re-formulated. Unfortunately, the curriculum administrators and policy did not support the next steps (participation of students and employers, and restructuring of the curricula). They also did not support development of curriculum theory and research on practice. Many other studies like Laan et al. 2015, Jõgi et al. 2013, Udam, Seema, Mattisen 2015, Koit 2016, did not reveal any significant changes in the quality of education.
Biggs, J., Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Maidenhead. Open University Press, SRHE. Cort, P. (2014) Europeanisation of Curricula in Europe: Policy and Practice. Curriculum Reform in Europe: The Impact of Learning Outcomes. - European Educational Research Journal. October 2014, 13: 595-600. Deely, J. (1990). Basics of Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. EC (2011). Using learning outcomes – European Qualifications Framework series: Note 4. Luxembourg. EC (2015) The European higher education area in 2015. Bologna Process: implementation report. EACEA. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the EU. Flinders, D. J., Thornton, S. J. (eds.) (2013) The Curriculum Studies Reader, New York, London: Routledge. Haav, K. (2012) History of curricula and development of sociological curriculum theory in Estonia. - Journal Sociology of Science and Technology, St. Petersburg, 2012, (3) 3: 54-73. http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/history-of-curricula-and-development-of-sociological-curriculum-theory-in-estonia Haav, K. (2015) Õppekava mudelid ja õpiväljundite arendus. [Development of the social scientific curriculum theory and its implementation in critical analysis of the curriculum reform in higher education in Estonia in 2006-2010]. - Riigikogu Toimetised (Rito) 32, 119-132. http://rito.riigikogu.ee/eelmised-numbrid/nr-32/ He, M. F., Schultz, B. D., Schubert, W. H. (eds.) (2015) The SAGE Curriculum in Education. L. A., London etc.: SAGE reference. Jõgi, L., Karu, K., Krabi, K., Sarv, A., Tropp, K., Niitsoo, M., Murakas, R., Karm, M. (2013). Õpilaste tajutud muutused õppejõudude õpetamispraktikates. [Students’ evaluation on teachers’ teaching practices. Study report.] Tartu: TÜ, Primus, Archimedes. 81 pp. Koit, K. (2016). Approaches to internal quality assurance and evaluation in Estonia’s universities and their concordance with the European standards and guidelines. In Est. Tartu: University of Tartu. Laan, M., Kuusk, A., Sunts, H., Urb, J. (2015) Eesti kõrgkoolide 2012 aasta vilistlaste uuring. Lõpparuanne. [Final report of 2012 graduates in Estonia.] Tartu: HTM. Lotman, J. (2009) Culture and Explosion. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruiter. Rutiku, S., Valk, A., Pilli, E., Vanari, K. (2009). Õppekava arendamise juhendmaterjal. [Guidelines for curriculum development.] Tartu: Primus Archimedes. Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (2015). https://www.eqar.eu/fileadmin/documents/bologna/ESG_2015.pdf Sursock, A. (2015) Trends 2015: Learning and Teaching in European Universities. http://eua.be/Libraries/Publications_homepage_list/EUA_Trends_2015_web.sflb.ashx Udam, M., Seema, R., Mattisen, H. (2015). Eesti kõrgharidus institutsionaalsel akrediteerimisel. [On the results of institutional accreditation in Estonian higher education]. – Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri, vol. 3 (1) 80-102. Valsiner, J. (2017) Between Self and Societies. Creating Psychology in a New Key. Tallinn: Tallinn University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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