10 SES 04 D, The Role of Research and The Teacher Education Curriculum
Kosovo education has traditionally been heavily under-researched. As the youngest European state that gained independence in 2008, the last one to do so after the breakup of former Yugoslavia started in early 1990s, Kosovo has gone through challenging developments in recent history - politically, socially, economically, educationally and otherwise. Due to the specific historical circumstances – as an underdeveloped region in former Yugoslavia, as an occupied entity under Serbia during 1990s and being under the United Nations international protectorate during 2000s leading to the independence in 2008 – it has struggled with developing a quality education system as shown with the latest Kosovo Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 results, where Kosovo students came third from the bottom among participating countries. Kosovo started to develop higher education system only at the beginning of 1970s, when University of Prishtina was established (Tahirsylaj, 2010), and as a result it does not have a long tradition of either higher education institutions per se or of research in general or educational research specifically. Due to lack of human resources and adequate funding, higher education institutions in Kosovo have been primarily teaching-oriented with little opportunities for research. Still, there is no prior systematic review that has examined the educational research output in and on Kosovo. Subsequently, and also in line with ECER 2018 general topic of inclusion and exclusion, and resources for research, our objective is to undertake a comprehensive systematic review of educational research in and on Kosovo to bring to bearing a better understanding of education research output covering a period from 1970 to 2017. The study is exploratory and descriptive in nature and it will focus on the presence and frequency of Kosovo education-related research articles and the accompanying themes/domains that such research has addressed. The following research questions will be addressed: What research is reported in the peer reviewed literature about Kosovo education? What research methodologies are used to conduct educational research? What are the subject matter domains, thematic focus, educational levels, and funding sources? And who has been undertaking the research – were they Kosovo nationals or international researchers? The focus of the study will be placed on identifying the links between the educational reforms that have taken place in Kosovo, particularly since the end of the war in 1999 with any research output that was published afterwards. More specifically, the study will look at how the themes of inclusion and exclusion were addressed through the published education research and how does it connect to the level of education development in general. Theoretically, the study will rely on the curriculum-didaktik approaches as two main education traditions in the Western world that shape to a large extent, for example, what education policies are implemented in school systems (Hopmann, 2015; Tahirsylaj, Niebert, & Duschl, 2015) and how teachers are educated and trained (Tahirsylaj, Brezicha, & Ikoma, 2015; Saqipi 2014). Kosovo traditionally has been part of didaktik systems but has seen a shift towards curriculum approaches due to latest educational reforms implemented with assistance and guidance of international organizations such as the World Bank (Tahirsylaj, 2017), which push for certain accountability measures such as competency-based curricula and external standardized assessment. Further in terms of further theoretical framing we will adopt from the trans-national policy flows in education and policy borrowing perspectives (Sundberg & Wahlström, 2012; Steiner-Khamsi, 2014; 2004) to pinpoint any influence that educational developments, with regard to curriculum reform and teacher education restructuring for example, might have had on key thematic foci of educational research in/on Kosovo published in peer-reviewed journals available in internationally relevant databases.
This study is a systematic review. The search strategy will rely on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework (Liberati et al., 2009), which is one of the most established frameworks for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA framework outlines key stages to search for the articles, develop inclusion and exclusion criteria and evaluate articles that will be part of the study articles. We used “Kosovo education” as the search string in 12 major international social science databases. The total number of hits was 161, distributed across databases as per the following: DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) (15); EBSCO (8); ERIC (61); JSTOR (5); ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database (2); SAGE Journals Online (4); Science Direct (4); Scopus (10); Springer Link (36); Taylor & Francis (12); Web of Science (1); and Wiley Online Library (3). For inclusion criteria, we relied on (1) the type of publication, including journal articles, dissertations and thesis, and conference proceedings; (2) timeframe: 1970-2017, setting 1970 as the cut-point to correspond with the beginnings of higher education institutions in Kosovo; and (3) language: English and Albanian. For exclusion criteria, we set: Not in K-16 education; Not about Kosovo; Not empirical. The inclusion/exclusion criteria are considered by both authors and finally decisions are made which articles become part of the study. Because the initial number of hits in the main databases was low, we considered turning to Google Scholar as the search engine, which turned about 330 hits with our key term, but decided to abandon it for two reasons: first, when we checked the first 50 hits, we found that we had either had collected all relevant articles from the databases or the hits were irrelevant as per our inclusion and exclusion criteria; and second, Google Scholar is not recommended for systematic reviews because it does not provide replicable results – the results vary if when you use different browsers from the same device – and also because Google Scholar constantly changes the content and algorithms for searching content (Giustini & Boulos, 2013). However, we plan to apply another search strategy by examining CVs of education professors and researchers at University of Prishtina, Kosovo – publicly available on university website - to identify additional potential publications not located through our initial database search.
The preliminary findings indicate that educational research output in and on Kosovo education available in international databases is indeed low, judging by the low number of research articles initially identified. While this is not a surprise, it is concerning to find out just how under-researched Kosovo education has been. Further, we find that there is major overlap and duplication of articles across databases. Out of total 161 hits, there is duplication in 30 cases. Overall, we find that all publications in and on Kosovo education are recent – with the majority of them being published after 2010, only a few between 2000 and 2010, and none before 2000. In terms of thematic focus, the preliminary results show that articles cover issues around higher education, especially teacher education. In terms of the methodology, the vast majority of articles rely on qualitative methods, and surprisingly there is a relatively and comparatively large number of articles authored by international researchers. We expect that the subsequent search through the CVs of university professors and researchers of University of Prishtina in the next steps of our work will expand the thematic foci and methodological approaches in/on Kosovo education. Our assumption for the low number of peer-reviewed articles in internationally accessible and relevant social science databases that are already included in the study is that publications of Kosovo researchers might appear in journals and publication outlets that are no indexed in initially searched databases. We expect that findings and results of our review will initiate a more focused and constructive debate around lacking funding resources for educational research in Kosovo and elsewhere in Europe.
Giustini, D., & Boulos, M. N. K. (2013). Google Scholar is not enough to be used alone for systematic reviews. Online journal of public health informatics, 5(2), 214. Hopmann, S. (2015) ‘Didaktik meets Curriculum’ revisited: historical encounters, systematic experience, empirical limits. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 2015:1, 27007, DOI: 10.3402/nstep.v1.27007 Liberati A., Altman D.G., Tetzlaff J., Mulrow C., Gotzsche P.C., Ioannidis J.P.A., Clarke M., Devereaux P.J., Kleijnen J., Moher D. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate healthcare interventions: Explanation and elaboration. BMJ, 339:b2700, doi: 10.1136/bmj.b2700 Saqipi, B. Developing teacher professionalism and identity in the midst of large-scale education reform (Doctoral dissertation). Jyvaskyla (Finland): Journal of teacher as researcher, 2/2014. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2014). Cross-national policy borrowing: Understanding reception and translation. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 34(2), 153-167. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (Ed.). (2004). The global politics of educational borrowing and lending. Teachers College Press. Sundberg, D., & Wahlström, N. (2012). Standards-based curricula in a denationalised conception of education: The case of Sweden. European Educational Research Journal, 11(3), 342-356. Tahirsylaj, A. (2017). Teacher Autonomy Variation and Its Relationship to Science Performance in PISA 2015 in Kosovo and Across Didaktik and Curriculum Traditions. [Unpublished paper, presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2017 conference] Tahirsylaj, A., Brezicha, K., Ikoma, S. (2015), Unpacking Teacher Differences in Didaktik and Curriculum Traditions: Trends from TIMSS 2003, 2007, and 2011, in Gerald K. LeTendre, & Alexander W. Wiseman (Eds.) Promoting and Sustaining a Quality Teacher Workforce (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Volume 27) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.145 – 195. Tahirsylaj, A., Niebert, K. & Duschl, R. (2015). Curriculum and didaktik in 21st century: Still divergent or converging? European Journal of Curriculum Studies. 2(2), 262-281. Tahirsylaj, A. (2010). Higher Education in Kosovo: Major Changes, Reforms and Development Trends in Post-conflict Period at University of Prishtina. Interchange, 41(2), 171-183.
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
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