23 SES 10 C, Policy Transfer, Translation and Transferability: A Kazakhstani Case, a Global Phenomenon
This paper approaches the question of policy translation from the point of view of understandings and constructs that exist in the field prior to the introduction of new policy initiatives. Although the primary focus of the ‘Internationalisation and Education Reform in Kazakhstan’ study was to document the most recent educational initiatives in the country, references to and comparisons with the previous system of education, which was often referred to as Soviet, but also traditional, old and conservative, were numerous. This prompted the authors of this paper to address the questions: What memories and practices of Soviet education are still dominant in the field of education in Kazakhstan? How do these beliefs continue to shape educational debate in the country? The discussion in this paper is organised around the following themes: foundational principles of Soviet schooling; approaches to knowledge and assessment; teacher preparation and methodology. To support the argument the authors draw on the literature on Soviet education, interview data and, of equal importance, their own experiences of Soviet schooling. The resultant narrative offers an interesting and engaging example of auto-ethnography and policy analysis.
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