All posts by dinara-nu

Ibrahim Altynsarin’s effort on development of secondary education in Kazakhstan

Development of the system of education has been differing century-by-century but keeping its validity and power. Especially, schools are determined as initial engines to drive educational movement in a country. Consequently, there are people who act better changes on the system of schooling and sacrifice their life for the sake of their nation’s bright future. One of such representative and educator from Kazakh society of the late of 19th century was Ibrahim (Ybyrai) Altynsarin. He was born in 1841 in the Araqaraghai region of Torghai oblast (now Kostanay Province) and died only at the age of 48 in 1889 (Ibrahim Altynsarin, 2015). Ibrahim truly knew that there were very wise, talented, ingenious, capable and enthusiastic children among Kazakh and was so passionate to teach and make effort on educational development in Kazakh auls (villages).

In his letter to Ilminskiy (at that time Ilminskiy was the head of Boundary Commission) he wrote:

You were right, that the Kazakh people are wise, intelligent, capable, but uneducated. Moreover, the government officials do not try to give education to the people. Instead of erecting the schools in fortresses, it seems better for them to paint the roof or whitewash a white wall“(Today marks the 150th anniversary, 2015), blaming that the authorities do not even try to educate people appropriately. Finally, in 1860 the regional board gave a permission to him to open a primary school for the Kazakh children in Turgay and appointed him as a teacher of that school. It was no easy to open a school in an outlandish town: there was no money and no support from the local authorities. However, the difficulties did not stop Altynsarin.

Inspired by educational ideas, he traveled to the villages and explained the importance of secular public education. He gathered the means from the Kazakh people and then began to build a school, which was built on January 8, 1964 (Today marks the 150th anniversary, 2015). After several months on March 16, he stated the following: «I feel myself as if I am a hungry “wolf” who wants to educate Kazakh youth; and the most interesting and satisfied situation is that these children have already learned reading and writing skills only in about three months. I hope, in 4years they will be very educated portion of the society and aligned with this I am trying to teach them uprightness and moral so that they will not turn as the corrupt people” (Today marks the 150th anniversary, 2015). In 1888 there was established another first boarding school for girls in Turgai. Girls had a chance to get general education and some types of hand making like sewing, took place as well in that school. Further, such boarding schools were opened in other cities Kostanay and Aktobe.

In addition to all above, Altynsarin was first Kazakh who worked out the first Kazakh grammar book, translated of a large number of textbooks and reference works and was first initiator of Kazakh-Russian newspaper. The Imperial Russian government honored him with numerous awards, including the title “statski sovetnik” (State Councilor) (Ibrahim Altynsarin, 2015).

A number of Kazakh educational institutions such as Kazakh Academy of Education, Arkalyk State Pedagogical Institute and streets, schools in almost all cities in Kazakhstan and academic awards are named after Altynsarin. Also there is an Altynsarin museum in Kostanay. These all result reveal Ibrakhim Altynsarin’s deep and irreplaceable effort on educational movement in the country. This person was the initiator who sacrificed his entire life for the sake of educating his nation and did better changes for that.

References:

Ibrahim Altynsarin (2015). E-history. Retrieved 22.02.2015 from <http://e-history.kz/en/biography/view/19>

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the first Kazakh school (2014). E-history. Retrieved 22.02.2015 from <http://e-history.kz/en/publications/view/431>

Why do “leaders” matter in school culture?

Since my major is school leadership, it is my missionary endeavor to talk about the role of school leaders. School community perceives different attitudes toward school leaders. Some might think that a school leader is a principal, for someone a school leader is associated with inspired teachers. There were plenty of studies conducted to identify and the value of a leader in school culture.

I liked the study conducted by Heck and Marcoulides (1996) where they reported organizational values of school leaders in secondary schools of Singapore. Researchers found that schools, where positive social and professional relationships exists, staff members are highly qualified and student achievements are comparatively higher. More specifically, innovation and risk taking schools encourage teacher participation in decision-making and provide time for collaboration. As Heck and Marcoulides indicate, all these effects of organizational values on performance are likely to be mediated by teachers’ attitudes and to a lesser degree by the school’s organizational climate (Heck, R.H., & Marcoulides, G.A., 1996).  (Maslowski, R., 2001) also supports this idea that school culture is the process of the accumulation of many individuals’ values and norms as it constructs the frame that fulfills “school life.”

On the other hand, nothing goes forward without “people.” Therefore, a particular leader or leaders drive any schooling system. To my mind, every single staff member in a school is defined to be a separate leader, because, they have invisible and pervasive influence each other and learners. When I imagine school leaders, the pictures of school principals and teachers immediately appear in mind. Several authors (Knapp et al., 2003) gave thorough and clear explanations of leaders’ role in and out of schooling as following:

  • Student learning framed in broad terms to include more than “achievement” on single, albeit important, measures such as test scores.
  • Professional learning, including the array of skills, knowledge, and values that teachers and administrators gain from practice itself, formal attempts to develop their professional capacities while on the job, and from initial preparation for their professional positions.
  • “System learning,” conceived of as “insight into the functioning of the system [e.g., school, district system] as a whole to develop and evaluate new policies, practices, and structures that enhance its performance” (Knapp et al., 2003, p. 11).

School leaders face different responsibilities and duties in learning and teaching environment. However, I would like to highlight that if a leader is capable to transform his or her leadership qualities to the other members, then it is a very important priority of a “boss.”

There have been many researches done which tried to explore the roles of schooling concepts. The effect of schooling has been one of the discussing dilemma in educational research over the past centuries and not only. To sum up all the idea before, I do believe, if a nation’s ideology and culture is strong enough and preserved from “globalizing mess”, then it can manage its schooling system effectively.

References

Heck, R.H., & Marcoulides, G.A. (1996). School Culture and Performance: Testing the Invariance of an Organizational Model. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 7 (1), 6-95. In Maslowski, R. (2001). School Culture and School Performance. Twente University Press. Retrieved from: <www.tup.utwente.nl/uk/catalogue/educational/school-culture>

Knapp, M. S., Copland, M. A., & Talbert, J. E. (2003). Leading for learning: Reflective tools for school and district leaders. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Center for Teaching and Policy.

Maslowski, R. (2001). School Culture and School Performance. Twente University Press. Retrieved from: <www.tup.utwente.nl/uk/catalogue/educational/school-culture>

Ideology in school environment

Ideology is acknowledged to be sophisticated, at the same time substantial components in an education environment. Specifically, it is a pervasive and an elusive element in school environment as well. This message aims to identify the notion of ideology in school life and explore scientists’ opinion on this concept.

Ideological foundation is alike an engine which forces a country to operate through its educational institutions like kindergartens, schools, colleges or universities. However, schools determine the initial and most valuable attitude toward ideology in the frame of education. Reforming and regulating the governance of schools in any country reflects national ideology of a country. The organization of schooling has involved both changes and challenges in the world education arena: globalization and integration of educational context, prospering new scientific knowledge and technical applications, developing the full potential of young learners and their integration into adult life are common features of those tasks.

Many educators view ideology in schools from different angles. Majority of researches (Apple, 2004; Arum, Beattie, Ford, 2011; Bray, 2007) agree that “school curriculum” has the greatest impact on ideological and moral bases of learners. Other educators (Kamens, Meyer, & Benavot, 1996) support that national policy strategies and educational ideology purposefully formulate curriculum in schools. On the other hand, ideology is also defined to be a map of problematic social reality and format for the creation of collective conscience (Geertz, 1964). Flakser (1971) claims that: “Ideology is a system of belief; a set of values serving mainly as a keyhole through which the outside world is observed” (p.11). Mostly, ideology is identified as a system of beliefs and practices carried by educational institutions. For example, Bowles and Gintis (1976) propose that the function of schooling is to reproduce the class structure that proceeds schooling. However, ideology is not a facet of beliefs; it is the phenomena, which grows out of intentionality and human activity (Giroux, 1981). Thus, we can determine ideology as a system of representations that denotes a set of relationships between people. Fiala (2007) sees ideology in education as a mechanism, which forces the development of an individual as well as the whole country.

To sum up, education itself carries set of values and believes which is reflected within the facet of “ideology.” Ideology in schools plays pivotal role in shaping an individual’s worldview toward policy, society, culture, tradition etc. As it is shared by large number of learners there, policymakers and educators must have a very prudent and farsighted goals.

References:

Apple, M.W. (2004). Ideology and Curriculum. Great Britain: Routledge.

Arum, R., Beattie, I.R., Ford, K. (2011). The structure of schooling. The United States of America: Sage publications.

Bowles, S. & Gintis, H. (1976). Schooling in Capitalist America. New York: Basic Books.

Bray, M. (2007). School Knowledge in Comparative and Historical Perspective. Comparative Education Research Centre, the University of Hong Kong.

Fiala, R. (2007). Educational ideology and the school curriculum. School knowledge in comparative and historical perspective, 15-34. Netherlands: Springer.

Flakser, D. (1971). Marxism, ideology and myths. Philosophical Library.

Geertz, C. (1964). Ideology as a cultural system. In Apter D. E. (ed.). Ideology and Discontent. New York: Free Press.

Giroux, H. A. (1981). Ideology, Culture, and the Process of Schooling. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Kamens, D. H., Meyer, J. W., & Benavot, A. (1996). Worldwide patterns in academic secondary education curricula. Comparative education review, 116-138.

Article 31, Section 1

…. of the South Korean Constitution affirms that all students in South Korea have a right to be educated equally based on their abilities (Constitution of South Korea, 1948). On the basis of this article, in 1977, the Special Education Promotion Act (SEPA) protected the right of people to get equal education throughout the country. Since that period, educational opportunities have risen for people with special needs extremely in terms of educational institutions, number of programmes and other opportunities. The number of students with special needs who were educated in schools increased from 1343 in 1962 to 53,404 in 2003 (Kwon, 2005). In this regard, inclusiveness has become one of the central matter in education in South Korea. Many researchers and education practitioners believe that inclusion is necessary for people with different disabilities to keep equal educational opportunities and social participation within the country.

In 1935, Chang-Ho Lee built a Kwangmyung school for learners with visual impairments in Pyung-Yang (Chang, 1996; Lee, 1995). Since, the system of inclusive education has dramatically changed and reconstructed. Present South Korean people with special needs can get education in three directions: special schools, special classes in regular schools, and regular classes in regular schools (Kwon, 2005). Approximately 53,404 children with different health impairments receive education within the primary and secondary level. Amidst them 24,192 students were educated in special schools, 26,868 students were in special classes, and 2,344 which is over 4% of students were fully educated in regular classes with the assistance of tutors for 2003 (MEHR, 2003). As it is seen, special schools and special classes in regular schools are mostly used for children’s study.

According to several scholars (An, 1969; Lee, 2000; Lim, 2001), people usually perceive students with special education needs (SEN) as stubborn, irresponsible, unsocialised, and incapable. Because of such negative attitudes about people with disabilities, majority of students and their parents prefer to be isolated as having a disability.
In regualr classrooms, students ususally wish to stay without any support rather than getting appropriate services for their needs (Jung, 2002). Also, many students with special needs do not want to be included, but want to go to separate special schools with similar peers (Seo et al., 1992). In this sense, families believe that if a child with SEN will be educated in special school, this will be more beneficial for him or her.
Another pity point is that even professionals such as social workers and special education teachers working with students with SEN, sometimes are not concious and aware about the significance of inclusion (Shin, 1998). As Kwon, (2005) claims: “Many special education professionals in South Korea believe the benefits for children educated in a segregated system outnumber the harmful effects, and argue that regular schools do not have the ability to serve most students with disabilities.” Because of these several reasons special education services are still catered mainly in special schools in South Korea.

Many countries operate in different manner for inclusion. This is my peace of information I wanted to share with you. What do you know about other countries’ efforts toward inclusion?

References:

An, T. Y. (1969). A study of traditional Korean thought toward the handicapped. Unpublished master’s thesis, Korean Social Work College, Taegu, Korea.

Chang, S. (1996). The effect of special class management in children’s learning achievement and attitude change. Unpublished master’s thesis, Chonnam National University, Korea.

Constitution of South Korea. (1948). Reauthorization in 1987. Article 31, Section 1 (1987). In Chang, K. S. (1996). The effect of special class management in children’s learning achievement and attitude change. Unpublished master’s thesis, Chonnam National University, Korea.

Jung, D. Y. (2002). The issues and tasks in the concept and diagnostic assessment of learning disabilities. Journal of Emotional Disturbances & Learning Disabilities, 18, 63–87.

Kwon, H. (2005) Inclusion in South Korea: The current situation and future directions.International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. 52(1), 59-68, DOI: 10.1080/10349120500071910

Lee, S. J. (1995). The historical study about the special education administration in Korea. Unpublished master’s thesis, Cheju University, Korea.

Lee, H. B. (2000). A study on the awareness of and attitude toward the persons with disability: Focused on the social workers in Kangsuh-Ku. Unpublished master’s thesis, Hansung University, Seoul, Korea.

Lim, R. (2001). Study on changes in public attitudes towards people with disabilities through Korean literature. Unpublished master’s thesis, Yongin University, Korea.

Ministry of Education and Human Resources (2003). Special education annual report to congress. Seoul, Korea: Ministry of Education and Human Resources.

Seo, G., Oakland, T., Han, S., & Hu, S. (1992). Special education in South Korea. Exceptional Children, 58, 213–218.

Shin, S. (1998). A study of teachers’ perceptions toward the inclusion. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Taegu University, Korea.

Gender in Education: the privileges of studying genders separately

Nowadays most potential learners have convenient conditions to receive education. Schooling system has been catering both opportunities for students: to study at common schools or at single-sex schools. Researchers explain several substantial evidences to study at single-sex schools. This may concern some psychological, physical or other reasons.
First argument is that we should consider the nature of the differences between boys and girls. Most psychologists agree that gender differences may be a function of biological forces, but that they are also shaped by the environments in which children grow up (Rice & Dolgin, 2002). In fact, boys and girls have a little varying brain chemical properties, which may cause these two genders to think and analyze differently. Not everyone knows that the brain structure of male and female is actually dissimilar. Studies reported by Sax (2005) indicate that girls hear at different levels – in effect, better – than boys. Other studies show that girls are able to read facial expressions more astutely than boys, and this difference is related to a different chemical compound in eyes and corresponding receptor in brain (Sax, 2005).
Taking into account these and other ponderable scientific researches, single-sex schools has been proven to have better academic achievements and results in comparison with co-educated schools. Researchers at Stetson University in Florida completed a three-year pilot project comparing single-sex classrooms with coed classrooms at Woodward Avenue Elementary School, a nearby neighborhood public school. For example, students in the 4th grade at Woodward were assigned either to single-sex or co-educated classrooms. All relevant parameters were matched: the class sizes were all the same, the demographics were the same, all teachers had the same training in what works and what doesn’t work, etc. On the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), boys in common classes scored: 37%; girls in common classes: 59%; boys scored 86% and girls scored 75% in single-sex classes (What’s the evidence?, n.d.). Additionally this can be maintained with the following statistics. Rating of Kazakhstan’s schools, based on the results of students’ enrollment at “Nazarbayev University” in 2010 shows, that 22 of 50 schools were Kazakh-Turkish lyceums for boys or girls. In 2011, this slightly raised for 26 schools among 50 (Nazarbayev University, n.d.). This does demonstrate a valuable advantage of single-sex schools.
Doubtless, it is not easy to reconstruct, reform schools from co-educated to single-sex schools or from single-sex schools to co-educated ones. However, this might be a key to success and give a country a productive outcome.
Finally, there are many serious evidences to study at single-sex schools. Only, those who dare, give their children to study at clairvoyantly chosen schools. If you are (were) a parent, what do (would) you prefer for your children?

References:
Rice, F. P., & Dolgin, K. G. (2002). The adolescent: Development, relationships, and culture. In Kommer, D. (2006). Boys                and Girls Together: A Case for Creating Gender-Friendly Middle School Classrooms. The Clearing House: A Journal             of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 79(6), 247-251. Retrieved from 25.01.2015,                                                      DOI:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.3200/TCHS.79.6.247-251
Sax, L. (2005). Why gender matters: What parents and teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex                           differences. New York: Doubleday.
“What’s the evidence? What have researchers found when they compare single-sex education with coeducation?”                           Retrieved 25.01.2015, from < http://www.singlesexschools.org/research-singlesexvscoed.htm >
Nazarbayev University. Rating of Kazakhstan’s schools, based on the results of enrolled students of “Nazarbayev                             University” in 2010. Retrieved 25.01.2015, from
<http://nu.edu.kz/portal/faces/mainmenu/aboutus1/quickfacts1/id_2_2_1_rating_2010?_afrLoop=1393217195932963&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=ufyiuc124_55#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dufyiuc124_55%26_afrLoop%3D1393217195932963%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D6unek24x6_4&gt;