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Featured Theme: Peace Education

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While many criticize the media for reproducing oppression, mass media can also be used to enact social change. In Peace Education, the authors take a look at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces Sesame Street and other locally created co-productions worldwide. Sesame Workshop’s programming exposes children to peace education content with the goals of ‘[empowering] children between the ages of three and eight years old with the skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to promote nonviolence’.

Featured Theme: Self-Confidence in the Classroom

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What exactly is confidence? Throughout the years, many have wrestled with the ‘possibly intractable questions of whether dispositions such as confidence are skills, competences or “capabilities”, attitudes, personality traits, particular mind-sets, feelings or emotional responses to situations’. In Reinventing the Curriculum edited by Mark Priestley and Gert Biesta, read about confidence as a high-stakes educational and social goal.

Featured Country: Chile

Wat Si Muang (Simuong) buddhist temple. Buddhist monks having vegetarian lunch in monastery. Vientiane, Laos..

There has been a flurry of great activity in educational policies applied in Chile since 1980. During the 1980s, Chile reformed its education system so that it would function according to market logic. This promoted expansion of private education and encouraged competition among schools. In the 90s, the return of democracy brought about programmes for educational equality: curricular reforms, longer school days, and improved teacher training. In the 2000s, the student movement proposed ways to enhance public education and eventually, the Quality Assurance System was born. Read more in Education in South America.

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Challenges in education

Amongst OECD countries, Chile has the lowest level of social inclusion in their schools. In this policy report, the authors’ note causes of social segregation of Chilean schools and how parents’ attitudes contribute to this issue.

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Teacher education

One of the main factors of quality education is the quality of teachers. For quite a few years, Latin American countries have been heavily critiqued in preparing competent teachers. In The Struggle for Teacher Education, learn about the teacher education issues in six South American countries and the possible solutions.

Featured Country: Albania

Albanian national flag Balkans.

Albania has seen an increase in efforts to introduce significant pre-university and higher education reforms in the past two decades. Up until 1991, the country was one of the most economically disadvantaged countries of Europe, as it was under a totalitarian regime for many years. With the end of communism: , Albania looked to international agencies and organizations not only for educational models and policies, but also financial assistance. The early 1990s saw curriculum revisions that included new ideas about democracy. In 2001, the country adopted the United Nations framework of the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction and education and health sector reform. And in 2004, basic compulsory education changed from an eight-year system to a nine-year one. Read all of the details in ‘from Education in Non-EU Countries in Western and Southern Europe: Education Around the World.

Children in Albania

Challenges in education

Generally, participatory action is needed to hold educational officials and institutions accountable for malfunctions or misdeeds. In this policy report, the authors conduct research on participatory accountability and collective action with parents and teachers in Albania and note how this relates to elections of parent class representatives and voting in the latest national elections.

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Teacher education

Since 1995, teachers in Albania have been faced with evolving demands. The 2005 National Report on Albanian education revealed that there is a lack of standardized criteria for teachers, evaluation and self-evaluation systems and competent people to do training. In moves to address this, Albania has had an uptick of teacher education programs undergoing accreditation procedures and the development of a mentoring system.

Images above are courtesy of Getty Images and Pixel Bay.