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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies INTERNATIONAL STUDY OF TEACHERS' ATTITUDES TOWARD REFORM AND TEACHER PREPARATION FOR IMPLEMENTING REFORM International Organization George Washington University Institute for Curriculum Standards and Technology Purpose This study will be a cross national study of teachers' perceptions of critical issues facing schools, major reforms being implemented to improve the quality of education, and the conditions necessary for the successful implementation of the reforms. The purpose of the study is to ascertain teachers' views of education reforms being implemented in their country. The study also will be designed to ask teachers what their needs are in terms of training and professional development experiences to implement the reforms. Other recent studies about education reform initiatives have focused on the viewpoints of policy makers. This study is unique in that it will directly involve classroom teachers in assessing the impact of education reforms on classrooms. The study will first determine whether education reform is occurring in the Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland metropolitan area and whether teachers' professional development programs have been (re)designed to support the reform efforts; and then conduct an international study of teachers' attitudes toward reform and teacher preparation for implementing reform. Organization and Management The plan is to work through Education International, a union representing 20 million teachers and allied school personnel worldwide. A member of the association in each country will be asked to manage the country survey of teachers. Dennis Holmes and Marsha Levine are part of the team conducting the study. A person with recognized experience in conducting international studies will be invited to serve as a consultant to the project. The Institute will work with Education International to identify teacher organizations in 8-12 OECD countries to work with the Institute in conducting the study. A representative from the teacher organization(s) in each country, along with a contact person from the Minister or Secretary of Education's office will be asked to help the Institute implement the project. Design Participants Pilot test: Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland metropolitan area teachers, staff development personnel, and the respective superintendents. International study: teachers and allied school personnel in 8-12 OECD countries. Schools involved will be jointly selected by the Secretary/Minister of Education and the Education International member organized in each country. Sample A contact person from the Minister or Secretary of Education's office will be asked to provide a list of teachers to be considered for possible inclusion in the sample population. The sampling plan will have to be designed to take into account the different ways that school systems are organized in each of the participating countries. The Institute will work with the
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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies contacts in each country to design an appropriate sampling plan and the actual survey instrument. Procedures and Summary of Content A study on teachers' professional development and its relationship to implementing education reforms is presently being piloted. This study is being conducted in the United States and involves the eight school districts in the Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland metropolitan area. In particular, the study will attempt to determine whether education reform is occurring in these districts and whether teachers' professional development programs have been (re)designed to support the reform efforts. It will involve teachers, staff development personnel, and the respective superintendents. In March 1994 Mary Futrell chaired a meeting convened by the Education International of leaders of all of its member organizations in OECD countries to discuss education reform. In June, Education International reconvened the same group and invited the Ministers/Secretaries of Education from the OECD countries to meet with us to explore major issues related to education reform in more detail. The contacts made and information gathered as a result of the meeting with the teacher leaders and the Ministers/Secretaries will be used as part of the international study. The pilot study results will be used to finalize design of the prototype for the George Washington University international study. A full proposal for the study will be developed during the summer of 1994. Timetable 1993 The exploratory phase was completed; a proposal for the study was developed. 1994 A study in the United States on teachers' professional development and its relationship to implementing education reforms is being piloted. 1994 A full proposal for an international study is being developed. Funding Federal agencies and/or foundations will provide funding. Information Sources Mary Hatwood Futrell, Director Institute for Curriculum, Standards and Technology George Washington University School of Education and Human Development 2201 G Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052 telephone: 202/994-2304 facsimile: 202/994-7207 Futrell, Mary Hatwood 1993 Letter to Dorothy Gilford, director, Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. October 28. 1994 International comparative study of teacher attitudes toward reform and teacher preparation for implementing reform. Status report for Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. April 20. ******
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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies NOTE: A draft of this study summary was reviewed and edited by Mary Futrell at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on July 11, 1994.
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