OSI-ESP News September-October 2008

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Russian project aims to launch All-Russia Federation of Teachers to influence policy-making

The NGO Intercentre in Russia has launched a project with the aim of developing a Russia-wide teachers’ federation able to play a role in policy-making at the federal level, represent school teachers’ interests and concerns in education policy dialogue, and as a civil society institution perform some policy relevant functions which previously belonged to the state. The federation will be engaged in activities such as professional teacher development, curriculum development and promotion of public involvement into processes of quality assurance such as attestation, accreditation and assessment.

Intercentre will participate in TALIS, an OECD international survey on teaching and learning, through analysis of data collected regarding teachers’ attitudes and needs. In parallel, Intercentre will map and analyze already existing associations of teachers, and develop in-service training for teachers based on the assessed needs.

Partners in this project are the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, several local and regional education authorities in the Russian Federation, disciplinary associations and associations of school managers and relevant NGOs.

For more information, please contact Elena Lenskaya, Head of Projects and Development Unit, at lenskaya@universitas.ru; or Lena Cherkashina at elenacherkashina@universitas.ru

Russian teachers’ association publishes English language teaching booklet and quality assurance manual for educational courses

InterNETA (International Network of Teachers Associations) is a voluntary organization associated with the “Empowering English language teachers for educational policy development through Teachers’ Cross-Regional Association” project. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the development of civil society through establishing a proactive network of associations that see their primary role as advocates of teachers’ needs and rights and that promote high quality services to students.

InterNETA has published the second edition of a booklet, “English Language Teaching: Ideas and Experience”: a collection of articles written by teachers working with InterNETA as well as other teachers. The booklet provides teachers with an opportunity to share experience and learn from teachers in other regions some practical tips which can be applied in the classroom. The topics of the articles range from language skillls development to health care in the English language classroom.

Representatives of associations from eight regions of Russia and the former Soviet Union have been working on a quality assurance instrument aiming at providing assistance to those who design and evaluate educational courses. A manual with a detailed description of the course design procedure, criteria for course evaluation and recommendations has been prepared for the wider teachers’ community.

For more information, please contact Tamara Oschepkova at tamararussia2003@yahoo.com

Upcoming conference

Conference on education development trends in Russia

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences will present the annual Center for Education Policy Studies (CEPS) conference, “Trends in Education Development,” on February 12-14, 2009 in Moscow to celebrate the past twenty years of liberal reforms in education in Russia. The conference will analyze lessons learnt from the past in the context of legal, social and economic reforms, both in Russia and globally. It will also set an agenda for the future by identifying a set of medium-term priorities.

The conference will gather participants from many regions of Russia and from abroad. The organizers will invite former participants of the Congress of Teachers as special guests, as well as foreign agencies who contributed to Russian education reform in the past 20 years. Key speakers will be Michael Barber (McKenzie Foundation), Andreas Schleicher (OECD) and Janet Vaillant (Harvard University).

A team from MSSES and the Intercentre research agency together with students and MSSES alumni is carrying out a substantive cross-disciplinary survey, the results of which will be presented, and will contribute to analysis and planning.

The conference organizers are pleased to invite all who have participated in education reform in Russia and those interested in learning some of its lessons. MSSES will announce the call for papers very soon on its website, http://www.msses.ru

Calls and announcements

Announcement of CIES International Travel Award for Distinguished Service in Educational Reform

George Soros and the Open Society Institute have initiated an endowment that will enable distinguished researchers and practitioners from developing countries to participate in the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) conferences. The aim of the CIES International Travel Award for Distinguished Service in Educational Service is to increase the presence of educational experts who serve in countries where international projects are implemented. It is anticipated that other international organizations, agencies, and foundations will match this initial contribution to support the continuation of the travel award.

The endowment will be presented at the 2009 53rd Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society in Charleston, South Carolina, March 22-26, 2009. The event will mark the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of a new era in education and development.

Conference participants with more than five years of professional experience in educational development are eligible to apply. A travel award in the amount of $1,000 will be given provided that their proposal has been accepted for presentation at the conference. The awardees will be notified by January 10 and announced on the conference website as well as in the CIES Newsletter.

The call for proposals for CIES 2009 is available via the conference website:http://www.tc.edu/cies2009/abstracts.htm

Experts sought for online discussions on open educational resources

The Open Policy Forum (OPF) project provides a platform for ongoing interactive discussions on the policy implications of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in general education in countries across the world. The Open Policy Forum in cooperation with the Cape Town Declaration is currently looking at the open source and global revolution in teaching and learning and the benefits of open education for students, teachers, administrators, governments. The discussions could also serve as a base for developing new ideas and proposals. Discussions in local languages are also encouraged.

For the start-up discussions, OPF is seeking a number of experts in the field from different countries to provide their views. The experts are also welcome to participate in the discussions and will have opportunity to defend and explain their opinions.

Currently, OPF is seeking:

  • Experts from different countries around the world who are willing to provide their start-up input on the discussed issues;
  • Enthusiastic people from different countries to join the discussions on the initial topics and the start-up discussions.

The project is run by Education Support Program at the Open Society Institute in cooperation with Open Society Foundation Bratislava. In the case of interest, contact Katarina Pisutova atkatarina@osf.sk

The test version of the site is at: http://www.openpolicyforum.net/beta, the forum part is athttp://www.openpolicyforum.net/forum


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