Spotlight on International Forum for Education 2020

A new book resulting from the East-West Center’s International Forum for Education 2020 project has received a warm review in Comparative Education Review, the leading academic journal in the field.

Reviewer W. James Jacob, acting director of the Institute for International Studies in Education at the University of Pittsburgh, writes that Changing Education: Leadership, Innovation and Development in a Globalizing Asia Pacific "is an exceptional volume with an overall focus that identifies and challenges the boundaries of the dominant educational paradigm. ... Not only does Changing Education add to the globalization literature, it also serves as a paramount work on the history and influence of the dominant educational paradigm. As such, the book will appeal to a broad audience, including students, educators, researchers, and policy makers."

Changing Education, Jacob notes, "includes 14 well-conceptualized chapters written by renowned education scholars and practitioners. The crux of the editors’ intention for this volume is outlined in their introduction: education has not kept up with … rapid societal changes and thus the education sector demands a paradigmatic shift in perception, academics, and practice."

Click here to read the full review. (Fee required).

Click here for information on ordering a copy of Changing Education.

Edited by Peter D. Hershock, coordinator of the EWC’s Asian Studies Development Program; Mark Mason, director of the Comparative Education Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong (which published the book); and John N. Hawkins, director of the Center for International and Development Education at UCLA and an East-West Center consultant, the book evolved out of IFE 2020 meetings at which education scholars were invited to present papers taking “out of the box” chances in rethinking education policy.

The volume responds to the growing unease of educators and non-educators alike about the inadequacy of most current educational systems and programs to meet sufficiently the demands of fast-changing societies. These systems were developed for societies that have long been transformed, and yet no parallel transformation has taken place in the education systems they spawned.  In the last 20 years or so, other sectors of society, such as transportation and communications systems, have radically changed the way they operate, but education has remained essentially the same.

To those ready to accept the challenge of changing education, the book represents a welcome guide.  Unlike most books on educational policy, the volume does not focus on improving existing educational systems but on changing them altogether.  Its focus is not on doing things better, but on doing better things; not on doing things right, but on doing the right things to prepare students for a fast changing interdependent world.

Among the contributors to Changing Education are two other scholars affiliated with the East-West Center and the IFE 2020 Program, Deane Neubauer and Victor Ordonez.

IFE 2020 provides a setting for current and potential leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to work collaboratively in developing new strategies for innovation in education. The project was initiated by the East-West Center to address the need for new paradigms in education that will respond to transforming economic, social and cultural changes. These changes result from increased globalization, heightened interdependency and uneven development among nations.

The project’s programs currently include:

· The Education Leadership Institute

· Senior Seminars for individuals from education, politics, business, media and cultural production concerned with creatively addressing the future educational needs of the region.

In addition to Changing Education, several other new publications are related to the IFE 2020 program, including a recent book from the University of Hawaii Press called Educations and Their Purposes: A Conversation among Cultures, drawn from the final meeting of the former East-West Philosopher’s Conference, which focused on education and reflected the kinds of concerns at the East-West Center that led to the creation of IFE 2020. The book was edited by Hershock and University of Hawaii Philosophy Professor Roger Ames, who is co-director of the Asian Studies Development Program, a partnership between EWC and UH aimed at improving Asian studies curricula nationwide. In addition, other publications are in progress relating to the effects of rapid privatization and other issues of quality in higher education.