Educational Quality: Global Imperatives and Contested Visions
The idea of educational quality or quality education has become
paramount worldwide. It is seen in the inclusion of 'quality'
goals in all the major international education forums, in the
sharpened focus on the content and outcomes of schooling in
domestic educational agendas, and in the expanding profile of
large-scale cross-national testing regimes and diverse global
rankings. The concern for quality is conspicuous in scholarship,
policy and practice at all levels of formal education and in
relation to non-formal education. This year we will bring CIES
members' diverse perspectives and insights to bear on the idea
of educational quality--its contested definitions, competing
visions and global imperatives.
Practitioners and researchers in the field of comparative and
international education confront many questions that arise from
the focus on quality. How is quality defined, promoted, monitored,
evaluated and researched? What explains the prominence of quality
issues in national, regional and global educational landscapes?
Is quality education best conceived as the outcomes of schooling?
In what ways does quality influence education's role in promoting
economic, social and personal development? How do international
rankings and competition influence current conceptions of quality?
Which actors and groups act as drivers in the growing consensus
on what counts as quality? What are the key differences among
rival visions of quality? How do education reformers, administrators,
teachers, students and families across the world attempt to
enact new notions of educational quality in the field? Essential
questions like these demand theoretical analysis, require empirical
inquiry, and drive demands for innovation in practical applications.
In New Orleans we will address the exciting range of challenges
posed by global discussions of educational quality imperatives.
Considering these challenges provides an outstanding opportunity
to learn from the community of CIES members engaged in research,
reform and innovation across the world.