You’ve probably heard about the elaborate Olympic handover from Rio to Tokyo that included a video animation of Super Mario walking through Shibuya, jumping through a green tube, and then appearing at the closing ceremony in Rio. The super Mario custom dropped to the floor and there was, lo and behold, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, standing in a red hat holding a red ball, ready to take the helm of the Tokyo Olympics, which will take place in 2020. It was an unusual moment, to say the least, for the Japanese leader, who is typically reserved and anything but showy.

But the scene perfectly captured the contemporary push by the Abe administration to internationalize Japan. There he was in front of a global audience, showing off Japan’s athletes and pop-culture icons. Abe has been on a march to change Japan: he’s trying to alter the constitution to allow Japan to send military forces abroad, something that has not been done since World War II. And his administration started something called super-global universities, which aim to allow graduates to “walk into positions of global leadership.”

Reforms to Japanese education are not knew and we can learn a lot by looking at previous experiences. My guest today, Peter Cave, has a new book that explores changes in Japanese junior high schools in the 1990s and in the early 2000s.

Dr. Peter Cave is a Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester. Through an ethnography of two schools over 11 years, he was able to detail how, if at all, educational reforms translated into educational practice.

And these insights can help us understand the reforms being proposed today by the Abe administration.

Peter Cave’s new book is “Schooling Selves: Autonomy, Interdependence, and Reform in Japanese Junior High Education”, which was published this year by the University of Chicago Press.

Today we look at developmental leadership in the Philippines. My guest is Professor Michele Schweisfurth.

In a recent report for the Developmental Leadership Program, with support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Michele and a team explored the ways in which higher education has supported the emergence of developmental leaders and the formation of networks among leaders in the Philippines.

Michele Schweisfurth is Professor of Comparative and International Education at the University of Glasgow, where she is also co-Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change.

Her latest co-written report on developmental leadership in the Philippines can be downloaded here.

The Global Partnership for Education is a powerful multi-stakeholder organization in educational development. It funnels millions of dollars to develop education systems in dozens of low-income countries. Yet the board of directors of the organization strategically avoids some of the most important and controversial topics in education today.

My guest today, Francine Menashy, has researched the Global Partnership for Education and the ways in which its board of directors avoids the topic of low-fee private schools, which is a heavily debated idea in both education policy and research.

Francine Menashy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She researches aid to education and non-state sector engagement, including the policies of international organizations, companies, and philanthropies.

Her research discussed in today’s show was funded through a fellowship with the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation.

Citation:Menashy, Francine, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 33, podcast audio, July 21, 2016. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/francinemenashy/

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Education For All is a global movement led by UNESCO. It began in 1990 when 155 countries adopted the World Declaration on Education For All. The movement was renewed in the year 2000 when countries agreed on the Dakar Framework for Action, which committed them to achieve education for all by the year 2015.

Education For All continues to be a common phrase in educational development. But it has changed over its 26-year existence. It linked into Goals 2 and 3 of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and was tied closely to the World Bank through the funding mechanism known as the Fast Track Initiative.

The movement has adapted and adopted new elements and has included additional actors, such as non-governmental organization, human rights activists, and philanthropic organizations and individuals.

My guest today, Leon Tikly, argues in a forthcoming article in Comparative Education Review that Education For All is best understood as a regime, borrowing an idea from international relations. He says there are “a set of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge.” Of course there are tensions within the regime of education for all, and in this article he attempts to think through what these might be.

Leon Tikly is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol. His work focuses on education in low income countries and in particular countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. He is known for his theoretical work on how to conceptualize education as an aspect of the postcolonial condition.

His forthcoming Comparative Education Review article is entitled ““The Future of Education for All as a Global Regime of Educational Governance.”

This year the Comparative and International Education Society’s Globalization and Education Book Award goes to Suhanthie Motha for her book Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching: Creating Responsible and Ethical Anti-Racist Practice.

This book smoothly and bitingly makes connections between globalization, the spread of English and English language teaching, and colonialism and empire. It is an accessible read which we hope spreads widely among both academics and teachers/practitioners. Sincerely, we hope as many people as possible, both within the larger TESOL community and beyond it, have a chance to read this excellent book.

Is gender parity in education the same as gender equality? And what about gender equity? These terms have different meanings but are often conflated to mean the balance between the number of boys and girls attending school. This statistical measure of parity says nothing of gender equality or equity, and misses important issues of education quality. And yet gender parity is precisely the indicator used by many school systems, international assessments, and global development goals to judge an education system’s approach to gender.

Today’s guest, Supriya Baily, argues that when the language of parity is used to discuss equity, we miss the large structural factors that actually hinder gender justice in education. In a new article, co-written with Halla Holmarsdottir for the journal Gender and Education, she argues that gender equality is different from gender parity and that we must move beyond simplistic notions of access to really understand gender and education. Dr. Baily is an Associate Professor at George Mason University and the Associate Director for the Center for International Education.  Her research interests focus on gender, education, and empowerment as well as higher education in India.

In many parts of the world, students commonly attend and pay for private tutoring classes. Sometimes these extra classes are for remedial purposes, giving students additional help on content covered in mainstream school. Other times students use private tutoring to prepare for school examinations.

The phenomenon of private tutoring is diverse around the world, and researchers commonly use the term “Shadow Education” to describe it. Tutoring is considered a shadow because it often mimics the curriculum of regular schooling – as the content of the curriculum changes in regular schooling, so it changes in the shadow; and as the regular school system expands or contracts, so does the shadow system

On today’s show, Will Brehm speaks with Mark Bray,  UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong, and Director of its Comparative Education Research Centre. He is also President-Elect of the US-based Comparative & International Education Society (CIES). He moved to Hong Kong in1986, but from 2006 to 2010 took leave to work in Paris as Director of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning.

CERC 32.Researching PST.coverProfessor Bray has written extensively on shadow education. His latest book, co-edited with Ora Kwo and Boris Jokić, is entitled Researching private supplementary tutoring: methodological lessons from diverse cultures.

Mark Bray speaks about researching shadow education and then turns to the annual conference of CIES, which he is currently planning.