Friday, August 29, 2008

Perceptions of Ethical Problems with Scientific Journal Peer Review: An Exploratory Study

I found a recent article in Science and Engineering Ethics on the ethics of peer reviewers to be very interesting and thought some readers might also find it to be interesting. I have included a citation for the article as well as the abstract below:

Resnik, D., Gutierrez-Ford, & Peddada, S. (2008). Perceptions of Ethical Problems with Scientific Journal Peer Review: An Exploratory Study. Science and Engineering Ethics, (14)3, 305-310.

Abstract: This article reports the results of an anonymous survey of researchers at a government research institution concerning their perceptions about ethical problems with journal peer review. Incompetent review was the most common ethical problem reported by the respondents, with 61.8% (SE = 3.3%) claiming to have experienced this at some point during peer review. Bias (50.5%, SE = 3.4%) was the next most common problem. About 22.7% (SE = 2.8%) of respondents said that a reviewer had required them to include unnecessary references to his/her publication(s), 17.7% (SE = 2.6%) said that comments from reviewers had included
personal attacks, and 9.6% (SE = 2.0%) stated that reviewers had delayed publication to publish a paper on the same topic. Two of the most serious violations of peer review ethics, breach of confidentiality (6.8%, SE = 1.7%) and using ideas, data, or methods without permission (5%, SE = 1.5%) were perceived less often than the other problems. We recommend that other investigators follow up on our exploratory research with additional studies on the ethics of peer review. (Springer Link)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Expanding Student Choices in Study Abroad

In case readers missed it, Richard Sutton who is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Programs at the University System of Georgia Board of Regents wrote a very interesting opinion piece on the business of study abroad for the August 22nd edition of

You can access the piece here:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three Social Theoretical Perspectives Concerning Education

The three social theoretical perspectives concerning education are Functionalism, Conflict Theory, and the Interpretivist Approach. For this blog post I will discuss the “Education and Societal Inequality: Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity” and “Education as Cultural Transmission” themes to illustrate and compare the three social theoretical perspectives concerning education and how they contribute to an understanding of the sociology of education.

The theme of Education and Societal Inequality: Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity offers an excellent opportunity to compare the three theoretical perspectives. In the Banks article on multicultural education we can compare the three social theoretical perspectives of education by looking at his five dimensions of multicultural education typology he provides. To briefly review, the five dimensions of multicultural education (according to Banks) are: content integration; knowledge construction; prejudice reduction; equity pedagogy; and, empowering school culture. The functionalist perspective, for example, can be found in the prejudice reduction dimension of Banks’ multicultural education typology. As cited by Banks, the prejudice reduction dimension of multicultural education “is designed to help students develop more democratic attitudes, values, and behaviors.” When students develop more democratic attitudes, values, and behaviors they become more socialized and are better able “to adapt to the economic, political and social institutions of that society” (Feinberg and Soltis).

Both the equity pedagogy and empowering school culture dimensions of Banks’ multicultural education typology demonstrate the conflict theory approach. Teachers in the equity pedagogy dimension attempt to use teaching strategies that “facilitate the academic achievement of students from diverse, racial, ethnic, and social-class groups…to help students who are members of low-status population groups to increase their academic achievement” (Banks). In particular, it’s the cultural deprivationists approach that focuses on social class and the culture of poverty that best demonstrates the conflict theory approach. According to Banks, “social scientists developed the culture of poverty concept to describe experiences of low income populations and in education this concept became known as cultural deprivation or the disadvantaged.” In many ways, the equity pedagogy dimension is quite similar to the empowering school culture dimension. The idea of the empowering school culture dimension, according to Banks, is “the process of restructuring the culture and organization of the school so that students from diverse racial, ethnic, and social-class groups will experience educational equality and cultural empowerment.” Banks notes that to achieve an empowering school culture for minority students and students from low social economic status backgrounds schools must “restructure” their culture and organization.

The interpretivist perspective can be found in both the content integration and the knowledge construction dimensions of Banks’ multicultural education typology. Content integration, according to Banks, “deals with the extent to which teachers use examples, data, and information from a variety of cultures and groups to illustrate key concepts, principles, generalizations, and theories in their subject area or discipline. Similarly, with the knowledge construction dimension, “teachers help students to understand how knowledge is created and how it is influenced by the racial, ethnic, and social-class positions of individuals and groups” (Banks). These two dimensions of Banks’ multicultural education typology seem to fit Feinberg and Soltis’ description of the interpretivist perspective as quite well. Feinberg and Soltis describe the interpretivist who “sees the social world as a world made up of purposeful actors who acquire, share, and interpret a set of meanings, rules, and norms that make social interaction possible. The social forces at work are shared meanings and interpreting individuals who interact in particular social contexts.”

Education ad Cultural Transmission is the second theme analyzed to complete this discussion. In her introduction to this theme, Strouse identifies the following three questions that come from the selected readings: What are the key values reflected in U.S. culture?; How is contemporary U.S. culture transmitted and maintained?; and, What are the roles of schools and teachers in promulgating these values, attitudes, and beliefs, or in fostering changes in them in anticipation of our society’s future needs? I won’t attempt to answer each of these questions with examples of each of the three social theoretical perspectives concerning education. Instead, I plan to look at Spindler’s account of modernizing cultures and what is the purpose of education? Spindler discusses the Sisala of Northern Ghana and the developing relationships among educated children and their parents and/or elders in the Sisala society. Specifically, Spindler looks at fathers and sons and how education has affected their relationships. From a functionalist perspective, the schools of the Sisala are socializing the children to learn and adjust to the changing and modernizing world around them. As Spindler states “the new schools, with their curricula and the concepts behind them, are future oriented.” They recruit students into a system that does not yet exist, or is just emerging.” This most certainly will create conflicts with their “illiterate” or uneducated fathers. In the Sisala schools the conflict theory perspective is most evident in the example Spindler provides of the teacher-student interaction. Spindler states that the “interaction between the teacher and his students is characterized by an authoritarian rigidity.” For example, students rise from their desks as the teacher enters the room as a sign of respect and students are not expected to ask questions of the material but rather are to give the “correct” answer when asked.

It's important for all educators (both teachers and administrators), researchers, and policy makers to have a “grasp” or knowledge of the three social theoretical perspectives concerning education if they are to have a good understanding of the sociology of education. Regardless of how one views education and the role schools play in society, without an understanding of the major theoretical perspectives and how different viewpoints interact with one’s own positions they are a less effective educator.


Banks, James A. “Multicultural Education: Historical Development, Dimensions, and Practice,” in Exploring Socio-Cultural Themes in Education: Readings in Social Foundations (Ed. Joan H. Strouse). (2001): 248-282.

Feinberg, Walter & Jomas F. Soltis. School and Society. (4th ed.). (2002). New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press.

Spindler, George, D. “The Transmission of Culture,” in Exploring Socio-Cultural Themes in Education: Readings in Social Foundations (Ed. Joan H. Strouse). (2001): 5-28.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2008 Facts and Figures on the International Nature of Studies and Research in Germany

In July, the DAAD and the University Information System (HIS) in Germany released the most recent data on foreign students in Germany in their Wissenschaft weltoffen 2008. You can access Wissenschaft weltoffen 2008 here:

Monday, August 25, 2008

MIUSA Videos Now Free Online

Mobility International USA has now made all of their videos available for free on YouTube! High quality DVD videos for presentations or organizational use are also available for purchase from MIUSA by emailing: View the videos online by searching YouTube for “Mobility International USA” as a keyword to bring up all the videos or by visiting MIUSA's website at:

Friday, August 22, 2008


I recently came across information about this upcoming conference and I think it sounds facinating so I'm posting a description as I think readers may find it very interesting:

A Social Research Conference at The New School

A commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the University in Exile at The New School. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, October 29, 30, and 31, 2008

Rapid globalization, international collaborations, massification, corporate partnerships, increasing number of franchises, regime change, and other conditions of duress are reshaping universities around the world. What are the benefits and what are the risks to academic freedom and free inquiry as universities navigate these trends? This conference will look backward at the role of academic freedom and free inquiry in research universities and forward to what the future may have in store.

John Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street, NYC
Full conference $30, $10 per session (Students are free)
contact or 212-229-5776 x3121
for more information and to register:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Growth in International Graduate Admissions Continues to Slow

Today, the Council on Graduate Schools (CGS) released the phase II findings of their annual report on graduate student admissions in the United States. Since 2004, CGS’s annual report has provided the field with valuable data and insight into the patterns of international student enrollments in graduate schools across the United States. You can access the 2008 CGS report here:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR)

On August 8, 2008 the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) published the “Procedures for Applications” and the “Guide for Applicants” for quality assurance agencies to apply for inclusion on EQAR. You can lean more about the EQAR here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LeRoi Moore 1961-2008

I just learned the sad and unexpected news that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band, died this afternoon in Los Angeles. The feelings I'm experiencing right now are similar to when I heard the news that Brent Midland, keyboard player for the Grateful Dead, had died back in 1989 and when Jerry Garcia, guitar player and founding member of the Grateful Dead, had died in 1995. To read the DMB's press release please visit: Enters the College Ranking Business

As reported in the August 14, 2008 issue of, Forbes has now entered the college ranking business. What has perhaps drawn the most attention and concern is the methodology used in its rankings. Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), developed the following five components used to compile the new rankings:

1. Listing of Alumni in the 2008 Who's Who in America (25%)
2. Student Evaluations of Professors from (25%)
3. Four- Year Graduation Rates (16 2/3%)
4. Enrollment-adjusted numbers of students and faculty receiving nationally competitive awards (16 2/3%)
5. Average four year accumulated student debt of those borrowing money (16 2/3%)

You can access the Forbes rankings on the website.

Monday, August 18, 2008

2008 Academic Ranking of World Universities

Shanghai Jiao Tong University has recently released their annual Academic Ranking of World Universities on their website. You can access the rankings (g with rankings from 2003-2007) here:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Looking for three documents from 1959 by Council on Student Travel (now CIEE)

A History of The Council on International Educational Exchange: 1947-1994 (2002) reports that the following documents were not preserved and their existence is unknown. In an effort to locate and preserve historical pieces of literature on international education I'm looking for the following three documents:

The Council on Student Travel: A Historical Memorandum (1959) by John E. Bowman

The Council on Student Travel As Seen Through The Eyes of Its Membership (1959) by Winifred Armstrong

An Analysis of Council Income, 1954-1959 (1959) by The Council on Student Travel

If anyone has a copy of any of these documents I’d would love to connect.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

International Education: The Neglected Dimension of Public Policy – Recommendations for the Next President

On Tuesday, August 12th, NAFSA: Association of International Educators released a policy proposal for the next presidential administration focusing on foreign students, study abroad and exchanges.

You can read NAFSA’s press release and download International Education: The Neglected Dimension of Public Diplomacy – Recommendations for the Next President here:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Bookended Approach to Attracting Chinese Students

The August 12, 2008 issue of reports on an interesting international edudation model for undergraduate dual degree programs involving Chinese and American universities. The 1+2+1 students according to the article "start and end in China in a program structure intended to avert U.S. visa denials — by conditioning degree completion upon a student’s return to China — and to lower the cost of obtaining an American undergraduate degree (by halving the time spent studying abroad).

the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has provided member institutions an "umbrella structure for 1+2+1 programs" in cooperation with the China Center for International Educational Exchange in Beijing.

You can access the article here:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Forecasting International Student Mobility by the British Council

The British Council has partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit on a new project designed to predict international student demand for education. According to the British Council the project “revisits Vision 2020 (a British Council report from 2004 forecasting the global demand for international student places in English speaking destination countries) and builds on its strengths. However, the methodology used differs and so do the outputs. The model has been piloted in China and will be rolled out across the UK priority sending countries over the coming year. All macroeconomic market data used in the predictions will be updated frequently. The forecasting tool has statistical robustness which means that all of the findings can be measured against a degree of statistical confidence.” You can access more information here:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Learning Accountability from Bologna: A Higher Education Policy Primer

In July, 2008, the Institute for Higher Education Policy issued an interesting report entitled Learning Accountability from Bologna: A Higher Education Policy Primer authored by Clifford Adelman. According to IHEP, the report “examines the reconstruction of those 46 European higher education systems—known as the “Bologna Process”—in terms of addressing challenges that lie at the core of current debates in the United States about documenting student learning.” You can access the report on their website linked above.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pearson International Education Division Sales Up 21% is reporting that Pearson Education saw their international education division sales increase by 21% over sales at this time last year. Pearson Education also reports increased sales in other areas of their business which, given the staggering economy, is interesting.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Educational Exchange Between the United States and China

The Institute of International Education (IIE) issued a new briefing paper in July, 2008 on the status of educational exchanges between the United States and China. You can access this briefing paper here:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Call for Proposals for AIEA Conference

The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) invites proposals for it’s February 22-25, 2009 annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Proposal Deadline: September 30, 2008

Proposals are accepted in six categories: rules of engagement, student engagement, engagement principles, intra-institutional engagement, engaged leadership, and engaging the funding community. For more information, including specific areas of interest, session formats, guidelines for submitting a proposal and electronic submission instructions, please visit:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

51 Pakistani Civil Services Officers Selected for Study and Research at Universities in the U.K. & U.S.

The Associated Press of Pakistan is reporting that these fifty-one Pakistani Civil Services Officers who will be studying and researching in the United Kingdom and the United States are supported by the Pakistani Civil Service Reform Unit (CSRU) and funded by the World Bank. Just another example of a rather unknown funding source and exchange program and a good example of citizen diplomacy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Academic Credentials and Advancing Your Career in International Education: To PhD or not to PhD, that is the Question

On Friday, August 8 at 12:00 p.m. EST, the NAFSA International Education Leader Development (IELD) network will host an organized discussion titled "Academic Credentials and Advancing Your Career in International Education: To PhD or not PhD, that is the question." The discussion will feature three guest online presenters:

David Comp of the University of Chicago
Joel Gallegos of the University
of North Carolina at Charlotte
Judith Pennywell of the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Please tune in at this date and time for a very interesting exchange on a topic of concern to many who wish to advance in the field of international education. After our three guest presenters finish answering a few introductory questions, subscribers will have an opportunity to join the exchange and offer thoughts and post questions.

Learn more about the presenters at

Friday, August 1, 2008

ERIC Microfiche Digitization Project

The following is taken verbatim from the ERIC website:

ERIC is undertaking an initiative to obtain permission from copyright holders to convert, archive, post, and disseminate an electronic copy of full-text microfiche documents indexed from 1966-1992. The digitization project includes about 340,000 documents currently available only in microfiche format due to the specific language of the permission forms and the technology available at the time of indexing. This initiative will continue until March 2009.

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), the ERIC contractor for the U.S. Department of Education, is working with the National Archive Publishing Company (NAPC)* to complete this task. Digitization will proceed in reverse chronological order, i.e., documents released on microfiche in 1992 will be converted first. NAPC will develop the file of copyright permissions received from contributors. ERIC will make available online only those ERIC documents for which permission is received. The entire digitized collection will reside in DVD format at the National Library of Education (NLE) of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you have contributed a document that is currently available only in microfiche, and would like to grant ERIC the right to disseminate your document(s), please complete the contact form below. NAPC will contact you about the document(s) you submitted and request approval (see sample authorization agreement) for each document. If you know someone who contributed a document in the timeframe 1966-1992, please pass the word. ERIC appreciates your interest in, and support of, this initiative to more broadly disseminate the historical materials in the ERIC Collection.