About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2213 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

THE CLUSTERS OF EXCELLENCE: A CASE STUDY OF POLICY AND PRACTICE IN MALAYSIA

M.A. Mohd Noor

University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education (UNITED KINGDOM)
This is part of a larger multi-site case study research on policy and practice in Malaysia. In 2007, the Malaysian government introduced the clusters of excellence concept to group excellent schools based on the types of schools to promote excellence in education. Global trends in educational reform and economic globalization have seen various policy shifts in the last three decades, not only in Malaysia, but elsewhere. However, not all of these change efforts have been implemented successfully. Policy development is a complex process partly because it is often "highly political rather than technical in nature" (Taylor et al., 1997, p. 11). It requires an understanding of the dynamics of the various elements of the social structure and their intersections (Olssen, Codd and O'Neill, 2004). Therefore, it is vital to shed light on the "connections between the micro-settings, and policy-making at the macro level" (Taylor et al.,1997, p.12) which are normally subtle and need to be further explored. Furthermore, due to the broad and general nature of policy documents and policy statements themselves, each of the stakeholders involved in the process could interpret and construct their own meanings and ideas about the policies. Whilst nations worldwide have been actively involved in educational reform activities since the 1980s, some of these reform activities have failed to achieve the desired target. Substandard planning, poor implementation strategy, lack of monitoring system at all levels of implementation as well as lack of understanding of the concept and implementation strategy at micro and sub-micro levels are some of the culprits behind these failures (Fullan, 2003). Most of these changes are reflections of the global trends in educational reform and economic globalization. However, in preparing societies to meet these demands of globalization, some developing countries seem to turn to developed nations for a 'proven formula'. This borrowing of educational policy and practice has become rampant in many developing countries today. Whilst much can be learnt from other nations with effective educational systems, it is always important to recognise the fact that direct transplant of educational models from one context to another cannot guarantee an absolute success (Crossley and Watson, 2003). It is argued that, uncritical transfer of policy and practice could lead to unanticipated damage to the system, the professionals and other users of education (Crossley and Holmes, 1999; Crossley and Watson, 2003; Holmes and Crossley, 2004). While the concept of school clusters in Malaysia may have been borrowed from elsewhere, it is nevertheless critical to understand how, if at all, the concept has been shaped to fit the economic, cultural and professional contexts of Malaysia. Hence, a case study research was carried out at a remote rural school with the aim of developing an improved understanding of the nature, scope and likely impact of the clusters of excellence policy. The case study research has yielded some major themes such as lack of understanding of the policy, problematic government procedures, lack of capacity in schools, and lack of mechanisms in implementing the policy. This study suggests some steps that can be taken for future policy implementation.
@InProceedings{MOHDNOOR2011CLU,
author = {Mohd Noor, M.A.},
title = {THE CLUSTERS OF EXCELLENCE: A CASE STUDY OF POLICY AND PRACTICE IN MALAYSIA},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2213}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.A. Mohd Noor
TI - THE CLUSTERS OF EXCELLENCE: A CASE STUDY OF POLICY AND PRACTICE IN MALAYSIA
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 2213
EP - 2213
ER -
M.A. Mohd Noor (2011) THE CLUSTERS OF EXCELLENCE: A CASE STUDY OF POLICY AND PRACTICE IN MALAYSIA, ICERI2011 Proceedings, p. 2213.
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