Title: Is the Science of Reading just the Science of Reading English?

Author: David Share

Journal: Reading Research Quarterly

Affiliation: Department of Learning Disabilities and Safra Center

Abstract: The science of reading has made genuine progress in understanding reading and the teaching of reading, but is the science of reading just the science of reading English? Worldwide, a majority of students learn to read and write in non-European, nonalphabetic orthographies such as abjads (e.g., Arabic), abugidas/alphasyllabaries (e.g., Hindi), or morphosyllabaries (e.g., Chinese). Over a decade ago, I argued that the extreme inconsistency of English spelling–sound correspondence had confined the science of reading to an insular, Anglocentric research agenda addressing theoretical and applied issues with limited relevance for a universal science of reading. Here, I ask if the science of reading has moved forward. Acknowledging some limited progress over the past decade, it is evident that even today, mainstream reading research remains entrenched in Anglocentrism, Eurocentrism, and another form of ethnocentrism that I call alphabetism. Even the two dominant theoretical frameworks for describing cross-script diversity, orthographic depth and psycholinguistic grain size theory, give little or no consideration to non-European alphabets or nonalphabetic scripts, promoting a one-dimensional view of script variation (i.e., spelling–sound consistency). Consideration of the full spectrum of the world’s languages and writing systems reveals multiple dimensions of writing system complexity, each liable to create obstacles for the developing reader. If the science of reading is to contribute meaningfully to assessment, diagnosis, instruction, and intervention for all readers around the world, then we must extricate our field from entrenched ethnocentrism and embrace global diversity.

 Key words: reading, Anglocentrism, alphabetism, ethnocentrism, writing systems

Title: Religiosity as a moderator of ADHD-related antisocial behaviour and emotional distress among secular, religious and Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel

Author: Nurit Novis-Deutsch, Haym Dayan, Yehuda Pollak, Mona Khoury-Kassabri

Affiliation of first author: Department of Learning, Instruction and Teacher Education, University of Haifa

Abstract: Background: ADHD predicts higher levels of antisocial behaviour and distress while religiosity is related to lower levels of both. This raises the hitherto unexplored question of how these variables interact. Aims: The objective of this study was to explore how religious individuals with ADHD fare in terms of these psychosocial outcomes. Method: 806 secular, religious and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish adults in Israel completed measures of ADHD symptoms and treatment, emotional strengths and difficulties, religious belonging, religious behaviour and antisocial behaviour. Results: Findings supported an additive-interactive model in which religiosity (a) correlates with lower levels of ADHD symptoms and diagnosis, (b) directly relates to less antisocial behaviour and less distress and (c) moderates the negative effects of ADHD on antisocial behaviour and distress. Findings further suggest that religious observance rather than religious be.

 Key words: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, antisocial behaviour, emotional distress, religious observance, religious belonging, social psychiatry.

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Title: Senior teachers’ learning about student rights

Author: Lotem Perry-Hazan and Liron Neuhof

Journal: Journal of Teacher Education

Affiliation of first author: Department of Leadership and Policy in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa

Abstract: The study explores the rights consciousness of senior teachers who participated in a student rights professional development (PD) course and designed educational projects during the course. It analyzes teachers’ perceptions of students’ rights and the influence of the PD and other factors on these perceptions. The data included interviews with 17 teachers and an analysis of their projects. One cluster of teachers held a top-down perception of students’ rights, conveying a contrastive approach to rights reflecting students’ autonomy. The second cluster of teachers held a broader perception, which included bottom-up mobilization of students’ free speech and participation rights, conveying a supportive approach to these rights. The teachers’ projects did not reflect these patterns, limiting their focus to rights already embedded in school. Furthermore, the teachers did not report their learning experience as transformative. Rather, they applied their newly acquired knowledge and thinking frameworks to support their existing moral perceptions and practices.

 Key words: identity, moral education, professional development, teacher beliefs, teacher learning

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Title: Differential rights consciousness: Teachers’ perceptions of privacy in the surveillance school

Author: Michael Birnhack, Lotem Perry-Hazan

Journal: Teaching and Teacher Education

Affiliation: Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, Department of Leadership and Policy in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa

Abstract: This article explores the rights consciousness of teachers as agents having a professional obligation to promote students’ rights. The case study comprises Israeli teachers, whose social status is low, in the context of school CCTV surveillance. Based on 55 interviews, the findings revealed three clusters of perceptions: dismissing students’ privacy as a discrete consideration in assessing school surveillance; acknowledging students’ privacy as a discrete consideration; and merging students’ and teachers’ privacy. Almost all teachers considered their own privacy. Our conclusions focus on teachers who had differential rights consciousness and alluded to privacy justifications only when they concerned their own rights.

 Key words: Teachers’ rights consciousness, Teachers’ social status, Students’ rights, School surveillance, Privacy, Perspective-taking

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Title: Widening participation policy as practice: category work and local policy appropriations at student support units

Author: Adi Sapir

Journal: Journal of Education Policy

Affiliation: Department of Leadership and Policy in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel.

Abstract: The massification of national systems of higher education in recent decades and the rapid increase in the number of students have raised widening participation for students from underrepresented groups as a central policy agenda. This study focuses on an overlooked group in the research literature—student support practitioners, who provide advising and counseling services to students—and explores how these practitioners enact and shape widening participation policies as part of their ongoing work. The study is based on interviews with 43 support practitioners working in 17 Israeli higher education institutions. It draws on the policy-as-practice approach and the theoretical construct of category-work to explore how these practitioners interpret, adapt, and modify widening participation policies. The analysis reveals three practices of category-work: creation, transformation and disruption of policy categories: Practitioners create a new category of flexible and part-time studies, transform the category of students eligible for support by expanding its boundaries to include low socioeconomic status, and disrupt a target group’s category by dissolving its boundaries, modifying its homogenous nature and eliminating problematic support tools. This study contributes to our understanding of the gaps between WP policies and their enactment, and of the processes in which local actors shape policy categories.

 Key words: widening participation, student support, policy as practice, policy enactment, category work

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Title: Negotiating a dual deficit: the work of student support between conservative audacity and tempered radicalism

Author: Adi Sapir

Journal: Studies in Higher Education

Affiliation: Department of Leadership and Policy in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel.

Abstract: Student support practitioners, who provide students with academic, emotional and social support, are integral to higher education institutions’ initiatives to widen participation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet, despite calls for a deeper understanding of widening-participation practice, the work of these professionals has received scant research attention. Drawing on interviews with 39 support practitioners working in Israeli higher education institutes, this study explores how practitioners negotiate two contrasting yet coexistent interpretations of ‘deficit’: student deficit, focused on student inadequacies, and an institutional deficit, focused on shortcomings of the higher education institution. In analyzing how support practitioners negotiate this dual deficit, I draw on the theoretical constructs of tempered radicalism and conservative audacity. The study provides new perspectives on the challenges of widening participation in the current higher education policy climate and reveals the strategies of action that support practitioners use to manage them. The study also contributes to the literature on organizational agency, through the theoretical development of the concept of conservative audacity as agency for change, illuminating the situations in which organizational members who do not challenge institutional frameworks nevertheless disrupt the status quo as part of their everyday work.

 Key words: widening participation, student support, inclusion, change, equality

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