Educational Policy Analysis – Journal #9

In this week’s class we talked about the process versus the content of educational policy analysis. We also discussed the continuum of systematic versus issue-specific reform or policy implementation and I liked how it was a spectrum there was no either side or one size fits all. As we’ve seen from a lot of our readings, the one size fits all ideology is very problematic because it lacks local context consideration. I’ve also had this discussion in my other class when we talked about educational borrowing and international policy adoption in different countries. The concept of contextualizing is of absolute importance in general so it’s nice to hear the same idea in two different courses that discuss two very different and separate topics in education.

The synoptic and incremental models were very visually clearly mapped out so that made me visualize the difference between the synoptic and incremental well and through the systematic, issue-specific continuum. But then when I saw the axis on the page after it, it got a bit confusing. We had a discussion about it and José helped us understand the relationships between these models and concepts.

I thought I was a visual learner until I saw this diagram about policy analysis. Or maybe I’ve been learning through reading for so long that I got used to understanding and processing information through reading more than through understanding through visual cues. It was interesting, because the visual or the graph of the model in the reading confused me more. This was the case for me until we started analyzing the diagram together in the class and everyone collaborated on trying to explain and understand it better, which worked 🙂

We negotiated with the professor canceling the final policy brief and substituting it with another assignment, so we changed the deadline and reallocated the grades together as a group with our professor. I think this was a very good thing to do. It’s something I’ve always been a fan of, the negotiation of syllabi and rubrics with students. So I really appreciated that because it just means the professor is flexible enough to accommodate the students’ needs. The reason why we asked for that is because we had gotten the usefulness of writing policy briefs the first time around, gotten feedback and then worked on another one so we didn’t think there would be a huge added benefit to the third policy brief.

I found out about a university in Luxembourg that has professors that play virtual reality games to create a flawed city then they give it to students to try and come up with solutions for these issues. The reason why they use these virtual games is that they mimic real life to a very large extent. The pedagogical value of that is to teach students to build cities urban and logistical solutions for cities with flawed systems. So they don’t give them “perfect” cities but ask them to work on cities that have many urban, transportation, sanitary, water problems and find real solutions for them. So I think this is a very good exercise for any potential urban or logistical planners.

More later 🙂

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