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  • 1.
    Bismack, Amber S.
    et al.
    University of Michigan, USA.
    Ong, Yann-Shiou
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Duschl, Richard
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Driving change forward: Summary2016In: Reconceptualizing STEM Education: The central role of practices / [ed] Richard A. Duschl, Amber S. Bismack, Routledge, 2016Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 2. Horvatek, Renata
    et al.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Small States 'Acting Big': How Minority Education Models in Post-Conflict Croatia and Kosovo Perpetuate Segregated Societies2017In: Re-Reading Education Policy and Practice in Small States: Issues of Size and Scale in the Emerging «Intelligent Society and Economy» / [ed] Tavis D. Jules, Patrick Ressler, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2017, p. 111-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Curriculum Field in the Making: Influences That Led to Social Efficiency as Dominant Curriculum Ideology in Progressive Era in the U.S.2017In: European Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 2182-7168, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 618-628Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article problematizes the development of curriculum field in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. During the time, the curriculum field was – and to some extent still is - far from a clearly defined, unified, wellestablished theory of education or education programme. The present article addresses the development of curriculum field in the United States through a historical lens. Specifically, it initially briefly discusses the four widelyrecognized competing curriculum ideologies or approaches, namely humanists, developmentalists, social reconstruction, and social efficiency, as well as European influences on these approaches. In the second part, it discusses how social efficiency model became the prevailing education ideology throughout the 20th century to date in the U.S. context. It is concluded that prevailing interests and needs of the U.S. at the turn of 20th century aligned well with promises of social efficiency education ideology, thus, paving the way for it to become the dominant curriculum approach that we know today, while the other ideologies remained part of U.S. mainstream education to lesser extent, and never ceased to exist completely.

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  • 4.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Curriculum Reform as a Political Statement in Developing Contexts: A Discursive and Non-affirmative Approach2018In: Transnational Curriculum Inquiry, ISSN 1449-8855, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 38-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While not an entire global phenomenon, competency-based curricula have gained relevance and presence, primarily as a policy promoted by the European Commission with the European context. Kosovo – a non EU-state – shifted its curriculum from content-based to competency-based in its latest 2011 curriculum reform. This article focused on the opportunities that Kosovo students have to master learning competencies considering coverage of this specific competency within the main Kosovo’s Curriculum Framework, mathematics teacher education programmes, and grade 6 and grade 10 mathematics syllabi. Relying on document analysis methodologically and discursive institutionalism and non-affirmative theory theoretically, the analysis and findings show that learning competencies are central in the Kosovo’s new curricula, defined as one of the six key competencies to be mastered by students over their pre-university education from grade 1 to 12. Regarding teacher education programmes, findings show that BA degree for mathematics still relies in strong disciplinary knowledge, while the MA degree has been updated to reflect the latest reform. Grades 6 and Grade 10 mathematics syllabi are fully in line with KCF. Strong coordinative and communicative discourses have been at play to create the conditions for the shift from content- to competency-based curricula, while competency-based approach in itself is both an affirmative process, since curricula and learning outcomes are clearly defined from a top-down approach, and non-affirmative enough to allow for opportunities for students to obtain an open and critical outlook for themselves and democratic society – now and in the future.

  • 5.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Educational Change in Post-war Kosovo: Perceptions of Kosovo Educators as Presented in Shkëndija2013In: Interchange, ISSN 0826-4805, E-ISSN 1573-1790, ISSN 0826-4805, Vol. 44, no 1-2, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    After the Kosovo conflict ended in June 1999, Kosovo educational authorities, backed extensively by international technical assistance, introduced educational changes for the first time after a decade of isolation. Educational policy documents started to shift rhetoric of teaching and learning practices from traditional, largely content-based, into more democratic contemporary, and learner-centred, ones. The introduced changes required Kosovo educators to implement new curriculum, new teaching methodologies, and new assessment techniques. Further, they had to go through professional development programmes to get ready to live up to newly laid out expectations. This paper discusses perceptions of a limited number of Kosovo educators about post-war educational change as presented in Shkëndija, the only local monthly educational magazine published in Prishtina, Kosovo’s capital, between 2002 and 2007. The findings suggest that while educators adopted most of the policy talk advocated by the reform agenda, they lacked ownership over the process and faced a myriad of challenges during the implementation phase. A few areas for further research are identified.

  • 6.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    University of Prishtina, Kosovo.
    Higher Education in Kosovo: Major Changes, Reforms, and Development Trends in Post-Conflict Period at the University of Prishtina2010In: Interchange, ISSN 0826-4805, E-ISSN 1573-1790, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 171-183Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper the author investigates the developments that took place at the University of Prishtina since the end of the conflict in 1999. It starts with a historical background on the University of Prishtina, and continues with the major changes during the past five years including the Declaration of Bologna. Included in this discussion are some insights on the major reforms at the University of Prishtina, and some of the problems that the university professors and other local stakeholders have faced in grasping the reforms. The paper highlights the need for local ownership of the reforms as the first step toward pushing the process further.

  • 7.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Revisiting ‘curriculum crisis’ dialogue: in search of an antidote2019In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 180-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article builds upon the international dialogue around ‘curriculum crisis’ initiated by Michael Young in Journal of Curriculum Studies (JCS) in 2013 and followed up in JCS in 2015. It seeks to expand the dialogue in three avenues. First, when considered from a sociological perspective, Young is correct to declare ‘curriculum crisis’; however, his position is limited only to the conflict theory. Second, from educational perspectives, the curriculum crisis as such is self-inflicted and it has been more of a battle among different curriculum ideologies in the Anglo-Saxon world and resistance to Bildung-centred Didaktik tradition in the Western world more broadly. Third, it points to the fourth industrial revolution as an inevitable phase. It concludes that ‘curriculum crisis’ is only partially about bringing knowledge back in, and the article suggests ‘the prepared mind’ as a metaphor to bridge knowledge and learning outcome perspectives. Specialized knowledge in curricula will become even more relevant in the innovation age, and a prepared mind adaptable to the changing world and open to continued learning can assist individuals navigate life and career creatively, meaningfully and constructively. © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

  • 8.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Stimulating creativity and innovation through Intelligent Fast Failure2012In: Thinking Skills and Creativity, ISSN 1871-1871, E-ISSN 1878-0423, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 265-270Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Literature on creativity and innovation has discussed the issue of failure in the light of its benefits and limitations for enhancing human potential in all domains of life, but in business, science, engineering, and industry more specifically. In this paper, the Intelligent Fast Failure (IFF) as a useful tool of creativity and innovation for maximizing personal and institutional productivity, relevance and value is reviewed. In particular, IFF is a useful teaching and learning tool for public and private educational contexts. IFF, a term coined by Jack V. Matson in late 1980s and early 1990s, demystifies the aversion from failure, encourages calculated and well-informed risk-taking and initiative, and whenever applied, either yields results that could benefit individuals, organizations and society at large or teaches lessons for future endeavors. IFF and some of its derivatives used by various authors and institutions are explored along with some examples of its applications, and its potential and limitations in the 21st century.

  • 9.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Teacher autonomy and responsibility variation and association with student performance in Didaktik and curriculum traditions2019In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 51, no 2, p. 162-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The primary objective of the study was to empirically test theoretical claims made about differences between Didaktik and curriculum traditions concerning teacher autonomy (TA) and teacher responsibility (TR). It tests the hypothesis that TA and TR are higher among Didaktik than curriculum countries. The second objective was to explore associations of TA and responsibility measures with students’ science performance? Nationally representative data from 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), collected through a two-step random selection process were used. For TA individual items Mann–Whitney rank-sum test was employed, while a difference of proportion test was used for TR items to examine the differences. Hierarchical linear modelling (HLM) was used to examine association of TA and TR items with students’ science performance in PISA 2009. Overall and contrary to the initial hypothesis, teachers in curriculum countries enjoy both more autonomy and responsibility than teachers in Didaktik countries, but differences were substantively weak. Furthermore, within-country associations of autonomy and responsibility measures with students’ science performance were found in a few countries. Further research is recommended to address TA and responsibility and complexities that accompany them in current stakeholder-crowded school contexts.

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  • 10.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Brezicha, Kristina
    Ikoma, Sakiko
    Unpacking Teacher Differences in Didaktik and Curriculum Traditions: Trends from TIMSS 2003, 2007, and 20112015In: Promoting and Sustaining a Quality Teacher Workforce / [ed] Gerald K. LeTendre, Alexander W. Wiseman, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015, p. 145-195Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Mann, Bryan
    University of Alabama, USA.
    Matson, Jack
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Teaching Creativity at Scale: Overcoming Language Barriers in a MOOC2018In: International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, ISSN 2201-1315, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allow higher education institutions to deliver courses for free to anyone with Internet access and thus to attract expansive linguistically diverse audiences worldwide. The purpose of this article is to address language barriers and challenges for creating and maintaining online learning communities in the Creativity, Innovation and Change (CIC) MOOC. This exploratory and descriptive study relied on CIC MOOC data and learning analytics framework to guide the analysis. The article discusses a number of strategies for fostering community as well as course innovations to make CIC more attractive and engaging. Authors conclude that understanding how to promote community with linguistically diverse students when aiming to teach creativity at scale contributes to a better comprehension of and responding to the needs and challenges of non-native speakers in the MOOC platforms.

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  • 12.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Niebert, Kai
    University of Zurich, Switzerland.
    Duschl, Richard
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Curriculum and Didaktik in 21st century: Still Divergent or Converging?2015In: European Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 2182-7168, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 262-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An intensive dialogue between US, German and other European scholars on topics of didaktik and curriculum took place during 1990s. Here, we review this dialogue and extend it into current post-2000 conversations to examine how the two education traditions are being affected by global trends in education. We employ content analysis to examine publications that derived from previous curriculum-didaktik dialogue as well as recent education policy documents and education developments in U.S. and Germany, as two core curriculum and didaktik countries respectively. Then, we exemplify the initial state and the identified changes through two logical models, which compare and contrast didaktik and curriculum theory as two educational policy systems. The results point to two key educational changes, namely the introduction of common core educational standards, i.e. national educational standards in the U.S. and introduction of external assessments in Germany. While curriculum and didaktik still hold to their traditional conceptualizations of the field, we conclude that to some extent both traditions are moving towards one another as a result of global education trends such as international assessments and the coordination of teaching and learning around research-based learning trajectories and learning progressions, in math education and science education, respectively.

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  • 13.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Sundberg, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Competence-based Education Studies in Primary and Secondary Education: A Systematic Review 1997-20172018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Wahlström, Ninni
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Role of learning environments and policy contexts in realization of dispositional learning outcomes in Europe2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With “A New Skills Agenda for Europe”, the European Commission [EC] doubled down on its push towards more skills-based education as “[…] pathway to employability and prosperity” (EC, 2016, p. 2). In the EC Agenda, the term ‘skills’ is defined broadly as what a person knows, understands, and can do. Emphasis on skills-based approaches was initiated in mid-90s by UNESCO under Jacque Delor leadership (Delors, 1996), followed by OECD’s Definition and Selection of Competencies (DeSeCo) project, which then led to The European Reference Framework of key competences (Official Journal of the European Union [OJEU], 2006). This paper aims to problematize and show the complexity of developing 21st century skills or dispositional learning outcomes (DLEs) by focusing on conceptually addressing the role of learning environments and policy contexts in realizing DLEs in the European context.

    We frame the discussion on the potential of education systems to realize DLEs around Curriculum and Didaktik traditions as per Deng and Luke (2008), where curriculum is elaborated along the lines of four main overarching perspectives, namely academic rationalism, social efficiency, humanism, and social resconstructionism, and Didaktik as European-based framework for curriculum making at the classroom level. Next, we turn to trans-national policy flows and how they have affected national education policy contexts.

    The paper employs document analysis to address two main research questions: first, how do trans-national policies affect national education and curriculum policies? And second, how do different curriculum theoretical underpinnings affect the potential to realize DLEs? The document analysis will focus on two European national contexts – one EU (Sweden) and one non-EU (Kosovo) member state. The paper will primarily focus on dissecting policies related to curriculum, teacher education and assessment in the two countries.

  • 15.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Wahlström, Ninni
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Role of transnational and national education policies in realisation of critical thinking: the cases of Sweden and Kosovo2019In: Curriculum Journal, ISSN 0958-5176, E-ISSN 1469-3704, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 484-503Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Against the backdrop of the push from the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for competence-based curricula, this article problematises the complexity of developing 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, by addressing the role transnational and national policy contexts play in realising critical thinking in the national contexts of Sweden and Kosovo. The article distinguishes between policy-critical thinking and civic-critical thinking. Relying on analyses of curriculum and policy documents, it is concluded that while in the Swedish context critical thinking competence (or ability) seems to be much more implicit than explicit, in Kosovo, the national curriculum makes explicit references to thinking competences as a form of policy-critical thinking and civic competencies as a form of civic-critical thinking. Thus, students in both contexts have opportunities to develop critical thinking skills. Further, Sweden emerges as a divergent case and Kosovo as a convergent case with regard to transnational policy flow research paradigms.

     

  • 16.
    Zhang, Liang
    et al.
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Khan, Gulab
    Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    Pennsylvania State University, USA.
    Student Performance, School Differentiation, and World Cultures: Evidence from PISA 20092015In: International Journal of Educational Development, ISSN 0738-0593, E-ISSN 1873-4871, Vol. 42, no May, p. 43-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PISA 2009 data were used to identify patterns of differences and similarities among PISA participating countries/economies. The concept of cultural clusters was used to show patterns of differences and similarities within and across country clusters in two indicators – average student performance and school differentiations (measured by proportion of variance in student test scores explained by schools). Results revealed striking similarities among countries within many cultural clusters, while significant dispersion was found in others, especially among Eastern Europe countries. Regression analyses indicated that cultural clusters explain the majority of variance in average student performance and school differentiations across countries, suggesting that culture is an important factor when comparing and contrasting different school systems.

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