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Title: The clusters of excellence in Malaysia : a case study of educational policy and practice
Author: Mohd Noor , Mohd Asri
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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In the past two decades, nations worldwide have been involved in active education Reform efforts. In East Asia, many of these efforts are aimed at increasing economic competitiveness by enhancing the quality of education. In doing so, education systems often look to comparative and international experience for guidance and inspiration. Since Vision 2020 was launched in Malaysia in the 1990s, education reform has been a key component in efforts to ensure that the nation slays competitive, and achieves the target of becoming a regional hub for high quality education and economic creativity by the year 2020. In 2006, the Malaysian government prepared an education ' blueprint' known as the Education Development Master Plan (EDMP) 2006-2010. One of the core strategies in the EDMP is to accelerate the improvement of educational institutions by forming clusters of excellence among schools so that they become models and benchmarks for others to learn from. Schools in these clusters of excellence are given a degree of guided autonomy through the implementation of school-based management (SBM) to help them achieve and maintain excellence in niche areas such as mathematics, cultural activities and sports. The research reported here documents the origins, and development of the Clusters of Excellence Policy (CoEP) first introduced in 2007, and provides an analysis of the policy and the initial experience of implementation in practice. This is carried out in the light of the comparative literature relating to international education policy transfer and borrowing, Fullan's (2007) model of factors affecting policy implementation, and detailed qualitative case study of four CoEP schools. The latter consist of a remote rural school, an aboriginal school, a 'smart' school and a typical daily suburban school. At the national level, an analysis of related policy document is carried out, along with in ~ depth qualitative interviews with key personnel involved in the development of the policy. The findings indicate that the CoEP has been developed in the light of international experience with models of school clusters, decentralisation initiatives, and school ~ based management projects elsewhere. However, the project has been carefully developed to fit the Malaysian contexts, to meet national needs and to be consistent with the nation's guiding philosophy. Conclusions identify the successes that have been achieved, at the same time as they highlight a number of challenges that have been experienced during implementation at the school level. Implications of the study are considered in relation to the case-study schools; to the on-going development of the CoEP; (or broader education policy and practice in Malaysia; for the related international literature; and for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available