This book brings together leading authors in the field of education and development, who draw on decades of research and personal experience to assess what we have learnt from research over three decades on school effects, the utility and sustainability of target-setting in education, and the role of global and local forces in shaping change in African education. The chapters expose to critical scrutiny the targets and benchmarks associated with the Education for All (EFA) initiatives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

CERC Comparative Education Research Centre

The book’s contributing authors raise questions about the false expectations of target-setters, the failures of international development aid processes to assist the achievement of the MDGs, the denial of local context and history in the target-setting processes, the arbitrary selection of targets, the choice of definitions that enable manipulation of data to show they have been achieved, and the inability of individual countries to sustain reforms initiated with development aid without aid.

Here is a rich set of reflections on development thought and practice at the start of the twentieth century, representing the cumulative wisdom and judgement of scholars who have made an indelible mark on educational thought. They present a formidable set of conceptual, practical and political challenges for consideration by the development world in its target-setting processes, especially in the field of education.

Linda Chisholm is a Director of education research at the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa. Graeme Bloch is Education Specialist at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Brahm Fleisch is a Professor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Publisher: Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC), The University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with the Southern African Comparative and History of Education Society (SACHES)

ISBN: 978-962-8093-99-1; 116pp.  Date: June 2008  Price: HK$100/US$16

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