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2014 - Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 6474 words || 
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1. Meyer, Doug. "It Gets Better, But Only If You Make It Better: A Content Analysis of Videos Made for the 'It Gets Better' Anti-Gay Bullying Project" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Oregon, Mar 27, 2014 Online <PDF>. 2019-09-19 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p707706_index.html>
Publication Type: Formal research paper presentation
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In this paper, I argue that the ‘It Gets Better’ Project, a campaign designed to help teens who have experienced anti-gay bullying, has served neoliberal goals by advancing narratives of progress and by obscuring social class differences among queer populations. Through a content analysis of 120 videos made for the Project, I find several common themes, including extensive descriptions of strength. I argue that in normalizing narratives of progress, the implication of the Project is that if it does not get better for individuals, then they are just not trying hard enough. Thus, I find that the Project very quickly moved from narratives of encouragement to individual accounts of blame, suggesting it should get better for individuals and if it does not then there is something wrong with them. As many of the videos reproduce norms of middle-class respectability, including finding a partner and moving from small towns to large cities, I argue that the Project serves to flatten out differences among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, ignoring the ways in which opportunities are unequally distributed based on social class. Further, given that most of the videos focus on optimistic feelings of happiness and hopefulness, I argue that the Project serves to stamp out the acceptability of anger, encouraging passivity on the part of LGBT people who have experienced bullying. Finally, although a few videos offer the potential for radical critique, I argue that the most common narrative of the videos – advanced by the title of the Project, ‘It Gets Better’ – individualizes the problem of anti-LGBT bullying, as most of the videos put the onus on the individual who has been bullied rather than the school or the individuals, much less the heteronormative social conditions, that foster the violence.

2018 - Comparative and International Education Society Conference Words: 513 words || 
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2. Kapp, Jon. and Izaguirre, Haydee. "OpenEMIS: Better data, better outcomes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 25, 2018 <Not Available>. 2019-09-19 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1354534_index.html>
Publication Type: Round-table Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Context

The OpenEMIS Initiative is part of UNESCO’s response to increase demand for support in the area of education system planning and management. OpenEMIS supports the building of a robust and reliable EMIS and the strengthening of national capacities in the provision of reliable information for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of education systems. OpenEMIS has modules for (a) data capture on institutions, students, staff; (b) computation of standards-based education indicators in compliance with internationally recommended methodology; (c) consolidated data warehouse of all education data in the country; (d) advanced methods for data reporting, data visualization, and dissemination to all stakeholders, including ministry planners, principals, teachers, parents, students.

Within the changing context of the education sector, there are opportunities to benefit from the latest information technology. New EMIS technology can be used to effectively monitor the implementation of all aspects of the education policy in the country. More specifically, enhancements to the existing EMIS can overcome these challenges:

• Bottlenecks in Data Coordination. Education data collection could benefit from better coordination among the sections of the MoE and between the ministry and schools, teachers and students.

• Inability to Track Individual Students and Teachers. Some important education data is currently collected at the school level. It is not feasible to use this aggregated information to track individual student attendance, achievement, behaviour, transfers and detailed teacher information.

• Deficiencies in Relevant and Timely Monitoring Information. A comprehensive data warehouse of education key performance indicators on all sections of the ministry will help the administrators in planning and monitoring the education system, with a focus on improving the quality of education. At the school level, real-time data on students, staff, and facilities will allow school administrators to more effectively and efficiently manage their institution.

In order to improve delivery, accountability and transparency, MoEs have highlighted the importance of strengthening the EMIS to help them collect, analyze and disseminate education data. The use of the system will be able to inform and support policies through evidence based decision-making.

Methods
The key underlying implementation principles of OpenEMIS are:

• An evidence based approach which uses reliable data to inform the education planning and policy-decision processes through the strengthening of existing national information systems;
• National leadership with full participation and engagement of national stakeholders in diagnosis, formulation and implementation of a plan;
• Alignment of OpenEMIS within the overall national education development goals and objectives;
• Support to the government in developing effective and robust information systems and data collection tools, through the use of open source, generic and cost-effective IT tools;
• Use of international standards for data exchange on education in the country for improved access to and use of information;
• An exit strategy which results in a government-owned EMIS integrated with a robust education decision-support system with the management of the system transferred to key government institutions without dependencies on external technical support.

Through this presentation, we will highlight implementation of the OpenEMIS Initiative in project countries, including Maldives, Belize, Jordan, Malaysia, Zambia, DR Congo, Turks and Caicos, Grenada.

The presentation will highlight findings from implementation, including challenges, best practices, and recommendations for sustainability.

2011 - SCRA Biennial Meeting Words: 240 words || 
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3. Nelson, Geoffrey., Pancer, Mark., Hasford, Julian. and Loomis, Colleen. "Better Beginnings, Better Futures: An Ecological Approach to the Promotion of Child, Family, and Community Well-being" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SCRA Biennial Meeting, Roosevelt University/Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-09-19 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p496517_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Better Beginnings, Better Futures is a large-scale, multi-year, longitudinal research demonstration project designed to reduce children’s problems, promote healthy child development, and enhance family and community environments in three economically disadvantaged communities in the province of Ontario, Canada. The initial intervention was implemented from 1993 to 1997, and focused on families with children from 4 to 8 years of age in their first four years of schooling (from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2). In contrast with many other early childhood development (ECD) programs, Better Beginnings is (a) ecological, with child, school, parent/family, and community development programs, (b) long-term, with five years of programming, (c) driven by parents and community members, who constitute more than 50% of key project committees, (d) universal (available to all children ages 4-8 and their families in the communities), and (e) integrated with schools and other services in the community. Research during the demonstration phase involved a partnership between the project’s Research Coordination Unit (RCU) and site research committees. Research during the demonstration phase included a quasi-experimental evaluation of short-term outcomes on children, parents, families, and the communities, as well as ethnographic research designed to understand the programs, resident participation, project management, and partnerships with service-providers. Follow-up research on the children and parents was conducted in grades 6, 9, and 12 and focused on outcomes and cost-benefits. Better Beginnings researchers are currently developing dissemination tools for a pan-Canadian dissemination of the Better Beginnings, Better Futures project.

2011 - SCRA Biennial Meeting Words: 259 words || 
Info
4. Pancer, Mark., Nelson, Geoffrey., Hasford, Julian. and Loomis, Colleen. "The Better Beginnings, Better Futures Project: Child, Parent, Family, and Community Outcomes and Cost Savings at Ages 18-19" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SCRA Biennial Meeting, Roosevelt University/Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-09-19 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p496518_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Better Beginnings, Better Futures is a large-scale, multi-year, longitudinal research-demonstration project implemented in three economically disadvantaged communities in the province of Ontario, Canada. The primary objectives of the project were to (a) prevent social, emotional, academic and physical problems in children, (b) promote healthy child development, and (c) enhance the environments (family, school and community) in which children grew and developed. The initial intervention was implemented from 1993 to 1997, and focused on families with children from 4 to 8 years of age in their first four years of schooling (from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2). This study examined the long-term impacts of the intervention on children’s family, school and community environments 15 years after the start of the intervention, when the young people who participated in the intervention were 18 to 19 years of age. Compared to youth from comparison communities (n = 225), youth from Better Beginnings communities (n = 401) had significantly lower levels of property offenses, use of special education services, and perceptions of deviance in the community and significantly better grades in their most recent year in high school and significantly higher rates of exercise. Parents in the Better Beginnings communities were significantly less likely to have someone else in the house who smoked, had significantly lower levels of depression, and had a significantly higher level of sense of community involvement than parents in the comparison communities. Cost savings were also found. Results are discussed with respect to the importance of considering family and neighbourhood contexts in the development and evaluation of prevention programs.

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