Premier Issue

Vol. 1 No. 1 – Fall 2002


An idea- a motivation- a plan- and a realization. In Focus is a journal that aspires to advance the labor involved with the “perseverance of knowledge construction” in the field of Comparative, International and Intercultural Education that Carlos Torres found to be the principal feature in the endurance of this discipline. In Focus is the result of the hard work and collaboration of the editorial board, authors and peer reviewers, all of whom are graduate students.

It would be unjust to proceed further without acknowledging that this particular production exists as the fruition of a concept proposed by Miguel Ángel Escotet. He has the capacity to engender an allegiance to the ideals of equity, multiculturalism and the rigorous pursuit of academic excellence.

And this rigorous pursuit will continue to escalate with each forthcoming issue of In Focus. As Nelly Stromquist stated in the preface of the Comparative Education Review (2002), “ We need descriptions of contexts and settings that capture significant features in a variety of countries and regions and that weave events unfolding in the educational arena with those taking place in other arenas, be they economic, technological, cultural, political, or any other combination” (p.v). With this in mind, we encourage graduate students to submit their work and would like to encourage professors to advocate submissions.

Monica Restrepo
Michael Adams


Dynamics of Culture and the Implications for Education in China
Fengshu, L. In Focus Journal, Vol.1 (Fall 2002).

The dynamics of culture requires that culture must be consciously and constantly reinterpreted and renovated in order to gain vitality. The paper argues that formal education as the official site of cultural transmission forms a natural intersection with culture which functions as its regulating system. Whether, and to what extent, a culture needs adaptation can often be examined by scrutinizing the intersection. To this end, the paper attempts to scrutinize the intersection between education and culture in China by displaying some of the major themes in the interaction between the two.


Fishing for a New Paradigm in Development Education: Focus on Real Needs
Pillai, S. In Focus Journal, Vol.1 (Fall 2002).

This paper first takes a brief but critical look at a telling instance of education and development discourse as expressed by representatives of government agencies that concerns itself with assistance to the developing world.  Here the paper focuses on a frequently used key expression which points to a simplistic, singular view of the nature of development problems. The paper argues that there are many types of development problems and that the real needs must be identified for each particular setting. The paper then draws on a concrete example from Ethiopia where generalised assumptions about education and development do not fit with the local situation: the real needs are specific to that setting.


The Similarities Between Non-Formal Education and Early Childhood Education
Rich-Orloff, W. In Focus Journal, Vol.1 (Fall 2002).


When one hears the term “Non-Formal Education” (NFE), what comes to mind? Does the person think of Paulo Freire? Empowering the poor? Supporting communities to become self-sufficient? Expanding the accessibility of educational opportunities? Health or gender issues? Political revolution? All of these areas have in some way been associated with NFE.
This paper, though, looks at NFE from a different perspective. In many ways the principles and techniques of NFE are very similar to early childhood education (ECE). After defining both NFE and ECE and their respective principles and techniques, we will then compare the two and see what similarities we find. The High/Scope Curriculum will be used as a case study to see NFE principles in practice in an ECE setting.


Educational Opportunity: El Salvador’s Barriers to Achieving Equality Persist
Rosekrans, K. In Focus Journal, Vol.1 (Fall 2002).

In this article, the author, who lives and works in El Salvador, analyzes the different levels of educational opportunity attained in this country, barriers to improving equity, and the potential effects on equity of current policies and programs.  She offers a framework for analyzing educational opportunity as well as a model for improving equity through compensatory strategies to enhance educational quality for the poorest sectors.



Children’s Work, Schooling, and Welfare in Latin America written by David Post.
Review by Michael Adams. In Focus Journal, Vol.1 (Fall 2002).



Michael Adams, Florida International University; Hamood Al-Harti, University of Pittsburgh/Sultan Qaboos University; Lizzie Anderson, New York University; Ngang Cornelius Awasom, University of Yaounde, Cameroon; Pheobe Farag, George Washington University; Li Feng, Florida State University; Roger G. Gonzalez, Penn State University; Nagwa Megahed, University of Pittsburgh; Pat Moran, Florida State University; Khlaid Morat, University of Virginia; and Pauline Wong, University of California at Los Angeles;