Introduction: Challenges in the Leadership of Innovation and Development in Education in a Globalizing Asia Pacific

  • Peter D. Hershock
  • Mark Mason
  • John N. Hawkins
Part of the CERC Studies in Comparative Education book series (CERC, volume 20)

Education is widely regarded as a singularly important public good. Globally, it has come to assume a central position in the making of local, national, and regional public policy, and is considered to have direct bearing, not only on the development of individual character and capabilities but also on national prospects for advancing and sustaining development. Indeed, while directly budgeted support for education varies considerably among both developed and developing countries, total governmental expenditures on education typically run between 10% and 20% of total GDP. Yet, in spite of this considerable esteem and investment, it is almost uniformly the opinion of parents, educators and policy makers that the public good being served by existing educational systems is, simply stated, not good enough. The uniformity of this assessment undoubtedly conceals widely varying confluences of forces and conditions. Nevertheless, many of the globally perceived shortcomings of education systems as a means for delivering and serving the public good can be traced to disruptions –and, at times, outright ruptures –taking place in the shape and meaning of the public sphere itself. It has become something of a cliché to invoke in this regard the increasingly wide and deep effects of contemporary patterns and scales of globalization and their phenomenal acceleration of change dynamics –dynamics that at once penetrate and span the private and public spheres, affecting both our most intimate and our most international acts and aspirations. But as with most clichés, there is a significant factual basis underlying explanatory appeals to globalization processes as a cyclone of what are, at times, a veritable deluge of challenges to longstanding institutions and traditional norms. As the domain of the public itself changes, so does the meaning of the public good and, pari passu, of a good education.


Public Good Asia Pacific Region Educational Change Educational Leadership Complex Interdependence 
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Copyright information

© Comparative Education Research Centre 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter D. Hershock
    • 1
  • Mark Mason
    • 2
  • John N. Hawkins
    • 3
  1. 1.Education ProgramEast-West CenterHawaii
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongChina
  3. 3.Graduate School of Education and Information StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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