The Abnormality of Modern Education Systems in Postmodern Democracies and Its Implications for Philosophy of Education

  • Aharon Aviram


This chapter substantiates the claim that most contemporary Western systems of compulsory education are not unlike a man suffering from an undiagnosed disease whose condition is worsening because of the dozens of conflicting remedies forced on his failing body by dozens of uncoordinated physicians. Each of the “treatments” is designed to address the disease, but a single symptom further aggravates the situation and in turn enhances the zeal of the healers, as well as the pace of treatments, and the vicious cycle continues. The ailments in the fable are the variety of chronic failures characterizing contemporary education systems. The proverbial healers are the variety of reformers and “change experts” who are busy initiating one series of change processes after the other, most of which only end up exacerbating the root cause of the problem; the system’s “DNA” is the result of the combination of elements which were added to it in various periods during the last 2,500 years. None of these elements are relevant to individuals’ and systems’ functioning and surviving in the postmodern era. The system is therefore dysfunctional and counterproductive (Sects. “The Primary Illness: Diagnosis” and “The Secondary Illness: Diagnosis”). Having made this foundational argument, the chapter proceeds to claim that only a complete overhaul in rethinking of education, in a systematic methodological fashion, can adapt contemporary education to postmodern Western democracies (Sect. “The prognosis”). It ends by claiming that these diagnoses and prognoses have at least two important implications for the philosophy of education today (Sect. “Implications for Philosophy of Education”).


Education System Change Process Educational Change Symbolic Rationality Western Democracy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ben-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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