Advertisement

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

  • Aharon Aviram
Chapter

Abstract

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”).

Keywords

Education System Change Process Educational Change Symbolic Rationality Western Democracy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Aviram, A. (1992). Non-lococentric education. Educational Review, 44(1), 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aviram, A. (1993). Personal autonomy and the flexible school. International Review of Education, 39(5), 419–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aviram, A. (2004). The futuristic school: A voyage towards the future of education, “Futurism in Education” series. Tel-Aviv: Massada (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  4. Aviram, A. (2010). Navigating through the storm: Reinventing education for postmodern democracies. Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  5. Aviram, A., Bar-On, N., & Attias, M. (2010). School as a communication center: A model of optimistic humanist education. Haifa: Pardes (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  6. Aviram, A., & Talmi, D. (2004). The merger of ICT and education: Should it necessarily be an exercise in the eternal recurrence of the reinvention of the wheel? In F. Hernandez & I. F. Goodson (Eds.), Social geographies of educational change (pp. 123–142). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Balanskat, A., Blamire, R., & Kefala, S. (2006). The ICT impact report: A review of studies of ICT impact on schools in Europe. Bruxelles: European Schoolnet.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, M. (2002). Picturing children: Constructions of childhood between Rousseau and Freud. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  9. Buckingham, D. (2000). After the death of childhood: Growing up in the age of electronic media. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  10. Chuang, T. Y., & Chen, W. F. (2007). Effect of digital games on children’s cognitive achievement. Journal of Multimedia, 2(5), 27–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Condie, R., et al. (2007). The impact of ICT in schools: A landscape review. Coventry: Becta.Google Scholar
  12. Crompton, S. W. (2004). The printing press: Transforming power of technology. Philadelphia: Chelsea House.Google Scholar
  13. Cuban, L. (1999). Reforming again, again and again. Educational Researcher, 19(1), 3–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and underused: Reforming schools through technology 1980–2000. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dewar, J. A. (1998). The information age and the printing press: Looking backward to see ahead. Santa Monica: Rand.Google Scholar
  16. Dreeben, R. (1976). The unwritten curriculum and its relation to values. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 8(2), 111–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eacott, S. (2011). The pendulum swings: Transforming school reform. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43(1), 85–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Edmonds, D. (2009). Philosophy’s great experiment. Prospect, 156. http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/what-is-experimental-philosophy. Accessed 4 Jan 2009.
  19. Feldman, A. (1995). A tale of two “isms”: Constructivism in practice. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  20. Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change (4th ed.). New York: Columbia University.Google Scholar
  21. Fullan, M. (1994). Coordinating top–down and bottom–up strategies for educational reform. In R. J. Anson (Ed.), Systemic reform: Perspectives on personalizing education (pp. 7–24). Washington, DC: US Department of Education.Google Scholar
  22. Glick, D., & Aviram, A. (2011). The relationship between mindful learning processes and course outcomes in web-based learning. In S. Greeener & A. Rospigliosi (Eds.) Proceedings of the 10th European conference on e-learning (ECEL 2011) (pp. 295–302). UK: Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Good, H. (2007). Mis-education in schools: beyond the slogans and double-talk. Seattle: Rowman & Littlefield Education.Google Scholar
  24. Goodman, P. (1956). Growing up absurd: Problems of youth in the organized system. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  25. Gordon, D. (1984). The myths of school self-renewal. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hargreaves, A. (1994). Changing teachers, changing times: Teachers’ work and culture in the postmodern age. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, M. G., & Brader–Araje, L. (2002). The Impact of constructivism on education: language, discourse, and meaning. American Communication Journal, 5.3.Google Scholar
  28. Molz, M. (2010). The institute for integral studies: A new initiative to enhance the integral research communities. Integral Leadership Review, X.4.Google Scholar
  29. Meyer, J. W. (1977). The effects of education as an institution. American Journal of Sociology, 83, 55–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1992). The structure of educational organizations. In W. J. Meyer & W. R. Scott (Eds.), Organizational environments: Ritual and rationality (pp. 71–97). CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Ogawa, R., Crowson, R., & Goldring, E. (1999). Enduring dilemmas of school organization. In J. Murphy & L. Seashore (Eds.) Handbook of research on educational administration. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. Payne, C. (2010). So much reform, so little change. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.Google Scholar
  33. Perelman, L. J. (1993). School’s out: A radical new formula for the revitalization of America’s educational system. New York: Avon Books.Google Scholar
  34. Prenksy, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Punie, Y., Zinnbauer, D., & Cabrera, M. (2006) A review of the impact of ICT on learning, JRC technical notes. Seville: European Commission.Google Scholar
  36. Ravitch, D. (2000). Left back: A century of failed school reforms. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  37. Ravitch, D. (2012). Reformers’ double talk, message posted to http://dianeravitch.net. Accessed 30 Aug 2012.
  38. Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. (1972). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Institute of Urban & Regional Development, University of California.Google Scholar
  39. Sarason, S. B. (1990). The predictable failure of educational reform: Can we change course before it’s too late? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  40. Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the screen: Identity in the age of the internet. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  41. Tyack, D. B., & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward utopia: A century of public school reform. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Tyler, W. (1975). Have educational reforms since 1950 created quality education? Viewpoints, 51(2):35–57.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations