Guide Globalising Education: Trends and Applications

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Individual freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin known as personal agency — the extent to which agency is allowed to develop is the degree to which self-determination is afforded to people. A human right is a birthright that every human being is entitled to by virtue of being human — the extent to which rights are protected determines the degree to which justice is afforded to people.

Thus, self-determination and justice serve as the two cornerstones of any democratic system. To secure these rights, democratic systems institute policies and rules. Higher education serves multiple purposes Within the context of higher education, democratisation is the process of making higher education, through a diversification of institutional types and missions, available to anyone who wishes to avail themselves of the services it has to offer.

Presumably, higher education is accessed by people for different reasons — therefore, higher education serves different purposes to meet a variety of needs. In addition, democratised higher education systems will look different from one nation to another because each system has emerged out of a unique political, economic, socio-cultural and historical context. However, if there can be said to be one shared purpose of higher education that is common to all such national systems, it would be the common aim to produce learning.

Higher education as a global system Globalisation is the ongoing ubiquitous process of interconnectedness and interdependence of people, institutions, societies and nations as a result of increasing worldwide integration and interaction of political, economic, social, technological and ecological systems.


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For instance, the United Nations is a global quasi-political organisation and the Word Trade Organization is a global quasi-economic trade organisation and, some would argue, English is a global social language and the Internet is a global communication system. In like manner, higher education has also become a globally interconnected system in many ways. Globalisation also serves as both an overarching framework and an explanatory concept for better understanding the world we live in and how or why certain phenomena develop. The more globalised the world becomes the more likely it is that what happens in one part of the world will have an impact on other parts of the world.

Globalising education: trends and applications

Globalisation continues to be fuelled by international politics, international trade, international travel, international communication and international higher education. Internationalisation is the adaptive strategic response of people, institutions, societies and nations to the process of globalisation. Internationalisation is therefore the process of developing goods and services for instance, higher education offerings and adapting those goods and services to local contexts for example, language and culture. Within the context of higher education, this naturally involves developing a strategic plan about how to design and implement international educational offerings.

He points out that segregation and local disparities in the US schools are continuously increasing. The US schools and especially urban schools are seen as distinctive examples of institutions where social discrimination propagates while the US educational system currently functions as a mechanism of reproducing social inequality. At the same time, students, their parents as well as teachers, whose roles should have been essential, are displaced into some kind of token participants. Since schools are social institutions that operate and constantly interact with the rest of economy they have to become accountable in the way that ordinary business are, at least when it comes to basic knowledge delivery.

Hess insists that all schools across the US should be able to deliver high quality basic knowledge and literacy. Such knowledge can be easily standardised and a national curriculum, equal and identical to all US school can be designed. By this, all schools are able to deliver high quality basic knowledge and all pupils, irrespective of their social background, would be able to receive it. Then, each school, teacher and pupil are held accountable for their performance and failure to meet the national standards should result in schools closed down, teachers laid off and pupils change school environment or even lose their chance to graduate.

Hess distinguishes between two types of reformers; the status quo reformers who do not challenge the state control education and the common-sense reformers who are in favour of a non-bureaucratic educational system, governed by market competition, subjected to accountability measures similar to those used in the ordinary business world.

The Future of Education – Trends, Cost & Technology

While Hess presents evidence that the problem in higher education is not underfunding but efficiency in spending, the argument he makes that schools can only reformed and flourish through the laws of market competition is not adequately backed up as there are plenty of examples in many industrial sectors, where the actual implementation of market competition instead of opening up opportunities for the more disadvantaged, has finally generated huge multinationals corporations, which operate in a rather monopolistic or at best oligopolistic environment, satisfying their own interests on the expense of the most deprived and disadvantaged members of the society.

Hess indeed believes that the US educational system apart from preparing students for the labour market has a social role to fulfil. Creating rigorous standards for basic knowledge in all US schools is a goal that is sound and rather achievable. However, when such goals are based on a Darwinian like competition and coercion where only the fittest can survive they become rather inapplicable for satisfying the needs of human development, equity and sustainable social progress.

The Micro system involves activities and roles that are experienced through interpersonal relationships such as the family, schools, religious or social institutions or any interactions with peers. The meso system includes the relationships developed between the various microsystem components, such as the relationship between school and workplace or family and schools.

The exosystem comprises various interactions between systems that the person who is in the process of development does not directly participates but influence the way microsystems function and impact on the person. Some examples of exosystems are the relationships between family and peers of the developing person, family and schools, etc.

Globalizing Education: Trends and Applications – Wabash Center

The macrosystem incorporates all these things that can be considered as cultural environment and social context in which the developing person lives. Finally, the chronosystem introduces a time dimension, which encompasses all other sub-systems, subjecting them to the changes occurred through time.


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All these systems constantly interact, shaping a dynamic, complex but also natural ecological environment, in which a person develops its understanding of the world. Finally, Bronfenbrenner is also an advocate that poverty and social inequalities are developed not because of differences in individual characteristics and capabilities but because of institutional constraints that are insurmountable to those from a lower socio-economic background. Freire , criticizes the way schooling is delivered in contemporary societies.

mevathesandro.tk This approach sees the knowledge acquired within the institutional premises of formal education as an absolute truth, where reality is perceived as something static aiming to preserve the status quo in education and in turn in society and satisfy the interests of the elite. This actual power play means that those who hold knowledge and accept its acquiring procedure as static, become the oppressors whereas those who either lack knowledge or even hold it but challenge it in order to transform it, the oppressed. From the one side the oppressors achieve to maintain their dominance over the oppressed and on the other side the oppressed accept their inferior role as an unchallenged normality where their destiny is predetermined and can never be transformed.

Therefore, through this distinction of social roles, social inequalities are maintained and even intensified through time. What we actually know today cannot determine our future social roles, neither can prohibit individuals from challenging and transforming it into something new Freire, ; Giroux, ; Darder, The banking education approach resembles very much the ethos of the human capital theory, where individuals utilise educational attainment as an investment instrument for succeeding higher wages in the future and also climb the levels of social hierarchy.

The assumption of linearity between past individual actions and future economic and social outcomes is at the core of banking education and thus human capital theory. However, this assumption introduces a serious logical fallacy that surprisingly policy makers seem to value very little nowadays, at least in the Western societies.

This is the process of problem-posing education , which aligns its meaning with the intrinsic view of education that regards human development as mainly detached from the acquisition of material objects and accumulation of wealth through increased levels of educational attainment. Originated in Germany, the term Bildung —at least as this was interpreted from 18 th century onwards, after Middle Ages era where everything was explained in the prism of a strict and theocratic society- shaped the philosophy by which the German educational system has been functioning even until nowadays Waters, Bildung aims to provide the individual education with the appropriate context, through which can reach high levels of professional development as well as citizenship.

It is a term strongly associated with the liberation of mind from superstition and social stereotypes. Education is assumed to have philosophical underpinnings but it needs, as philosophy itself as a whole does too, to be of some practical use and therefore some context needs to be provided Footnote 3 Herder, For Goethe Bildung , is a self-realisation process that the individual undertakes under a specific context, which aims to inculcate altruism where individual actions are consider benevolent only if they are able to serve the general society.

Although Bildung tradition, from the one hand, assumes that educational process should be contextualised, it approach context as something fluid that is constantly changing. Therefore, it sees education as an interactive and dynamic process, where roles are predetermined; however at the same time they are also amenable to constant transformation Hegel, Consequently, this means that Bildung tradition is more closely to what Freire calls problem-posing education and therefore to the intrinsic notion of education.

Weber , looked on the Bildung tradition as a means to educate scientists to be involved in policy making and overcome the problems of ineffective bureaucracy. Waters based on his experiences with teaching in German higher education argue that the Bildung tradition is still apparent today in the educational system in Germany. However, higher education, as an institution, involves students, teachers, administrators, policy makers, workers, businessmen, marketers and generally, individuals with various social roles, different demographic characteristics and even different socio-economic backgrounds.

It comes natural that their interests can be conflicting and thus, they perceive the purpose of higher education differently. Higher education enrolment rates have been continuously rising for the last 30 years. In Europe, and especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, policies are directed towards widening the access to higher education to a broader population Bowl, However, it is very difficult for policy-makers to design a framework towards openness in higher education, mainly due to the heterogeneity of the population the policies are targeted upon.

Such population includes individuals from various socio-economic, demographic, ethnic, innate ability, talent orientation or disability groups, as well as people with very different social commitments and therefore the vested interests of each group contradict each other, rendering policy-making an extremely complicated task CFE and Edge Hill University, As Williams : 18 notes in one of this essays:.

Chang et al. In most cases, students hold a more pragmatic and instrumental understanding towards the purpose of higher education, primarily aiming for a better-paid and high quality jobs. Arum and Roksa claim that students during their studies in higher education make no real progress in critical thinking and complex problem-solving. These findings question the validity of the instrumental view in higher education as it seems that those that are intrinsically motivated to attend higher education, end up performing much better in higher education and also later on in the labour market.

Therefore, in practice, the theoretical rivalry between the intrinsic and instrumental approach operate in a rather dialectic manner, where interactions between social actors move towards a convergence, despite the focus given by policy makers on the instrumental view. Bourdieu , , , based on his radical democratic politics, argued that education inequalities are just a transformation of social inequalities and a way of reproduction of social status quo. Aronowitz acknowledged that the main function of public education in the US is to prepare students to meet the changes, occurred in contemporary workplaces.

Even if this instrumental model involves the broad expansion of educational attainment, it also fails to alleviate class-based inequalities. More recently, similar findings from various countries are very common in the literature Chapman et al.

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Gouthro argues that there has been a misrepresentation of the basic notions that characterise the purpose of education, such as critical thinking, justice and equity. Finally, they call for a radical structural reform on educational systems worldwide, where the relationship between various social communities and the state is based on social justice and not on power. Brown and Lauder investigated the impact of the fundamental changes on education, as related to the influence that various socio-economic and cultural factors have on policy making.

Remaining sceptical against the empirical validity of human capital theory, they conclude that it cannot be guaranteed that graduates will secure employment and higher wages. Increasing incidences of over-education, due to an ever-increasing supply of graduates compared to the relatively modest growth rates of high-skilled jobs, have also been observed.