Article Review: Globalization and Its Impact on Education

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Globalization & Education ROL

Review of Literature: Globalization and Education

Globalization has had far reaching effects in both the negative and the positive, with regard to economics, social development, infrastructural development and last but certainly not least education. For the most part globalization has been fundamentally coined the "great equalizer" in the sense that it has begun to profoundly illuminate disparities in nearly every area of humanity and education. According to many experts, education will be the tool that will reduce and potentially someday eliminate many of these inequalities, yet there is also a significant debate about how this process will play out and if the education system is up to the task. This work will review several scholarly articles which address the issues associated with globalization and education.

To open the review one must first attempt to understand the varied debates regarding how globalization is effecting and will effect education. One scholar observes, rather eloquently that the debate associated with this issue, as with the issue of globalization itself, demonstrates two competing camps. One list of scholars and experts believing that globalization with create convergence in education, where the system will become universalized and answer the questions of disparity and another camp that stresses that divergence, where the system will simply exacerbate the obvious disparities in education between regions and nations. in, Globalization and higher education organizational change: A framework for analysis Vaira then stresses that both opinions have points of truth and that instead of looking at the situation as an either or scenario we should be looking more closely at the institutional changes that will occur as a change process associated with the various contexts of each institution as well as the variance of demands on the education system in a globalizing society. (Vaira, 2004) This work then sets the stage for reviewing such change processes with regard to the effects of globalization, where the education system must develop future producers in the global economy rather than individuals working within the context of only their own society.

In Globalisation and Higher Education Restructuring in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China, Ka-Ho Mok first sets the stage for change, expressing that the global economy has weakened the power of the state, as well as developed a sense of market competitiveness among nations, many of whom must now seek to develop change within the public institutions of their nations to allow them to compete in the global environment. The education system is ultimately one of the first of these institutions to be addressed, as first they have undergone a shift from a traditional pedagogy of education to one that is accountable in a market sense. In Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China, Mok contends that this change has left the education system at a crossroads, where the system is no longer expected to produce instruments of social change but is required to develop qualified manpower for the global economy:

…the role of universities has changed in such a way that they act less as critics of society but more as servants responding to the needs of the economy, while contracting its main functions to supply qualified manpower and undergoing applied research in response to market demands. In reality, universities are at a crossroad between the alleged democracy of a whimsical collegiality and the problematic efficiency of a hard-nosed managerialism (Dearlove, 1995). (Mok, 2003, p. 119)

This emphasis is then detailed by the author through an observation of the three reviewed systems, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China have begun through adopting the accountability standards that begin with structured reviews of the system and then transformational redevelopment to better meet the needs of the global market demands of stakeholders and most importantly within the local context. The three areas of discovery were all seeking to improve/reform education, reflective of demands of the particular nation. Taiwan with the focus on reversing isolationist histories, Mainland China with the need align the education system with the emerging market economy and Hong Kong to align education to the managerial standards begun in 1989. The point that the researcher makes is that each nation and/or region will likely respond to globalization, as it reflects on education in a different manner, a manner reflective of the perceived need of that nation or region to better respond to global demands. Mok stresses that as we address the issue be must see difference in response to global impetus as a constant between nations, not as a homogenizing force for global change. (Mok, 2003)

Similarly, the Japanese scholar Jie Qi in, Globalization, Citizenship and Educational Reform (2009) stresses that although Japan has developed a rhetorical system that reforms education to respond to globalization this same reform base frequently stresses a legitimization of nationalism. Qi stresses that Japan was an early convert to the idea of globalization, then referred to as internationalization and that in the education system reforms responding to Japan as a global competitor are rampant. Qi makes clear that the more globalized the society becomes with regard to market and structure the more important it seems to be to make sure that the globalization model includes the embracing of Japanese culture and the spread of that culture to the rest of the world. So, while a responsible Japanese person educated in the system is participator in the local and global market he or she is fundamentally and constantly reminded of his or her own cultural history and its importance. Qi in fact synopsizes the New Fundamental Law of Education passed in 2006 by the Japanese legislature as encompassing these three fundamental needs of the Japanese educated person:

1. Relevant knowledge and abilities which make it possible to think with an international and global perspective; 2. The language ability to communicate with members of other cultures, power of expression, cosmopolitan etiquette and knowledge; and 3. Broad and profound knowledge about Japan with which one can explain persuasively about Japan's history, traditions, culture, society and other aspects (NCER, 1987, p. 94). (Qi, 2009, p. 6)

His point is that the Japanese education system, in responding to globalization also fully responded to the potential loss of Japanese culture that might result from it, and in so doing bolstered a fierce sense of nationalism, which many believe to be the antithesis of globalization.

Again in agreement with the above theorists, Maura Striano in Managing Educational Transformation in the Globalized World: A Deweyan Perspective points out that in the education system, particulary in the U.S. today we are seeing two common yet seemingly divergent trends

One is the passage from national control to transnational control and guidance. The other trend is a progressive decentralization of the governance of educational systems, which is strictly connected with a tendency toward privatization of educational institutions and practices (see, for example, the growing phenomenon of home schooling) as well as the involvement of other agents in the educational process. (Striano, 2009, p. 381)

Striano contends that though seemingly divergent they are both trends that are reflective of the very nature of globalization as a dynamic process and also fit well in the theoretical works of Dewey, thought of as the father of modern education, as both trends are responsive to the need for educational transformation and are contextual to the needs of the context of culture as it expands to homogenize and ultimately become responsible for retaining its own individuality.

Bringing the discussion full circle one must look at the work of Kenan Cayir the Turkish theorist who in analyzing new reformed Turkish curriculum in preparation for Turkey's proposed entrance in the European Union developed a sense of globalization as reforming tool that should not and cannot eradicate individual context and national/personal cultural identity, Cayir's recurring thesis is that the role of education is to create… [END OF PREVIEW]

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