IDSA01 Chapter 21 Notes.docx

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International Development Studies
Leslie Chan

IDSA01 Introduction to International Development Chapter 21-Education and Development: The Perennial Contradictions of Policy Discourse Education for Development: Competing Perspectives  it is commonly agreed that education and international development are interconnected reflected in the intertwined policies  two contradictory perspectives (utilitarian vs transformative) about the purpose and nature of education to development:  education entails the transmission of knowledge and skills necessary for the purposes of economic growth and national unity  education as a social investment designed to ensure that succeeding generations are able to assume their place as productive citizens within an established socio-economic order  enforces the notion of development as a linear process of growth defined by governing elites and implemented by those with technical expertise  education is viewed as a competitive process with direct implications for the financial security and social status of individuals  education as a force for transforming aspects of societal arrangements that perpetuate inequality and social injustice  role of education in empowering disenfranchised social groups to challenge and radically alter prevailing structures and processes that have reinforced their marginalized status  the economic and political status quo is never fully equitable, skewed in favour of those endowed with wealth and power, often to the detriment of the poor and politically marginalized groups The Era of Educational Consensus and Expansion  in the late 1950s during the Cold War and after the demise of colonial regimes, state-funded schooling began to be viewed as a critical investment in modernization and economic growth proved by empirical studies  the role of education as a form of human capital development was also substantiated by the analysis that showed positive returns for higher levels of schooling  underlying the popular demand for publicly funded education was the assumption that schooling was a significant vehicle that led to opportunities for the individual social and economic advancement and helped reduce traditional inequalities (“trickle-down” processes would facilitate the achievement of the goals of increased equality and social justice)  thus education was not only a means to achieve broadly defined objectives of economic and social development but became a political end The Tarnished Promise: Educational Crisis and the Erosion of Consensual Discourse  by the early 1980s the synergy of utilitarian and transformative perspectives of education as a basis for national development began to unravel  population increases, rising levels of migration and urbanization, economic recession, national indebtedness and SAPs saw a decline in the capacity of government to maintain national economies and to finance social services  in wake of growing fiscal and monetary constraints many governments at the behest of international lenders were compelled to reduce or cap their education expenditures, dropping the entire burden of education (tuition fees, textbook, uniforms, etc.) on families  at the same time the quality of education and its relevance were brought into question, as well as increased criticism against teachers  with governments caught in the squeeze of SAPs and a neoliberal ethos extoling market dynamics as more effective than state directed approaches to development, the ideal of education as a force for progressive social transformation was overshadowed by the notion of education as a competition from which no individual, community or nation was immune—the function of education was to sustain and legitimize the socio-economic privileges of affluent social groups (privatization of schools)—shift to a predominantly utilitarian view of education The Jomtien Conference and the Vision of Education for All  the Jomtien conference focused on basic education and reconciled the utilitarian and transformative perspectives in that while education was important for economic development, it was also important for the full development of human potential and for improvements in the livelihoods of millions  goal of EFA (Education for All) by 2000, the EFA declaration endorsed the view that education should adjust to and accommodate differences in culture, language, experience and gender among learners and that education should be available to underserved populations  education could no longer be regarded as the responsibility of the central governments alone and there was a push for the decentralization of educational administration and for greater civil society participation in the delivery of education  the Jomtien EFA Declaration with emphasis on education as a force for social
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