Education and the Middle East revolutions

06 Mar 2011

 An interesting article has just appeared on the National Education Trust's website examining the influence of Islamic traditions of education on the current unrest in the Middle East.

In it Michael Lightfoot, who's currently lecturing in Bahrain, argues that the Islamic concept of the educational process operates in favour of students acquiring 'received wisdom and convention' but does not encourage the questioning of authority.

 As Lightfoot puts it:

'For Islamic educationalists there is no discrepancy between ‘revealed’ and ‘acquired’
knowledge, it is a seamless entity. However, within their pedagogic tradition there is
no dialogue between the learner and the teacher, nor is there any questioning of
authority and religious conventions, and it is these aspects which are difficult to
reconcile with the discourse surrounding the knowledge economy.
'

It follows, he argues, that these traditions have enabled absolute rulers to hold onto power for so long.

It is also why, he says, the revolutions in the Middle East are very different from those in Easter Europe.

The full article is here: www.nationaleducationtrust.net/ShapingIdeasShapingLives109.php

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