ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Philip G AltbachSubscribe to Philip G Altbach

Education as Agent of Change

Education as Agent of Change Philip G Altbach Education and Social Change by Edmund J King; Permagon Press, Oxford, THIS book is another product of the realisation by social scientists of the importance of education in social and political change and in economic development, Scholarly interest in the implications of education as an agent of change is a relatively recent phenomenon but the appearance of educational consultants, and the attention paid to education by such diverse agencies as the US Office of Economic Opportunity and the Ministry of Education of Indonesia testify to its importance as a means of social change. Edmund King's modest introductory volume attempts to place some of the key issues of education and social change in the cross;Cultura1 perspective. He links the changing school system to revolutionary developments taking place in almost every society, and seems to feel that education is an instrument of social change rather than an initiator of such change. King puts the "educational revolution" in a historical perspective. Nations first realised that education could be used as a conscious instrument of social policy in the early nineteenth century, when both revolutionary France and feudal Prussia harnessed education for their own purposes. Later, America and the Soviet Union used the school system for social purposes, in the former case to "mould a nation out of divergent immigrant groups'' and the latter to build the bases of a "socialist" society. The first non-Western nation to successfully harness education was Japan, which King only cursorily considers. The advancement of education in most nations was a long and often difficult process, as King points out. His detailed discussion of England's efforts to fully utilise education as an instrument of social policy shows that traditional views of education, divergent interest groups and classes within the society, and political forces all combined to slow educational progress.

A Policy of Misunderstanding

Philip G Altbach Containment and Revolution, edited by David Horowitz; Boston: Beacon THIS volume, the first in a series of "Studies in Imperialism and the Cold War" issued by the Bertrand Russell Centre for Social Research in London is a multi-faceted analysis of America's role in the world in the twentieth century. It is essentially a clear and generally well-documented indictment of American foreign policy in such diverse areas as post-revolutionary Russia, the Greek civil war, China in the 1940s, and Vietnam. The theme is clear: the United States has played a negative and reactionary role throughout the present century. While the essays in this volume arc basically interested in analysing the negative aspects of United States policy, they often fail to deal with the roles of other powers which had an impact on the shaping of American policies and the authors are not very much concerned with internal American politics. Nevertheless, the volume does present a number of themes in American foreign relations, and is rather convincing for the most part.

Neo-Colonialism in Education

secular state, and all communities which have thought it prudent or necessary to And a place for themselves within the nation as religious, cultural and political units have been reviewing their position. In spite of the existence of a Muslim League in the South, there is no evidence of the Indian Muslims desiring to organise themselves as a political party." Nothing can be farther from the truth. Unfortunately, Indian Muslims have not yet tried to merge into the Indian political system. On the contrary, they are increasingly trying to consolidate themselves politically so as to influence the political process directly. The most obvious indication of the tendency towards political consolidation by Indian Muslims is provided by the emergence of the Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat as a strong Muslim organisation in the North Indian region. There are reports that, apart from trying to organise Muslims politically, the Majlis is opening up banks for Muslims and starting an organisation on the pattern of the Red Cross for the welfare of the community.

Veering Right

Emigre THE EMIGRE needs neither sympathy nor pity (Ashok Rudra, October 8); what he needs is to be understood. In describing his unfortunate experience in India ("A Passage from India'', October 1), the emigre was not soliciting sympathy, but drawing pointed attention to the reasons why so many highly-qualified scientists, engineers and economists decide to stay and work abroad. What was the emigre's experience? He came to India with the offer of a job virtually in his pocket only to find those who had made the offer go back on it. He tried elsewhere, but in vain. So six months after he landed in the country he was still without a job. Does it show any special lack of affection for the country that, after this, the emigre felt frustrated and decided to go back? How many of those whose badge of patriotism is that they remain in this country will pay a higher price for their love of India, if they had attractive opportunities waiting for them outside?

Black Power and the US Civil Rights Movement

September 24, 1966 ership after the election. He is determined to withstand the onslaught of Sanjeeva Reddi and Sanjivaiah who he thinks have no business to interfere in the affairs of the State Congress and the State Legislature Party and are distorting the situation in Andhra Congress for purposes of their own.


Back to Top