Education and Modernization in the Middle East

Education and Modernization in the Middle East

Education and Modernization in the Middle East

Education and Modernization in the Middle East

Excerpt

Much has been written about the Middle East in recent years, and works on historical and contemporary aspects proliferate.Yet anyone who analyzes this output will become aware that many important topics have not received the attention they deserve. Rather surprisingly, education is one of these neglected subjects, even though the role that education plays in modernization has become a topic of concern to scholars and government officials alike. Despite its prominence and its importance in the political, social, economic, and cultural development of the Middle East, education has not been the topic of a regional study in any language for many years.

The extent to which education in the Middle East has been overlooked was brought home to me when I began to investigate various aspects of modernization related to educational processes, and I could find few detailed or analytical materials on either the historical or the contemporary role of education in the area.At this time, I had the good fortune to meet Professor Andreas Kazamias, whose own work on Turkey has provided us with a pioneering single-country study, and he encouraged me to undertake a study to fill the gap.

Because of my training and interests, I was naturally inclined to use the methodology of comparative analysis and to look at education, not in the formal structural way that characterized the work of so many educators until very recent times, but rather in terms of how education in the Middle East has functioned both as an object of change and as an agent of change.It is from this perspective that I have tried to examine education in historical and contemporary societies to demonstrate the relationship between education and modernization in the Middle East.

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