Academic journal article Education

Evaluating Social and National Education Textbooks Based on the Criteria of Knowledge-Based Economy from the Perspectives of Elementary Teachers in Jordan

Academic journal article Education

Evaluating Social and National Education Textbooks Based on the Criteria of Knowledge-Based Economy from the Perspectives of Elementary Teachers in Jordan

Article excerpt

Introduction

The increasing concern as we approach the new millennium is to help our children to be successful in their lives within the complexity of their society. Currently, the basic goal of education is to provide the learner with skills to be a thoughtful, creative and caring human (Yunus, 2001). As a result the main question is that: are our children ready and well-prepared for the 21st century? The answer of this question needs a collaborative work of the policymakers, the educators, the families and the larger community to focus on the quality of our educational practices. This paper highlights the results of evaluating knowledge-based economy criteria's presence in (1st-3rd grade) social and national textbooks in Jordan from the perspective of elementary teachers.

Review of literature

Recent OECD reports stress the important role of communities in preparing for a knowledge-based economy and society by improving both their human and social capital (Alumari, 2004: Faris, 2003; Livingstone, 2005). In the 21st century people must deal with an ever-increasing amount of raw information. It is noticed that the amount of information available to us is doubling increasingly. As a result, everyday uncounted numbers of ideas, thoughts, and scientific articles appearing on the internet and other media tools (Sanchez, 2003). As educators our main concern is our children and how we as parents and educators can help them be well-prepared for this 21st century requirements (Talafha, 2009). It is not enough to prepare them academically. Our children need to be 'information literate' by enhancing their ability to read, search, find, critique and apply the information in their daily life (The Ministry of Education, 2010). The knowledge of this 21st century community is characterized by being intangible asset that has no physical form. With this in mind, our children should be critical thinkers in dealing with knowledge and open-minded regarding the useful knowledge and how it can serve them in their life (Giroux, 1996).

Knowledge-based economy is one of the key phrases that is used repeatedly in the modern society, especially in the field of education policy discourse (Rinne, 2007). Knowledge-based economy; as a source of economy that depends on using, implementing, creating, and producing knowledge that improve the quality of life by using technology implications and human resources (Arabeyat, 2005); is one of the new implemented trends in the field of education in Jordan. This topic resonates to the global belief that knowledge economy is the most important source of economy in the 21st century (Galbreath, 1999; Livingstone & Sawchuk, 2005). Focusing on Knowledge-based economy is particularly powerful because it is related to the real issues of local communities. It is a road-map for active learning by all who wish to play more effective roles as citizens, workers and family members (Faris, 2003). The ministry of education in Jordan attempts to implement this trend's philosophy in its textbooks. The objective of doing so is to transform the education system at the early childhood, basic, and secondary levels to produce graduates with the skills needed for the knowledge economy (The Ministry of Education, 2003).

Research methods

This study examined the extent to which the (1st-3rd grade) social and educational textbooks in Jordan reflect the criteria of knowledge-based economy from the perspective of elementary teachers. The questions posed were: (1) As a teacher what is your evaluation of knowledge-based economy criteria's presence in the (1st to 3rd grade) social and educational textbooks? (2) Is there a difference in the extent of presence of knowledge-based economy criteria in each grade level?

The researchers used the descriptive approach screening, so as to be relevant to the objectives of the present study. The quantitative questionnaire addressed evaluation criteria of the textbooks that include five criteria. …

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