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Wesleyan University Philippines

Maria Aurora, Aurora

First Semester 2014-2015

Sociological Analysis of Educational Problems


Reporter CHRISTOPHER G. MARMOL Ed.D student

What do I need to
At the end of this lesson, the learner should be able to:
Define Sociology
Discuss the Relationship of Sociology to Other Disciplines
Enumerate Four Interrelated Forms of Critical Analysis that Have
Influenced Recent Thinking About Educational Matters
What do I need to
Sociology is a discipline or field of inquiry that provides particular frameworks
through which we can make sense of questions like those outlined above as well
as of the diverse responses that they generate. Sociologists are interested in
education because it is so central to human social experience, to our direct and
indirect relations with other people. Education, in its various guises, conveys
important insights about particular kinds of societies and the people within them.
The analysis of educational structures, practices, and outcomes can help us to
understand, for example, what kinds of values, beliefs, and ideologies prevail in a
given society, how people come to learn about and become organized within
particular social structures and how open and democratic that society is.

Relationship of Sociology to Other Disciplines
Sociology is the investigation of the relationships between individuals and society.
It examines how social structures (relatively enduring patterns of social
organization) and social practices (ongoing social activity) both shape and are
shaped by human beings. It is scientific discipline in the sense that it is based on
research and theories that attempt, in a systematic and organized manner, to
describe and explain important features of social reality. Sociologists analyze such
institutions as schools, families, economic and political organizations, religion, the
mass media, and the criminal justice system, as well as interpersonal relations,
small groups, informal social practices, and much broader and sometimes less
visible social forces, such as power and control.
In its scope and methods, sociology overlaps with and draws on several other
disciplines and fields of inquiry. Sociology or particular subfields of the discipline
can share much in common with such other social sciences as:
Political science
Studies in the humanities such as history and philosophy
Interdisciplinary approaches in such areas as Native studies, womens
studies, environmental studies, cultural studies, and regional studies

Some sociological work is influenced by and influences other fields of inquiry
Policy studies
Administrative studies

Boundaries between disciplines are somewhat flexible, so that it may seem that the
only clear distinction between areas is evident in the field by which people identify
themselves (e.g. psychologists, educational administrators, and sociologists may
all use similar methods to conduct research into the question of why some students
drop out school). However, this involves the recognition that each discipline is
constituted around core questions and approaches that can clearly be
distinguished from one another. In the example noted above, the psychologist may
be most interested in identifying the personality characteristics of school dropouts
in comparison with students who stay in school; the researcher in educational
administration may be most concerned with identifying ways to keep students in
school longer; and the sociologist may be most interested in determining how
characteristics of school organization contribute to the dropout phenomenon.

Four Interrelated Forms of Critical Analysis that Have Influenced Recent
Thinking About Educational Matters
Critical educational perspectives are able to demonstrate their resiliency when they
identify issues and present analytical tools that not only advance our understanding
of social problems but also seek to find effective solutions to them.
Critical Pedagogy
Critical pedagogy is influenced by several critical traditions and motivated
by the desire to integrate educational theory and educational practice. Like
Marxism and feminism, its advocates emphasize the deeply rooted power
imbalances and social inequalities that infuse schooling structures and
processes. In common with interpretative and postmodern analysis, critical
pedagogy also stresses the symbolic importance of knowledge, language,
and social action within educational practices. Education has both cultural
and economic significance as a mechanism that gives shape and meaning
to peoples life experiences, thereby reinforcing the privileges of
advantaged groups relative to powerless segments of society. Educational
practices, according to critical pedagogy, must be restructured to represent
the voices and experiences of all social groups, not just those who have
sufficient resources and power to advance their own interests.
Feminist Pedagogy
Feminist pedagogy, like critical pedagogy, challenges the common view
that education is neutral, and commits itself to transform the education
system as a consequence of the critique it offers. Feminist pedagogy
argues that educational theory and practice must take into account the
differential experiences, life chances, and ways of knowing that prevail for
men and women in society. As teachers, mothers, and students, women
tend to be excluded from key roles in educational decision-making and
research, which thereby serves both to reflect and to perpetuate their
socio-economic subordination relative to men. As a basis for achieving the
true function of education, which is the empowerment of human beings,
feminist pedagogy seeks to sensitize education, students, and researchers
to the ways in which gender structures mens and womens lives.
Anti-Racism Education
Educational approaches informed by anti-racism emphasize the powerful
social impact of inequalities and ideologies based on race. Anti-racism
education aligns itself with critical and feminist pedagogies in its quest to
empower marginalized persons, while it shares with political economy a
critique of material circumstances that produce fundamental social
inequalities. Educational institutions and the knowledge and practices
associated with them are implicated in the production and legitimation or
racial discrimination and other forms of racism. However, schooling and
post-secondary education can play a crucial role in working to address
these problems.
Political Economy
Political economy stresses the interrelationships that prevail among the
various segments of society, including the economic, political, and social
realms. Like other approaches, there are various strands within political
economy, ranging from traditional and liberal thought to orthodox Marxist
perspectives. More recent political economic analysis, informed by
practices associated with globalization, has shifted in focus from education
in specific national or regional settings in order to understand linkages with
comparative and international dimensions of education.
What do I need to
Sociology makes a scientific study of society: Prior to the emergence of
sociology the study of society was carried on in an unscientific manner and society
had never been the central concern of any science. It is through the study of
sociology that the truly scientific study of the society has been possible. Sociology
because of its bearing upon many of the problems of the present world has
assumed such a great importance that it is considered to be the best approach to al
the social sciences.
Sociology studies role of the institutions in the development of the
individuals: It is through sociology that scientific study of the great social
institutions and the relation of the individual to each is being made. The home and
family ,the school and education, the church and religion, the state and government
,industry and work ,the community and association, these are institutions through
which society functions. Sociology studies these institutions and their role in the
development of the individual and suggests suitable measures for restrengthening
them with a view to enable them to serve the individual better.
Study of sociology is indispensable for understanding and planning of
society: Society is a complex phenomenon with a multitude of intricacies. It is
impossible to understand and solve its numerous problems without support of
sociology. It is rightly said that we cannot understand and mend society without any
knowledge of its mechanism and construction. Without the investigation carried out
by sociology no real effective social planning would be possible. It helps us to
determine the most efficient means for reaching the goals agreed upon. A certain
amount of knowledge about society is necessary before any social policies can be
carried out.
Sociology is of great importance in the solution of social problems: The
present world is suffering from many problems which can be solved through
scientific study of the society. It is the task of sociology to study the social problems
through the methods of scientific research and to find out solution to them. The
scientific study of human affairs will ultimately provide the body of knowledge and
principles that will enable us to control the conditions of social life and improve
Sociology has drawn our attention to the intrinsic worth and dignity of man:
Sociology has been instrumental in changing our attitude towards human beings. In
a specialized society we are al limited as to the amount of the whole organization
and culture that we can experience directly. We can hardly know the people of
other areas intimately. In order to have insight into and appreciation of the motives
by which others live and the conditions under which they exist knowledge of
sociology is essential.
Sociology has changed our outlook with regard to the problems of crime etc:
It is through the study of sociology that our whole outlook on various aspects of
crime has change. The criminals are now treated as human beings suffering from
mental deficiencies and efforts are accordingly made to rehabilitate them as useful
members of the society.
Sociology has made great contribution to enrich human culture: Human
culture has been made richer by the contribution of sociology. The social
phenomenon is now understood in the light of scientific knowledge and enquiry.
According to Lowie most of us harbour the comfortable delusion that our way of
doing things is the only sensible if not only possible one. Sociology has given us
training to have rational approach to questions concerning oneself, one's religion,
customs, morals and institutions. It has further taught us to be objective, critical and
dispassionate. It enables man to have better understanding both of him and of
others. By comparative study of societies and groups other than his existence, his
life becomes richer and fuller than it would otherwise be. Sociology also impresses
upon us the necessity of overcoming narrow personal prejudices, ambitions and
class hatred.
Sociology is of great importance in the solution of international problems:
The progress made by physical sciences has brought the nations of the world
nearer to each other. But in the social field the world has been left behind by the
revolutionary progress of the science. The world is divided politically giving rise to
stress and conflict. Men have failed to bring in peace. Sociology can help us in
understanding the underlying causes and tensions. The value of sociology lies in
the fact that it keeps us update on modern situations: It contributes to making god
citizens and finding solutions to the community problems. It adds to the knowledge
of the society. It helps the individual find his relation to society. The study of social
phenomena and of the ways and means of promoting what Gidens calls social
adequacy is one of the most urgent needs of the modern society. Sociology has a
strong appeal to all types of mind through its direct bearing upon many of the initial
problems of the present world.

What does research
say about this?
Thinkers occupy a prime position in the development of any discipline, especially
so in the social sciences. Sociology 'is no exception to this rule, and in its
emergence and develop a plethora of social thinkers have made their contributions.
Systematic study of sociology a science, particularly, as a separate discipline,
originated with Insider Auguste Francois M Xavier Comte during nineteenth
century. It is during this period modern sociology emerged the places like France,
Germany and England. Since then, galaxies of thinkers and writ have contributed
to the development of sociological thought. Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer Emile
Durkheim and Max Weber are the four men who are regarded as the central figures
founding fathers and the great masters of sociological thought in the Development
of mod sociology.'
Auguste Comte, a volatile Frenchman, philosopher, moralist and sociologist,
traditionally regarded as the father of sociology. He coined the term sociology and
bee father of sociology. He tried to create a new science of society, which would
not only explain the past of mankind but also predict its future course. Auguste
Comte was born in France the year 1798. He invented a new discipline which he
called at first social physics and changed it to sociology thereafter. "Auguste Comte
may be considered as first and foremost, sociologist of human and social unity" so
writes the French sociologist Raymond Aron. Important works are:
(1) Positive Philosophy (1830-42).
(2) Systems of positive polity (1851 -54)
(3) Religion of Humanity (1856).
His contribution to sociology can be divided into four categories. They are namely:-
(1) Classification and ordering of social sciences.
(2) The nature, method and scope of sociology.
(3) The law of three stages.
(4) The plan for social reconstruction.
(5) Positivism.

Auguste Comte was the first person to proclaim Law of Three stages, which
became the corner stone of his thought. Of course, this famous law had been
borrowed from R. J. Turgot, Y. B. Vico and Saint-Simon. The law states that human
thought has undergone three separate stages in its evolution and development.
According to him human thought as well as social progress pass through three
important stages. These three stages are the universal law of human progress.
These three stages are common in case of the development of human knowledge
as well as social evolution. Human individual is a staunch believer during
childhood, then becomes a critical metaphysician in adolescence and becomes a
natural Philosopher during manhood. A similar case of development takes place in
case of human society. Law of Three Stages not only talks about the progressive
transformation of society but also explain the transformation in minds of the people.
The evolution of human mind goes hand in hand with a typical form of organisation
of society. The period of growth and development in society is known as:
(1) Theological or Fictitious stage.
(2) Metaphysical' or Abstract stage.
(3) Positive or Scientific stage.
Comte stated that each succeeding stage is superior to the earlier stage.

Theological or Fictitious Stage:
During the primitive stage, the early man believed that all phenomena of nature are
the creation of the divine or supernatural. The primitive man and children do not
have the scientific outlook, therefore it is characterised by unscientific outlook. They
failed to discover the natural causes of various phenomena and hence attributed
them to supernatural or divine power. For example, primitive men saw God
everywhere in nature. They supposed that excess or deficiency of rain due to
Godly wrath; such a casual explanation would be in terms of theological or fictitious
explanation. The theological stage of thinking may be divided into three sub-stages
such as
a) Fetishism.
b) Polytheism.
c) Monotheism.
a) Fetishism was the primary stage of theological stage of thinking. During this
period primitive people believed that there is a living spirit in the nonliving objects.
This is otherwise known as animism. People worshipped inanimate objects like
tress, stones, a piece of wood, etc. These objects are considered as Fetish.
b) Polytheism means believing in many Gods. Primitive people believed that
different Gods control different natural forces. Each God had some definite function
and his scope and area of action was determined. For example, God of water, God
of rain and God of fire, God of air, etc.
c) Monotheism is the last and the most developed form of theological thinking.
Monotheism means believing in one God or God in one.

Metaphysical or Abstract stage: -
Metaphysical stage is an extension of theological stage. During this period, reason
and rationality was growing. Reason replaced imagination. People tried to believe
that God is an abstract being. Soul is the spark of divine power i.e. inform of
abstract forces. It is believed that an abstract power or force guides and determines
the events in the world. Metaphysical thinking discards belief in concrete God. The
nature of enquiry was legal and rational in nature. For example; Classical Hindu
Indian society where the principle of transmigration of soul, the conception of
rebirth, notions of pursuant has were largely governed by metaphysical uphill.

Positive or Scientific Stage:
This positive stage is also known a scientific stage. The dawn of 19th century
marked the beginning of this stage. It is characterised by scientific knowledge. In
this stage, human mind gave up the taken for granted approach. At this stage,
human mind tried to establish cause and affect relationship. Scientific knowledge is
based on facts. Facts are collected by observation and classification of
Positivism is a purely intellectual way of looking at the world. Positivism
emphasises on observation and classification of data and facts. One can observe
uniformities or laws about natural as well as social phenomena. Positivistic thinking
is best suited to the need of industrial society.

The concept rational doesn't have universal meanings, what is rational to one
society may not be to society another.
Max Weber advocates that the nature of progress of society should not be studied
by the preconceived philosophical outlines rather they should be studied form
objective and empirical stand point.

The writings of another French Writer, Emile Durkheim have had a more lasting
impact on modern sociology than those of Comte. Indeed, he became the pioneer
in giving sociology the status of a science and its our method of study. Durkheim
was born in Lorraine of France in 1858. He was the only founding father who could
occupy the part of Professor of Sociology. Although he drew an aspect of Comte's
work, Durkheim thought that many of his predecessor's ideas were too speculative
and vague. To become scientific, according to Durkheim, sociology must study
social facts, i.e. aspects of social life that shape our actions as individuals.
Like the other major founders of sociology, Durkheim was preoccupied with the
changes transforming society in his own lifetime. His major writings are 'The
Division of Labour', 'the rules of sociological method', 'Suicide' and 'The Elementary
forms of religious life'.

One of Durkheim's most famous studies was concerned with the analysis of suicide
(Durkheim 1952, originally published in 1897). In his book, he has given a fine
sociological analysis of suicide which is based as the theory of sociology or
collective mind. The book is praised as a research classic.
Suicide seems to be a purely personal act, the outcome of extreme person
unhappiness. But Durkheim showed that social factors exert a fundamental
influence on suicidal behavior. Durkheim defined suicide as "every case of death
resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act performed by the victim
himself, which he knows will produce this result". A positive act would be to shoot
one or to hang one. In this case, death comes as a direct result of the action. A
negative act would be to remain in a burning house or to refuse to take food to the
point of starvation. Death in this case comes to an individual indirectly.
In his classic study of suicide, he demonstrated that neither psychopathic factors,
nor hereditary, nor climate, nor imitation, nor poverty, nor unhappy love and other
personal factors are responsible for suicide. Suicide is a social fact and is due to
social forces. Individuals are compelled to commit suicide whenever the condition
of society departs from a state of balance. Society maintains balance by
"integration and "regulation". Integration refers to the extent to which individuals
experience a sense of belonging to the group or collective and "regulation" refers to
the extent to which the actions and desires of individuals are restrained by moral
values. A society, which passes too much integration and regulation, will create
four types of suicide such as egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic. Egoistic
Egoistic suicide occurs when an individual feels him too much isolated from the
social group. It results from the lack of integration of the individual into his study of
social group. It is very much seen in modern society. Our modern society which is
characterised by impersonal self centered and secondary associations leaves the
individual socially isolated and extremely cut off from the normal contacts.
Therefore, a good number of individuals commit suicide. This led Durkheim to say
that egoistic suicide is the index of social disorganisation in modern society. By
analysing suicide statistics, Durkheim found that the suicide rate was more in case
of the unmarried, widowed, divorced those without children, and those with no
strong attachments to religious, social or community groups.

Altruistic suicide:
Altruistic suicide occurs when the integration of the individual and the group is too
close and intimate so much so that he is completely controlled by the group without
any regard for his personality. Psychologically, it is based on the individual sense of
duty to sacrifice himself for the sake of larger social unity. Briefly speaking, self-
destruction is caused under pressure of the social need. This type of suicide mostly
occurs is traditional and primitive societies. According to Durham altruistic suicide
is of three types.
(I) Obligatory altruistic suicidal refers to a type of suicidal in which honour is
involved For example, the Hindu practice of sati that kills her by placing on the
funeral pyre of her dead husband.
(II) Optional altruistic suicide is praise worthy act. For example, in the case of hara-
kiri, the individual is so strongly attached to the demands of his society, that he is
willing to take his life when the norms so demand. Self-killing by army suicide
squads and self destruction by human bombs of militant groups are some of the
examples of optional suicide.
(III) Acute altruistic suicide occurs when the individual kills himself for the purpose
of joy of sacrifice and self renunciation. Self killing of Buddhist monk can be cited
as an example in this connection
Men and women who are old and invalid, women whose husbands are deed, men
and women who disgrace the group through the utter violation of sudden group
morals are socially designated for altruistic type of suicide.

Anomic Suicide
Anome is a French word which means normlessness or a state without rules or
regulations. The society fixes up norms, which prescribe the attainable goal.
Anomie describes the situation when this is framework breaks down and there is
chaos and confusion in the society.
Anomic suicide occurs when there is lack of regulation in the society. This type of
suicide is dell to a sudden breakdown of the social equilibrium such as sudden
business depression, inflation etc. Suicides occur after bankruptcies-insolvency or
even after winning a lottery are many commit suicide. It follows, therefore, that such
suicides are not only conditioned by some sudden disastrous change in the life of
an individual, but it can also be governed by some sudden change for the better in
an individual's life. The increasing poverty is not an adequate explanation of such
suicides because the suicide rate increases not only in case of poverty, but also
due to prosperity. The important fact to be noted in this connection is that many
persons are unable to adjust themselves to such sudden violent changes in their
life's organisation, whether the change is towards a happy or unhappy direction.
Under such circumstances anomic suicide moreover solves their personal
In analysing the consequences of anomie, Durkheim showed that there was a high
rate of anomic suicide among those who are wealthy as well as divorced persons.
Sudden changes in the standard of living or the breakdown of a marriage throws
life out of gear and puts norms in a flux. Like economic anomie, domestic anomie
resulting from the death of husband or wife is also the result of a destruction that
upsets the scale of life.

Fatalistic Suicide:
This occurs due to excess of social regulation. The opposite of altruistic suicide is
fatalist which arises as a result of increased control over the individual by the
group. When there was an excess or strict regulation, which become un-tolerable
then the individual commits this type of suicide. It was committed by subjects
whose futures were doomed and whose passions were choked by an oppressive
Durkheim's theory of suicide has been subjected to searching criticisms. Durkheim
has given importance to the social factors in suicide and has reduced the
importance of other factors. Durkheim's theory of suicide is said to be more
supported by argument than by fact.
This theory is based upon incomplete statistics dealing with only small numbers
many objections are raised to Durkheim's study of Suicide, but still it remains a
classics work whose relevance to sociology is by no means exhausted today.

What insights and
learning have I
gained in this topic?
The sociology of education, parallel to the educational realities it seeks to
investigate and explain, is a multi-faceted and changing endeavor. It is essential to
maintain sufficient scope and diversity in the analysis of education in order to
capture the richness of education in its various forms. At the same time, because
educational research and theory can be used to guide policy and practice, we must
ensure that our understanding of educational matters develops in a comprehensive
way, based as much as possible on complete and accurate information that is
sensitive to its potential impact on people's lives.
The task to develop a socially meaningful understanding of education is especially
daunting at a time when education faces serious challenges often considered to be
of crisis proportions. Nations growing integration into new global economic and
political alignments is forcing a reassessment of how education should best be
employed for competitive advantage. Significant changes occurring across
institutional spheres of contemporary life are accompanied by transformations of
how we engage with and make sense of our identities and our relations with social
and natural environments. Educational reform and reorganization are further
promoted through changing government priorities and operations, important
demographic and economic transformations and strategies developed in response
to issues related to regional diversity, national unity, and shifting global relation:
Media attention and public outcries periodically focused on real or imagined
concerns such as declining educational standards, intolerable illiteracy and school
dropout rates, lack of discipline and respect for authority, increasing crime rate
among young offenders, and lack of moral guidance and focus among youth have
drawn attention to the limitations of existing educational bureaucracies and the
desires for accountability and choice in schooling. Changing gender relations, new
patterns of immigration and prospects for self-determination among First Nations
have forced educational institutions to be increasingly responsive to issue of
representation, cultural diversity, and equity. Shifting arrangements and tensions
related to work, income, and family life, and transitions throughout the life course
have carried over into schooling, creating pressures for increased flexibility and
demands for new educational supports and services at the same time that
budgetary needs for public education and social services must be justified in such a
way as to ensure they do not fall behind other priorities.
What do I need to
The question has something to do with a larger system which is our country
challenged with how the high performance countries surpassed the performance of
other countries including our country in terms of their educational system. An
analysis of how these high performing countries did into their education system is
better to look and review for.

By 1980, the Republic of Korea had shifted its emphasis in education from
expansion towards a focus on quality, giving more importance to students sense
of the future and social and moral responsibilities (KEDI, 1979). The exploding
demand for schooling had resulted in overcrowded classrooms and excessive
competition for scarce places in secondary and tertiary education. The degree of
competition was felt to be harmful for learners and parents. Distance education
and adult education were expanded during the 1980s, to ease the pressure on the
regular school system. Entrance examinations were reformed or abolished.
Teachers received longer training and better incentives, while physical facilities in
schools were improved. An infrastructure of research institutes at national level
including the Korean

Notwithstanding these efforts, class size remains large, even though it has been
almost halved. In an important sense, being taught in a smaller group is a quality
gain in its own right. Whatever disadvantage larger classes entail, though, it is
overcome in the Republic of Korea through the willingness of pupils (and parents)
to make extra efforts and through pedagogies and classroom climates that facilitate
learning in large groups. Still, the Republic of Koreas first place for science, third
place for mathematics and seventh place for reading in the PISA study covering
forty-one high- and middle-income countries (OECD/UNESCO Institute for
Statistics, 2003) are remarkable, especially given PISAs adoption of more
contextual (less schoolish) testing methods. These rankings suggest that the
Republic of Korea has reached a broader interpretation of learning outcomes than
other countries, including many at higher income levels.

At an earlier stage than the Republic of Korea, Cuba was emphasizing educations
role in developing the whole individual (including physical education, sports,
recreation and artistic education) while explicitly linking education with life, work
and production (Amadio et al., 2004). Following the Cuban Revolution, education
and health care were strongly prioritized (Ritzen, 1999) to support human
development. They were seen both as desirable ends in themselves and as a
means of assuring the countrys economic and political independence. The balance
between these two types of value, which the Republic of Korea sought in the
1980s, was present in Cuba from the start of its development process.

In both countries, emulation occurs among pupils, among teachers and among
schools. For each group, incentives reward excellence, and mechanisms are in
place to make sure others benefit from the experience. An example is the colectivo
pedaggico, a group of subject teachers meeting frequently for mutual learning and
joint development of curricula, methods and materials (Gasperini, 2000: 914). The
result is an education system that stakeholders are encouraged to improve.

Canada is another country where the teaching profession is held in high esteem.
Despite teacher shortages, admission to teacher training is highly competitive and
only 10% of applicants succeed. Even pre-primary teachers need a university
degree. In-service training amounts to forty days per year in some parts of the
country; participation is often obligatory or a condition for promotion, and is
financially rewarded. A system of accreditation in Ontario, which is under
consideration elsewhere, tests teachers every five years, and those who fail lose
their teaching certificate.

Canada not only maintains high standards for teachers, it also provides a well-
developed support system. Its school development teams (at district level) and
school advisory councils (bringing local stakeholders together in support of the
school) are reminiscent of some Cuban institutions. Monitoring is a third hallmark of
Canadian education. A culture of indicator use has developed at all levels. The
performance of students, schools, districts and even provinces is tracked closely.
This is seen as a way of revealing both excellence and underperformance and as a
basis for designing policy interventions.

As in Canada, selection for teacher training is very rigorous. Every teacher has
masters degrees in two subjects. Other factors that are said to explain Finlands
high performance in PISA are its comprehensive pedagogies, students own
interests and leisure activities, the structure of the education system, school
practices and Finnish culture32 (Vlijvi et al., 2003: 4).

The experiences of these four countries suggest three common characteristics.
The first concerns teachers. High esteem for the teaching profession, thorough pre-
service training and sometimes restrictive admission, and a well-developed
constellation of in-service training, plus mechanisms for mutual learning and
teacher support are evident in all these countries. There are no concessions on
teacher quality, even where teacher shortages exist. The second is continuity of
policy. The Republic of Korea consciously sought to neutralize the impact of
political change by establishing advisory bodies. In Cuba, continuity is implied in
the political system. Canada and Finland have strong education knowledge bases
(within institutions for teacher training and support) that seem to prevent
governments changing course too frequently and radically.

Republic of Koreas determination to become and remain globally competitive,
Cubas will to defend the revolution, Canadas belief that its strength as a nation
lies in cultural diversity, and Finlands deep commitment to human development
and equality each, in its own way, has profoundly affected education policies and
outcomes. One other characteristic, in the Republic of Korea and Cuba, is an
extremely high level of energy among learners, teachers and parents. In both
countries it is associated with an atmosphere of competition, albeit from very
different standpoints and in very different forms. Whether and how this can be
mirrored in other developing country contexts is an open question.
Where can I get
additional information
about this?
reubenroth.com_papers_Wotherspoon, Chapter 1 (3rd. Edition)