Pax Academia

Why don’t we have a uniform education system across the globe? Now of course, it is unlikely that History say, or Religious Studies, will ever be made homogeneous worldwide (although I would wholly advocate an all-encompassing impartial treatment to that effect), but what about the rest? Why isn’t mathematics taught the same in Mumbai as in Marrakesh? Biology not the same in Bosnia and Botswana? In higher education, the fields of science and engineering are colossal international collaborations, with all participants reading very much from the same hymnbook.  Thus, it seems strange to me that we provide future academics (schoolchildren) with such disparate training across countries, both in terms of content and style.  Universities are left to redress the inequalities left over from school. This is certainly a hindrance and puts a strict upper limit on the scope and breadth that undergraduate courses can hope to achieve.

Making things worse, we fail to inform our children of these disparities, leaving them to discover on their own as they venture out into the wider world, completely underprepared.  If there is little to no standardization in our education systems, the least we could do is inform young people of that fact. The most we could do, on the other hand, would be to implement an overhaul of the education system to standardize curriculums internationally. Not all, of course would approve of such a drastic move; others may think it may not behove us to move towards uniform education. I would admit that this may not be beneficial to the arts or for creative individualism in general, but the improved efficiency it would lend to STEM fields is tantalizing indeed.

Regardless of the subject-specific nuances that would arise from such a grand plan, if uniform education is even possible or desirable, it will be a long time coming. Just a thought…

One Reply to “Pax Academia”

  1. Hmm, I feel conflicted about moving towards a universal standard. While, on the one hand, it could make things easier in the respect of cross community communications, on whose terms? Who would be the folks that decide and create the curricula and how would this avoid a reinstantiation of, well, I’m worried about colonialism take 4(?). While science and math seems uniform in practice, I wonder if there is something like the Sapir Whorf hypothesis going on for how people learn and practice math and science. If so, then that may give us a means of having a universal standard but one that takes into account culturally structured ways of learning. Maybe.

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