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Module Synopsis
Education is frequently enmeshed with processes of modernization across the globe. The different forms of modernization that have emerged through history have shaped education policy and practice. Conversely, education has played an important role in advancing the modernization agendas of nation-states. This course considers the global history of modernization and its connections to education and development. It understands the trajectories of modernization in relation both to the dominant globalizing forces and to the particular histories of change and development in various regions and countries. Students will accordingly examine major theories of modernization and of development, and critically assess how these have been connected to education development at different times and in different locations. Students will be encouraged to understand the history of modernization as a contested field, taking into consideration different theories of development. In doing so, they will examine the politics of education development in the context of global targets for reducing inequality. The course thus traces the history of international education development from its initial focus on economic development, through its broader conceptualization in terms of human development – considered through the lens of Amartya Sen’s capability approach – to development as freedom. Major critiques of development, particularly as interpreted in neoliberal terms, are considered from post-colonial and other perspectives. Themes of social justice in and through education are examined historically through UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) initiative, the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), culminating in a key contemporary focus on learning quality, learning equity and on learning as development.