Sparked by global capitalism’s demand for new knowledge and new commodities, as well as new logistical systems to deliver them, the nature of education has changed significantly. Universities, in striving to become a part of this knowledge society, have focused on responding to these demands, at the expense of the humanities and social sciences.
The dominance of this way of thinking, primarily a product of Western educational thought, has clearly affected approaches to education in the East. The originalities, authenticities, and unique perspectives of the East have failed to get enough attention, subsumed by the focus on science and technology. However many education systems are still endeavouring to capture some of the indigenous and authentic culture of their home countries, incorporating national cultural ideals, even in subjects with a primarily vocational focus. Although the drive for scientific knowledge has led to a degree of standardisation and convergence, cultural differences still play a role in the education theory and policy of different countries.
This book examines these cultural differences between different East Asian and South Asian countries, with chapters ranging from historical educational analysis to contemporary re-interpretations of the construction of society and education in the East. This book was originally published as a special issue of Comparative Education.
Introduction: The study of East and West in comparative education – towards a rationale SoongHee Han and Peter Jarvis
1. Learning to be a person – East and West Peter Jarvis
2. A historical comparison of intellectual renaissance in the East and the West Ki-Seok Kim and Sung Sik Kim
3. Learning as sociocultural practice: Chinese immigrant professionals negotiating differences and identities in the Canadian labour market Hongxia Shan and Shibao Guo
4. Changing grassroots communities and lifelong learning in Japan Atsushi Makino
5. Confucian states and learning life: making scholar-officials and social learning a political contestation SoongHee Han
6. Bridging East and West educational divides in Singapore Prem Kumar
7. Educational practice in India and its foundations in Indian heritage: a synthesis of the East and West? Madhu Singh
8. ASEM – the modern Silk Road: travelling ideas for education reforms and partnerships between Asia and Europe Que Anh Dang