This is the first book to explore the meaning of equality and freedom of education in a global context and their relationship to the universal right to education. It also proposes evaluating school systems according to their achievement of equality and freedom.
Education in the 21st century is widely viewed as a necessary condition for the promotion of human welfare, and thus identified as a basic human right. Educational rights are included in many national constitutions written since the global spread of human rights ideas after World War II. But as a global idea, the meaning of educational rights varies between civilizations. In this book, which builds on the concept of the universal right to education set forth in Spring's The Universal Right to Education: Justification, Definition, and Guidelines, his intercivilizational analysis of educational rights focuses on four of the world's major civilizations: Confucian, Islamic, Western, and Hindu.
Spring begins by considering educational rights as part of the global flow of ideas and the global culture of schooling. He also considers the tension this generates within different civilizational traditions. Next, he proceeds to:
*examine the meaning of educational rights in the Confucian tradition, in the recent history of China, and in the Chinese Constitution;
*look at educational rights in the context of Islamic civilization and as presented in the constitutions of Islamic countries, including an analysis of the sharp contrast between the religious orientation of Islamic educational rights and those of China and the West;
*explore the problems created by the Western natural rights tradition and the eventual acceptance of educational rights as represented in European constitutions, with a focus on the development and prominence given in the West to the relationship between schooling and equality of opportunity; and,
*investigate the effect of global culture on India and the blend of Western and Hindu ideas in the Indian constitution, highlighting the obstacles to fulfillment of educational rights created by centuries of discrimination against women and lower castes.
In his conclusion, Spring presents an educational rights statement based on his intercivilizational analysis and his examination of national constitutions. This statement is intended to serve as a model for the inclusion of educational rights in national constitutions.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Global Education and an Intercivilizational Analysis. China: Confucius, Mao Zedong, and Socialist Modernization. Equality and Freedom in Islamic Education. Natural Rights and Education in the West. India: Education, Human Rights, and the Global Flow. A Constitutional Provision for Educational Rights.
"This volume is a useful resource for students of the social foundations of education and for educators preparing for the challenges of increasing intercivilizational classrooms."
"The strength of Spring's analysis lies in its comparative orientation. This is perhaps one of the first serious works that looks at the articulation of educational rights at the global level from a comparative perspective. It certainly paves way for other students, researchers, and scholars of comparative education to take up research along these lines."
—Comparative Educational Review
"...this book is worth a read, and cuts new ground in relating talk about educational rights to globalization. The very comparison of systems of rights around education, including liberty, equality, and educational opportunity, represents an important contribution to discussion and debate."
—Globalization, Societies and Education
"One of the few books that analyzes the meaning of universal freedom within the current debates over the globalization of capital. This is not only an important book, but an urgent one...."
University of California, Los Angeles
"Clear in organization and bold in content....The historical, international, and interdisciplinary perspectives provide strong support....The breadth of scholarship is impressive--and consistent with Spring's other texts."
"What I like most is the clear definition of the terms/ideas that Spring uses as the basis for creating a new vision of education and for evaluating existing systems of schooling."
East Carolina University