The Worldwide  Education Revolution over the past 150 years has thoroughly transformed  human society.  The relentless inclusion  of ever more people into formal and non-formal schooling – from early childhood  education to advanced university training and beyond – is  a social revolution with cultural, material,  and political consequences for human life around the globe.  Some claim that the education revolution has  fostered major improvements in the quality of social and individual life, while  others are critical and highlight disappointing outcomes and persistent  shortcomings of contemporary educational systems. Arguably the education  revolution has created a schooled society to an unprecedented degree, and  widespread education in postindustrial society has created central cultural  ideas about new types of knowledge, new kinds of experts, new definitions of  personal success and failure, new conceptions of the workplace and jobs, new  ways to make profitable firms and to structure formal organisations, new  definitions of intelligence and human talent, new styles of parenting, widespread  political mobilization, new dimensions of mass religion, and more.   Understanding the past, present, and future  of the education revolution is a central challenge to the comparative study of  education.  What has been the legacy of  the education revolution?  What are its  current challenges and promises for the future? How do the transformative and  democratic effects of education interact with the social forces of inertia and  inequality that still pervade the system of education in both developed and  developing countries?  What can  comparative and international scholarship uniquely add to debate about the  emerging schooled society?

The Comparative International Education Society is hosting their annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 22 to 27 April 2012. This year’s theme is The Worldwide Education Revolution, which focuses on questions including what has been the legacy of the education revolution, what are its current challenges and promises for the future, and how do the transformative and democratic effects of education interact with the social forces of inertia and inequality, still pervading education systems in both developed and developing countries?

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Posted by Lee Dunn

Academic Staff University of Glasgow and Author of Science Fiction

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