Article written on the contents of my book: Culture, Transnationalism and Thinking.
Arabic version at http://aawsat.com/home/article/113496.
The Middle East Newspapers. 09- 06 – 2014 - Issue n. 12977
International schools… Western ways of thinking in Eastern schools
A book called Culture, Transitional Education and Thinking was issued last month. The book discuses manifestations of essential differences in educational systems in different countries in terms of ways of thinking.
The author argues that even if all the students all over the world studied the same curriculum, the students in different countries will view it differently… the book subtitle is “case studies in globe schooling”.
The book focuses on “thinking science” in schools. The book proposes that the personal who are responsible for education all over the world (even in USA and all the Western countries) are more concern about student understanding of the curriculum without answering questions such as what is thinking? How it works? How it develop? How students think in order to understand?
The book comprises three educational topics: the first topic is bout culture that form students development from birth, the author called it the parents’ culture. The second topic was about education which is a systematic education with curriculum and the author called it the culture of teachers or school culture. The third topic of the book is about thinking which the title of the book. Because thinking depends on culture and it influenced by the different culture.
The writer of the book, Niranjan Casinader, conducted his research in various countries with different cultures (and different ways of thinking) including Malaysia, South Africa, Australia and USA.
The researcher focused on the phenomena of “international schools” especially schools in the 3rd world countries. The aim was examining the author theory that the students of the 3rd world countries struggle when they study in western schools.
The books main chapters were:
Exploring the ‘Other’ in Thinking
Globalisation of the thinking methods
Ways of the world: nests of thinking cultures
Globalised education (for global schooling)
Cultural metaphors of thinking: can you tell me where my country is lies?
In the first chapter the author claims that the Western way of thinking influence the non-western as the result of the Western domination which was political and military during colonisation era and it became peaceful and economic during the globalisation era. The Western way of thinking was the predominant in all the aspects and the fact was the Western fact.
The author reported that the issue is that sometimes children in early stages find themselves facing a different ways of thinking compared to the ways that their parents, brothers and sisters use.
Besides to the research, the author referred to his own experience as he born in England of Sri Lankan parents, with a childhood and education formed by living in various vestiges of the British colonial empire - England, Scotland, Ghana, Malaysia and Australia.
The author of the book sated that when he was in the kindergarten he was supposed to think in a different way compared to his ways of thinking at home. And when he joined schools in the schools that he name above he was also supposed to think in ways similar to the teachers and students in those schools.
Casinader also stated that when he was outside London he was defining himself as ‘British’ and when he returned to London he used to say something different. And when was in Australia he defined himself by referring to as Sir Lankan.
The author don not criticize global schooling but he noted the following about it:
It is part of the globalisation.
Both business and education globalisations.
These kind of schooling system are only in the 3rd world countries but not the in the Western countries.
These schools don not consider students’’ ways of thinking put they focus on filling students’ brains with knowledge. In regard to this last point the author stated that these school neglect that students in these countries think in particular way at school and think in different way (may be the contradictory) to the their ways of thinking at homes. And the author said that the experiences that he came through at early stages of his life expand his mind openness to different cultures but in the same time it reflected global contradictions.
While in British schools Casinader used to think as a British student and lern about British and its colonisations and Commonwealth countries. In Ghana he studied in an international school in the same British way but the difference was that it was in African culture. The same happened in Malaysia although it is a Muslim country. He also mentioned that in Ghana and Malaysia the final exams were the same as the one in Britain – he was living in African and Asian countries but he was studding the curriculums of his own country (Britain) and it was contradictory to him but it was not it appeared to the African and Asian students who set for the British exams and then go back to their local cultures.
Then the book discusses globalization thinking and he said that globalization basically means openness. The openness begun as business and economical then it became cultural because of the predominance of the western media.
The book pointed to some points including:
First: the author asked is it possible that a person thinking becomes global? Some people said that their thinking is global… but is this practical? Do not they hold a passport of certain country? Do not they go to their countries when they face problems?
Secondly: in the fifth chapter (can you tell me where my country is lies?) The author said that the immigrants from the 3rd world countries think that the Westerns know about their own countries and they astonished when they find that the Westerns do not know about their countries either as a result of ignorant or contempt and this may cause a lot of psychological and emotional problems.
Thirdly: the book indicated that that in the international schools, globalisation can be implemented but teaching the Western curriculums but this the base of the book as this can cause issues and contradictions as a result of the difference in the ways of thinking.
9 Jun 2014
Arabic online newspaper: Asharq Al-Awsat June 9th 2014 Issue 12977