Democratic Government and School System of Haiti
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About the paper
The given discussion paper is based on the topic ‘Democratic Government and School System of Haiti’. In the given paper, the main focus point is the education system of Haiti, which is an island of West Indies. Due to the adverse condition of the Republic of Haiti, since the independence of the nations, the education system is very ineffective and is the main cause of poverty and lower economic level of the country. In this paper, it is evaluated that with the democratic structure of the education system of Haiti, how can effective measures be taken for a positive impact on the social and intellectual development of the people over there; especially, the youth and the adult populace.
The given learning paper is divided into three parts namely the breadth, the depth and the application. All the three parts of this learning paper are interconnected with each other and the discussion of these three parts have a flow of information. In the first part of the discussion paper namely the ‘breadth’, the theories related to education and democracy and are analyzed. The theories suggested in the given paper are given by Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey and Jean Piaget. The concept of these theories is based on the formation of the organizational structure of Haiti. In addition to this, the Historical perspective of Haiti and its struggle for the imposition of the educational practices and values of the western countries is also described in the same section of the paper. With the use of the given theoretical framework, interlink between the race, education and democratic governance is also analyzed in the same segment of the discussion paper (Investing in Instruction for Higher Student Achievement, 2003).
The next segment of the learning paper is the ‘depth’. In this part of the paper, the annotated bibliography of a series of the current scholarly articles is made. The articles selected are related to the subject of democratic governance in Caribbean, especially, in context with Haiti. In addition to this, the current political events occurred in Haiti are also discussed in the same section of the paper. Also, the impact of the outside consequences on the governance of Haiti and Caribbean is also evaluated in the same paper and the effect of these governances on the poverty rates of these regions is also being explored in the same section of paper.
The third and last section of the paper, which is the ‘application section’; the theories of democratic governance are analyzed with the foreign and economic affairs of the United States on the education sector of Haiti. In addition to this, the societal and economical indexes of the Haiti and Caribbean and the effect of internal governance factors or the pressure of the global business organizations of the United States on these indexes, is also included. The several other alternatives for the democratic governance are also investigated in the series, which were given by the three theorists in the first section of the discussion paper.
Haiti, which is an island situated in the West Indies. The official name of Haiti is the ‘Republic of Haiti’. This is a Caribbean country, which is considered as a French speaking nation or Creole is also followed by the citizens of Haiti. This republican nation is located in the west side of the island of Hispaniola. The country was not independent, since its origin and got recognition as an independent nation in 1804 from France. In that period, this island was considered as the lowest country on the literacy level and the most deficient country among the entire hemisphere of west side. During the 1990s, Haiti was aimed for the establishment of the democracy by the international community (Haiti, 2009).
From the population point of view, Haiti is counted among the highly populated nations of the world. Of the modern times, Haiti is figured as the ‘first independent nation of blacks’. During the period of nineteenth and twentieth century, several numbers of struggles were experienced in Haiti. Among the major struggles, the struggle for gaining more power by the several classes of the nations and struggle for the negligence of the advancements in the filed of social and economic aspects.
These efforts gave birth to the several types of occupations in the military of the United States. The occupations were mainly promoted during the period of 1915 and lasted till the year 1934. At the end of the twentieth century, the Republic of Haiti restored democracy. This was executed in the year 1987, when a new ‘Constitution’ was ratified and a Bicameral Parliament was elected in Haiti. In this governmental system, the head of the states were the Prime Minister and the President. The President used to appoint a Supreme Court (Florén-Romero, 2008).
The governmental system of Haiti is categorized into three sections namely the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Government. There is one ‘Senate’ consisting of 30 seats and a ‘Chamber of Deputies’ comprising of 99 seats in the legislative section of the government. The term of these two sections of the legislative governments, is for six years and four years. The other section of the government, which is the executive power, is headed by the President of the Republic. The President is considered the head of the state and the head of the government is the Prime Minister. The third section of the government, which is the judicial power, is coordinated by the Supreme Court.
The Democratic government had a great impact on the school system of Haiti. In the earlier period in Haiti, there were no uniform schedules for the schools. This is because in those times, the school system of Haiti was aided by the privately run schools. During that period, the population of the students rose with a great speed. Moreover, there were no arrangements of faculties in the schools and the schools lacked the equipments used for the educational purpose. The school timings were also shortened due to the ineffective system of education. The school systems of Haiti in the past periods had to serve the different groups of pupils.
As periodic changes, schools were firstly developed in Haiti in the year 1905, after the emerging of the Constitution. The Constitution prescribed for the ‘compulsory primary education’ that was free of cost. The primary schools of the rural areas were created with several limitations; specifically, agricultural degree program with the introduction of the ‘Education Act’ of the year 1848. Later, the educational system was encouraged by the leaders of post colonial period of the Haiti; but the development of a comprehensive and convenient school system was not possible. Still, there are no means for education, as there are no provisions of the formal educations for the majority of Haitians. On the other hand, the primary school education is given to the small minority groups (Haitians— Their History and Culture, 2004).
The Democratic government of Haiti made sincere and continuous efforts for the provision of better education to its people. Though, the efforts of the Haitian Government were much effective, yet, the results of the efforts, of the government were not according to the desired level. There was a great requirement of the initiation of a sincere reform and through the establishment of that reform; the country could utilize ‘education’ as an instrument for the enhanced growth of the nation. There were no clear signs to show the education as a focused point for the basic requirements of the country. In that period, the preferences of the Haiti population were not towards the public education governance; this was because, in those years, the Haitians were only interested to send the upper class children to the schools. And for the purpose of study, they used to go France and they were recognized as French people (Haiti - Educational System-Overview, 2009).
The entire education system of Haitians was fully based on ‘Racialism’. There was an in-depth tendency among the Haitian Communities regarding the education of the society. The formal system of the education in Haiti was fully designed in such a way, that there were two classes of the community namely the urban elites and others. The urban elites were very few of the total population, about 20% and only they were supposed to have education; while the other 80% population in the countryside, was fully neglected from such kinds of right of education. This error in the Haitian education system was required to be reformed by the administrative affairs. The students were required to given education through proper system with the provision of classrooms (Hanus, 1997).
There was a completely formal system of education. In that system, the kids of age group of 4 to 6 years were sent to the private schools for getting the primary education. This system was traditionally considered by only those families, which were capable to afford the payment of the education. There were no changes in the scenario due to the decree held in the year 1982. The decree put stress on the democratic principles of the government accessible at the universal level.
There were no effective facilities in the public schools for the children. The classrooms in the public schools were overcrowded, which are still in the same position. There were no means of security, comfort and hygiene facilities for the children. In the schools, there were no provision of drinking water for the children, no electricity facilities and no space for the recreational purpose of the students. The schools were far away from the localities; due to that the students had to walk several miles for acquiring education. The faculties were not sincere towards their work due to ‘absenteeism’ or were late from their duties, as they had to face the same problem, as was faced by the children.
For the reformation of the educational system of Haiti, there have been made several efforts in the recent years (Rotberg, 1997). The aim of these reforms is to make the system of education easily accessible to the poor, in order to fulfill their needs and making changes in their social structures (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990). But these reforms could not be successful at the optimum level and as a consequence, most of the parts of Haiti remained having the old system of education.
The main efforts to make changes in the educational system were brought in 1970s. An effective change was made in the year 1978, when the urban and rural primary schools were united and their provisions were protected by the DEN (National Department of Education). After this period, the whole education system was restructured. In the new system of education, the basic education for ten years became essential in addition to the secondary education of three years. Several effective changes were made in the educational materials and the course of study. The major change made in this period was the adoption of the ‘Haitian Creole’ as a basic language for the instructional purpose.
In such condition of ineffective education system, the democratic governance is required to have some effective measures, in order to make amendments in the situation of the educational practices. For the purpose of sustainable developments in the long run and for the reduction of the poverty, the democratic governance is the most important and essential measure. In the foreign policy of Canada, the democratic governance is considered as a pillar. The CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) does several works for the purpose of handling the problem of poverty, by the provision of education to all the people equally and make the improvements in the sources of livelihood of the general people.
The concept of democratic governance was also applied by CIDA in Haiti. CIDA established about 9000 centers for voting and gave registration to about more than 3.5 million of people for voting in the election of the year 2006. In the strengthening of the democratic institutions also, CIDA played an important role in Haiti. It established Haitian Parliament and other several Ministries in the form of democratic institution for the advancement of the educational level in Haiti. For the increasing level of access in the scope of primary education in Haiti, CIDA provided a great support. These efforts were made by CIDA for the development of the socially excluded children, in order to improve and protect them from the child labor and other risky activities (Democratic Governance in the Americas: Canada’s Role, 2007).
For the improvement of the worsened condition of Haiti, education can prove to be a corner stone. For the development of the democratic way of life in the nation, transformation and advancement of the Haitian education system in the government, as well as, the general public of Haiti is essential. It is clear now, that for the improvement in the situation of the human rights in Haiti, there is a great requirement of the acquisition of the democratic government.
As a step in this field, a development of the US policy is made for the strengthening and nurturing the democracy in governance. This also helps in the improvement in the illiteracy level and alleviation of the poverty. This policy provides assistance to the citizens of Haiti by the provision of effective services in the filed of health and education.
This is the first and the most important section of the discussion paper. In this section, the main focus is given to the theories of the democratic governance. The concept of these theories is focusing on the democracy and education system. The theories discussed here, are given by Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey and Jean Piaget. All these three are the great philosophers of their own time. All these have given several views on the issue of democratic governance and the education system. The views of these theorists have a great implication in the school system of Haiti, to structure the education system, with the full integration of the aspects of democracy, given by all these three creative theorists and the interaction of both these aspects with each other.
Theories of Democratic Governance & Education
The democratic governance has a great integration with the consensus of the society, as it is a long extent of procedures, which assists the society in the implementation of the better social and regulatory decisions such as government policies and laws, social justice, social welfare, human rights, protection of different sources of environment etc. For this purpose, several institutions or organizations are developed in different nations. In this series, the governing bodies included are the legislature, executive bodies, judiciary, private organizations, political parties, educational institutes and several other major bodies. In short, it can be summarized that the democratic governance is an essential provision to bring equality and fairness for the entire mass of the citizens in the matters of social aspects, education, livelihood and other social and economic aspects.
The education and role of democratic governance in education are the two important aspects, which are viewed by the several numbers of theorists in the world. The concept of democratic education is a very composite philosophy for the purpose of learning and governance of the educational institutes such as the primary and secondary schools. In democratic education, there is a provision of the free participation of the school students and the faculty members in the democracy of the schools on an equal level. In these kind of educational centers, there is found a decision making process, which is based on decision sharing. The decision making is shared by the school students and the faculty members. In the democratic education, the decisions made are related to the working environment of the schools, way of teaching and learning of the students and several other concerning issues.
Though, the contribution of all the theorists in this field has equal importance; yet, there are three theorists, who have contributed a lot in the field of democratic education. These theorists are:
Jean Jacques Rousseau
John Dewey and
The theories of these theorists are being given for the education system and democracy. The theories given by them have a great implication for the development of the democratic education in the Republic of Haiti.
Theory of Rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau was a great Philosopher of his own time. Rousseau composed several articles, philosophies and theories on politics and education. He emphasized on the thoughts of the modern aspects of politics and education. A great contribution was given by Rousseau for the support of the various educational methods, which put emphasis on the separation of the children from the society. The purpose of this implementation by Rousseau was to make the children capable of handling the adverse conditions of the environment by making them enable to handle them, to a great extent.
According to Rousseau, the problems recognized by him were very unusual, as this was recognized that in the field of teaching and education, there was a problem of legitimation. Rousseau suggested in this theory of democratic education, that there is a great requirement for the adults to be honest with their children. The adults according to Rousseau were required not to conceal the realities that they have the power to make their children forced for education, as they have this as a physical compulsion. According to him, when the children grow up till a certain age group, they themselves become engaged in the activities of their own processes.
According to Rousseau, human beings are born in free conditions; but after being a part of this society, they are bound with the chains of social regulations. At some points, where a requirement of the executive bodies is essential to accomplish a law, both the theories of Rousseau namely ‘Educational Theory’ and the ‘Political Theory’ appear to be integrated. According to Rousseau, in all the human beings, there exists a congenital capacity to grow. This capacity of development resides in our internal body organs and the faculties of the schools and learning institutions help in the further development of these capacities. Rousseau stated that if the natural tendencies of the humans are permitted to develop without any kind of limitations, the individuals can reach to a state of exemption and happiness. This is given a particular term by Rousseau namely ‘Education of nature’. In contrast to his own statement, Rousseau proclaims that without the provision of the freeness and happiness the human kinds can not have moral excellence. Without virtue, the man can have only happiness; but he will lack his worthiness. According to him, the man gives a great importance to virtue. The capacity of the man for worthiness is the special trait of human beings, which makes him distinguished from the creatures. The animals are free to live in their natural habitats and they are happy; but they do not have virtues of their own (Dewey, 2005).
Rousseau is an educational reformer, who prescribed that there are three sources through which, we can get education. These three sources are the nature, other human beings and the non- living things. With the education, which we acquire from the nature, the human being can develop his internal organs, as well as, the inner capabilities. With the education acquired by the human beings, we come to know, the ways to implement the education acquired by the nature. From the things, which are found in the surroundings of the human beings, they have several kinds of personal experiences through which, they make developments in their personalities. There is a state at which the man can achieve this real goal. This is the state, when all the three types of education gained by man, becomes harmonized and aims for the same target. For the complete growth of a man, the aggregation of the above three kinds of education, is a very essential aspect according to Rousseau. The statements given by Rousseau constitute the underlying truths about the education in alignment with some developments (Snauwaert, 1993).
Rousseau stated that the educative development is based on the three important factors namely:
The operative natural process and the structure of the internal body organs of the human beings.
The application of the activities performed by the internal organs of the human beings, which are influenced by the behavior of the other persons.
The interaction of the human beings with the environment in a direct way.
Theory of Dewey
The next theory related to education and democracy is given by John Dewey. He was also a great Philosopher of his own time. He gained popularity due to his contribution as an ‘Educational Reformer’ in America. The thoughts and ideas given by John Dewey influenced the standards of education in the United States of America and the other parts of the world; such as Haiti. The inner qualities of Dewey made him enthusiastic democrat and he stated that the success of the democracy is only possible, when, the people of a particular region, are well developed on the basis of the educational abilities
These are the democratic thoughts, which include the ideas about the interaction of the education and democracy. In the first half of the twentieth century, a great influence of the ‘Educational Theory’ of John Dewey was seen. The democracy does not have a single meaning. According to Dewey, the democracy has a different meaning, which he stated in the report of the mission started by him, as a part of the educative mission. This aim to provide this new definition of the democracy was to present the new ideas of the education in concern with the democracy.
According to Dewey, Democracy is not a kind of faith; rather it has a very simple meaning. In this sense, the energies of men can be tuned, when; they have the full fledged permission to show their varying qualities. According to him, Democracy does not have a faraway goal for human beings; but is a very easy way to have a spirit of freedom, among all the individuals. The essence of this kind of freedom is the individuals’ responsibility for the every aspect of their development.
In the same report, the views of Dewey about the nature of democratic education are also included. According to this report, in a democracy, the development of an educational system for the development and sustaining of life depends on the actual worth and the dignity of the individuals and the proper identification of these two traits of the individuals. This is organized in such a way, that the entire individuals can have equal opportunities of gaining education according to their own abilities and knowledge level of having the education. For the critical analysis, the democracy provides the freedom of inquiry to the individuals and special training to them for the purpose of the critical analysis.
The democratic education has the capability to promote the broad and conceptual discussion of all the information, based on facts that in the educational environment of great competence, the students have varying development stages. Such kind of broad discussion are not possible to be promoted in an educational environment; where the students are given only a limited prescribed syllabus for the basic studies and only some particular course materials are given for the study purpose. It is also stated by Dewey, that the uniformity and the standardization are not only two aspects on the basis of which, the degree of success of education in a democracy can be measured. This should be the obligation of the education that through its provision, all the individuals become cooperative and responsible for the society.
The abstract of the democratic education is to promote the development of the democratic citizens, who can have the feeling of regarding the rights of other individuals in accordance with the fulfillment of their own obligations, towards the society by the observation of the different rationales of the democracy including equivalence of equals, rule of majority and different ideas of individuals. On this basis, the individuals can demand for the provision of their own rights and positive results of their efforts, for the perfection in the personality of the individuals.
The democratic education has a very effective objective of the establishment of the perfection in the personality of the individual regarding their character and the development of more and more members in the society, who are much responsible for the well- being of the society.
There were considered two important factors in the theory of democratic education by Dewey. These two factors are the civil society and the schools. These are the two important areas, which need special attention for the promotion of the intelligence on the basis of experimental studies. According to Dewey, to construct the civil society again in a different form, there is a keen requirement of the complete democracy. This level of complete democracy can’t be gained only by the extension of the rights of voting for the individuals, but it also needs the assurance that, there should be an equal opinion of all the individuals for the policies framed in the democracy in any field of human development.
According to Dewey, the education does not only mean a formal education; but it calls that the people should have equal level of knowledge intelligence, for the generation of the beneficial laws and for the generation of the appropriate judgments. According to Dewey, the education gives the life effective growth and development without any formal element. In the reciprocal of this term, the democracy should be in the form of a social system based on education. In other words, a democratic society is the society, in which, there is an enormous role of education in the growth and development of the citizens. The inverse arrangement of this type of society is that, there should be provision of the education and the requirement of the further education by the means of self governance.
The desire of democracy is realized in the presence of several other factors. America as a good democratic nation, has realized the power of democracy with a great success. But Dewey did not have clear facts about the establishment of democracy in America. According to him, demarcates are the individuals, who consider that instead of giving any training for a particular task and turning the perception of the individuals for their growth and development, education is the better way to reach such goals. In education, the major role is played by the Educators. According to them, the democracy is a type of social system, in which the Educators greatly encourage the growth of the individuals and help the people to have an association of free and inducing behavior for others. According to Dewey, in such a social system, the individuals can have positive growth.
Dewey states that ‘Democracy’ cannot be considered only as a governmental structure, but is a social organizational system of a distributive nature. In such a system of democracy, all the individuals are free to combine their actions and thus, generate an induced mixture of the human interests with the inclusion of several cultural perspectives. In a democracy, all the values and aims of the different individuals challenge each other and they work for the achievement of some uncertain results. In this kind of system, the new approaches are generated for the attainment of these results. The life is a long and continuous process. In this process, the formal education acts an integral part. The formal education executes several works for us, as it directs the human beings to tread some constructive paths. In the views of Dewey, the philosophical methodology and the educational exercises; both are the two equivalent aspects.
In the educational institutions, it is learnt by the students that to have affection for any kind of subject matter or text matter is not important, but important is the process through which, the knowledge related to that particular area can be derived. In regards to the field of education and democracy, two other aspects can also be considered as equally important. The first aspect is linked with the communication philosophy given by Dewey and the other one is the consideration of the theory of education, quite similar to the communication theory. In this way, Dewey has proved that the concept of communication and education has dual interaction with each other. This is why; the concept of ‘Democratic education’ is specially focused in the theory of Dewey.
Both the concepts of the Dewey’s theory namely education and democracy has clear indication towards the concept of democracy. The concept of communication denotes the sharing of the common interests of the general people; but it puts emphasis on the identification of the co-relative interests of the people as an aspect of the administration. The concept of education focuses that; there should be organization of the social groups, which have free interaction among each other. These social groups can also make modifications in the habits of the social groups by the frequent readjustments according to the new situations, which are produced because of the changing conditions of the society. The social groups, which are constituted on the basis of the democracy, are mainly characterized by these two specific traits.
The democratic societies are more interested in the systematic education, rather than other social groups; because in such a society, the people have actualization of the way of life in which, the interests of the people are diffused with each other and they have positive attitude towards the re-adjustment and progress. In such social groups, the education seems to have a great devotion on the part of democracy. In regards with a democratic government, it is said that those governments, which stand upon the right of voting are not the fully successful governments, if the general citizens of a particular democracy are not well- educated. In the democratic societies, the explanations of the external authority are repudiated, if these are not created on the basis of the educational aspects.
Democracy is not only a type of government but, this can be considered as the affiliated system of living in which the people are linked with their transmitted experiences. Democracy is characterized by two aspects such as distributed pertains of people and attempting the larger varieties of the capabilities, of the individuals. These two characteristics of the democracy are not generated through the intended efforts of the individuals or their planning; but are considered to be developed by the intercommunication, immigration and business activity among the people, which are carried out by the facts of science over innate force.
In general terms, if the stratification of a society into two different classes is considered mortal, it should be analyzed then, that all the intellectual possibilities of the society are approachable by all the individual members of the society in a convenient way. The democratic societies, which are divided into different classes, are required to give the specific education to all its constituents incorporated in the ruling section. There are some social groups, which are completely mobile. In such societies, the member persons should be fully educated, so that, they can adapt the newer conditions easily. If they are not become able to adapt the newer situations, the new changes overcome the different areas of these societies, which were not comprehended by them.
Dewey also gave a philosophy of ‘Platonic education’. In this theory, the implication of the different ideas, of democracy in the education, is discussed (Campbell, 1996).
In the educational field, the most permanent inheritance of John Dewey was related to the curriculum. In the curriculum, he mainly focused on the some specific aspects of the education, which are given as under:
In a complex educative process, the personal experience of an individual is considered as a key aspect.
In the initial ages of education, the learning used to be based mainly on the activities, which were fully child centered.
The democratic education was considered the most important part of the curriculum.
Art was considered as a great aspect, which could give a great experience to a person and was the most important constituent of the education.
For the establishment of a reasonable democracy, the basic educational essentialities for the general citizens were considered an important key aspect and for this purpose, the people were required to be aware of the importance of the education given in public schools.
In the Dewey’ curriculum, the equilibrium between the theoretical aspects and practical aspects was considered as an essential element.
There was demanded, a movement for the assurance of an education system based on the experiences of the individuals. This was a quite separate aspect of the curriculum, as it was much far from the approaches of technocracy.
In the curriculum, it was focused that the schools should be structured in the form of the communities (Janesick, 2003).
Theory of Piaget
Piaget was a great Philosopher, who did a lot of theoretical work in the field of philosophy and education. The imperative focus of the Piaget’s study was the ‘developmental aspects of the children in an intellectual way’. Piaget made several observations. On the basis of his observations, he concluded that we can not consider the children less intelligent; but they only have different ways of thinking. The foremost theory developed by Piaget is the ‘Development Theory’. The main focus of the Piaget’s theory was on the qualitative development of the children. According to him, there is a great impact of qualitative development on the different aspects of development.
Piaget not only focused on the education in his theory; but also, he emphasized that the children should be given knowledge according to their mental development, for which they are prepared. In his theory, there was a great inclusion of the instructional strategies. The strategies suggested by Piaget include the provision of supportive environment for the children to have better education, proper utilization of the interaction level in the society and developing the thinking power of the children. He stated that there are the ‘sequential stages’ of development, of a child and the movement of the children in these stages is the automatic process with the maturity in their personality. In addition to this, Piaget also concluded that environmental factors also play an equivalent role in the development of the children’s educational level.
About Democracy, Jean Piaget described that democracy in education is essential; but the democracy is comprehensible by the people of the age group, which have crossed the age of pupils. According to him, school is the place, where the students come in contact with the general citizens, who are very much ambitious and who have not fully reached at the situation of self determination. There is no place for trust, for the future masters in the democracy.
After being adults; the students become a part of the society in which they contribute in the social reproduction. In the field of education, only the students, who study the politics as an ‘optional subject;’ only seems to be interested in the moral developmental aspects (Freire, Macedo, & Ramos, 2000). The development of the given political and moral characters in the children is a very complex process, sometimes, not possible at all. According to Piaget, the development of the moral capabilities in children is a continuous process. In this concern, the democracy is the only aspect, which is aimed to develop the time period of schooling in which the capacities of the moral development can be achieved by the students (Parry & Moran, 1994).
Piaget’s theory of ‘Genetic Epistemology’ also contributes equally in the aspect of the human development. According to him, the human development is continued through four specific stages. These stages are sensoriomotor phase, the pre-functional phase, phase of practical operations and phase of formal operations. According to him, the humans can have intelligence level by the ‘adaptation process’ and the ‘organizational process’. The adaptation according to him, is the process in which the familiar external aspects are easily understood by the humans; but the unknown aspects do not fit into the knowledge level of the human beings, at an appropriate level.
According to Piaget, the education and learning processes are transformative in nature, rather than additive process. In education, the children are not able to learn everything at a time, but they are able to learn, when, they understand an aspect, completely. There is a progressive reformation of the understanding because the acquisition of the new knowledge is a continuous process. The comprehending level of the children depends on the different situations. There is a great difference between the child, who develops reasoning, alone with his own working and the child, who develops his reasoning, while working within a competitive environment. In the aspects of learning and development, Piaget included the contribution of the idea of transformation. In contrast to this, Dewey asked for; that there should a contribution of the ideas and that the schools should include the events of real world as a part of learning in their educational curriculum as a part of their ‘development process’.
The development theory of Piaget has a central focus point. His theory of learning and development states that there is a great participation of the learner in the learning process. There is not only a verbal transfer of the knowledge among the human beings, but the learners can themselves, also construct the knowledge by their own observations and experiences. According to the statement of Piaget, for the construction of the knowledge about the world, it is essential for a child to work on the objects found in the world. Through the action of the children on those objects, the new knowledge is generated. In the action of the children on these objects, the mind plays the most important part.
In the acquisition of the knowledge, the activeness of the learner is a significant factor. The theory of learning by Piaget is a kind of facility approach. In the field of Genetic Psychology, there is a great role of the readiness approach. According to this approach, it is believed that with the attainment of some requirements, the children are not become able to learn particular things. The stage of the intellectual development is a determinant factor of the power to memorize any knowledge. There are different levels of studies, which can be given to the children of the different age groups. The children under a particular maturity stage cannot be given the education of their higher level.
There is a great implication of the Piaget’s theory in the field of education. The educational curriculum formulated from the Piagetian inspirations, mainly focus on the education philosophy which is ‘learner centered’. There were not any similarities between the teaching aspects of the American schools and the aspects of Piaget’s theory. In the American teaching methods, there is an involvement of the presentations of both audio and visual types, equipments of teaching, demonstrations, lectures, etc, while in the Piaget’s ideas of education, there was no scope of these things. Piaget focused on the adoption of the new environment of learning in the schools as a part of his active discovery. According to him, two main processes contribute in the growth and development of the education.
As an essential activity, the children are required to search, operate and analyze, in order to get answers of few of their questions. According to him, this concept does not mean that the children should have full freedom to do whatever they want. In this regard, the roles of the teacher are also considered as an important characteristic of the learning process. The cognitive level of the children is assessed by the teachers. All the children have different types of strengths and weaknesses. These strengths and weaknesses are assessed effectively by the teachers. For the better educational level, there should be a provision of the opportunities, for the children to have effective communication with each other and they should be allowed to take part in the arguments and debates by the teachers.
According to Piaget, the teachers are the providers of assistance in the field of knowledge and learning. The students are given effective guidance and stimulations by the teachers. The teachers should allow the students to make some mistakes; so that, they could learn some new things from their mistakes. According to him, the knowledge gained by the students is not much effective than the knowledge acquired by him through his own experiments and actions on the objects of the world. For the provision of the new learning, the students should be provided new materials of learning and new circumstances; so that, they can generate the new learning concepts. According to Piaget, the learning in which the faculties have full confidence on the students, that they have effective capabilities to learn many things, is considered as the ‘active learning’.
Piaget said that the main objective of the education in the educational institutes should be the development of the human beings with the capabilities of inventing new things. These inventions should not be identical, as the inventions are made by the preceding generations; but it should be entirely new concept from which the new ways of learning can be generated.
Comparing & Contrasting the Theories
The theories given by Rousseau, Dewey and Piaget in concern with the education and democracy, are effective in their own point of view and have a great implication in the development of the an effective educational system in such kind of the backward nations like Haiti, where there are not appropriate provisions even for the basic education of the children. As, the educational level of Haiti is very poor, so, there is a great need to make the significance of these theories known to the government of Haiti. The effectiveness of these theories can be analyzed with the comparing and contrasting of these theories. It is clear from the description of these theories that all these three theories are not quite similar in all aspects. There are several similar and different views of the three Philosophers regarding the education and democracy. In this regard, these theories are compared and contrasted on the basis of their similarities and differences.
Similarities of the Theories
In the field of education, lots of Philosophers have given their contribution in the form of their literary work. The literary work or theories given by these Philosophers or Theorists have some common points, which make the theories quite similar. About the concept of contemporary education and on the practices of education, the three main philosophers have caste a great influence. These theorists namely Rousseau, Dewey and Piaget have given a solid framework of the educational standards and the methods of teaching. These methods have affected the educational framework of the United States, as well as, the other countries of the world.
Today, the Christians have put several question marks about the models of modern learning and the validity of these models, in relation to the given views of the different theorists. The learning models of the education and learning are based on the suppositions made by the different theorists of education and democracy. During the period of enlightenment, all the thinkers of education namely Rousseau, Dewey and Piaget made the re-evaluation of all the thoughts, given for the best way of educating children. The trends resulted from the ‘Biblical Model’ were established by the other two Educationists namely; Dewey and Piaget. The models of the learning given by these three Philosophers are in the general practice of the British educational system.
There are several similarities in the literary work done by these three theorists, which is summarized under the given headings:
Education is a Basic Requirement: All the three Philosophers think that education and learning are the basic requirements of learning for overall human development. These three intellectuals state that without education; no differentiation can be done among the humans and animals. The education makes people ‘developed’ not only on mental level; but also contributes in the overall personality development of the children.
Value of Learning: According to a general proverb, all the pupils should have a great desire to learn and acquire knowledge, as the persons, who do not have positive attitude towards learning and teaching, are generally scolded. The three theorists also support this proverb, as they state, that the individuals, which do not have knowledge; have a great fear of threatening their life. It is also said that the aspects of discipline and scolding are full of positive values, as these two are the aspects related to education and learning and they make the pupils safe against any kind of danger or mishap.
Rousseau, Piaget and Dewey, all three put equal emphasis on the value of learning. All of them also support that the maximization of an individual’s potential is favorably possible through the process of learning. According to them, there are inner talents in all the children; but they cannot be released without the provision of learning for all the children. For the thoughts of scolding and discipline, the views of these Philosophers have some exceptions. According to the views of Piaget, the child’s correction in his individual personality is considered as a potential maltreat, this is because, it should be the right of the children to decide in which relevant filed, they are interested to take education and have assimilation of these educational areas.
The other two Philosophers Dewey and Rousseau also have the same collective approach in this regard. In contrast to these views, it is said in religious aspects that learning and education is not an aspect, which can be discovered by the pupils themselves; but it is a field to make them learn good things, which solely can give value to their personality.
Contribution of Wisdom is essential: In the proverbs learning are said as the models, which are prepared by the teachers. The knowledge and learning is contributed by the teachers, as they are the authoritative figures for this purpose. On the contrary, it can not be assumed that the students themselves cannot frame different conclusions and observations, but it is supposed that their observations and conclusions are derived through the learning given by the Educators and this, they did under their guidance.
For the provision of having a detailed understanding of the life process, the knowledge is acquired by us through the means of God. In this regard, the theory of Rousseau has some conflicts. This theory does not accept the belief of exposed actuality. According to the theory of Rousseau, the human beings can frame several actual facts on the basis of their personal feelings and emotions. The other theorist Dewey in his theory states the truth as a commodity having a flexible nature, which changes with the alternations in the needs of the individuals. In the theory of Dewey, there is no adjustment for the interminable dynamics in the field of education. Regardless of this, the theory also claims that for the holistic development of the human beings, there is a great necessity of the education and learning. In the theory of Dewey, there is no involvement of the spiritual aspects (Hunter).
Children are good by birth: All the three Philosophers fully support that the children with their birth have good ideas in their mind, and if they are provided a righteous environment, they would have good development of their personality. Rousseau in this regard, stressed its views by saying that the corrupting influences seen in children’s attitude are due to the religious aspects. According to him, the children, which are not influenced by the religious values have good learning habits, naturally. The two other theorists Piaget and Dewey also support the views of Rousseau that the children themselves have good quality innately and the moral development in their personality is due to the effects of the external environment. In the theory of education and learning of Dewey and Piaget, there is a small place for the religious concepts. According to the theory of Rousseau, God is not clearly known. Dewey also supports that God cannot be considered relevant to the teaching and learning, as he is not inherent in human. According to Piaget, God is an absolute idea, which can be adapted at the end of the cognitive development (Hunter).
Teaching Methodologies: In relation to the teaching methodologies, the theories given by Rousseau, Piaget and Dewey has some agreed views. In the theory of Piaget, the different phases of the human cognitive development were observed in relation to the children. He states that during the childhood, there is no proper understanding for the acceptance of the knowledge in the children and they assume the values and thoughts of the teaching according to their mental development. He states that through the provision of the education, the children can be carried away from the tendency of blind acceptance of the different learning aspects.
The Piaget views in this concern are fully agreed with. Rousseau supports that for the establishment of the truth, the observation of nature is a much helpful aspect. Dewey also states that for the purpose of problem solving and searching solutions for the problems, the hypothetical situations are very much applicable. All the three Philosophers, Rousseau, Dewey and Piaget have the same response for the rejection of the ‘Biblical Model’, which includes contributed and informative teaching. These three intellectual assert that at the primary level of education; the learning should be done on the basis of observation and experimentation. According to Dewey, the searching process is given more value in the field of learning, rather than deriving conclusion on the basis of existing knowledge.
In short, it can be said that the theories and views of Rousseau, Dewey and Piaget have several similarities in their theories, apart from the fundamental variations in their assumptions. The main theme of the theories given by these theorists is the education. The aspects of the education included in their theories are the inner capabilities of the students gain all the essential knowledge by themselves, the natural way of the children for distinguishing between right and wrong and the ways of teaching the students in an effective way.
Differences in Theories
Though, the theories given by these three Philosophers are based on the aspects of education; but in relation to the democracy, only Dewey’s theory considers the different aspects of democracy and implication of democracy in the field of education. Apart from this, the involvement of the nature in the field of learning is considered by the theory of Rousseau, which is not given emphasis in the theory of Dewey and Piaget. On the other hand, the theory of Piaget strives on the human development.
Rousseau focuses on the aspect of nature of education. According to Rousseau, no human beings are bad from birth; but they learn good or bad things during their upbringing and comprehending from the surrounding environment. According to him, the capability of sensation is found in the human beings since their births, and later, their sensations become more developed with the passage of time, as they have the influence of the varying objects and activities happing around them. He said that there should be no bounding on the students to search the different types of learning aspects of the surrounding.
Rousseau considers the education as a social aspect, according to which, the human beings are free from all the restrictions from their births and after being a part of the society, they feel delimited by the rules and regulations of the society. According to him, there should be an equal contribution of all the members of the society in the development of the civilization and this is only possible, when, all the people of a particular community acquire education at a basic level. On the contrary, John Dewey considers that education is an integral part of society. According to him, children are not the part of the education; but the education is the part of the life of children.
John Dewey contributed in the field of education and learning by the development of the theory of instrumentalism and pragmatism. According to the aspect of the instrumentalism, the humans have the capabilities to generate new actions through which they can solve the different individuals in their society. On the other hand, the theory of pragmatism states that there are various challenges and conflicts faced by the individuals in the generation of education and learning and this is only possible through democratic education.
According to Dewey, the reflection of the society can be seen in the schools and educational systems. Dewey states that for the establishment of the democracy in the governance system, there is a great need of education. With the contribution of the education, all the people have suffrage and they can participate to elect the best suitable people for their locality to govern it. On the other hand, the democratic governance is also considered equally significant in the theory of democracy, as it states that with in the democratic educational environment, all the individuals can have equal rights to get the basic level of education.
A great popularity is being enjoyed by the theories of Dewey; but they also have to face several difficulties in their implementation in the governance aspects.
The points of differences in the theories of these three Philosophers are summarized under the given points:
In the theory of Rousseau, the aspect of honesty is added in the education. According to him, the adults should follow honesty in the field of education, in context with their children. About the beliefs and thoughts, the concepts of children should be made clear by the adults. Also, Dewey states that the children themselves should have total freedom to select their preferable field of study. In this regard, Piaget states that the learning process is a sequential process, which depends on the development stages of a child. The adults should have a good understanding of the level of the education gained by the children in a particular age of time period.
The most important aspect, which makes these theories differentiated, is the ‘Democracy’. The main focus on the aspect of democracy in education is given by the theory of John Dewey. Dewey included both democracy and education in his literary work. According to him in democratic governance, the children feel freedom and happiness in the educational arena. This is contrasted by the theory of Rousseau according to whom, freedom in democracy, does not mean that children have full freedom to do anything because by this, they will loose their virtue and will become equivalent to the animals. As animals have full freedom to move and enjoy anywhere; but they do not have virtue. In this contrast, Piaget states that democracy is good in education; though, there is no meaning of democracy for the children. The democracy should be given at the adult level of education.
Dewey states that on the basis of democratic governance, the students can develop their capabilities in their related educational fields, as they would not have any kind of pressure and restriction by the society and the government, to have a higher level of education. According to him, the children developed through the democratic education system can prove to be much cooperative for the development of their respective community or society.
Dewey considers democracy as a social system, in which, all the individuals living in a society, are free to follow their related practices. In a democratic social system, there is a complete freedom for the children to have any level of educational degrees. In contrast to this, Rousseau does not have support for the democracy in governance because he considers that democracy removes the level of discipline from among the students and they do forget the favorable aspects of the society.
Rousseau in his theory considers that the learning process is a natural phenomenon under which, the children gain education from three important elements such as human beings, non- living things and nature. Human beings are the people with whom the children live or the people with whom the children have their interaction. The non- living things include the objects on which the individuals initiate their actions or activities. With the actions on the objects, the children get different types of new experiences, through which, new aspects of practical knowledge are gained by them. In contrast to this, these three sources of learning are not the points of consideration anywhere in the theories of Dewey and Piaget.
The theory of Piaget mainly focuses on the development of the children. The theory states that the human development is a sequential process. With the passage of the each stage of development, the children have new qualitative development in their personalities. No children should be given higher value knowledge before the age of the development, according to their capacity. In this regard, the same things is said in different ways by Rousseau as according to him, there should be inclusion of honesty in the educational and learning field for the children.
Piaget developed the theory of ‘Genetic Epistemology’. This theory is related to the aspects of human development. According to him, the human development depends on the adaptation process of the adults. With the acquisition of knowledge, the children develop new qualities and construct new knowledge. In contrast to this, Dewey includes the communication process in his theory. He states that communication is a significant aspect of the education field. With the provision of the effective communication process, the students can have a very good development in the learning. While in the theory of Piaget and Rousseau, there is no involvement of the aspect of communication in the field of education.
Dewey’s theory states that democracy does not only mean to provide formal education to the children; but it emphasizes on the overall development of the human kind. In this regard, among all the three given theories, the theory of Dewey is the best suited theory for the educational system of Haiti. This is because in the Republic of Haiti, there is not only the lack of basic formal education for the children; but also the overall aspects of the life are not developed up to the desired level.
Thus, on the basis of comparing and contrasting the theories of Dewey, Rousseau and Piaget, it can be concluded that for the educational and school system of Haiti, the most applicable theoretical aspects are included in the theory of John Dewey. There is a great need of democratic education in the Republic of Haiti for the overall development of the nation.
Historical Perspective of Haiti
Till the beginning of the nineteenth century (1804), Haiti could not become a fully independent nation from all the aspects. The western part of this island was fully administered by the French till this time. The level of education and democracy, which is seen in the present time in Haiti, can not be fully understood without having good knowledge of the historical perspective of the education and social system of Haiti.
There is great and complicated problem of literacy in the Republic of Haiti, as there is not a proper and formal education system for the general public. Even after its independence in the year 1804, Haiti could not be able to establish any formal institutions for the citizens to have the basic level of education. According to the people of Haiti, it was their fundamental right to have at least the basic level of education.
In the field of education, there is found exclusivity in the nation of Haiti. At the early period over there, a great development of the land was caused, due to the increasing efforts of the Haitians in the field of plantation and forestation. The economy of the country was completely based on the agriculture. Their impressive demands of the agro- based economy, impoverishing of the merchandise, cruelty existing in the colonial system, etc. made the interests of the Haitians in the structured education, restricted. Some of the fertile planters asserted for the average education and for this purpose, they selected their own country, while on the other hand, there was a prohibition on the African slaves, for the accessing, of even the average level of literacy.
Literacy and poverty are directly proportional to each other. This proportionality is found in Haiti. According to the reports of the Human Development, there is the 150th rank of the country among all the nations. In the aspects of the literacy and opportunities of getting education, Haiti is far behind and due to this deficiency, there is found a great deal of political corruption widespread and this has caused to a culture of dependency due to which, the country is facing obstructions in development (Haiti Lumiere).
With the achievement of the freedom by the Haitians in the period of 1804, the country had approached in the world with an inherited ignorance. In that period, there was not any kind of ‘formally structured’ system of education in Haiti. In addition to this, there was also not any kind of strategies for the struggle against the problem of illiteracy. The immediate Governor of Haiti at that time was also not interested to make any changes in the status of the education level. There were two most critical disabilities namely the ‘Political orientation’ and ‘French influence over the local cultural values’ of Haiti.
Revolution of Haiti: Haitian Revolution was leaded by Jean Jacques Dessalines, who was the first to be established as a ruling body in the free Haiti. The Revolution of French had a great contribution in the uprise of the social system of Haiti and the entire West Indies. Among all the contribution made in this revolution, the most important was the revolution of Saint-Domingue started by the slaves, which was initiated by them in the northern plains during the period of 1791. For the establishment of the proper control, several Commissioners were sent by the French Government for the purpose of alliance and in the period of 1793, there was a war between Britain and French, as a consequence of which, a great tension was created in the colonies of Haiti. As a result, there was an abolishing of the trend of slavery in the colonies. This abolition was endorsed by the national convention and later, it got extension over all the colonies of French.
There was a long period of war in opposition of the external invaders and the internal dissension and at last; peace was established in Saint-Domingue with the contribution of the Touss
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