An Analysis Of Education History Education Essay

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The analysis of education history in any system involves many concepts such as renaissance, reformation and Counter Reformation. Such concepts significantly affect educational with regard to systems, content, teachers and curriculum amongst many other aspects. In Kenya, the British colonialists introduced the first system of education. The formation of Ominde commission after independence saw the introduction of many changes in the educational system (Bogonko, 1992). At that time, issues of unity and identity were very critical and the authority largely focused on them. Following this, subject content changes were made in fields of geography and history to reflect aspects of national cohesion. A common curriculum for all schools was adopted between 1964 and 1985 involving a 7-4-2-3 system. This system involved seven years for primary education, four years for lower secondary, two years for upper secondary and three years for university education. In 1981, there were efforts to reform the entire educations system through the Presidential working party commission. The committee tabled recommendations on changing the educational system from the 7-4-2-3 to the structure of 8-4-4 (Sifuna & Otiende, 2006). In 1985, the new system was launched that put more emphasis on subjects considered as vocational. The new structure would theoretically enable school leavers at varied levels to be self-employed or acquire informal sector employment.

According to Sifuna & Otiende (2006), a detailed development of educational theory through the ages is presented. With vested interest in African education context, this book highlights the plight of education in Kenya through the ages to the 8-4-4 system. The credibility of this text is guaranteed by its diversity in approach with reference to African Islamic education. It is inevitable that African education has its roots in the western world hence Sifuna & Otiende included the history of western education in this book.

Educational significance of concepts

Renaissance concept.

This concept involves the activity of educational and cultural reform spearheaded by writers, scholars and civic leaders. Such pioneers in the history of education are as of today referred to as humanists. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw the development of this concept because of the challenges brought forth by the mediaeval scholastic education. This activity emphasized on scientific, practical and pre-professional studies as a response to the inherent challenges. Under the scholasticism, men were prepared to become lawyers, doctors and professional theologians through approved textbooks (Court & Kinyanjui, 1980). On the other hand, to change from training professionals in strict practice and jargon, the humanists emphasized on a citizenry creation hence enabling people to write and speak with clarity and eloquence. In addition, these professionals were capable of better engaging their communities' civic life and hence persuading people to prudent and virtuous actions. The renaissance concept in education which is also known as the learning re-birth started in the 14th century in Europe and reached its peak in the 15th century. Humanist educators designed and formulated teaching methods for the education system that would prepare liberal and well-rounded persons. The educational renaissance in England saw the improvement of women's educational opportunities especially for those women from upper classes. The renaissance concept in Kenya's educational system can be explained through the analysis of the history of education. Prior to the gaining of independence in Kenya, there were three divisions in the education system with schools for Asians, whites and Africans. In such a system, there was segregation in that, whites attended the best schools, the middle class schools were reserved for Asians especially Indians and Africans attended the lower class schools (Sifuna & Otiende, 2006).

After independence, the Ominde commission was appointed to do an assessment on the available educational resources. After the assessment, the commission would then advise the government with regard to educational policies that needed implementation and formulation. The independence created conditions for the country and as such, the existence of racially based schools in colonial era could not be allowed. It was a recommendation of the commission that, education was vital in bringing unity between different ethnic and racial groups. Further, the commission noted the relationship between economic growth and education as being direct and therefore the country could accelerate the economic pace by investing in education. It was very important for Kenya as a developing country to intensify education investment through educating lower, middle and upper class work force (Sifuna & Otiende, 2006). There was a recommendation to launch free primary education through the endorsement of an educational objective policy. There were policies geared towards the increase in enrollment in primary schools and the emphasis on higher education expansion. The government put efforts on 'Africanizing' relative to the economy and the civil service. This 'kenyanization' and/ or 'Africanizing' was also necessary for the educational system because ideological foundations were lacking hence failure to tap indigenous ideals. Such foundations are crucial in the education system as they offer the necessary educational reforms and development. The achievement of independence saw considerable changes in Kenya's educational system such as the expansion of higher education and secondary levels (Sifuna & Otiende, 2006).

According to Sifuna & Otiende (2006), the utilization model on work force largely influenced the educational policies but there might have been overemphasis on it. This approach though justified, showed that there was no representation of the country's needs by the already trained work force. Thus, the labor market in existence could not accommodate many people in the workforce who had completed their training. In such a situation then, it was probable that the utilization model of work force was not the best option particularly when it analyzed formal education as a potent tool through which society's development could be affected. Therefore, this model's preoccupation by planners would prevent significant efforts in the universalization of educational integration relative to socio-economic development (Nyaberi, 2009). The continuation of certain policies in the educational system has led to the creation of serious gaps such as the gap between the rich and the poor. Such a situation has affected the labor market and the country's economy as urban areas are experiencing an increase in the influx of unemployed persons. It is evident that the changes made in the educational system made the school enrollment to overwhelmingly grow and expand. There was massive enrolment in schools and the universities resulting to an increase in unemployment. Sifuna also noted that, the Second World War significantly brought economic boom and the appropriate psychological change. Such a significant change subsequently led to the realization and the spread of nationalism in many African countries. Many countries destroyed the myth on white superiority and invincibility, therefore realizing how Europeans were similarly vulnerable. The Kenyan government introduced new changes in the educational system after independence thereby abolishing some of the standards set by the British. This renaissance in educational system created varied impacts on education sector. The current educational system led to the formulation and implementation of many programs and policies (Sifuna & Otiende, 2006).

Reformation concept.

The reformation concept in education system involves coming up with new ideas, policies, programs and changes geared towards the improvement of the system. The Kenyan educational system has endured many reforms historically in attempts to minimize the education crisis, improve the educational systems and attain efficiency. According to Eshiwani (1993), such reforms usually bring forth many impacts in the educational system either internally and/or externally. The Kenyan government considers education among the top priorities and since independence, undertaking reforms in the education sector has been a major activity. The racial discrimination, European practices and the socio-economic characteristics of the colonial era education were called into question soon after independence. This consequently led to the establishment of many reforms in an attempt to make the educational system more suitable and efficient (Eshiwani, 1993).

In ensuring the reduction of illiteracy levels and a skilled workforce production, the government puts more emphasis on basic education and the expansion of the education system. Over the years, the education system has been experiencing challenges with regard to equity, curriculum relevance, quality and access. As Mwaura (2005) poses in his work, such a situation therefore requires reforms to be carried out by the government and various stakeholders. In order to minimize the negative impacts of such factors, the government has formed a considerable number of commissions and task forces to create the appropriate reforms. Education is considered to play an important role in the promotion of social and economic development (Mwaura, 2005). Along the same line of thought, the government has introduced numerous reforms in the education system expansion and improvement. In order to deal with the challenges in the education system, the system must undergo the necessary reformation. Reforms by the Kenyan governments have had significant impacts on the entire system depending on their effectiveness and efficiency. According to Mwaura and since independence, the government has a long-term objective in the universal achievement of primary education. In attaining this, the incorporation of reforms has been a key activity for the government and other stakeholders. The government introduced free primary education program and this led to massive enrolments in primary schools as well as secondary schools (Mwaura, 2005). This significantly brought impacts in the educational system with education being one of the government's heavy investments. The recruitment of teachers increased to respond and cater for the increased enrolment rates. In addition, their salary packages underwent reviews. Changes in the society are eminent and therefore the adaption and improvement of the educational system is through reforms.

C. Counter reformation concept.

This involves the failure by involved parties to carry out the necessary reforms in the educational system. The stakeholders may not be willing to undertake the appropriate changes and therefore opposing any proposed reforms. Such failure to support reforms in the system has far-reaching impacts on education. Numerous adverse effects on education can result from this activity by people considered as anti-reformers. The decline in economic growth experienced early 2000's led to the government's failure to fund many government schools leading to prestige loss and deterioration. The situation was chaotic as the schools were falling apart and the educational system was negatively affected. As the government schools deteriorated, the privately owned schools were experiencing a tremendous growth. Without major education reforms at this time, the quality of education was being lost and personnel training was very poor. The countering of reformation by involved parties in the educational system has rendered such systems unable to meet the initial purpose. Based on Eshiwani (1993) text on "History and Development of Education in Tanzania", the current educational curricula, 8-4-4 has been criticized by many thus calling for its restructure through various reforms. The system is described as burdensome for both pupils and teachers because of the broad scope of numerous subjects. The issue really requires reforms but the inadequate implementers' training and financial constraints are blamed for the system failure. It is evident that, this counter reforming concept is very bad for the education system because of the numerous adverse effects (Eshiwani, 1993).

Question 2: The importance of history of education discipline in the teacher-training curriculum

It is very important for teachers to study the history of education as a discipline in their training curriculum. This evidently creates the virtues on education history to the education enterprise of the teacher. It is necessary for teachers to be informed about the education history because they play very important roles in the formation, formulation and the implementation of education policies. At the inception of teacher training, the education history proves to be a core part of the curriculum and presents a valuable position in teacher training. The history of education as a discipline plays a central role, as it is axial to the knowledge of the involved teacher. The knowledge base of the teacher will be critically composed of this historical education perspective. It is equally important for teachers to have sufficient knowledge on the past issues of education relative to economic, social, historical and political features. It is evident that, historical study by teachers during their training significantly contributes to the individual's knowledge. Such a study improves the teacher's citizenship capacity within the educators' society, hence strengthening the teacher's ability with regard to critical perspectives on schooling and society relationships. The historical study provides an appropriate support to the professional practice through the reflection and deliberation of educational problems. Such a study also is informative to teachers in relation to the numerous educational concepts and their application. It is therefore very important for teachers while undergoing training to study this critical aspect of education. As Sifuna &Otiende asserts, the exclusion of the study from the curriculum is very detrimental because the teacher's knowledge is then threatened and limited. The knowledge on education with regard to cultural, social, economic and political contexts broadens the teacher's view on teaching, schools and learning (Sifuna & Otiende, 2006).