As an educator, you easily find yourself with the feeling that you are working in isolation. Working from within your classroom, unsure of what, how or why your colleagues are working. Being able to have an opportunity to step back and critically reflect on yourself is essential if you are to continue to grow within the profession. What are the ‘big ideas’ in education? Who has a greater impact on schooling, the students and their learning needs or state and the policies in which they develop? Do we ever ask ourselves what is the purpose of schooling? Why is the system set up in the way that it is? What role has history played in the development of education systems? This course has encouraged me to reflect on my own beliefs about education. Therefore I feel that the natural place for me to begin to further my understanding of education, is be examining and analyzing the purposes of schooling.
In this paper, I intend to analyze the purposes of schooling by comparing the education in system in Ontario to that of the system in Israel. To complete this analysis I will begin with trying to define the differing purposes of education by establishing a historical context to both educational systems. Next, I will apply Hofstede’s analytical framework further my understanding of the purpose of schooling in Israel and Ontario. This will be followed with an examination of globalization and the impact is has on both educational systems, has globalization altered the purposes of schooling in both countries. Finally, I will try to understand how the information has and will influence my growth as an educator.
Purpose of Schooling
I have always assumed that the basic purpose of schooling was to provide students with the skills and tools necessary to navigate successfully in the world in which they live. However, I have come to realize that this definition for purpose of schooling is different depending on the lens that is used to define it. To understand the intended purpose of schooling one must be wiling to try to understand the balance that exists between cultural/societal influences on education and that of the role that economics can play on the education system. Culture and economics are essential ingredients in the development of school curriculum, both the overt and hidden curriculum. (P. Kubow and P. Fossum, 2007)
In 1948, the state of Israel was founded and in 1950 Report of the Royal Commission on Education in Ontario (also known as the Hope report) was written. I will use these events as historical starting point for examination and understanding of the purpose of schooling in both states. Understanding the historical context in both states helps understand where policy development has come from and how the subsequent educational reforms have affected the landscape of education, with respects to the purpose of schooling.
In Ontario, the Hope Report (Ontario, 1950) made recommendations for the aims...