Essay on Iranian Education

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Iranian Education: From Modernization to Traditionalism An education system, because of its purpose as the shaper of the future, is a good indicator of what is going on within a country politically and culturally. The history of the Iranian education system showed change as the ideological values of the country shifted with each new regime change in the mid twentieth century. Iran, as a country, went from a country focused on modernization and secularization under the Reza Shah, to a country focused on traditional Islamic values under the new government established after the Islamic Revolution of 1977-791. These changes shifted the very purpose of education, its impact on women (in arguably negative or positive ways), and its…show more content…
According to Szyliowicz, “the concept that students should be crammed with theoretical information on a wide variety of isolated topics…led to the further entrenchment of traditional Islamic emphasis on rote learning and memorization” (235). By 1965, “Reza Shah3 sought to meet this need [qualified teachers] by emphasizing the higher levels of the educational system at the expense of elementary education (Szyliowicz 231).” This was seen especially in rural schools, which were having a hard time getting students in the schools and taught by quality teachers (Szyliowicz 176-7). These problems hampered the efforts of the Shah’s government toward modernization and secularization of the country. “The schools were thus to become recruiting grounds for a new educated class that would combine the cognitive skills the country needed for its modernization with utter loyalty to, and identification with the regime” (Menashri 166). Rural education and literacy corps attempted to advance modernization as well, according to the Reza Shah’s plan after their inception in 1961. After the Iranian Revolution of 1977-79, the Iranian school system went through its latest change, as it went from a modernized, secularized school system to a traditional Muslim school system with the Muslim value system integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. As of 2004, of the 68 million people living in Iran, about 18 million
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