Monday, February 16, 2009

Non-Western Educational Traditions

Timothy Reagan (2005), Non-Western Educational Traditions: Indigenous Approaches to Educational Thought and Practice, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc (3rd Edition)

An excellent book on non-Western educational philosophy and practice by Timothy Reagan of Roger Williams University, USA. There are not many books by a single author which deals with such a variety of educational traditions. The traditions dealt with includes (these are also chapter titles):

  • "A wise child is talked to in proverbs": African
  • " Training "Face and Heart": Aztec
  • "Finding the True Meaning of Life": Indigenous Americans
  • "Developing the Chun-tzu": Confucius and the Chinese
  • "A intelligent man attends on a wise person" India
  • "Familiar strangers": Rom (gypsies)
  • "No gift is better than education" Islamic
Reagan writes well and it is an easy to read book. From his researches, Reagan has uncovered the rich non-Western educational heritage that is only recently being appreciated. Along with colonialism, Western educational philosophy especially the instructional-schooling paradigm has become the meta-narrative of the educational tradition, often destroying and replacing the indigenous traditions.

We in the non-Western world needs to recover our heritage or lose it forever.


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