This book explores some of the basic changes happening in our times and the questions they pose for education. Many of the changes lead to an intense questioning of older ways. Many changes may also lead to new problems. This book may help in understanding these changes better. It aims mainly to help the reader grasp some of the key changes shaping this country and the world. These are discussed with reference to education and how they have influenced it and also the new challenges these pose for education in India and other countries.
The three broad areas it deals with are:
(i) the emergence of complex societies in today’s world,
(ii) the impact of capitalism and commodified exchange on society and education, and
(iii) the growing rationalisation and bureaucratization of society and education.
Many social scientists consider these the three pillars of a very important global trend, which is called the growth and expansion of modernity. A number of today’s debates actually rage around whether these are good or bad. Or whether they are essentially beneficial but need to be done in a very different way. The stands we take regarding these three themes deeply affect how we see education and what to do in it. Getting a better understanding of them therefore affects our actions and strategies in almost every aspect of school and university education and actually in the rest of contemporary social life too. While trying to introduce these basic questions of our times, this book tries not to force answers or push a single ideologically driven stance. Instead it tries to indicate some of the different kinds of solutions which people have sought.