The abnormality of modern education systems in postmodern democracies and its implications for philosophy of education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter substantiates the claim that most contemporary Western systems of compulsory education are not unlike a man suffering from an undiagnosed disease whose condition is worsening because of the dozens of conflicting remedies forced on his failing body by dozens of uncoordinated physicians. Each of the treatments is designed to address the disease, but a single symptom further aggravates the situation and in turn enhances the zeal of the healers, as well as the pace of treatments, and the vicious cycle continues. The ailments in the fable are the variety of chronic failures characterizing contemporary education systems. The proverbial healers are the variety of reformers and change experts who are busy initiating one series of change processes after the other, most of which only end up exacerbating the root cause of the problem; the system's DNA is the result of the combination of elements which were added to it in various periods during the last 2,500 years. None of these elements are relevant to individuals' and systems' functioning and surviving in the postmodern era. The system is therefore dysfunctional and counterproductive (Sects. The Primary Illness: Diagnosis and The Secondary Illness: Diagnosis). Having made this foundational argument, the chapter proceeds to claim that only a complete overhaul in rethinking of education, in a systematic methodological fashion, can adapt contemporary education to postmodern Western democracies (Sect. The prognosis). It ends by claiming that these diagnoses and prognoses have at least two important implications for the philosophy of education today (Sect. Implications for Philosophy of Education).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Perspectives on Compulsory Education
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789400773110
ISBN (Print)9400773102, 9789400773103
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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