Postmodern Education

Education in a Postmodern Era

The writer, Asger Jafferali Dhanji (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) served the Secretary General of the Africa Federation for two – 3-years terms.  He served as JIBA Vice Chairman – with particular passion to raise funds and offer Micro Finance to our Community – for low income, underprivileged, Start-ups, Business loans, to individuals, small enterprises — thereby giving opportunities to grow economically.  He is the founder of Imaan Finance Ltd — First Islamic Finance Institution in Tanzania.  and has also served in Dar ss Salaam Jamaat’s Arbitration Committee as well as a Board member of Ebrahim Haji Charitable Hospital – with particular passion to the project of building the new hospital.  He is now a motivational/Inspirational speaker giving regular Saturday Fajr lectures at Dar Imambara.

The Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi explains: An unenlightened person is like a frog in a well who mistakes the tiny patch of sky he can see for the whole;but once he has seen the sky’s immensity, his perspective is changed for ever. If we are determined to remain trapped in our current perspective, our understanding remains small… cramped and busy.

The immense achievements of modern science and technology can lead us to believe that we are steadily pushing back the secrets of the frontiers of ignorance.Socrates- in his dying days said it very well, which today we may, interpret it wisely: “He insisted that the only reason he could be considered wise was because he knew that he knew nothing at all.When he was confronted by a leading Athenian politician, he told himself: “I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither of us know anything worthwhile ,but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think that I know—I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent- that I do think about what I do not know”.

This brings me to the current scenario of “how little we know” — on this earth which is accelerating at tremendous speed in its exploration, inventions, and technological advancements.In the midst of these super progressive era, we have to ask ourselves the perspective we have of Education in this modern era.

Essentially ,what is different now is that that those stable institutions which used to bind us together have much less influence now, and with the rise of globalization  and new media technologies ,individual are much more free to construct their culture and identity that they once were. Students learn to listen to other voices. They tolerate other criticism and try to think in critical way.

They learn to respect other cultures and nationalities. It is deducted that post-modernism and creativity are embedded in each other.Change and evolution are most important contexts for creativity.

We experience a new educational paradigm shift — enlightenment as the urgent requirement of human being.Students are now encouraged in many schools to take responsibility for their own learning by asking their own questions and forging their own creative solutions compared to old model of teaching -to rely on “right answers”. Humans are natural learners. The challenge is to nurture  already curious, flexible, creative and potentially critical thinkers to keep their natural predisposition for learning alive throughout their school lives and beyond. Critical thinking is an approach and an attitude that enriches learning in any subject area — by asking open-ended questions, allow reflection time and interaction among students- this is the norm catching up faster in today’s educational institutions..

To conclude, postmodernism is a term that refers to new ways of thinking about thought. Postmodern educators believe self-esteem is pre-condition for learning. They view education as a type of therapy. 

“The world economy no longer pays you for what you know, but for what you can do with what you know”.

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