Foundations of education in Iran and education after the Cultural Revolution of 1980
AbstractThe government of Iran changed from a monarchy to an Islamic republic after the Revolution of 1979. In the spring of 1980, the regime closed the universities for a Cultural Revolution. The goal of the Cultural Revolution was to redefine and redesign the educational system, which was a duplication of western education, and adapt it to the culture and politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Upon the closure of the universities, Ayatollah Khomeini assigned a Council to review the educational system and propose a new program adaptable to the philosophy, culture, and religious foundations of Iran. This study reviewed the role of educational institutions in the uprising and the victory of revolution in 1979 and the reasons why the universities were closed during the Cultural Revolution. This research also reviews the proposal submitted by the Council for the Cultural Revolution. Historical methodology has been utilized for this study. A variety of literature including books, journals, government documents, and dissertations were reviewed. Some literature has been translated from Farsi by the researcher. Also, the researcher's background, as having been educated and an educator in Iran, has added an ethnographic dimension to the study. The findings of the study suggest that the regime of the Islamic Republic has been, successful in certain areas such as: (1) promotion of seminars, conferences, and symposiums, (2) promotion of extracurricular activities, and (3) expansion of universities, majors, or programs within the universities. However, the weaknesses of the educational system are in areas like: (1) the education of ethnic minorities, (2) the role of women in education; (3) teacher education programs, (4) dropout rate/illiteracy, (5) shortage of human power, (6) credentialism, and (7) expansion of schools and school facilities. The regime has not been able to overcome these shortages mainly due to the weak economy which is a result of eight years the war with Iraq. Among the suggestions for improvement of the educational system are: (1) to allow the private sector to get involved and invest in education, and (2) to use the media to promote education and to make the people aware of the benefits of education. A brief outline of the research will give you a better understanding of the subjects discussed.