Aims for primary education: Changing global contexts

Rita Chawla-Duggan, John Lowe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


Fuelled by an historic convergence of globalisation, knowledge driven economies, human rights-based development and demographic trends, the recognition of the key role of education is growing in countries around the world (OECD1/UNESCO2 2002). This chapter offers a comparative perspective that focuses upon the changing global context of primary education in terms of the emerging educational responses to globalisation. The analysis of the changing global context of primary education inevitably raises questions about aims, processes and purposes of education in the twenty first century. Such questions are underpinned by the social, economic and political transformations that confront education. The changes are complex, uneven and contradictory; where uncertainty and risk is a feature of the age (Lauder et al. 2006). This chapter begins by offering a brief historical overview of changes that have occurred in the last decade concerning primary education, leading to current priorities and trends; a conceptual understanding of the notion of globalisation and existing tensions that exist in relation to current educational concerns; the purposes of education in the context of globalisation, and its implications for and the place of primary education within those global goals. The final part of the chapter examines two case study countries, namely India and China, in order to illustrate and juxtapose some of the key issues that have arisen in those countries as a result of the characteristics of globalisation. The chapter concludes by considering future implications for primary education in light of the issues raised.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Primary Review Research Surveys
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781136328718
ISBN (Print)9780415548694
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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