How to square a circle?

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Recently I have listened to a fascinating talk given by Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms. In his speech, he states that there are two reasons for educational reforms that every country has initiated: economic, aimed to raise children competitive in new century economy and cultural.  Educators are trying to solve a problem of raising younger generations that embraced globalization process without losing their sense of cultural identities. He likened this problem to trying to square a circle. This idea has struck me because this is the challenge Kazakhstan is facing right now and that we are discussing in our courses here at NU GSE. The idea of global educational problem overwhelmed me and gave rise to many questions in my mind.

The first question that appeared in my mind was whether it is physically possible to fit one figure into another. However, the question of which Kazakhstani cultural identity we should preserve and pass on to our descendants followed straight after.  Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual country, and for most citizens this country was a home for generations. So how do we decide whose culture is better than the rest and deserves to be kept and whose cultures we should disregard and forget? Would such decision allow raising one as a true cosmopolitan citizen becoming which, I believe, is one of the main objectives of globalization? I thought on what was done and is being done in education field of Kazakhstan. Then I realized that Kazakhstan has already undergone some and is planning to implement more reforms in education. That made me wonder how do these reforms  intend to solve the problem of circles and squares. What can I do to help? How does my education masters’ program education fit into this geometrical dilemma?images

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My mind kept buzzing with all these questions. And to date I have not found answers to some of them. Nevertheless, I am very pleased that at least I became aware of this issue and its connection to my future as a professional, future mother and a citizen. Thinking on this matter helped me realize the importance of my studies and resolved me to put more effort.


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