Pub. date: 2012 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781452218458 | Print ISBN: 9781412981767 | Online ISBN: 9781452218458| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Educational Reform: 1920 to Present: Middle East
Elizabeth Summer Buckner
Educational reform in the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) has historically been instituted in response to larger political movements or events, most notably, states' colonization and subsequent independence. However, national educational reforms have also been initiated by other political events, including conflict and the rise of a new leader. Earlier waves of reform focused narrowly on establishing and expanding modern school systems and nationalizing official texts. More recent waves of reform have focused on improving educational quality through curricular changes, professional development, and privatization. Prior to colonization, schooling in the MENA region took the form of Islamic education, which consisted of reading and writing the Arabic language, memorizing the Koran, and studying the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad ( ahadith ) and Islamic jurisprudence ( fiqh ). Islamic education was reserved for boys only, who were taught in multiage groupings under the tutelage of an Islamic scholar, often in ...