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V. Re-mooring of Tradition for the Uncertain Future

Accompanying the progress of science and technology, humankind has been, as Delors’ Report(J. Delors, 1996:43)maintains, brought into the age of universal communication. Human societies will have nothing in common with any model from the past because the interactive media technology available to anyone, anywhere in the world. It is thus possible for anyone to engage in dialogue, discussion and transmission of information unconstrained by distance or operating time. As the transmission of tradition becomes dependent on the media technology, tradition become gradually de-ritualized, de-personalized and de-localized(J. B. Thompson, 1996:97-99).

Uprooting of the tradition thus occurs, as the whole world is proceeding towards becoming a global village. The bond that tied traditions to specific locales of face-to-face interaction has been gradually weakened. With such a development of the world, there is a gradual decline in the traditional grounding of action and in the role of traditional authority.

However, dangers are also engendered by the globalization process. A very large underprivileged population remains excluded from the development of modern technology. Disparities between the developed and underdeveloped countries are getting worse with the rapid progress of technology.

Education reform strategies based on the research of western rationalistic science and technology have been imposed upon those non-industrialized countries. The uprooting of indigenous tradition becomes even worse in the underdeveloped countries receiving international aid. The blatant in equalities and gulf between the developed and the underdeveloped countries are the major dangers that entail of a setback to democracy and prosperity of all the humanity.

A comparative education worthy of its name, as A. Welch(1998:13)argues, must support the claims for social justice(in education)of disposed and marginal groups in society. Varieties of voices should, as V. Rust(1991:619)remarks, be listened to carefully with understanding and appreciation. In comparative education, the uprooted traditions should be refashioned in ways that enabled them to be re-embedded in a multiplicity of locales and re-connected to territorial units that exceed the limits of face-to face interaction. Through such a re-mooring of tradition, the research of comparative education make it easier to “make individuals aware of their roots so as to give them points of reference that enable them to determine their place in the world.”(J. Delors, 1996:49). Only through their clear self- identity, people can respect the “other”. It is thus imperative for comparative educationaists to engage themselves in formulating multiple re-embedded traditions to facilitate both the self-respect and the acceptance of spiritual and cultural difference. Facing the coming century, education comparativists should take the solemn responsibility to come to terms with varieties of values from different cultures and to take account of the future and prosperity common to all humanity into their serious consideration in their research activities.

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sumber : Shen-Keng Yang, Ph.D.
Professor
Graduate Institute of Education
National Taiwan Normal University
162 Sec. 1, East Ho-ping Road
Taipei, Taiwan, 106, R.O.C.
Email:t04010@cc.ntnu.edu.tw
Fax:886-2-23410882

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