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Senin, 29 November 2010

Peranan Pendidikan Perbandingan dalam Menghadapi Era Baru

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I. Introduction

In response to the query whether the state of things ten generations hence could be foretold, Confucius said: “Yin succeeded to the Hsia rites, and it can be known what changes were made. Chou succeeded to Yin, and it can be known what changes were made. If there are any successors to the Chou, even one hundred generations hence, it is possible by analogy to know their characteristics.” (Confucius, Analects, II-23). It seems to Confucius that the main task of historical comparison is to deduce the underlying principle of social and cultural development. The essence of this underlying principle has never ceased to exist. When the principle properly understood, one can know how to respond to the historical changes, as Hsün Tzu, (Ca. 325-238 B.C.)would say.(Hsün Tzu, The Works of Hsün Tzu, Chap.I)That what is transmitted or handed down from the past is called tradition(E. Shils, 1981:12). It determines, according to H.-G. Gadamer (1986:265), our institutions and attitudes to a great extent. Thus research in human sciences cannot regard itself as detached from tradition(H.-G. Gadamer, 1986:287).

However, the hitherto dominant philosophy of the modern age wants, as T.W. Adorno(1982:63)maintains, to eliminate the traditional moments of thinking. The historical dimensions of thought would be stripped off and the fictious, one-dimensional Now became the cognitive ground of all inner meaning. What is historic in thought, instead of heeding the timelessness of an objectified logic, was equated with superstition. Since the Enlightenment endeavors have been made to overcome the superstition and to develop objective science, universal morality and law and autonomous art according to their inner logic. One of these efforts was Marc-Antoine Jullien’s(1816-1817, trans. By Fraser, 1963)attempt to establish comparative education as positive science. Succeeding the Enlightenment legacy many modern positivists in comparative education have been trying to formulate general laws to explain educational operation independent of national and cultural tradition.

Our age has, as P. Heelas(1996:1)puts it, moved beyond tradition and entered a post-traditional or post-modern period. Such is the momentum of change on the threshold of the new millenium that the increasing rationality since the Enlightenment is conductive to the promotion of the order and control and the achievement of enhanced interconnectedness of the world in a unified system. Modern science and technology, specifically cyber-technology, have brought humankind to an institutionalized universal quasi world polity, wherein interdependence and globalization are the main forces in forming individual and collective identities. Rapid changes witnessed in human societies as Delors’ Report(1996:45)indicated, operate at two levels: there is growing internationalization but at the same time a search in many quarters for specific roots. “Education should therefore seek 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, but it should also teach them respect for other cultures(ibid:49). To help actualizing that end, comparative education should take tradition into serious considerations in its scientific study on the internationally valid law of educational development.

II. “Tradition” in the Earlier Comparative Education

As Edward Shils(1981:12)notes, tradition in its most general sense means a traditum, -that is, anything which is transmitted handed down from the past. That what is transmitted from generation to generation constitutes, according to J. Zimmer(1990:609), the mediation of the origin and present time and stands in such a way for the contituity of cultural preservation. The tradition with its canonical authority from the cultural origin makes the social solidarity possible. Thus tradition is, as H. –G. Gadamer(1986:287)maintains, always part of us, “a model or exemplar, a recognition of ourselves which our later historical judgement would hardly see as a kind of knowledge, but as the simplest preservation of tradition.”

Traditional authority and superstitions were severely criticized by the Enlightenment philosophers in the 18th century. New ideas and new outlook on life were introduced for the emancipation of humanity. To that end, scientific study based on reason and experiment was emphasized in contrast to the obedience to the traditional order. The Enlightenment is, according to C. Frankel(1958:266), mainly responsible for the contemporary ideal of an objective, co-operative social science. Nurtured in the liberal and scientific spiritual climate of the Enlightenment, Marc-Antoine Jullien de Paris(1775-1848), generally considered Father of Comparative Education, attempted to develop the idea of comparative education as an almost positive science.(M.-A. Jullien de Paris, 1816-1817, S. Fraser, trans. 1963:41-42). By the application of comparative method, a method thought particularly by the Enlightenment philosophers as means to accelerate progress, Jullien intended to establish the positive principles of educational development with a view to throwing more light on the possible transference from one system to another with certain modifications. Once the principles of educational development are well-established, transposition of education from one country to another for purpose of improvement is possible. As a matter of fact, many educational comparativists in the 19th century, e.g. V. Cousin, Horace Mann, Matthew Arnold, had the common conviction that the transplantation and domestication of educational system with little modification was the suitable way to improve one’s own education, for general principles of education might be common to all nations and general laws of education must be made applicable to different countries(M. Noah & M. A. Eckstein, 1969:14-23). Canonical authority of tradition and cultural continuity were relatively neglected.

Michael Sadler was the first educational comparativist who firmly repudiated the idea of direct cultural and institutional borrowing from other countries. In his famous Guildford Lecture, Sadler uttered his famous dictum that the “ things outside the schools matters even more the things inside the schools, and govern and interpret the things inside”(cit. in P.E. Jones, 1969:50).Sadler’s major theoretical contribution to comparative education is, as H. J. Noah and M. A. Eckstein(1969:46)observe, “the axiom that schools of a society would be studied in the context of society.” The research in comparative education can not accordingly be detached from the tradition where the studied education system is embedded in .

Under the influence of Sadler, most of the comparative education works in the first half of 20th century were, as G.Z.F. Bereday(1964:25)observes, “concerned with social causes behind pedagogical scene.” Referring to Sadler’s early rationale for studying comparative education, N. Hans(1949)sought to identify the traditions that underlay national educational system. I. L. Kandel(1933)took national character and nationalism as key components in comparative education analysis. F.Schneider(1947:144-163)intended to analyze the underlying culture types of the studied education systems. They represented, as Noah and Eckstein(1969:56-57)maintain, forces and factors approach of the variations in education from country to country. Moreover, they proceeded, as Hans(1949:5)would say, “to discover the underlying principles which govern the development of all national systems of education.” They tried to describe and scrutinize the embedded traditions of the education system concerned. However, they left the traditions unchallenged. As A. R. Welch(1998:3)comments, the elucidated traditions in the comparative education works that time, though pretended to be universal, represented, however, the tradition of the élite. Insufficient attention was usually drawn to the traditions of the underprevididged, e.g. of the working class or of racial and ethnic minorities.

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