The inseparable Siamese twins
Culture and education are two inseparable parameters and they are interdependent. Any educational pattern gets its guidance from the cultural patterns of a society. For instance, in a society with a spiritual pattern of culture, the educational focus would be on the achievement of moral and eternal values of life. On the contrary, if the culture of a society is materialistic, then its educational pattern will be shaped for the attainment of materialistic values and comforts. A society which does not follow any culture definitely has no definite educational organization. So, the culture of a country has a very powerful impact on its educational system.
Today while human lives continue to live in local realities, the lives and experiences of youth growing up will be allied to, social processes, economic realities, technological and media innovations, and cultural flows that go across international borders with ever greater momentum. These worldwide transformations will involve youth to adapt to new skills that are well ahead of what most educational systems can now distribute.
How do we define Culture?
Culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Culture shapes individual’s worldviews and the way communities address the changes and challenges of their societies. For this reason, education serves as a critical vehicle for transmitting these value systems as well as for learning from the humanity’s diversity of worldviews, and for inspiring future creativity and innovation. (The Culturalization of Human Rights Law, Federico Lenzerini,2014)
The most powerful and influential method to solve any social and economic issues in the society is nothing but, learning through cultural engagement at all levels and for diverse target groups. There is an urge and special consideration on the cultural sector in educational and lifelong learning programs as it has been ignored as the positive impact at all levels is indisputable.
Let’s explore answers to the following questions:
- What are the roles of educational institutions, educators, and educational materials in cultural formation and transformation?
- How have education and elements of culture such as language, religion, symbols, and routines influenced each other historically?
The roles of educational institutions, educators, and educational materials in a cultural formation and transformation are for the overall growth of a human being.We learns about the social and cultural values through education. Education makes students ready to deal with cultural ethics and norms. There are many materials and educational sites, which the focuses on culture development of education. Individual’s adoption of natural and social environment in a positive way takes place via cultural elements. Each person of the society has his or her own preference and mentality to perceive the world around. Education changes the perception of the individual toward different forms of community.
Education seems to be a foundation of the transmission, and at times, the transformation of culture. Understanding this interaction is complex, in part because “education” and “culture” are difficult to portray with precision; and in part because the interaction goes in both directions: culture has an impact on education along with, great impact of education on culture. Education has the privilege, authority and potential to reshape the process of thinking of the society and culture across the globe. J.L. Nehru viewed, “Education must help in preserving the vital elements of our heritage”.
To answer the second question, we need to dig deep into the following pointers:
- Culture plays a vital role in every individual’s life. It brings together numerous elements to create a unique way of living for different people. Some of the major elements that exist in every culture and many change with time as the society progresses are symbols, language, values, and religion. The first element is variety of symbols. A symbolis used to stand for something. People who share a same culture attach a specific denotation to an object, gesture, sound, or image. For instance, Christians use a cross as a significant symbol to the religion. It is not just two pieces of wood attached to each other, nor is it just an old object of torture and execution. To Christians, it represents the basis of their whole religion, and they have great respect for the symbol.
- The second factor in every culture is a language. Languageis a structure of words and symbols used to communicate with other community. Beside English, Spanish, French there are other unique languages which belong to certain groups of people. Those are slang, common phrases and body language. For example, English is most common and fluent spoken language in America and Britain, however, we see and hear slangs and phrases that mean different things; American cookies are British biscuits; American French fries are British chips, and so on.
- A system of value is a culture which is defined for standard what is good or pleasant. There is a share system of values which is used by member of the cultures to evaluate what is right and what is wrong. In West, people are individualistic, they strongly believe in competition and emphasize on individual achievement. According to the culture whoever gets promotion is appreciated for his/her hard work and talent. However, in East the collectivist values of culture are in oppose to the West. In East there is a strong believe on welcoming the collaboration and an individual’s achievement is only as good as his/her contribution to the group.
- Last but not least, religion in any culture is a unique phenomenon. Religion is still important in global societies, in twenty first century, and in each country since communities of worship can provide not only great chances for emotional and spiritual development but also a system of support to public in all phases of their lives. This sense of belonging is crucial for human happiness.
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