The impact of education on political development
The changing concept of political development is reviewed historically. The conclusion reached is that the notion of political development is most meaningful when it is assessed at the individual level where it relates to expressed needs and values. An historical review is also made of the perceived role of education in development. This review includes the recent interest in political education and the role of the hidden curriculum. From the position that political development is an individualised concept, the inter-relationship with education is explored. To provide structure to the analysis, a model of political development is derived. The model uses three interdependent parameters; participation, social mobilisation and vulnerability. Participation is described in terms of the individual's opportunities to interact with, and influence the socio-political environment. Social mobilisation is described in terms of opportunities in the environment and the use made of these by the individual. Vulnerability is described in terms of the constraints which impede and distort socio-political relationships. The model is offered as a means whereby analysis of the interface between political development and related social phenomena may be facilitated. To demonstrate this, two concepts, prevalent in the developmental literature and Been as important to education, ethnicity and modernisation, are examined. The model is applied to this examination in both cases. The interface between political development and education is then explored using the model as a structuring device. Interest centres on the degree of consistency between the attitudes, values and behaviours encouraged by the hidden curriculum and those of the socio-political system in general. Lack of consistency along the dimensions of the model is offered as an explanation for the observed failure of educational systems to promote political development. Finally, the model is used to examine educational experience in Kenya and Tanzania, as an example of its applicability in different social situations. In conclusion, as a result of persistent observation of inconsistency between overt and hidden educational experiences, specific suggestions are made to improve consistency along each of the three dimensions, in relation to educational structures, the curriculum, teacher education and adult education.