Date

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Comparative and International Education

First Adviser

Silova, Iveta

Other advisers/committee members

Burde, Dana; Eng, Sothy

Abstract

Recent education reforms in Afghanistan aim to transform the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes of its citizens, as well as the overall political, religious, and cultural environment. However, there is little research on what role curriculum plays in these education reform efforts. This research thesis aims to analyze the new curriculum and textbooks for the primary school level and examine how and to what extent the new curriculum and textbooks reflect the goals and objectives articulated in the national educational policy and strategic plan. Using a qualitative document analysis approach, this study is based on a discourse analysis of curriculum and textbooks, while also examining how the curriculum addresses the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiatives. In particular, this study focuses on examining how the new curriculum and textbooks are tackling the teaching of tradition, religion, moral values, and gender. The goal is to understand how political ideas are contemplated in the primary school textbooks. Additionally, the text and image analysis in the textbooks examines to what extent the curriculum reflects the agendas and interests of national elites, local communities, and policy makers in Afghanistan education system articulating to address gender gap, religious studies, teaching nationalism and morality to students.

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