NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED533290
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 280
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-1574-2
Empty Pedestals: Creating a National School System in an Era of Globalization
Kauffman, Nils Joseph
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
When the Republic of Moldova became independent after the fall of the Soviet Union, it faced the challenge, for the first time, of creating its own school system. A new Moldovan school system would replace the Soviet system that had been in existence in Moldova since World War II. The new Moldovan school system was to be democratic, independent, promote national values, teach in the maternal language, afford a great deal of autonomy to teachers, allow for local control, and teach children to be independent, creative citizens. How Moldova proceeded to form a national education system in a globalizing world is the topic of this dissertation. Influences on the new school system came from many directions. School reform began with the dismantling of the Soviet schools, structures, and ideology. Yet the Soviet influence on the new curriculum is apparent. In addition, Moldovan scholars looked towards Romania and other countries for ideas. With the help of the World Bank, Moldova introduced a curriculum through a countrywide training program. Two issues have complicated the development of a national school system. The severe economic challenges facing Moldova have impeded implementation, and the understanding of Moldovan nationality continues to be under debate. While the Ministry of Education (MET) designed a national curriculum, the Open Society Institute, sponsored by the Soros Foundation, introduced the Step by Step ("Pas cu Pas," PCP) preschool program modeled after the American Head Start program. Despite economic difficulties, the program has since grown into a nationwide elementary school model in use in about one-fifth of schools. I use Primavara school as a case study of how a school and its teachers adjust to the changes. The school is semi-independent using the PCP philosophy and relying on parents for a significant source of funding. Teachers use this model because of the creativity allowed them and are convinced it is better for children. Parents choose the model for an alternative to the standard model they associate with the USSR. Primavara is in many respects a national school. PCP may be international in origin, but it is consistent with the goals included in national policy. This is not surprising; much of the national policy took inspiration from foreign school models. This is the fate of national school systems in an era of globalization; their leaders look abroad for ideas, and set goals that most schools struggle to implement. This study provides a historical analysis of the development of the Moldovan school system and a context for current events. This history relies on analysis of MET documents from 1988 to 2008, interviews with scholars involved with educational reform, and interviews with practicing and retired teachers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Moldova