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ERIC Number: EJ1072781
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2141-1905
Philosophical Foundations of Reform in Higher Education
Babarinde, Kola
African Higher Education Review, v1 Jun 2008
Kola Babarinde's article opens with a quotation on the theory of change credited to one of the master of classical tradition in the history of the idea. Heraclitus of Ephesus flourished about 500 B.C. Although, little is known about him, he became famous for his metaphysical doctrine that everything is in a state of flux, his comparing all things to a river, meant that they all changed all the time. If this is applied to natural objects, Babarinde asserts, it means that even apparently stable things are changing, although total balance is always maintained. Babarinde goes on to explain that Heraclitus' theory found support in Engels who admitted that Heraclitus was right; everything in the universe is steadily changing, nothing is fixed and determinate. With a slight reservation in view of the possibility that there may be an end to human life on earth, he also maintains that the evolution of mankind proceeds without ever reaching a final stage; each stage is only a transition to the next. This doctrine in Engel's view excludes the possibility of any last act. This is true also of the evolution of science and philosophy; there never appears any final truth; there are theories which are steps on the road to still better theories. The idea therefore that there is no alternative to a policy, a thing or even a personality becomes from this philosophical perspective, a contradiction at best and an absurdity at the extreme. In this article, Babarinde examines the key concepts of Philosophical Foundations of Reform in Higher Education: philosophy, reform and education with emphasis on a sub-set of which is higher education, specifically as they relate to higher education reform in Nigeria. Babarinde explores the history of ideas which have shaped social reforms in general and educational reforms in particular. He aims to justify the assertion that ideas rule the world and that reform in higher education represents the triumph of ideas. The article concludes that education and reform are interconnected as both carry normative notions and that education entails individual and social reform. The final question to ask is whose end is being served by the reforms that have been adopted in education, particularly in Nigeria? A list of notes and references is included. [Paper presented at the Regional Conference of Higher Education Research and Policy Network (HERPNET) (2nd, Ibadan, Nigeria, August 13-16, 2007).]
University of North Texas. 1155 Union Circle, Denton, Texas 76203. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nigeria
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A