Education and Development: Essay Solved

Education and Development: Essay Solved

1700 Words

Education and Development 

It has been perceived that historically speaking, education has played a crucial role relative to the development of agencies, organisations or the entire nation. However, education was constructed in various manners in line with the overall object development which include poverty reduction and economic growth (Tikly, 2004).  Scholars have mentioned that education was often connoted as a basic human right and the extension of education was an instrument for extending the idea of global citizenship.The issue of education has been considered as a very important topic and different theories and concepts have been linked with it and one of this is the context of development. Theories of development may include the human capital theory and also the concept of post modernism.  It is said that modern development theories are now confirming that having an educated population is important for development practices to rise out of poverty.

Education and development is considered as corollaries to social reproduction which rooted from different theories which include human capital theories and of course postmodernism aspect. In this theory, it is perceived that economic development can be achieved by investing and giving importance with human capital and enhancing their skills by providing proper and efficient education (Becker, 1993). As mentioned, the theory of human capital was generated by the notion that the most productive aspects for development in any society comes from enhancing the skills and capabilities of human capital. Accordingly, human capital theory has been motivated by the needs to enhance the quality of the workforces.

Hence, human capital theory perceives that to be able to have economically developed nation, the society must have educated people and productive individuals. Becker (1993) has declared to be able to achieve this kind of development; people must be given effective education. Theorists of human capital maintained that aside from enhancing the available choice of the workforce, the context of education gives the category of the human capital needed for economic and national. It can be noted that human capital theory is decisive in empowering underdeveloped nations and their citizens. Moreover, it can be note that education is still the best investment that generates the quality of human capital which can influence nation’s welfare and economic development.

This indicates that having educated citizen’s leads to having more productive people who will eventually contribute to the growth of the nation as these individuals entails higher earnings and become more confidents in competing in the labour market. Pscharapolous and Patrinos (2004) for instance have been able to conduct studies on the rate of return in investment through education in which specific country will benefit both in terms of individual private investment and social investments.

In terms of postmodernism, economic development have attempted to adhere to the issue of being confined, with the illusions, imagery, and simulations which hinders growth and the theory encourages people to act in achieving their goals. Herein, unlike human capital theory, the idea of postmodernism, aims on developing the educational system to achieve national or economic development.  Herein, theorists give emphasis on exploring the nature and entire image of education which they thought to be an important factor of changes and transitions (Laura, 1996).

In the writing in the light- post Cold War situation of economic development, scholars have added the dimension of international economic development as an area of competition for human capital in the period of brain-power industries in which highly specialized skills become essential to be moved around this limitless world. Hence, briefly to postmodernist perspective is the idea of improved education as basis for the development of the economy.  Herein, lays the internal and external critics of postmodernist theories when one considers some of the point of view of other theories such as neocolonialism (Altbach, 1985).

It can be argued that although, postmodernism and human capital theories are very different in their approach to education and economic development, they have a common goal which emphasis on economic and national development by having knowledgeable and well-educated human capitals.  It is noted that education is a societal outcome which constantly acts upon the nation and the society to effect change. The principal aspects of development such as social, political, and economic, acts upon education, which results in productive society and enhances national development.

Some illustrative adherence with the view that more education results in productivity and eventually development is the study of Arnove (1980). Herein, the authors have analysed the importance of comparative and international education to enhance the knowledge of individuals in the Third world countries like Africa. The author drew their conclusion from literature gathered from different studies using contemporary labor-market models of industrial productivity.

The human capital concept along with the context of postmodernism basically explains that knowledge and skills of the workforce are significant for nations to work. In particular, this concept is crucial in achieving satisfaction, improve sales and income as well as social cohesion. On a higher level, these theories are also a significant concept that contributes towards economic growth. With these basic features, the development of these models should be able to match the behavior of specific organisation or nation. Based on its objectives, the educational model was established in order to ensure that the capabilities of the workforce meet the needs of the nation for economic development as well as the business environment where it operates.

The economy has proliferated globally since the collapse of communism, and revolutionary developments in educational approach have helped trigger an increasing interdependence between countries at an unprecedented pace. Further, the end of the Cold War signalled the displacement of ideological obstinacy in favour of a heated pursuit towards economic advancement and competition for enhanced education. Economic statecraft, whereby nations use trade, loans, grants and investment to influence the action of other states, is now becoming more important.

Educational theories such as human capital or postmodernism have been affecting the turn of the present modern civilization. The current setting upholds an environment that answers to the global needs of the world. Postmodernism in the concept of global community has been the popular ideal for the last couple of years wherein development and progress of nations are becoming more and more dependent to each other. For instance, internationalization of education is now the current trend amongst different nations in its aim to increase knowledge of human capital and their educational background share and accumulate larger profit (Torres, 2003).

Human capital theory and postmodernism approach as mentioned is an essential process, the result of human capital education as well as economical progress. It refers to the increasing integration of economic development and education all around the world, particularly through increased human capital skills. The term sometimes also refers to the movement of people (labor) and knowledge across international borders. There are also broader cultural, political, and environmental dimensions of education as it is relate with development. The term has come into common, reflecting economical advances that have made it easier and quicker to complete international demands for highly productive staffs (Laura, 1996).

Based on the theory of human capital and the postmodernist theory of the comparative and international education, it can be concluded that education has a significant relation and play a critical and important role in national development as it provides powerful catalyst for changes and transitions. Being able to realize this, different nations has provided different policies to make sure that their people are given access to their human right of quality and effective education.   In addition, realizing the relationship between education and development has open channels for protecting and promoting the right of people to quality education in all areas and shall take accurate steps to make education accessible to all for the benefit of the nation.

This is because, both theories adheres to the notion that education prepares the people to become a productive and highly skilled player in the economic field, hence giving the best means to ensure that all people are given the chance to be equipped with skills and Knowles as well as competence which can only be obtained through education. By and large, it can be concluded that human capital theory and postmodernism theory are similar in their goals and objectives but have different approach in presenting the relationship of education and economic development.

In much way, the world has become more decisive and critical and misunderstanding of a clear cut model means that people are striving or building towards one. In this regard, educational system of a specific nation should be equipped with the ability to provide what is needed to enhance economic status. Perhaps it can be said that the term development is considered to be more symbolic and in order to be fully developed, the role of education is very important since it can create new opportunities for people to learn and to engage in more productive activities than confined themselves in a position where they are being left behind by others. This goes also with the current situation of nations which have no effective educational system.



Altbach, PG (1985). Servitude of the Mind? Education dependency, and neocolonialism. In Perspective on comparative higher education: a survey of research and literature. Princeton, NJ: International Council for Educational development.


Arnove, RF (1980). Comparative and International Education Society. Comparative Education review vol. 24 (1). Online available at retrieve September 23, 2008.


Becker, GS (1993). Human Capital: a theoretical and empirical analysis. with special reference to education. 3rd edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


Laura, R (1996). Formal Schooling and the production of modern citizens in the Eccuadorian Amazon. In the Cultural production of the educated person: critical ethnographies of schooling and local practice by Bradley Levinson, Foley, DE, Holland, DC, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.


Psacharopoulos, G and PAtrinos, HA  (2004). returns to Investment in education: A further update. Education Economics, vol 12 (2).


Tikly, L (2004). Education and the new imperialism. Comparative Education Vol. 40 (2).


Torres, CA (2003). Education Power and the state: successes and failures of Latin American education in the twentieth century. In The international  handbook on the sociology of education: an international assessment of new research and theory. by Carlos Alberto Torres and Ari Antikainen. Lanham, MD: Oxford: Rowman and Littlefiled.