Title

Revolution and Education in Iran

Presenter Information

Khodadad Kaviani

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 301

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

How has the 1979 Iranian Revolution changed education for millions of Iranian children? The ideological shift from monarchy to theocracy has been broad and deep. On the surface, this tectonic shift has meant the replacement of national hero statues in public places with Islamic symbols, enforcement of the Islamic dress code on women and men, commemoration of Islamic religious events and down playing or elimination of pre-Islamic traditions, renaming of streets to honor religious leaders and martyrs, large displays of propaganda paintings on public and private buildings, and even on cake packaging that remind the consumers, “praying is the pillar of faith.” On a deeper level, this ideological shift to theocracy has changed what children are taught in schools and the presence of religious watchdogs in every school ensures the indoctrination of the young children. Children are required to attend prayer sessions in schools and the curriculum includes a heavy dose of religious teaching that promotes obedience to the religious authorities and the theocratic model of government. A careful examination of the textbooks used in Iranian schools from the Shah’s era to today show a remarkable shift from loyalty to the Shah and country, to loyalty to a theocracy that is based on “velayat-e Faghih ولایت فقیه.” Under this model, ultimate power rests with the highest religious authority and the Iranian people are considered as minors in need of guidance and protection.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Khodadad Kaviani

Additional Mentoring Department

Education

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May 16th, 1:10 PM May 16th, 1:30 PM

Revolution and Education in Iran

SURC 301

How has the 1979 Iranian Revolution changed education for millions of Iranian children? The ideological shift from monarchy to theocracy has been broad and deep. On the surface, this tectonic shift has meant the replacement of national hero statues in public places with Islamic symbols, enforcement of the Islamic dress code on women and men, commemoration of Islamic religious events and down playing or elimination of pre-Islamic traditions, renaming of streets to honor religious leaders and martyrs, large displays of propaganda paintings on public and private buildings, and even on cake packaging that remind the consumers, “praying is the pillar of faith.” On a deeper level, this ideological shift to theocracy has changed what children are taught in schools and the presence of religious watchdogs in every school ensures the indoctrination of the young children. Children are required to attend prayer sessions in schools and the curriculum includes a heavy dose of religious teaching that promotes obedience to the religious authorities and the theocratic model of government. A careful examination of the textbooks used in Iranian schools from the Shah’s era to today show a remarkable shift from loyalty to the Shah and country, to loyalty to a theocracy that is based on “velayat-e Faghih ولایت فقیه.” Under this model, ultimate power rests with the highest religious authority and the Iranian people are considered as minors in need of guidance and protection.