The Results of Four Decades of Authoritarian Islamization of Education in Iran

Bilingual Lecture Series

The Results of Four Decades of Authoritarian Islamization of Education in Iran

A Zoom lecture in Persian by Saeed Paivandi (University of Lorraine, France)

Sunday, January 8, 2023
11:30 AM (Pacific Time)

Image for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button

Image for RSVP Button

The advent of the Islamic Republic in Iran (IRI) in 1979 constituted a paradigmatic turning point for the education system, which had a secular orientation since the constitutional revolution of 1906. In an effort to reshape institutions, such as the education system, that are perceived as “westernized,” the Islamic state has associated access to science with “authentic” forms of religious knowledge. The Islamization of the school and the allocation of a quarter of the curriculum to religious training aims to socialize religiously a new generation and use schools as a vehicle of ideological instrumentalization for socio-political control. This de-secularization of schools has generated a deep gap between religious (Shiite) education grounded in the past tradition, and the secular and modern daily experiences of the youth at present. Coercive religious norms have intensified sex segregation and discrimination on the bases of gender and sexuality, religious and ethnic differences. The recent uprising led by youth, especially girls, against the compulsory veil imposed by the Islamic State can be considered as a collective revolt against the Islamized Education and indoctrination in Iran. Not only the education system, but the entire state seems to be facing an unprecedented existential crisis.

Saeed Paivandi
is Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lorraine, Nancy, France. Prior to this, he was senior faculty at the University of Paris 8 (1996-2011). He has a Habilitation (HDR), PhD, a Masters in Sociology of Education from University of Paris, and a Masters in Sociology from University of Tehran. His research focuses on the Iranian education system in a comparative perspective and the experience of the Islamization of schools and universities in Iran since 1979. Dr. Paivandi has published several articles on the evolution of the question of gender in the curriculum and the critical analysis of the cycle of (de)secularization of education. He has also published a book on the experience of Islamization of the education system in Iran in French (2005), a book on critical analysis of Iranian textbooks in English (2008), and a research report for UNESCO (Global Education Monitoring, 2022) on non-state actors in education in Iran.

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Iranian Studies, Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian Studies