Reflection on the Iranian Academic General Curriculum in the Globalization Era

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Educational Innovation and Training, Institute of Research and Planning of Higher Education, Tehran, Iran.


The academic general curriculum is of great importance alongside the specialized curriculum; this field is not only limited to the subject of human knowledge and scientific disciplines, but is also related to the development of personal capabilities, such as the creativity and intellectual abilities, transfer of cultural heritage and values, and the evaluation of committed and accountable citizens. The present study aims to investigate the various areas of the Global Citizenship Education (GCE) in the academic general curriculum in Iran. This is an applied research wherein, a qualitative content analysis method, the thematic analysis (themes), has been applied to the two levels of the selected documents (the law on the goals, duties and organizations of the Ministry of Science, the comprehensive scientific map of Iran, and Iran's sixth development plan) and syllabuses of the general courses approved by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. The data collection tools included content analysis, note-taking, and a checklist. A descriptive-analytic method was applied to interpret and analyze the data. Based on the research findings, the level of contents associated with globalization has a significant degree of severity and weakness from one course to another in terms of the qualitative aspect. It is certain that most of the contents related to the components of globalization often have indirect links and regarding the positive, negative, and neutral aspects, it can be claimed that the neutral aspect is of considerable significance compared to the other aspects. The qualitative content analysis of the documents and syllabuses of the general courses was done and subsequently, the obtained scheme indicates that the existing approach to the GCE in Iran is a combination of political and civic education approaches, cultural transfer, and the neo-liberal approach, and hence, the educational system should try to train global citizens with an Iranian–Islamic identity. Among the important points in the analysis of the documents is a lack of distinction between globalization and internationalization.