Lebanon is in the midst of a major educational reform that started shortly after the Lebanese Parliament signed the Taif Accord in 1989 that ended a devastating fifteen-year civil war (1975-1989). The new constitution of Lebanon settled the issues of identity and belongingness that used to divide the Lebanese and stressed the need for openness to other cultures and western ideas. These principles were incorporated into new educational policies and were reflected in the Plan for Educational Reform (1994) and the new Framework for Education (1995). Furthermore, the National Center for Educational Research and Development (NCERD) has initiated and implemented an operational plan that led to the introduction of a new educational ladder, devising new pre-college curricula, writing textbooks and implementing comprehensive programmes of in-service teacher education. These reform components are currently being reviewed in light of feedback from educators and based on a systematic review process of the new curricula. This chapter describes and analyses the impact of the Lebanese educational reform. An analytic framework for evaluating the impact of education reforms (Kraft, 1993) is employed taking into consideration the political and social changes in contemporary Lebanon.
Each volume in the 7-volume series The World of Science Education reviews research in a key region of the world. These regions include North America, South and Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Israel, Arab States, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The focus of this Handbook is on science education in Arab states and the scholarship that most closely supports this program. The reviews of the research situate what has been accomplished within a given field in an Arab rather than an international context. The purpose therefore is to articulate and exhibit regional networks and trends that produced specific forms of science education. The thrust lies in identifying the roots of research programs and sketching trajectories—focusing the changing façade of problems and solutions within regional contexts. The approach allows readers to review what has been done and accomplished, what is missing and what might be done next.