Development of Graduate Education Programs in the Age of Broken Borders

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Risper A. Awuor
David Parks


We live in Friedman’s (2006) flat world with goods, services, ideas, people, and culture flooding across borders. There is increased social consciousness and a new awareness of the vulnerabilities and responsibilities of the nations that once felt secure behind closed borders. Borders are symbolic or real demarcations that restrict, define, enclose, isolate, separate, protect, constrain, blind, and limit. As physical borders fade, the impact of its degeneration on graduate education programs is clear. In this paper we present four of the major concepts that have changed the context of graduate education programs in the era of broken borders. Among the concepts that describe an evolving context of schooling that policy makers and practitioners at all levels of the educational enterprise in all parts of the world are dealing with are digitization, globalization, complexification, and cosmopolitanization. We describe and draw implications of each for schooling and the preparation of educational leaders, particularly at the graduate level. The implications are clear for those in educational faculties that it is time to embrace the digital revolution; and develop programs of study that integrate distance education components, mentorships, face-to-face instruction, student-to-student interaction, and cultural emersion. The influence of these concepts cannot be ignored by our educational systems. It is a reality that we must confront in the schools and classrooms at all levels. Preparation programs for school leaders should incorporate studies of this force that is restructuring and reforming the thinking of peoples throughout the world in order for children to live locally, but be able to think globally.


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