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Developing the global dimension Dr Stephen Scoffham Geographical Association Annual Conference April 14th 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing the global dimension Dr Stephen Scoffham Geographical Association Annual Conference April 14th 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing the global dimension Dr Stephen Scoffham Geographical Association Annual Conference April 14th 2012

2 The problem Image removed for copyright reasons

3 Dominant discourses Neo-liberal, market economy – Maintaining advantage in changing world economy (through e.g. intercultural competencies) – New forms of colonialism in knowledge economy Liberal, ethics of care – Over-riding focus on poverty – Danger of othering and paternalistic responses

4 Fair trade Fair Trade Benefits the producer Is a neat way for consumers to express their preferences Helps to change the climate of opinion Questions Can be presented as a ready- made solution Raises political questions when taught critically Runs into ethical objections


6 Classroom practice - Ofsted Two students presented the ideas of Fairtrade to the governors. They explained how this would benefit people around the world who were being treated unfairly and could not speak out…… The whole of the Fairtrade group took to the streets of the local shopping centre to encourage shops and cafes to sell Fairtrade products…. After the event, one of the students said, I feel we have made a big difference to the attitudes of managers and bosses. Ofsted (2010) Making a World of Difference, London: Ofted Para 117

7 Classroom practice- textbooks One recent secondary school textbook devotes 10 pages to development issues The activities do not allow students to explore the issues around fair trade, but are given over to exploring why fair trade is a good thing. One of the activities suggests things your class could do to help LEDCs In this activity geographical education has been replaced by an uncritical approach to global citizenship. There is no getting away from it. This is an ideologically loaded approach to teaching the subject. Lambert, D. and Morgan, J. (2011) Geography and Development: Development education in schools and the part played by geography teachers, London: Institute of Education

8 ITE Students objections fair trade The money simply goes to the middleman Fair trade goods dont taste good Poor students cant afford to pay more In school children could only buy fair trade What I do individually wont make a difference We should care for the poor in the UK first There have always been poor people Im always going to put myself first

9 Further questions – How do we avoid idealising the ethical consumer and acknowledge the complexities of the real world? – How can we stop making students feel they are responsible for global inequality? – How do avoid promoting hidden messages of patronage and power? – How can we best approach the underlying ethical issues? – How appropriate is it to teach children about issues which might lead them into political action?

10 Hidden messages EmergenciesChild sponsorship Image removed for copyright reasons

11 Modes of Care - Heidegger Leaping in Focus on the matter at hand that is of concern to the other Avoids relating to the other Takes over for the other Domination of the other, creation of dependence Leaping ahead Focus on the others well being in the rootedness of their lived situation Requires relating to, and understanding context of the other Enabling agency of the other by helping to see own solutions to problems Freeing the other, in[ter]depedence

12 Education and care Solving the lls of society OR Understanding the causes of the ills of society Leaping in MDGs, charity, campaigning OR Leaping ahead Relational understanding, interconnectedness, multiple perspectives

13 Questions to consider Are teachers aware of the pros and cons of charitable giving? How can colleagues with significantly different ideas about global justice work together? Do we run a danger of imposing our values on children? Where does teaching end and indoctrination begin? Is it possible to engage with distressing global issues without being drawn into them?

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