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Internationalisation of the Curriculum Responsibility, Sustainability and Citizenship – Personal Dimensions.

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Presentation on theme: "Internationalisation of the Curriculum Responsibility, Sustainability and Citizenship – Personal Dimensions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internationalisation of the Curriculum Responsibility, Sustainability and Citizenship – Personal Dimensions

2 So.. the smartly be-suited interviewer asked: Would you say that you take things personally? Much later, I thought: Yes, I do take things personally… I think everyone should take things personally.. I am a teacher and I want the learners in my care to care, i.e. to take things personally. I teach about the environment, one of a vanishing breed at Brookes, and again, yes, I think everyone should take the state of the environment as a matter of personal responsibility. As a species, our greatest problems and deficiencies in life and in the world arise from a reluctance to accept personal responsibility but rather to act from mindless custom, do what we are told, right or wrong, or send the blamer to someone else – Nothing to do with me mate!

3 Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract -- sustainable development -- and turn it into a daily reality for all the world's people (Annan, 2001, p4) Annan, K. 2001.Secretary General calls for break in political stalemate over environmental issues, United Nations Press Release: SC/SM/7739 for 15/03/2001. Retrieved on Sept. 1st, 2007, from 39.doc.htm 39.doc.htm a thoughtful and restrained community [playing] its part in an ecologically sustainable society (Smyth, J.C. 2005.p 263.) Smyth, J.C. 2005. Environment and education: a view of a changing scene Environmental Education Research 12, 3-4, pp. 247-264.

4 Three Faces of Academia Corporate LeaderComplete Modern Academic Old-style Teacher/ Researcher Market AwarenessRAE-REFLearning Image - Prestige - Ranking Grants, Projects, Assistants Educational Development Accounts - budgetPromotionInterest - Inquiry Artha – Tamas – emphasis Wealth and status Kama – Rajas – emphasis – Respect and results. Dharma – Sattva – emphasis – Service and learning _ IoC

5 Two Faces of IoC Globalisation of HE Inc.Planetary Citizenship International income streamSustainability CommodificationPoverty alleviation CredentialismSkills and learning Cherry-pickingInternational development Competitive growth of HEIsCooperation - MNC and business: corporate needsEgalitarianism – Democratic Society HE examined as a struggle between two opposing processes: finance driven globalisation and two United Nations counterweights – education for sustainable development (ESD) and education for democratic citizenship (EDC). Most modern HEIs are presently better demonstrations of the first than the second two… Haigh, M. 2008. Internationalisation, Planetary Citizenship and Higher Education Inc. Compare: A Journal of Comparative Education 38, y, pp xxx-X+17 [ISSN 0305-7925, Online ISSN: 1469-3623] Published on line: (I-first article (url: http:/ September 2007).

6 Example: EDC Democracy should be learned & lived on an everyday basis! (Council of Europe, 2005, p1). EDC is a set of practices & principles aimed at making young people & adults better equipped to participate actively in democratic life by assuming & exercising their rights & responsibilities in society. ( Council of Europe in: Birzea et al., 2004, p13). CE international survey found that most nations looked to their education systems to help solve their socio-economic, political & cultural problems, especially in the ethical areas of respecting diversity, identity, tolerance, rights & responsibilities. Most said the formal taught curriculum should be the pillar for education for democratic citizenship. Also noted: a real gap between declarations & what happens in practice ( Birzea et al. 2004, p5). Bîrzéa, C., Kerr, D., Mikkelsen, R., Froumin, I., Losito, B., Pol, M., and Sardoc, M. 2004. All-European Study on Education for Democratic Citizenship Policies. 94pp. Strasbourg, Council of Europe. So is Brookes University a good model for a Democratic Society?

7 Srila Bhaktivinoda The human spirit is a creature pulled between two world views, an amoral, self-serving, material world & the ethical, service-oriented world of the conscient spirit (Bhaktivinoda Thakura, 1895, p233). Srila Bhaktivinoda, 19 th Century Bengali intellectual, turned his back on the amoral world of commerce, became a teacher in the British system - later a magistrate. Bhaktivinoda Thakura, A.V. Srila. 1895. Jaiva-dharma: the essential function of the Soul (Tr. Sriman Sarvabhavana das). Vrndavana: SKCBT- Brhat Mrdanga Press (2004)

8 Reporting on the Holocaust to the USAs President, Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Laureate, reflected:The most vital lesson … Auschwitz was possible because the enemy … & it is always the same enemysucceeded in dividing, in separating, in splitting human society, nation against nation, Christian against Jew, young against old. And not enough people cared The War Criminals, many were graduates of good universities. Their education failed... What went wrong? It emphasised abstractions not values, concepts not conscience,ideology & efficiency not ethics and reflection. … AND just as we do in most environmental education, it took the learners out of reality and locked them away in a darkened lecture hall while it turned other organisms and even human beings into objects for study. Romanic & Pesic (1994. p109 ) describe Serbias school textbooks: Brimming with xenophobia, contempt and hatred for neighbouring nations, Europe and the world community, such texts fit well into the propaganda system that made this war psychologically possible

9 Our educational curriculum is an evolving compromise. Embedded within are many values, past and present. Parocialism is endemic. Xenophobia lurks beneath the surface. Lord Trevelyan advised the British Parliament on India:Educated in the same way... they become more English... just as the Roman provincials became more Romans than Gauls (Trevelyan, 1853). Swami Vivekananda observed these educational institutions …are simply to get a lot of useful, practical slaves for little money... a host of clerks, postmasters, etc ( Vivekananda 1899, in Vivekananda - Complete Works: 1989, v 7, p 181-182). Even in current IoC thinking bringing the foreigners up to our speed &, from those days of Empire, making the foreigners more like us remain strong themes. It is less usual to hear that our Educators may make their ways more cosmopolitan & make what we teach fit better with international expectations. Rather, we stay-at-home folk expect the foreigner to understand to our local customs, traditions (& hidden curricula) on arrival.

10 Back to Nature…the Environment, ESD and Personal Responsibility. U21176: Gaia, teaches that humans are a recent addition to a biological system that has actively regulated the Earths environment for almost 4 billion years. From, this perspective, there is only one history of humanity. The tribes it creates from time to time matter little. It also teaches that when humans were a thousand times greater, the impact is major. Global environmental change is a complex & controversial process. However, there is no doubt that human actions are driving this change or that it is headed in a direction that is not favourable for our species (IPCC, 2007).

11 Our present way of life is not sustainable & sooner or later it will change … the future is not to be foretold, it is to be created… & that is up to us. (E.Laszlo, 2002, You Can Change the World: Action Handbook for the 21 st Century. (Clun, UK, Positive News. p 15). While our world teeters on the edge of environmental calamity; its people court retribution by their carelessness, despoilation and waste (Lovelock, 2006, Revenge of Gaia, Oxford). Long ago, the Vedic Laws of Karma, not unlike those of Environmental Science, suggested that for every action there is a reaction, good, bad - not necessarily equal, but a line of credit or debit to be settled now or later. The problems that threaten our future, many are the result of a billion small actions & individual decisions taken in daily life. These are driven by the way that we as individuals see our world and set our priorities,. These have tended to be oriented toward the accumulation of material wealth, immediate gratification of the senses & the achievement of social power & status. The collective result is a huge balance of payments deficit in our collective duty of care for the Earth; to survive, we need to act to find ways of living peacefully within the Earth, of living as if the future mattered, & enact them soon.

12 Survey of the environmental attitudes of learners & their parents (University Open Day Visitors- are these Brookes values?). Table 1. Environmental Values of Open Day Visitors: Students and Parents (Haigh, 2007). (Score: 5 strongly positive, 3 neutral, 1 strongly negative) Difference from Neutral (p<0.0005) Three Strongest Positive Responses 6. Human beings have a duty to preserve the environment for future generations. +1.710 4 Most environmental problems can be solved by changes in our life style. +1.053 7. Environmental sustainability is the most important concern for human society. +0.824 Three Strongest Negative Responses 2. Most environmental problems can be solved through the production of wealth in a free market. -0.565 10. It is OK to sacrifice environmental quality if this benefits human society as a whole -0.840 5. Human beings have the right to exploit Nature for their own profit. -1.313

13 K2CC Project & the Ecotent (useful MO for IoC)? Project aims to encourage participants to take personal responsibility for their personal impact upon the Earth (cf. Guardians new Tread Lightly campaign) Ecotent - a trail, anEcological Footprint Questionnaire (Bestfoot Forward, 2007); discussion with volunteers & a pledge tree on which to pledge 1 positive change.

14 Questionnaires from 470 people, Who attached 268 (57%) pledges: The main pledges involve:doing more recycling (62), saving electric power (62), greener travel (40), use green electricity provider (17); general affirmations & resolutions to engage in consciousness raising action (17).

15 Ecological Self-Realisation Deep Ecology education: 3-step expansion of the conception of the self. 1 -realisation of the personal self, 2 - realisation of the social Self (family, tribe, nation, species) 3 - realisation of the Ecological Self - part of the community of all life. This would involve a pretty radical change of consciousness, but it would make our behaviour more consistent with what science tells us is necessary for the well- being of life on Earth. We just wouldn't do certain things that damage the planet, just as you wouldn't cut off your own finger Zimmerman & Atkisson (1989, p24)

16 Great.. But really how do communicate and reduce the personal connection between Karma & Climate Change? Easy positive actions will lead to a better environment, happier society, a better healthier life and a clearer conscience.. – Environment – sustainable, vitality, unpolluted – Society – egalitarian, inclusive, ethical, compassionate, caring, greener - low impact, more individual responsibility, kinder to the future. (Campaigns - Fair Trade, Rights of Humans & other living Creatures, Ahimsa, spiritual?). – Bodies – healthy, reduced dependencies /addictions, diet- vegetarian, more self-aware, less stressed and driven – Conscience - feel-good, peace of mind. contentment.

17 Scoping a Change of Heart, Values and Culture Message: K2CC means having more not less.. ?Sequence – Env, Soc, Self, Spirit (Conscience) / Bhutan More Less Healthy habitatPollution, disease and contamination Simple LifestyleClutter, worry, waste and carbon. Wholesome dietWorry about additives, chemicals and diseases. VegetarianWorry about cruelty and carbon QualityQuantity, junk and waste Time for LifeMissed, rushed, neglected and ignored Self-respect / independenceDependency, addiction and greed. Contentment /detachmentStress, angst and greed Compassion and kindnessIntolerance and iniquity Peace of Mind / Inner PeaceEnvy, anger and greed

18 Some Personal Discussion Points Teach courses to planetary citizens - help those stay-at-homes catch up with the more cosmopolitan international learners?. Cut out the parochial in HOW you teach – a local university for local people? Teach from the heart to the heart and mind – everyone should take their learning personally as also their responsibility to the future? Corporate or RAE thinking cannot give the learners the education they need. Our customers know this - does Brookes? Learners need help to engage with their personal environmental & social responsibility – to think about ethics, sustainability & democratic citizenship? Brookes mission would be more appropriate if it sought to become a good model of both sustainability and democratic social order?

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