Oh. My. God. Thanks Mindlab. Reading these latest articles gave me a mini-crisis of pessimism. I’ve always been a glass half-full kinda guy, but to read about the global growth of the poor, the economies of debt, exclusionism, and populist politics…..then to turn on a TV or open a news app and observe with dread fascination as the orange one does his latest alternative facts shtick….it’s enough to make me gulp and quiver just a wee bit. I had to have a choccy biscuit, a cuppa tea, and a lie down. Note to self: Must hang onto the notion that trends aren’t definite, and that education can help!
First thing to have a bit of a rant about…… let’s get the idea out there that patriotism as spouted by many is just the conviction that your country is the best because you were born in it. True patriotism shouldn’t be flag-waving and thanking soldiers for their service overseas. True patriotism should be when we are fortunate enough to be able to pay a bit extra in our taxes to support our fellow citizens who are struggling with health care, mental issues, or poverty. True patriotism is the embrace of refugees and the commitment to a shared humanity rather than isolationism and xenophobia.
This opens the way for a shared understanding of what globalisation is. Globalisation seems to be looked at in terms of what the concept can do for us, how it can be beneficial for OUR country. But true globalisation is taking on both global benefits and problems. For example, to see the American President walk (or golfcart) away from the latest Paris accord on global warming without signing anything is yugely disappointing. More than that though, it’s a reflection of the educational state of a nation that appointed him as leader in the first place. An AP/GFK poll in 2011 showed that 77% of the American population believed in angels, but only 40% of Americans, in the same poll, who even concede that climate change is happening will admit that it’s primarily due to man-made activity. (this is in stark contrast to the 98% of scientists who agree the climate change is real, it’s happening now, and we, humans, are the cause)
SIDENOTE: It cracked me up that in the US commissioned paper for the readings they stated, “nationalist appeals will be prominent in China, Russia, Turkey, and other countries where leaders seek to consolidate political control by eliminating domestic political alternatives while painting international relations in existential terms.” Cough, cough, Pot kettle black, anyone?
On a student level I feel that the ideas, concepts, technology and social interactions our young ones are required to navigate are evolving too fast. Way too fast. We must give our students the ability to stay abreast of them, to determine what’s important now, and what’s going to be important in the future. More and more, it feels like that is a shared effort. Students and teachers together in one boat, offering each other assistance as we paddle furiously to stay afloat in the whitewater rapids of the future.