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Education that Matters

Teachers, Critical Pedagogy and Development Education at Local and Global Level

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Mags Liddy and Marie Parker-Jenkins

Today’s learners are faced with an unprecedented set of global and local development challenges, yet so much of the education on offer is based on yesterday’s thinkers, yesterday’s ideas and yesterday’s lessons. A time of change requires new approaches to teaching and learning which have relevance to learners’ everyday lives now and in the future. This book argues that Development Education needs to be embedded into the curriculum, where it has the potential to strengthen democracy and create a more egalitarian society. It employs the concept of critical pedagogy as a teaching approach which has the capacity to impact on learners’ future decisions.
The book offers a highly accessible and innovative approach to Development Education, challenging teachers to engage with global issues. It demonstrates how knowledge and content, teaching methodologies and global issues can be embedded in education programmes. Drawing on five years of research and practice by leading educators across twelve universities and colleges of education, the book demonstrates the innovative work of the Ubuntu Network project and places it in the international context of rethinking and reorientating education.

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Marie Parker-Jenkins and Mags Liddy 1 Why This Book?: Rationale and Organisation of the Book

Extract

In the time taken to prepare this book, a number of events occurred which reinforced our belief in the urgency of young learners receiving an ‘Education that Matters’, one which develops students’ knowledge and understanding of global issues and one which engenders the skills to engage with the impact of these changes and challenges on their lives and communities. The inter-relationship between industrial advancement and environmental destruction was tragically shown at Fukushima as the earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered nuclear meltdown at two power stations. The destructive power of natural forces was again seen in the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull which caused global disruption to air travel, while the Gulf of Mexico was hugely polluted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spillage. In East Africa, the extent and depth of the famine, born out of complex historical and political events, was exacerbated by violence and war. Economic debt and state bankruptcy has become an issue for many regions, not just a concern for economically developing countries. Yet on the other hand, global activism has signalled the potential for change: the Arab Spring brought years of dictatorship to an end and gave hope to others, while the worldwide ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement has mobilised around the viability of free market capitalism. But how much awareness of these global events filters into children’s education and classrooms? Where and when do they get the chance to learn about these issues, the causes and the possible solutions, or the chance to discuss the implications for...

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