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Education that Matters

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


Edited By 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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Martin Fitzgerald 4 Development Education: Moral Challenge or Educational Opportunity?


Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a waste of time. Vision with action can change the world. — Proverb, often credited to Nelson Mandela The Irish Context The focus of the discussion so far has centred on understanding the variety of definitions and understandings of Development Education. Now we move on to addressing how the theories and concepts of Development Education are presented and taught in the classroom. How do teach- ers engage students about issues of ‘development’ and what pedagogical practices have emerged as ef fective? More fundamentally, at what level do teachers engage with the values of Development Education and what moral or ethical challenges may exist for teachers in subjects which are highly values-driven such as Religious Studies, Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE), Social and Personal Health Education (SPHE) and Business? This chapter will explore these issues and tensions within a spe- cific Irish context but one which raises questions for other school systems. 50 Martin Fitzgerald Development Education and Pedagogy Development Education is a vast and rapidly growing area of knowledge and practice, as highlighted in previous chapters. Concerns about resource management, sustainable business, renewable energy alternatives, waste management and climate change are some topics addressed within develop- ment itself. Advocacy for sustainability occurs at all levels of society from politicians to policy implementers, environmental groups and committed individuals. Despite this, the issue of sustainability and actively pursuing the practice of sustainable development remains peripheral to the day to day activities of...

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