Edited By Mirja-Tytti Talib, Jyrki Loima, Heini Paavola and Sanna Patrikainen
Teachers’ intercultural competence and education for global responsibility Rauni Räsänen 29
29 Teachers’ intercultural competence and education for global responsibility Rauni Räsänen Introduction Diversity and change are often said to describe present-day societies. In addi- tion, these societies have become more and more interrelated and affected by global transformations. To further complicate things, many present trends, both local and global, seem paradoxical, and the discourses and actions contradic- tory. On the one hand, we experience the unifying effects of globalisation, but at the same time diversity and the value of local cultures are emphasised. Post- modern times are described as constituting an era that celebrates diversity and a variety of identities. Even so, free markets and neoliberalism seem to be the driving forces in many discussions and decisions, and transnational mass cul- tures overrun minority cultures and ways of life. The same paradoxes can be seen in values and ethics. Equality, human rights and peace are recognised as central values and aims in international rela- tions and social policies (including education), yet at the same time social ineq- uity within nations has increased rather than decreased, and conflicts and hu- man rights violations at both local and global levels persist. This makes it chal- lenging to navigate amidst of the changes, and to negotiate value bases and ethical principles. It is particularly challenging for the teacher, who is not only responsible for his/her own choices but is in a position to prepare new genera- tions and the excepted transformations there in future society. (Räsänen, 2007a, p. 18...
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