What is Global Education?
Environmental education is already long-established in Hungary. Peace- education is not so wide-spread but there are considerable networks in Europe engaged in conflict-resolution. The joining to the European Union gave international development and development education a stimulus. The ENSZ Decade of Education for Sustainability (2005-2014) began. The democracy and human rights education is also on the agenda. Health education is emphasized in schools. Preparing people for multicultural circumstances is well known in the civil sphere. Significant education is preventing from dependency in areas of drugs, alcohol and smoking. Also there is some type of demography education which is preventing from diseases (mainly AIDS).
How gathers this great variety of educations together to GE (Global Education)?
Global: in place, time, view, entity, methodology, age, science.
We can apply to education the attribute „global” at least in the following seven senses:
- Whole sphere: it focuses on the whole globe which was contracted to a “worldwide village” by the globalisation, and even more, it enlarge our view to the whole cosmos.
- Whole time: on the base of historical (and even geocronological) lessons global education teaches us to think in centuries, long-term responsibility for the future generations.
- Whole human: body, mind and soul, it focuses not only on the material needs of people but mainly on the development of the human personality (including that substance of it which according to most of the religions and philosophies survives even the death).
- Whole Creature: it goes beyond the human being and it educates on responsibility towards other creatures and even beauties (for example: protection of landscapes and cultural heritages, noise- and light pollution which disturbs the silence and the cosmic experience, etc.).
- Whole metodology: formal system of education, non-formal possibilities (trainings, workshops, etc.) and informal frames (internet, media, festivals, unknown target groups).
- Whole scale of ages: not only education of youth, but life long learning, adult and professional education, trainings of leaders, teachers, etc.
- Whole interdisciplinarity: e.g. social science can’t understand society without views of natural science. Sustainability needs to slow down natural driving forces of real flows behind social issues.
GE: sustainability on the limited Earth
One of the main messages of GE is that the Earth is round. The reader might think now that this is a well known fact. But the present state of humanity shows that it hasn’t already got to the common knowledge. Columbus only realised that it is worth to start robbing campaigns to the West, too. He didn’t think about the limits of the Earth as he took full advantage of the New World. He didn’t raise the question: why we don’t have enough places in Europe any more? And where will we spread further when we have already overcrowded even the New World?
Since then neither most of decision-makers nor the man of the street did realise that the Earth is round which means it is limited. According to the report of the UN Population Program 2005 about 76 million unwanted conceptions happened last year only in the so-called developing countries. But only very few people take care about this. „Where God gives a lambkin, he also gives a land for it” says the naive saying. It’s trying to shift the responsibility for fertility, supposing the Earth has no limits. Lots of politicians and advertisements promise endless growth. Lots of economy adventurers fill their pockets with money referring to this infinity. Speaking about sustainable growth (or about sustainable development with a meaning of growth) is a self-contradiction.
One of the main goals of GE is sustainability. It doesn’t mean that things going on now should be going on like this for a long time!
A simple definition:
Sustainability = the ecological footprint is less than the biocapacity.
Our ecological footprint grows proportionally with population and consumption. Environment-friendly solutions are moderating it. We burden the Earth more than its capacity would bear, so the following things happen:
– We ruin the Earth’s biocapacity while a continually growing population is trying to live on it.
– We cause a loss to the biodiversity, to the weaker groups of humans and to the future generations.
– The forests, the soil and the species perish, the climate changes, the ground water sinks, the energy and raw material sources are running out etc.
Several civilisations in the history overburdened their lands. Some of them collapsed. Some pursued ruthless exploitation on newly conquered territories. Now the overburden became global. There’s no place to spread to. Humanity can only choose between a collapse-type DECREASING or a voluntary gradual DECREASING of population and other Earth- burdening things (production, consumption, pollution, violence).
The Oasis Picture: the dimensions of GE
On the attached oasis–picture the palm tree in the middle shows the ten parts of GE and their connections (see below).
Horizontally the one big and the three little palm trees illustrate the time dimension. The two trees on the left side symbolize the good and bad examples, the sustainable and the collapsed ancient civilisations. These examples help to understand the historical processes and causes. The tree on the right side symbolizes the education on responsibility towards future generations. The soil which turns to desert in the direction of the future (of the right side of the picture) refers to the spoiling capacity of the Earth which threatens the flowers with not turning into fruits.
Vertically the picture illustrates the theme-dimension of GE. The fruits of the personality development feed on the sustainable living (soil and the trunk of the tree).
But GE also educates the responsibility towards living creatures and beauties beyond the human.
The Sun (it can be associated with Aton, the Sun-god of Ekhnaton pharaoh’s love-religion) refers to the substance of human which survives even the death. The development of this substance is the meaning of life.
The thunder-cloud symbolizes that not the technocratic averting but the development of personality is the right answer on the trials of life. The expression „bad weather” arrived to the common language from the tourist point of view of weather forecasts. By the way if we always try to restrain the weather (heating, air-conditioning, travelling by car because of the rain, etc.) we will only make it more unrestrained (hurricanes, etc.).
The training describes in detail all the elements of the educational illustration:
The Oasis Picture: dimensions, elements and structure of GE
If you would like to order the Global Education training, please contact us!