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Transform.Ed Briefing #41
Inside the Briefing: Self-expression, alternatives to status quo, and critical thinking - for possibilities vital to dissent, democracy, and education
Dissent, though often viewed as negative or undesirable, is a safety valve of any healthy society and can help avoid violence and conflicts. Whether Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement or the broader civil rights movements in the US, history is replete with instances where dissent has been a powerful way of driving societal change and progress.
The unfortunate reality is that even in democracies, education does not often prepare young people with the art and science of dissent due to its misassociation with violence and anti-establishment attitude. Dissent can enable us – individually and collectively — to consider diverse expressions and can help shape more inclusive, diverse, compassionate, and future-forward societies.
One of the criticisms of the prevalent education system is that it views learners as passive and compliant recipients of instructions as opposed to being a force for critical inquiry, creativity, and celebration of unique human expressions. At the core of being an effective dissenting voice is a well-informed view of the issue and one’s ability to form strong arguments.
Last week, we asked our readers what approaches are the most effective in enhancing students’ proficiency in argumentation. 50% of respondents believed that creating a safe environment is the best approach, while the other half was equally split between encouraging debate and dialogue and promoting thought-provoking readings.
Democracies are under stress and duress even in countries and regions that are widely held to be democratic. Given that educators and institutions face extreme onslaught and threats both from the State and other actors, it is unsurprising that they do not focus enough on engaging learners in difficult conversations. However, that begs the question – how well are we preparing our young people to learn to be and to live together?
Given the obstacles and threats educators and educational institutions encounter in the face of fostering such a vital skill, what, according to you, are some of the strategies and steps one can take to prepare young people to engage in difficult conversations and learn ways to develop a healthy attitude of acceptance and tolerance in our diverse societies? What can educational institutions do to build confidence in their communities to foster such skills?
Share your thoughts and experiences with your global peers in the comments below or join the conversation on the Global Citizenship Foundation’s Educational Leadership Community, exclusively dedicated to educators worldwide. If you haven’t signed up yet, please get in touch with us here.
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— Aaryan Salman
Global Citizenship Foundation
By Dr. Amani G Jarrar | .ed Magazine
By Mike Miller | Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
By National Communication Association
(Free Entry) This is an Online Event hosted by CDC Veto Violence
(Free Entry) This is an Online Event hosted by OECD
(Free Entry) This is an Online Event hosted by Edweek
This gripping documentary portrays a generation of passionate Hong Kong activists striving for democracy. It follows Joshua Wong's efforts to prevent the introduction of National Education and Ma Jai's fight against political oppression.
By Duke University (via Coursera )
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The Global Citizenship Foundation is a leading specialist international organization based in South Asia (NCR Delhi, India) and the European Union (Tallinn, Estonia). Its principal mandate is to realize the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Target 4.7 (Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development). Since 2016, the GCF has impacted education in 70+ countries, striving to transform education for human and planetary flourishing.