Meeting with Ngati Awa tribal members to redevelop Whakatane
Education has always been conceived as the Great Emancipator. We have believed that Education would solve the world's problems and bring about equality and freedom for all. Instead, we have an environment on the brink of collapse and a burgeoning economic gap between the rich and the poor that is greater than it has ever been. Indeed, for many, especially those indigenous peoples living under colonial and neo-colonial regimes, Western education has been a disaster. Taking a long, hard critical look at Education, we can begin to see that not only has it not carried out its promise, but that it has been instrumental in the oppression of the poor and vulnerable and that it has spawned a system of development that has created potentially catastrophic world problems (economic, environmental, cultural etc.)
This critical analysis suggests that if we want to solve these global problems we need to completely transform the system of education from the bottom up. It charts the myriad ways in which education has contributed to our current precarious situation. The analysis covers both practical and philosophical components - showing in detail how the Enlightenment rationality that has been the foundation of our education system has been the core instrumentality of our demise. The essay goes on to propose concrete actions that Universities need to take as a matter of urgency if human civilisation is to have a future worthy of the name.
The essay is in draft form and comments would be gratefully received.
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