07 SES 01 A, Intercultural Education
To educate the young first means to introduce them to collective memories and values. But education also includes an introduction to ongoing negotiations about social, political, economic, and cultural questions with respect to different actors and agencies, and therefor the need for reflexive interpretations during and of these processes. Education in all stages thus refers to different memories and to many different actors in the field.
Pedagogy, understood as the preparation of future generations for an unknown and unexpected future, must deal not only with the uncertainty of the future, but also with the certainty and uncertainty of values and memories. Schools must deal with these questions while educating in different social and cultural contexts. That is, they face quite different problems when anticipating one future for the younger generation. The introduction to collective memories and values at schools mostly refers to one particular social and cultural narrative that does not necessarily meet the need of marginalized students and people with different cultural background.
Thus, pedagogical endeavours in transmitting the knowledge of one narrative or one culture run the risk of being dogmatic by insisting on one way (most certainly a bourgeois way) of interpreting past and current conditions and of anticipating desired and undesired “futures”. Nevertheless, pedagogy and “public pedagogy” (Giroux) are the most powerful actors in providing knowledge and interpretations. As both provide interpretations, it is the purpose of pedagogical institutions to enable students to the reflexive use of their knowledge. If pedagogy aims to educate responsible, reflexive subjects, these subjects must be able to question memories, values, and narratives without fundamentalism; additionally the provided worldview and the knowledge itself must be questioned and scrutinized.
Nowadays, given social marginalisation and multi-cultural societies new questions arise: Which memory or memories and values do we need to teach to prepare for future? How is identity formation possible regarding highly diverse memories, values and forms of negotiation? It is up to educational research to find a way to foster creative competences and skills among the younger generation and enable them to meet the mentioned requirements.
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