Panel on General Education in the Globalizing World

Thursday, 24 August, 17:15 - 18:45
Location: K1.02 Auditorium 2

Speakers: Meinert Arnd Meyer; Wolf-Michael Catenhusen; Lejf Moos, David Little; Zhengmei Peng

Stating that we live in a globalizing world has become a common place in many higher education disciplines, in politics, the media etc., at least in Europe. However, information on the transformational power of curricula good for globalizing general education is scarce. This means that we need research on instruction and the globalizing curriculum, research which is not naive epistemologically, politically, educationally, morally and from an intercultural point of view. And we need top sense constructions that constitute a frame for the research work done under it. We should therefore discuss, on this panel, what this frame can look like. The following lines are meant as invitation to this discussion. (1) The first approach should have sociological format. Societies need to make sure that the next generation is ready and capable to take over in due time, be it in working life, culture, civil society, politics or family life. Therefore, society at large and specifically state governments need to assist the efforts of families and local communities in providing their children the best opportunities. Good general education curricula are good for that. (2) However, taking over the productive role of the grown up generation implies not only basic competences, but also a creative capability for independent thought and critique. And this is not enough. General education can follow Wolfgang Klafki and focus on three competences, self-determination, co-determination and solidarity. (3) These two corner stones of didactical (instructional and curricular) research need a third cornerstone, namely subject matter of such a quality (or: power) that it can help students solve their developmental tasks. This can be exemplified with respect to John Dewey’s legacy. Society is in order when it allows its sub-groups to participate in the distribution of “the good” produced by society as a whole, and this under equitable conditions. (4) Combining thinking and critique on the one side and self-determination, co-operation and solidarity on the other side with high quality subject matter produces the well-known didactical triangle: Teacher, students and stuff (or: subject matter) have to come together. But the three cornerstones do not suffice for the construction of a sense making frame when we turn to the globalizing world. General education in the globalizing world is communication fostering cooperation in spite of differences, uncertainties and contingencies. Focusing on what the Germans call Bildung is promising in this situation. It does not imply that all of mankind is taught one and the same general education curriculum. The next generation should rather learn how to communicate in spite of differences, how to negotiate meaning and how to create sense.

Future ECERs

ECER'24, Nicosia
ECER'25, Belgrade
ECER'26, Tampere
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The aim of the ‘European Conference on Educational Research’ is to create an inclusive platform for initiating, reporting, discussing and promoting high quality educational research ...
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