Maaher Sayeed

Blogger / Writer,


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Do basic core educational systems enable global understanding and cooperation?

The world has been changing rapidly in last 30 years with the help of technology and easy access to create, gather and share information. We are certainly living in more global societies than we did 20 year ago. As the cultures mix and people learn to co exist, learn from each other and progress towards better futures, are the educational system aligned to develop the young fresh eager to learn minds to understand and cope with tomorrow’s world?
Many core curricula consist of nationalist and internal focused studies, but often fail to educate the young minds of global contributions and progress made towards human development. Some countries go to the extent of developing hatred towards other nations by teaching carefully developed lessons that feed certain political and national interests. Several cultures from different continents have contributed positively in terms of inventions and major discoveries which is essential for the young minds to learn at an early age. This enables them to understand, respect and value other cultures and cope with the global societies better in the future world.
Are there any significant changes made or are being made globally, especially in the developing countries, to educate young minds on such global contributions that enable them to respect other cultures and promote global integrated thinking towards progress?

  • Feb 18 2013: It hasn't happened yet, and I doubt it will happen. Don't expect too much from education.
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    Feb 18 2013: Maaher, In your explaination you hit on the answer. Educational systems are an extention of the existing government. It has everything to do with political and religious foundation of the country / state. As an example let us compare what the countries of Iran, China, Isreal, Italy, and the USA would have as guidance. A broad spectrum of policial systems and a wide spectrum of religious foundations. The only core here is the prevenent language, math, and science studies. Even the science studies would be effected by the religions and what the doctrine allows.

    So I am going to say education will not be the answer.

    The answer probally will be electronic communications. We e-mail and talk .. good. We see videos of the real world without political spin ... good.

    Thinking is not my strong suit .... however, I see this as a Romeo and Juliet answer. My parents say I cannot like a person who believes as you but I find you interesting and refreshing not at all like my church and parents say you would be like.

    The answer will be one conversion at a time. Not any mass educational model. However, that works well for hate NOT for love.

    I answer you as Maaher ... and judge you as Maaher ... not as a Canadian. Works for me ... friend.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Feb 18 2013: Bob, as usual your input and responses are of interest to me to say the least. You said it absolutely right, education is an extention of the government. So is the media and mass communication models available. They are controlled if not owned by the government in many ways as it has always been.

      But the world of today and the world of tomorrow cannot be confined by the age old paradigms and biased education. The youths of today are not really being prepared with a midset to acknowledge, value, interact and effectively use the global talent pool which seems to be the most effecient way to develop the world of tomorrow.

      As individuals, we may chose to extend our interests and strive to learn these ways ourselves. But in the countries you have mentioned and many others the people are confined by the biased systems and media which limits the broader prespective needed for the future.

      Much appreciated as always Bob! Your friend...
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        Feb 19 2013: Maaher, There is a documentary called 2 million minutes ... it takes a boy and a girl from a few countries and compares educational systems.

        A Sophmore from India was in her third year of Physics and said that the American system look like a vacation. If you get a chance pull up 2 million minutes and read the comments. It is a eye opener.

        Have you ever had the opportunity to talk to a exchange student. Our last student was from Japan and the time in the states does not count toward their graduate credits. What a slap in the American educational systems face.

        All the best. Bob.
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    Gail .

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    Feb 18 2013: What you speak of is against all that our global economy stands for.
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    Feb 19 2013: Great questions Maaher!

    I cannot know about developing countries - the responses in this thread from those with first-hand experience will be interesting

    To the question of enabling global understanding and cooperation?

    Yes and no:
    Yes - if education is practiced as an active choice of students (student learns).
    No - if it is practiced as an active choice of teachers (student is trained).
    The former is true education, the latter is indoctrination.
    Indoctrination is a form of violence.
    Violence breeds violence - the opposite of understanding and cooperation.

    The default state of the human is to understand and cooperate.
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      Feb 19 2013: Mitch, I cant agree with you more on "indoctrination" on how and what young eager minds are being fed and it being a form of violence. This is where the problem lies in obvious light and yet being systematically avoided from being addressed. Hatred and disrespect is being fed in such minds from the basic stages in several countries where individuals grow up blinded by carefully doctored bias which hinders progress and true development. yet they eventually end up facing the reality of global interaction and dinter dependencies.

      I guess that is where your "Yes - if education... becomes a Necessity.
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        Feb 19 2013: Hi Maaher,

        The indoctrination method of forced training has gradually polluted the cornerstone role of education established during the rennaisance. This is the boiling of frogs under the heat of a class war in which the indocrinated became synomamous with "working class" and now has grown to include a minion group called "middle class".
        I am pleased to see the minion class dissintegrating at this time - the choices are now stark.
        In the agrarian model there are only farmers, sheep sheepdogs and wolves.
        The pack is the only place remaining that honours family and the succour of children.
        Interesting times indeed.
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    Feb 18 2013: Sometimes too much knowledge leads to arrogance. Because whatever we learn about other cultures, no matter how useful such is, is only a part of a bigger picture.
    But ethnocentrism is very difficult to overcome. No matter what we learn about other cultures we still interprete things based on our perspectives. Which may be coloured by bias or prejudice.

    A lot can be gained when we become aware of our own prejudice and bias; and when we understand that our perception of how things should be, is coloured by our society, culture and upbringing.
    • Feb 18 2013: What you say is part of the way we identity ourselves, I suppose. In a way we always define ourselves by looking at others. One could say that we, as individuals and as a group, look at another and define the differences between us as to come to an identity of ourselves. The problem is that we will almost always define this 'significant other' as somewhat 'less then us'. Our identity is what secures our individuality within a group (even as a group). The idea to be part of something without an individual identity is a very threatening thought for a person (and a group).
      The next step in this process, that comes natural to most humans, is to define ourselves in such a way as to make it appear that they are the better man. This, I think, comes from the competitive nature of man.
      To let go of this requires strength of mind and soul. It is something that requires years of learning.

      You are right to say that too much knowledge can lead to arrogance. I suppose that it all depends on the kind of knowledge that you gather and the way you apply that knowledge in day to day life.