2nd. Synthesis and conclusions*
Jorge Osorio, ICAE-Chile
At the end of the first part of our Seminar we set out the need to advance in a practical definition of GCED from local issues as a first space for the exercise of citizenship, and from there to think "globalization" and its impact on the life of people. The ideal (dominant) model of globalization places us before a global reality which creates technological and communicational conditions to promote intercultural dialogue, the search for peace between peoples and the modernization of social development programs that enable to eradicate poverty. However, globalization is being a phenomenon that does not favor a change of mentality and policies in a sense of justice, inclusion and non-domination.
Some speak of a colono-globalization to describe a new neo-colonial model that organizes the production and exchange of tangible and intangible assets from powerful "centers" impervious to ecological, social and cultural realities of peripheries, i.e., of territories, ecosystems, cultures and societies, which are subject to the discipline of major multilateral financial institutions that "homogenize" the world under a so-called "order supported by the liberties and the free market". So obvious realities lead to restructure the very notion of national States and to recognize how the "institutional sense" of domestic policy of countries collapse as a result of the control dynamics of powerful actors of the "global order".
Given this background, the Seminar has examined what is the meaning of designing a strategic action aiming to generate an active citizenship to ensure relations of justice in society and propose a way to understand the factual dynamics of globalization in a sense of responsibility and planetary sustainability involving an economic order that ensures the care of common natural and cultural assets.
K.J. Baldeh, from Gambia, opens this second part of our Seminar putting "feet on the ground" of all we are working for a global citizenship from the peoples. He sets out the tensions caused by globalization understood as technological modernization and communication for individuals and their local communities still living anchored to their traditions and rules of collaborative coexistance, united for belonging to cultures that generate esteem and appreciation of their own history. This "enclosed world" of communities (Baldeh) is impacted by the cultural dynamics generated by global modernization, in particular, technological and media openness to new symbolic "worlds", of consumption, expectations and projects of life.
The processes of identification, belonging and recognition built -in long historical paths- around an idea of the "national" and "own" is stressed in such a way that processes of redefinition of cultural identity occur. The question that Baldeh poses is what content should have an education that "opens to the world", with its demands for critical reading of reality, an own search of its ways of interacting with cultures, with the "other worlds" and of understanding of globalizing dynamics and their concepts of modernization in a context of poverty, exclusion and illiteracy.
Awidi reaffirms what other participants noted: the complex and contradictory nature of globalization and the need to dispute (provide content) to the exercise of citizenship worldwide. The challenge to criticize and overcome the "ethnocentrism" that is dominating the definition of globalization and citizenship is then necessary, as well as trying to give them content from the "edges", from the "peripheries", from "the peoples". The liberal vision of citizenship that Western democracies propose must undergo deliberation from these "edges", from the "invisible" and violated, from the victims of "collateral damage of globalization". Taking on this challenge allows us to take on -in our educational program for global citizenship- situations of great impact on the lives of millions of people such as forced displacement of families and communities, trafficking, terrorism, climate change, protection of biological and cultural diversity, racism, the walls of segregation as a way to confront the problems of refugees and migrants, gender-based violence and discrimination. Awidi, from his own experience, expresses that the local and "the ethnic" is no longer enough to understand the subjectivity of marginalized sectors: the impact of "collateral damage" determines their life and reduces or substantively denies them their "citizenship".
The "center" ("Davos" in the image of T. Ireland) looks at the world from what is known to it and its ways of accounting for what the "different" are, live and expect, "other worlds". Critical education, popular education in Latin America and other regions have built their "teaching of citizenship" as a process of decoding of the politically dominant values and imaginaries and of re-significance of the role of educators working from sub-alternate communities. This has been the tone in which anti-globalization movements have participated in the process of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
In the same perspective, Kiebooms suggests that our education should stretch what is "known" in order to open local communities to global knowledge and cultural multiversity, which are the primary inputs to develop: a) a critical and respectful awareness of diversity (i.e., how the "world" is organized and operates) and, b) a will to appreciate the community aspects (the sense of the common) over the understanding given by the dominant liberalism (Bulajic).
In this context, Skynner proposes us to reflect on the meaning and usefulness that the development of "processes of monitoring" of the GCED can have. The criteria she proposes can be summarized as follows: a) global problems lead international organizations, UNESCO itself, to promote global citizenship education policies in countries; b) these proposals are made by recognizing the cultural diversity of countries, different national education systems and the actions taken by communities, NGOs, social movements and civil society organizations; c) given that the requirement of GCED is a phenomenon rising on global initiatives it is necessary to know what are the contents and how are we educating for global citizenship; d) the problems this global mobilization for GCED are facing are contradictory and complex, since each country or region has its own thematic priorities and consequently the field of citizenship education is multifaceted and not always has mechanisms or entities that can make a follow-up of ongoing projects, its participants, teachers and methodologies.
The commentators appreciate initiatives as the one presented by Skynner, but they make clarifications and set limits. Tuckett highlights what the development (imposition?) of measurement and monitoring policies by multilateral agencies has meant and suggests some criteria that should be the basis for GCED monitoring, including: a) that it is directed to identify and disseminate the most important lessons learned and issues in the regions; b) that civil society organizations have an active role in this critical process of monitoring as catalysts for initiatives and thought; c) that the background to be developed reaches policy makers in order to open in the countries a field of debate on the modalities and contents of GCED in educational policies of the countries.
Baril coincides with Tuckett's opinion and frames these proposals under the saying "democratizing monitoring", while emphasizing three "indicators" that should be on the basis of monitoring: a) how GCED experiences contribute to the democratization of societies; b) how GCED experiences contribute to generate a culture of global sustainability, and; c) how GCED experiences develop skills to exercise rights and citizen participation.
Ireland has finished the discussions in this Seminar calling for GCED not to become an empty concept, manipulated and trivialized by its instrumental, utilitarian and tactical use by the liberal globalist agencies, calling not to stop giving critical, resistance and reestablishment content of a way of life and a new civilizational project that is based on three aspects: a) planetary sustainability; b) full recognition of cultural diversity as a civilizational value and; c) the exercise of common rights for all people, without exclusion and without structural "discard" which causes the neo-liberal globalization.
Picking up the conclusions of the first part of our Seminar and placing them in line with what is proposed in this final part, it is considered that GCED has major challenges for both: a) the shared challenges proposed by international programs (e.g., Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the new goals of Education for All), and b) the requirements of communities that, from the local level, "open up and participate in the world", from the dignity and recognition of their cultures, appealing to: a) peace and sustainability of the planet; b) the ideal of just and participatory democracies; c) the necessary recognition of common rights to access public cultural property; d) the social distribution of power and knowledge; e) live in a world without gender violence or ethnic, territorial and cultural discrimination.
We systematize these appeals by stating three major challenges that remain at the end of the Seminar:
- The challenge of developing new political "literacies" so that the culture of non - discrimination and democratization is expressed in the communities and in everyday life and becomes a "common sense" in a permanent citizen learning.
- The challenge of developing educational actions that generate skills in people and their communities to confront the risk, uncertainties, asymmetries and differences in the globalized world through learning programs placed in local social contexts, promoting popular and community education, citizen participation in public life and the generation of educators capable of leading the "openness to all worlds" with a critical approach and based on the universal value of respect for differences and the search for spaces for the construction of the "humanly common" in a relationship of radical kindness with the common home-the planet.
- The challenge of building local and global citizenship influencing the public arena in order to get policies that ensure access and participation of all people in educational processes at all stages of their lives, both through formal education entities and through cultural and educational institutions of civil society organizations, local communities, social movements, indigenous organizations. In this regard, the seminar showed that educators have the task of influencing those people designing educational policies of countries so that this approach can be at the basis of new educational reforms, their priorities, their investment and the training of teachers.
* The authors of the contributions to this Virtual Seminar are quoted between brackets indicating their names