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Gerard Aartsen: Education for World Transformation

Presentation Abstract

As historical social movements – as well as the current dangerous trends towards division and materialism – have shown, humanity’s way out of the mounting crises lies in expanding our awareness to include ‘the other’. This is where education proves of vital importance in its original meaning of ‘leading the learner out of existing limitations’. While traditional education is almost exclusively produces ‘professionals’ who are held to account for ‘study success’, it teaches young people what to think, instead of how to think, and the resulting uniformity undermines independent, critical thinking and with it, democracy.

In this workshop, we will explore fundamental notions such as freedom and justice, and how education relates to these as a liberating force in the life of individuals as well as the human family. We will also consider practical approaches to help learners understand the vital need for recognizing ‘the other’ as ourselves and for fostering unity in diversity as the prerequisite for a sustainable future for all.