Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Green education taiwan 20100429


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Green education taiwan 20100429

  1. 1. Education and the Change of Mindsets: Can Education Save the Planet? Eduardo Chaves Retired Professor of Philosophy of Education University of Campinas Campinas, SP - Brazil
  2. 2. A view from philosophy • There has been, since Socrates, a school of philosophy that sees very positive aspects in skepticism, does not see merit in unanimity and is suspicious of consensus, and that therefore prefers to ask questions rather than to answer them • I happen to be a member of this school • Therefore I will be more concerned with raising some questions about “Green Education” than giving answers to them
  3. 3. My thesis about the many problems we face • I’m suspicious of single-issue campaigns and crusades • Climate change, global warming, green education are important, indeed – but they are one single issue, related to the physical environment • Perhaps they should not be isolated and seen as the most important challenge we have to face • We have many other huge problems to solve • And we do not have a lot of time to solve them • My thesis: new mindsets are the only effective way to face these challenges (including the environment) • And mindsets have to do with education...
  4. 4. Mindset • This concept has assumed central stage and become one of the most important concepts with which we, as educators, have to do deal • Many people who are not educators are dealing with it in books and lectures
  5. 5. Carol S Dweck MindSet: The New Psychology of Success
  6. 6. John Naisbitt Mind Set! Mind Set! will transform the way you think about your future
  7. 7. Mindset – the concept • A set of beliefs that people assume and that defines the way they look at things, analyze issues, answer questions, solve problems – summing up, defines how they think and behave and why they do things • These assumptions become so well set in the minds of people that (if aware of them) they stop considering them open to discussion and consider them final truths • Conditioning the way we look at the world and the way we behave, mindsets are powerful obstacles to change – and often become a source of conservative behavior or (not rarely) of inaction
  8. 8. Mindsets vs habits • Mindsets should not be confused with habits, although they may have similarities • A habit seems to involve non-rational components: it is not something you think about, make a decision (“I am going to develop this habit”), plan what to do, and then do it. (Animals have habits, not mindsets) • It is hard to imagine what “education of habits” would be like (unless it were conditioning, similar to what we do for dogs and other animals • Mindsets seem to be, to a very large extent, under our conscious control – and so can be the object of education
  9. 9. Mindsets – how they operate • Mindsets seem to often exist in pairs – two sets of contrasting or even conflicting assumptions about a given issue • The two sets of assumptions, if conflicting, cannot be both true, as such, although there may be elements of truth in each of the competing mindsets
  10. 10. Example of contrasting mindsets – 1A • About people • Mindset x: • People dislike working / studying and will attempt to avoid working / studying (if they can) • People have no ambition, want no responsibility, and would rather follow than lead • People are not naturally / intrinsically motivated: in order to motivate them we need extrinsic rewards / punishments • People are self-centered and so do not care about collective (e.g., organizational) goals • People resist change • People are naïve, credulous and not particularly intelligent
  11. 11. Example of contrasting mindsets – 1B • About people • Mindset y: • Work/study come to people as naturally as play / rest • People like to be self-directed to meet their work/study objectives if they are commited to them • People will be committed to their objectives if rewards have to do with satisfaction of higher needs (such as self- realization or self-fulfillment – or happiness...) • People seek responsibilities under these circumstances • Most people can handle their responsibilities because some form of intelligence (if intelligence is conceived broadly) is rather common in the population
  12. 12. Example of contrasting mindsets – 1C • The past example, with both its “theory x” and “theory y” components, comes from the work of Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of the Enterprise (1960)
  13. 13. Example of contrasting mindsets – 2A • About intelligence • Intelligence is one and has to do with our capacity to logically analyze issues and solve problems often of a linguistic, numeric or symbolic nature • Intelligence is basically innate • Intelligence is relatively fixed • Intelligence is such that there is little that can be done to improve it through pedagogical or social programs (Mindset exemplified to some extent in the book The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, 1994)
  14. 14. Example of contrasting mindsets – 2B • About intelligence • Intelligence is multiple and has to do with a variety of basic competencies we use to live in this world and achieve our goals in it, in areas such as, for instance: • Verbal • Systemic / Synthetic • Musical • Reflexive / Contemplative • Individual / Solitary • Numeric • Logic / Analytic • Spatial • Active / Cinesthetic • Interactive / Collaborative • Intelligence is not innate, it depends on environment • Intelligence is not fixed, and so can be improved (Mindset exemplified in the work of Howard Gardner)
  15. 15. Mindsets, education, schools • These contrasting mindsets affect very deeply the way we educate, the way we set up and run our schools • Imagine a school where: • Students are not trusted • Students are not believed to be naturally motivated to learn • Students are supervised and controlled all the time • Student activities and student time are planned in every detail without their input or participation • The activities that count: symbolic, verbal, numerical • Compare this school with Summerhill, Sudbury Valley, Lumiar, etc.
  16. 16. But let us go back to our urgent problems • I will use here a lot of what I learned in an important book and several lectures by Jean-François Rischard. • The book is: High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve them (2002)
  17. 17. High Noon: 20 Global Problems 20 Years to Solve them Jean-François Rischard Essential reading!
  18. 18. Why I find this book important • Because the book calls us away from our provincialisms, nationalisms, regionalisms, particularisms... – and asks us to look at problems from a truly global perspective • Because it calls us away from single-issue concerns (like environment, poverty, terrorism) to a multiple-problem agenda of truly global problems • Because it calls our attention to a methodology of / for problem-solving that, if successful, will help us make progress in many fronts • Because it does not see the solution to problems alone in governments (not even in global government) but in global networks of governments, businesses, and NGOs
  19. 19. Categories of global problems • Problems that have to do with our planet (natural issues) • Problems that have to do with the way we choose to live on this planet (social, economic, political issues) • Problems that have to do with the way we regulate our life on this planet (normative, legal issues) [The first two categories have six problems each, the last, seven]
  20. 20. Improving our planet as a physical habitat • Reduce global warming, remove threats to climate • Preserve biodiversity and prevent ecosystem losses • Fight deforestation • Fight fisheries depletion • Reduce water deficits • Improve maritime safety and reduce ocean pollution [Only the first has to do with the topic of this forum. The other five are extremely important. The last two have to with water]
  21. 21. Improving the quality of our humanity • Fight poverty • Fight global infectious diseases • Fight ignorance and incompetence, providing quality education for all • Bridge the digital divide • Keep peace, prevent conflict, combat terrorism • If we cannot prevent them, predict and mitigate the dire consequences of natural disasters [The first three may well be the gravest problems we have]
  22. 22. Improving the way we solve problems • Reinvent taxation for the 21st century • Create rules for trade, investment and competition • Create rules for e-commerce • Create a global financial architecture • Create rules for use of biotechnology • Deal effectively with traffic and use of illegal drugs • Deal effectively with intellectual property rights • Deal with international labor and migration rules [These problems may not seem as serious, but they set up the context for solving the other ones]
  23. 23. A sense of urgency • Rischard’s book was published in 2002... Eight years have already gone • And we have not made much progress in solving most of these problems • WHY? • I dare suggest some reasons
  24. 24. 1 – “Partialism” • We look at the problems one at a time • We erect the problem at which we are looking into the most important and reduce the importance of the others [In Brazil for a long time not every child in school age was in school. So this was the problem to fight. The government had to place every child in school, even if it was the worst of schools and children stayed there only two hours a day. The problems of improving the quality of the school and of increasing the time the children remained in school was left for a the future. 1 shows that we lack a systemic approach.]
  25. 25. 2 – Self-centered, local, particularist focus • [Adam Smith: the loss of our little finger compared to the death of ten thousand on the other side of the world] • Taiwan is concerned with the military power of China • Japan is concerned with the economic growth of China • The US are concerned with the political power of China • Brazil is concerned with the commercial strategy of China • Switzerland is concerned that money-laundering may cause problems to the privacy of its banking system • Places that suffer many natural disasters are concerned with tempering with the environment • If our GDP, per capita income, currency is OK, then fine
  26. 26. 3 – Cultural provincialism, chauvinism • In areas such as customs, dress, food, religion, the arts, what people call natural beauty, and, naturally, sports we are quite provincial • Globalization is reducing a bit this parochialism, but it is still quite strong [2-3 make us ignore the problems of others. We only get concerned and involved when problems get close to us. We lack a global perspective.]
  27. 27. 4 – “Governmentalism” (Statism?) • In most places (except, perhaps, in parts of the United States), when people see a problem, they usually say: “the government ought to do something about that” • We’ve grown to expect government to solve most of our problems • If the problem is global, then the United Nations ought to try and solve it • We never say, about taiwanese problems, “Why hasn’t Asus done something about that?” • We never say, regarding global problems, “Well, well... Microsoft ought to do something about that”
  28. 28. Solution • The solution to these problems will only arrive when we manage to do three things: • Look at these problems in a systemic way, not in a partial, fragmented, isolated way • Look at these problems from a truly global perspective, as citizens of the world, not as citizens of this or that nation • Seek the source of the solution not in governments alone (not even in a global government) but in a set of inter- connected networks of governments, businesses, non- governmental organizations, and even individuals
  29. 29. Technology and education • The technology that will allow us to organize ourselves to seek the solution of these problems is here • What is missing is the mindset... • But the mindset will not change if we continue to think of the problems of Brazilian education, of Taiwanese education, etc. instead of global education, and if we continue to think that it is the government of Brazil, of Taiwan, etc., or UNESCO, that have to solve the problem of global education, leaving aside private companies, non-governmental organizations, committed individuals
  30. 30. Education • And yes, I believe education can save the planet (even helping us solve the environmental problems) • But only if education is much more than merely green: if it transforms itself in order to be able to help students all over the world grow up with a new mindset
  31. 31. Thank you! Eduardo Chaves