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May 1992 - Issue No. #08

Roundtable: Views on Global Education

In January 1987, the Church World Service (CWS) magazine "Connections" ran a special issue on Global Education. This included a roundtable where people active in the field briefly described their view of what global education is (excerpts below). Although "Connections" is not currently in print, a related publication from the Church World Service known as SERVICE is. For information about aboutthat publication contact the Church World Service at PO Box 968, Elkhart, Indiana 46515, USA.

Susan George

Susan George is a senior fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies/Transnational Institute in Washington D.C. and Amsterdam.

Our task is to refine the raw ore of emotion and transmute it into the pure metal of competent, systematic -- and successful -- action. Moral or religious indignation, however necessary, is not enough. Emotion by itself never made anything -- no poems, no marriages, no justice. Yet without our untidy welder of love, generosity, anger, fear, outrage, we would never be motivated to change anything; we would be prisoners of the status quo.

Global Education -- simply another name for analysis -- means getting things right and explaining them to others. We, the relatively well-fed and relatively rich, can perhaps afford the luxury of being inaccurate and lukewarm, and of getting things wrong. Those who suffer from hunger, poverty, and injustice cannot afford that we do so. They live on the brink, and they do not have that sort of time. This is the urgency of Global Education.

Carlos Sintando

Carlos Sintado is an Argentinean theologian who is presently executive secretary for development education at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland.

Global Education helps us transcend the narrowness of looking only at the reality in which we live. št is an invitation to "break down the walls that separate people." In the words of my fellow Latin American Paulo Freire, it is "an education that enables human beings to discuss problems courageously... that enables them to have constant dialogues with others, that predisposes them to revise constantly their position, that makes them analyze critically their discoveries..." It is an invitation to commit oneself towards a humanizing future for all.

Colleen Shannon

Colleen Shannon is co-director of the Presbyterian Huger Program and director of the Office of World

If we do not take the time to understand the history, needs and resources of peoples as well as the factors which produce hunger and poverty, how can we be sure that our responses are appropriate? Global Education allows, even demands, that we make other countries and peoples the subject rather than the object of our concern. We must take time to listen to them, to recognize our interdependence and to develop bonds of caring which go beyond charity to solidarity.

Della James

Della James is a hunger action enabler, Presbytery of the Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio.

I believe that education is transformative. It is for empowerment and results in action. Education has implications for society as well as for the individual. I believe in an experiential approach, one which provides us with "hands on" opportunities. I believe in education which raises questions rather than education which provides easy answers. For it is in the raising of questions that the long-range, sustainable answers are found.


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