Looking globally: the future of education
Looking globally: the future of education

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Looking globally: the future of education

3.4 Reflecting on alternative views

The following two activities (5a and 5b) are designed to help you think through the alternative views you considered in the previous activity. Choose just one to pursue.

Activity 5a Reflecting on Scenario 1

Allow approximately 60 minutes.
  1. Reflect on whether and how you think education can contribute to resolving tensions between economic and environmental goals identified in the discussion of the first definition of sustainability.

    Think about:

    • Do you agree that there are tensions or do you see that there are positive synergies between the two agendas?
    • How does the role for education in Scenario 1 relate to the human capital purpose for education presented in Week 2?
  1. Use Table 1 below to develop your notes and/or a mind map to help you record the key drivers associated with each agenda. Add any further thoughts of your own.
  1. Draft a response of no more than 200 words which addresses the question: How do you think that education can contribute both to the pursuit of economic and environmental goals?

    Write this from your own perspective, taking a local, as well as a global, perspective.

    Post this onto the course forum [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Read at least two other posts and comment on them. You may find that the thoughts of others help you develop your own thinking further. You may need to do the latter part of the task next week to give time for others to post.

Remember that you need to add at least three posts to the forum in order to gain your badge.

Please note: we may wish to reuse your forum contributions, anonymously, in future sessions of this course. If you wish to opt out of this, email FELS-Masters-Admin@open.ac.uk.

Activity 5b Reflecting on Scenario 2

Allow approximately 60 minutes.
  1. Reflect on the role of education in the forming of a collective global response to a sustainable future as outlined in Scenario 2.

    Think about:

    • Do you see there are opportunities for education resulting from environmental agendas as well as just seeing the issues as challenges?
    • In what ways do you think this second scenario, including how it is being taken forward by the Plymouth team, aligns with the capabilities model for education presented in Week 2?
  2. Use notes, a table (you might find Table 1 below helpful for this) or a mind map to help you record the key drivers associated with this scenario.
  3. Draft a response of no more than 200 words which addresses the question: In what ways do you think education can play a role in forming a collective global response to a sustainable future?

    Post this onto the course forum. Read at least two other posts and comment on them. You may find that the thoughts of others help you develop your own thinking further. You may need to do the latter part of this task next week to give time for others to post.

Remember that you need to add at least three posts to the forum in order to gain your badge.

Please note: we may wish to reuse your forum contributions, anonymously, in future sessions of this course. If you wish to opt out of this, email FELS-Masters-Admin@open.ac.uk.

Table 1: Environmental vs economic drivers

Economic drivers Environmental drivers Tension Synergy
Need for individuals to earn money for food, housing, other living costs. Need for employment to minimise impact on the environment e.g. minimise travel, clean industries. Jobs aren’t always where housing is available or families want to live. Jobs can be related to increasing the efficiency and environmental credentials of processes and industries.
Need for society to make money e.g. for exports, taxes, profits, tariffs on imports. Having a global market means goods travel long distances and this involves carbon emissions and energy use. Goods traded are often not made where they are needed or are made more cheaply elsewhere, when local products might be sufficient. The money saved by buying more cheaply from other countries could be spent on mitigating against the environmental travel costs e.g. carbon offsetting.
Need for society to have sufficient money to use e.g. for housing, education, infrastructure. The environment does not necessarily create money and when resources must be conserved or areas protected, this may appear as a net drain on a community’s funding. Wealth is not evenly distributed globally as shown by differences in countries’ Gross Domestic Product, which is usually expressed per head of its population. Money needed and wealth produced are not spread equitably. The environment can be a source of income such as eco-tourism and could be responsibly used locally.
Need for society to provide for its citizens e.g. food, consumer goods etc. There are cultures who are self-sustaining and movements within other countries advocating local production to meet needs but this can be viewed as quite extreme and backwards looking. If all countries only made what they needed, there would be no trade between countries and income would be only internally changing hands. This would be a radical shift in trading expectations from the world we currently know. Some feel there can and should be a better balance between local and global production and consumption.
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