Click here to visit: Pedagogy for Solidarity
Which part of our curriculumcomprises solidarity?
“There has been a general assault in the last 25 years on solidarity, democracy, social welfare, anything that interferes with private power, and there are many targets. One of the targets is undoubtedly the educational system…” (Noam Chomsky, 2000)
It is true there are people specialised in peace, environmental, and even solidarity issues, people who give conferences, who write material to be used as special transversal units in different courses throughout the school term. Some schools raise money for poor children in
Third World countries; others compete to be the one which collects the most. Similarly, they want to be the number one in sports or in the academic ranking. Yet, are the real causes of injustice mentioned and analysed? It would be a mistake to confuse real commitment with ICL –intercultural awareness or intercultural competence–, which, although valid and effective to increase international tolerance and cross-cultural understanding as well as providing real meaningful content, does not necessarily entail raising students’ awareness of the fact that wars, exploitative child labour, hunger, unemployment, poverty, violation of human rights and environmental degradation have their roots in global economic interests, nor does it entail getting students to reflect upon the causes and consequences of these evils, teaching solidarity or encouraging active involvement and participation.
The new spirit of the age (is:) “Gain wealth, forgetting all but self.” We want to stop that. That’s not what we’re like. We’re human beings. We care about other people. We want to do things together. We care about whether the kid down the street gets an education. We care about whether somebody else has a road, even if I don’t use it. We care about whether there is child slave labor in
. We care about whether some elderly person gets food. That’s social security. We care whether somebody else gets food. There’s a huge effort to try to undermine all of that--to try to privatize aspirations so then you’re totally controlled…” (Noam Chomsky, 2000) Thailand
As educators, we are challenged to embrace a global perspective of the complexity of current affairs with a positive and constructive view of the future, playing an active role in education in values by mobilising ourselves and our students to contribute to effective world solidarity. Doing that will change the way we teach, research, serve, live our profession, and connect with our world community. Indifference is the worst form of violence and converts us into accomplices of moral evils such as the systematic cruel exploitation of 400 million children worldwide.
“(Solidarity) is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.” (Pope John Paul II, 1987)