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five.. six.. seven.. eight.. nine.. ten.. eleven.. twelve.. thirteen.. fourteen.. fiveteen.. sixteen.. ok. Through our kind of cultural myopia we sort of think that .. we educate our kids, we send our kids to school, we have a form of enculturating kids into our society, which is education. And ... peoples who don't mimic those same patterns of education somehow don't educate their kids. Well, of course that is absurd. Today western schooling is responsible for introducing human monoculture across the entire world. Essentially the same curriculum is being taught and it's training people for jobs, very scarce jobs, but for jobs in an urban consumer culture. The diversity of cultures as well as the diversity of unique human individuals is being destroyed in this way. "Moravian Mission School Leh" And this particular school that was established, called the Moravian Mission School, was secular in the sense that of course some Christian teaching was given (Reverend Elijah Gergen, Principal Moravian Mission School) as a part of an Evangelistic outreach by the Morivians. (Reverend Elijah Gergen, Principal Moravian Mission School) In 1887, when the school first started there were certain perceptions that were wrong. For example: A school started by the missionaries on a street corner must have an ulterior motive. of conversion; of teachings that are in conflict with the teachings of the traditional society, or their religion. ... our farther who art in it is in heaven .... [students reciting Christian prayer] And, I have been told that the children were.. had to come by force to the school. (Reverend) They would not like to. People just would not send children to the school. "... forgive us our trespasses and lead us not in to temptation..." [Students reciting Christian prayer]. I strongly believe that a secular education system and a cosmopolitan school society should not be at the expense of loosing Ladakhiness. "And lead us .. ... and the glory ... forever ... and ever ... amen." [Students reciting Christian prayer] I you have lost your history you've lost everything. "[song lyrics] we are we are" "...the youth of the nation" "...we are we are..." "...youth of the nation" "...we are we are.." "...the youth of the nation..." "...we are we are..." "...youth of the nation..." "...WE ARE WE ARE..." "...THE YOUTH OF THE NATION..." "...WE ARE WE ARE..." "THE YOUTH OF THE NATION..." "...WE ARE WE ARE..." "...THE YOUTH OF THE NATION..." "...WE ARE WE ARE..." YOUTH OF THE NATION You know, the great lesson of anthropology is the idea that the world into which you are born does not exist in some absolute sense but is just one model of reality; the consequence of one particular set of adapted choices that your lineage made, however successfully, many generations ago. And the other peoples of the world are not failed attempts of being you (Wade Davis Ethnobotanist, Explorer-in-Residence National Geographic Society) or in our case failed attempts of modernity. (Wade Davis Ethnobotanist, Explorer-in-Residence National Geographic Society) They are by definition unique facets of the human imagination. (Wade Davis Ethnobotanist, Explorer-in-Residence National Geographic Society) And when asked the meaning of being human, they respond with six thousand different voices. And those voices collectively become the human repertoire for dealing with the challenges that will confront us in the ensuing millennia. You know, we always have this idea of our society as not being really a culture, but being the real world and these other cultures outside those are the cultures. But that kind of cultural myopia...we really can no longer afford. And, you know, we aren't the real inexorable wave of history, we are just another set of possibilities. We are just another cultural reality with choices that we have made. And that is why in the whole realm of child-rearing and education I think it behooves us to look at models of inculturation, of initiation, of bringing children into the realmof adulthood that other societies have celebrated developed over thousands of years of experience. There is no doubt that if we look honestly (Helena Norberg-Hodge International Society for Ecology and Culture) at the traditional forms of education and compare them to todays (Helena Norberg-Hodge International Society for Ecology and Culture) modern education system (Helena Norberg-Hodge International Society for Ecology and Culture) that the traditional forms of knowlegde fostered sustainability. (Helena Norberg-Hodge International Society for Ecology and Culture) All these cultures were not perfect but they did know about their own specific climate, soil, water, and they did manage to survive independently in charge of their own lives for generation after generation. In the modern economy and with the modern educational system the children learn NOTHING about that, but instead they learn how to use essentially corporate products in an urban consumer culture. So once they have been educated in "modern schools" they literally do not know how to survive in their own environment. Education is not simply the transmission of information, it is by definition the transmission, and indeed the inculturation or one can say more harshly the indoctrination of a child into a certain way of knowing, a way of learning, a way of being. And again, when we project our notions of what education is or what our way of being is overseas into other people's lives we forget that we are projecting just something that we made up, right? And one of the things that I see in my work is that different ways of knowing, different ways of being, different ways of learning really create different human beings. If you are raised in Colorado to believe that a mountain is an inert pile of rock waiting to be mined you are going to have a very different relationship to that mountain from a kid from southern Peru who believes in the fiber of his being that a mountain is an atmospheric... a protective deity, that would direct his destiny throughout life. Now, the interesting observation is not whether that mountain is in fact a spirit or whether it is just a pile of dirt, The interesting observation is how the education system into what that mountain is creates a different human being with a different relationship to the earth. I was raised in the forests of British Columbia to believe that those forests existed to be cut. That was the foundation of the ideology of scientific forestry that I was taught in school and that I practiced as a logger in the woods. It was based on the idea that we had to eliminate all the old-growth to get some healthy plantations growing in their wake, because after all the incremental addition of cellulose to be higher in the plant.... I mean... but this is a construct. But critically that believe system made me a very different human being with a very different relationship to that forest and my friends from native communities, who believed that that forest was the abode of Huxwhukw on the Crooked Beak of Heaven. Because of my ideology, my education, those forests no longer exist. I think the way (Vandana Shiva Navdanya / Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology) western education has grown over the last few centuries (Vandana Shiva Navdanya / Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology) especially with the rise of industrialization (Vandana Shiva Navdanya / Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology) was basically not to create human beings, (Vandana Shiva Navdanya / Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology) fully equipped to deal with life and all its problems, independent citizens, able to exercise their decisions and live their responsibilities in community, but elements to feed into an industrial production system. They were products with partial knowledge. We move from wisdom to knowledge and now we are moving from knowledge to information and that information is so partial that we are creating incomplete human beings. If we look back at the beginning of so called education the agenda was very clear. There was an elite that wanted to train people to serve their needs. To essentially create an extractive economy that served the few at the expense of the many. So there is very explicit literature, very clearly education was there to train a class of people to serve the needs of the elite. When Macaulay came to India, I don't know how many of you know, but Macaulay was the guy who created "In the Minutes of Macaulay", it is called "Macaulay's Children". And Macaulay's Children, he said, would be brown on the outside but white in the inside. That they would basically know only one thing: How to rule India as if they were Europeans themselves. If you go back to the 1960s (Manish Jain Shikshantar: The People's Institute for Rethinking Education and Development) and you look at a lot of the modernization literature (Manish Jain Shikshantar: The People's Institute for Rethinking Education and Development) so it is very clearly written that local language, local tradition, (Manish Jain Shikshantar: The People's Institute for Rethinking Education and Development) and local customs is a barrier to modernization and for communities to progress in some kind of stages of development these things need to be eliminated. 99% of all the activities that go under the label of education come from this very specific agenda that grew out of a colonial expansion across the world by Europeans. And now in different countries in the so called Third World the basic fundamental agenda is the same. Is to pull people into dependence on a modern, centralized economy. Is to pull them away from their independence and from their own culture and self-respect. There is actually a very big global program that is going on right now, called "Education for all". And every person I have met, who is associated with it has basically no questions around its agenda attention, which is very disturbing. It is a program which is sanctioned by every government in the world, it is a program which the World Bank and the UN agencies support, it is a program that corporations are also now, major corporations like McDonalds, and many others, are also behind. And the agenda of the program is to get every child into school. The claim is that, again, by going to school communities will be able to develop and they will be able to become part of the main stream society. Now I think we need to question what does it mean to become part of the main stream today? And that for me is very much tied to a very clear agenda of becoming part of the global economy. And shifting ones own local economy, ones own local culture ones own local resources, both personal as well as collective into the service of the global economy. So you will find prime ministers and presidents of countries regularly saying: "We have got to change our education system to make us more competitive in the global economy." That means we have got to trade our young people so that they will suit the needs of giant mobile corporations. The "Education For All" initiative is an attempt to redress what we are sseing as (The World Bank Washington, D.C.) a serious imbalance in funding (Julian Schweitzer World Bank Director of Human Development for the South Asia region) for primary education. The intent really is to get every child into school. I think we see education as crucial. It is an absolutely necessary condition for sustained poverty reduction. The demand now for education is not just coming from people like the World Bank and outsiders. It is coming from business men who are discovering that they can't grow their factories, because they can't grow their businesses, because there is a shortage of skilled workers.

Video Details

Duration: 24 minutes and 2 seconds
Country: India
Language: English
Producer: Carol Black
Director: Carol Black
Views: 206
Posted by: sroman on Jan 21, 2014

Is education the last white man's burden?

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