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Globalization and Education

vocabulary-science-education-and-globalisation

Introduction

This piece of writing is not concerned with just the theoretical understanding on globalization as I believe that there have been far more impressive and knowledgeable things already written on that.  But the whole problem with those writings has been that they have still tried to look at the process of globalization from the external systems and institutions. They have mostly sought an explanation of the legal structures, the institutional make up, the ideological conflict and the like. The whole understanding is Marxist in nature as it believes that the systems are too powerful and the individual is incapable or way too small to affect anything.  However what I feel is that such an explanation and understanding actually makes these systems all the more powerful and takes away the responsibility from us who then are meek observers of the processes happening.

Before we get into its connections with the education it would be important to see as to what has been the background of the development of the process of globalization and what this term could imply. Thereafter we will go into its implications for the psychological, social, and economic and often ignored spiritual effects. It is from these dimensions that a connection with the education will be built. We will try to understand the process of education in light of the melting pot and the dissolving of the boundaries which is in economic parlance is called globalization.

Globalization can be said to be a process primarily of the economic integration of the world economies.  But this in practice and understanding is also an integration of the cultures, attitudes, beliefs ethics and moral codes and conduct. The advent of modern communication networks, the transportation and specially the internet has made the world appear smaller. It has become very easy to send or receive messages, travel to countries (not considering the legal aspects of immigration here) , transfer money or in the more economic terms the capital seamlessly to different countries. With the coming of computers and imbedded communication technology an investor can invest in any country sitting in his home and be associated with that country’s economy.

This inter relation has had both benefits in the form of expanded goods, variety and availability of funds, while on the other hand it has made these economies, specially  the emerging markets or the third world countries vulnerable to rapid changes and instability. This is the most common aspect of the effect which is often quoted in both its favor and opposition. Coming now to the other spill overs , are the Americanization of the local cultures, politics and morality, the American way of thinking etc. the American way of thinking is thought to be more materialist which is only concerned with the temporary consumerist attitudes and equates happiness in terms of the extra consumption that capitalism promises. So this can be seen in economist from the Harvard and Princeton rushing to teach the other economies the common denominator of happiness being more consumption and any disapproval on this is thought of treason to the general public. The interrelation of the economies is no doubt inevitable and impractical, but the domination of western economies and their hegemony over these developing economies policies is political and propaganda.

In contrast to this way of life or economic organization more precisely is the socialist or Marxist thought, that believes in a more equitable distribution of resources through central planning mechanisms to ensure justice. And some countries being the fence sitters who are apprehensive or rather confused in this whole muddle of ideologies.

What goes missing in such fragmented doctrines is the realization that the systems are a creation of us humans and any system which creates a fragmented notion of the purpose of human life will be corrupt. It is from here that my paper takes off, that is, how is it that such a notion is very implicitly and meekly accepted as a norm and human mind is so conditioned to conform to any system. Even the other sides of the table who say that they are not conforming to any system are conforming to the other ideologies which are also fragmented and a fragmented understanding cannot bring about any sustained and positive changes.

Another important thing that must be understood is that any ideology howsoever good it is inevitably brings conflict and the conflict dissipates energy and ultimately there are no winners. Why such an understanding is necessary is because to see globalization as it is without any pre conceived notion or bias is important as we are all part of the same world and every action affects all of us and we can’t remain in vacuum and function.

There are following themes around which my paper will focus

  1. Globalization and self
  2. Globalization and local policies
  3. Education and econometric analysis
  4. Consumer culture, materialism and education
  5. Education and environment
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