In Our Global Neighbourhood, the UN Commission on Global Governance (1995), calls for a massive effort to formulate models of how this world shall be governed in a better way than in the past and at present. This call for action is addressed to all persons and institutions. And it is a timely call, also to education.
It would seem reasonable that visionary reflection and action in education should depart from those previous attempts that have been made in understanding the potential of education in terms of peace, development, democracy and human rights (cf e.g. Burns and Aspeslagh, 1996). A further development of this discourse on quality education is essential in order to strengthen the solidarity of all peoples to each other and to the world.
Oftentimes documents concerning global problems related to population, ecology, human rights, disarmament and development in the end calls for more education to more people without questioning standards of quality in terms of content and pedagogic forms. The Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, however, notes that the content of the curriculum should be improved in order to promote greater awareness of and responsibility towards the interrelationships between population and sustainable development and that greater public knowledge, understanding and commitment is vital to the achievement of its programme of action (ICPD, 1995). Although this programme of action repeats the benefits to be obtained from the sheer quantity of education, it is warned that education may do more harm than good depending upon answers to questions of content and form.
Our Global Neighbourhood is yet another call for the further development of education to help solve pressing world problems. But this document is more explicit in its call for an upward flow of ideas based on values grounded in civil societies. The document, therefore, postulates a very basic guideline for how to locate desirable criteria for assessing quality education. In consequence, a major question becomes how quality education is to be formulated within an evolving global civic culture.
Great care must be taken so that all major contributors are "represented"
in this global attempt at developing an even more "universal" answer
to the question of what is right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly
- basic questions in any governance. Present world asymmetries must be counterbalanced
with critical understanding of how to go about developing equity on a global
scale. A useful start would be to learn from those who have addressed the question
of how the concept of good government varies from one civilization to another
(cf Helgesen and Li, 1995) and how discourse coalitions between intellectuals
and practioners could contribute towards the empowerment of peripheries in the
global power system (Odora, 1995 and 1996). Some of the background papers commissioned
by the Commmission for Global Governance have been taken into account by the
Commission and it is now up to us to nurture this basic policy guideline (cf
e.g. Galtung, 1995)
The need for the flowering of visions of the future is emphasized in the foreword of Our Global Neighbourhood:
"We believe that a global civic ethic to guide action within the global neighbourhood and leadership infused with that ethic are vital to the quality of global governance. We call for a common commitment to core values that all humanity could uphold: respect for life, liberty, justice and equity, mutual respect, caring, and integrity. We further believe humanity as a whole will be best served by recognition of a set of common rights and responsibilities".
It seems apparent that discourses on quality education within societies is a precondition for discourses on quality education between societies. How quality education can be designed and conducted in various local settings may become one of the most important questions to be resolved. A primary challenge in developing the sometimes hidden visions of how communities and local cultures can contribute to the pool of ideas on how to improve the capacity for democratic development not only within nations, but in the world, is central to the call for improved global governance.
In an earlier contribution I have proposed a three stage process of developing knowledge from within different groups and cultures for the purpose of mutual assessments of each contribution in a dialogue among them (Haavelsrud, 1994). This process of knowledge production and learning may contribute to cultural change and new insights in each participating group and help build a global civic culture and universal standards in human conduct based on cultural change and syntheses. Here I want to develop the proposed multi-cultural dialogue further in light of the need for more equitable participation of all the 10000 societies in the world in the definition of the concept of global governance. This ‘global’ concept needs to be developed from a base in which governing principles in different cultures and civilizations become the raw material for a new synthesis of a global civic culture along with a change based on new insights about others within each culture.
In looking further into this problem I shall first review three concepts relevant in shedding light on policy formulations concerning how education can contribute towards learning and creating democratic global governance. The three concepts are: discourse, communication control and dialogic democracy. With this theoretical background I shall discuss selected examples of discourse on quality education within the United Nations. On this theoretical and practical background I shall finally discuss the framework paper guiding the educational activities of Project Global 2000 as a possible platform for developing a "symmetric field" crossing civilizations for learning and creating democratic global governance based on contributions of civic cultures around the world. The concept of the "symmetric field" is introduced here as meaning fair participation in the formulation of global governance by civic cultures that are distant to each other not only in terms of geography but also in terms of ideology, religion and culture. This concept becomes important in a world whose future is more and more designed by a powerful few.
Ball (1990, p. 18) points out that a discourse constructs certain possibilities for thought and that it orders and combines words in particular ways and exclude or displace other combinations. Thus, a discourse is constituted by exclusions as well as inclusions or by what cannot as well as what can be said (cf Haavelsrud, 1996). Ball further points out that a discourse can stand in an antagonistic relationship to other discourses, other possibilities of meaning, other claims, rights and positions. A discourse can be a complex and unstable process whereby it can be both an instrument for and an effect of power. A discourse can be a hindrance, a stumbling block, a point of resistance and a starting point for an opposing strategy and is constructed through struggles. What is at stake is ultimately quite a lot more than the discourse itself. Particular words take on particular meanings through discursive processes. Established meanings of specific words take on new meanings. The originators of established meanings of specific words are displaced and their control over the meaning of the word is lost. The old meaning is replaced by a new meaning originating with another expert or professional. A transformed discourse establishes its own discursive regime including new forms of authority.
A discourse becomes part of the objective world. A discourse may be restricted to a few or it may be available to all. The rules by which discourses are distributed, recontextualized and evaluated are basic to the understanding of power and control (Bernstein, 1977). It is to be assumed that this control of communication in terms of distribution, recontextualizing and evaluation of knowledge constitute processes that are central to the very formation of the human being. And we know that teachers and parents are some of the most important agents of implementing these rules. Bourdieu uses the concept of habitus to describe how a person has embodied and internalized a culture. The concept of habitus integrates the objective and the subjective by seeing the person's dispositions as closely associated with objective structures (Rogg, 1991, p. 59). Thus, the concept of habitus integrates the objective and the subjective and transcends this division which is often seen as a contradiction.
A discourse develops within frames set by someone. Within given frames a discourse can be regarded as one specific subjective realization of the objective world - always conditioned by that world’s distribution, recontextualizing and evaluation rules.
A discourse can refer both to existing as well as potential realities. It is to be expected that the discourse about reality more often than not, precedes that reality. A condition for potential realities is therefore that a discourse has been developed about it before its creation. Participation in a discourse about the new world is a condition for creating a world that so far has not found its objective realization - including that world's form of communication control. On this background, one might understand the enormous power that lies in having one's hands on the wheel of communications in a society. That is the wheel for steering into the future. We now turn to the question of controlling communication.
It seems obvious that any discourse on what constitutes quality education in nurturing future formation of democratic global governance needs to focus its attention on all levels of analysis, including the micro level. The forms of communication control in the micro context will allow or prohibit words and discourses to evolve. A suitable concept for the diagnosis of type of communication control is Bernstein's (1977, p. 89) concept of framing. In a publication in Norwegian, Vigeland (1994:18-19) uses communication control (kommunikasjonskontroll) in his discussion of framing:
"Frame refers to the strength of the boundary between what may be transmitted and what may not be transmitted, in the pedagogical relationship. Where framing is strong, there is a sharp boundary, where framing is weak, a blurred boundary, between what may and may not be transmitted. Frame refers us to the range of options available to teacher and taught in the control of what is transmitted and received in the context of the pedagogical relationship. Strong framing entails reduced options; weak framing entails a range of options. Thus frame refers to the degree of control teacher and pupil possess over the selection, organization, pacing and timing of the knowledge transmitted and received in the pedagogical relationship."
Some years later, Bernstein (1990, p. 100) develops the concept of framing to refer also to the location of control over the rules of communication:
"Thus strong framing (+F) locates control with the transmitter, whereas weak framing locates control more with the acquirer. If classification regulates the 'voice' of a category, then framing regulates the form of its legitimate message. Framing is the means of socialization into the classificatory principle (for dynamics and change see Bernstein, 1981). Power and control are transformed into rules of legitimate communication and interpretation, through the acquisition of classification and framing values. Challenge and opposition are also acquired."
It seems basic to the policy formulations on global quality education to state explicitly where the location of communication control should be. The general rule is that the framing is controlled by the strong actor in the social division of labour. However, the strength of the strong actor depends upon the strength of the weak actor. In the case of elite democracy, one might expect that the strong actor would have a greater interest in controlling communication than in the case of the strong actor in a social democracy. This would mean that the control of communication is a political issue. And the answers to political issues are to a great extent to be found in how the weaker party utilizes its strength and how the stronger party deals with a weaker party in the control of communication.
Assuming that the control of communication in education is so politically laden as suggested here, it might be a contribution towards the establishment of symmetric fields to develop discourses about global governance in two stages. The first stage would be the development of a field in which the discourse among the powerful is disassociated from the discourse among the weak. The second stage would be a synthesis of the discourses in the two separate fields into one discourse in one field.
The concept of democracy has been used in many contradictory ways throughout
history (cf Dahl, 1989). In more recent formulations, the concept has come to
mean not only representative government through regular elections to a lawmaking
body (e.g. parliament), a division of legislative, executive, and judicial branches
as well as democratic rights such as the freedom of speech, assembly and religion.
The concept of democracy is also taken to mean empowerment and participation,
equity and social justice (Phillips, 1993).
Giddens (1994, 127-32) has introduced the concept of dialogic democracy, which seems to incorporate all of the above qualities. In addition to its relevance in the formal organization of the nation state, the concept of dialogic democracy is also relevant to the formation of the person and social movements, organizations and global order. The concept of dialogic democracy seems to imply that the communication controls by actors that up till now have been weak in relation to strong actors including the nation state, are strengthened.
Interpersonal dialogue. - On the personal level, dialogue between individuals
who regard each other as equals becomes a part of their mutual lives and depends
upon the principle of autonomy. Giddens sees dialogue free of coercion and as
a means of settling disputes and creating mutual tolerance and trust. The potential
of the detraditionalizing of personal life implies the development of new forms
of symbolic control in personal relationships including detraditionalized relationships
between teacher and taught and parent and child. Giddens does not discuss the
power and control aspects of invisible forms of symbolic control developed by
and for the new middle class (Bernstein, 1977). Instead, new forms of parent-child
relationships marked by negotiated authority is seen as an interesting basis
for the development of dialogic democracy. This emotional democracy is seen
as a potential implied in the detraditionalizing of personal life.
Self-help groups and organizations. - The second area of democratization is represented by the spread of social movements and self-help groups, both of which express as well as contribute to the increasing reflexivity both locally and globally. The public dialogue is enriched by the activities of such movements and groups.
"A third context of democratization is to be found in the organizational arena, where the combined influence of globalization and reflexivity is so marked. Organizations structured in terms of active trust necessarily devolve responsibility and depend on an expanded dialogic space. A 'responsibility-based organization' recognizes that reflexivity produces a return to the need for local knowledge, even if such local knowledge is not ordinarily traditional" (Giddens, 1994).
Transnational movements. - The fourth area is the global order and the relationships
between the local and the global. No longer is the global order monopolized
by international relations, but involves new relationhips between sub-national
and transnational movements, organizations and groups. It might be conceivable
that forms of representative democracy between local groups and global, above-national
institutions might be created as examples of a cosmopolitan democracy in which
regional parliaments might fill the gap between nations and the United Nations.
Such developments might prove to be a logical follow-up of the detraditionalizing phenomenon and hightened social reflexivity, which is both a condition and an outcome of post-traditional society. Giddens (1994, p. 86) sees reflexivity as the continuous reflection about the conditions of one's actions by using information available.
It is indeed quite hopeful if Giddens is correct when he describes the problematic role of the anthropologist today: Even in the most remote culture, the anthropologist would find someone there who would be able to communicate in at least part of the language of the anthropologist. The competence and capacity for reflexivity combines into social movements and self-help groups. These are new phenomena and even if they are 'only' local, their roots are strong enough to have global implications. Reflexivity could in its consequence lead to conscientization, which would involve not only reflection about, but also action to change the conditions of own actions. Conscientization would also imply a critical view of own action which is continuously refined in relation to the level of reflection and changes in the actual surroundings effected through the action (Freire, 1972).
The field of comparative and international education has contributed much to the understanding of the role of the nation state in designing education for national development (cf one of the major books in the field: Fãgerlind and Saha, 1989). The same attention has not been given to the contribution of education towards global development as that of national development although the former has been on the program of peace and some development research since the 60ies (Borrelli and Haavelsrud, 1991, Burns and Aspeslagh, 1996).
In this paper I shall attempt to exemplify the current discourse on what constitutes quality education within the UN by looking into recent UN documents on education in relation to issues of 1)gender, 2) ecology and 3) international and humanistic education. Obviously, only examples of the enourmous literature in the field can be given and much more work is necessary to diagnose the state of the UN discourse on quality education. The examples are selected to show that some of these documents limit their educational thought to attitude change whereas others have a more structural perspective on what needs to change. The documents coming out of the conferences on women seems to be more structurally oriented whereas a Unesco document on the teaching of international and humanistic values seems to carry an ideology of attitude change. Agenda 21 has a combination of attitude and structural change.
The UN discourse finds its direction in the political make-up of the day in combination with the influence of some academics, i.e those academics that are politically acceptable not only in their own nations but in the UN as well at the time of policy formulation. These three examples from UN discourses are selected for the purpose of picturing how varied and multi-paradigmatic the UN educational discourse is. It would have been of interest to investigate the linkages between the official UN discourse on education and the contributions from non-governmental organizations.
"The Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women" was adopted in 1985 by the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace. The document is placed in the context of the 1976-85 United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace and also the subtheme "Employment, Health and Education" of the 1980 World conference of the United Nations Decade for Women in Copenhagen. The tone of this document is one of structural criticism displaying an
"awareness that women's reproductive and productive roles were closely linked to the political, economic, social, cultural, legal, educational and religious conditions that constrained the advancement of women and that factors intensifying the economic exploitation, marginalization and oppression of women stemmed from chronic inequalities, injustices and exploitative conditions at the family, community, national, subregional, regional and international levels." (p.5)
This 89 page document devotes only three pages (41-42 and 65) specifically to education. Education is seen as "the basic tool that should be given to women in order to fulfill their role as full members of society" and that the high rate of illiteracy should be eliminated by the year 2000 also via special programs to deal with the higher rates of illiteracy among women. The level of education "among women is important for the general welfare of society and because of its close link to child survival and child spacing." (p.41)
Suggested solutions to the problems of high absenteeism and drop-out rates of girls includes the creation of appropriate incentives to ensure the equal opportunity of women in the educational system as well as in the work place by strengthening communication and information systems, implementing appropriate legislation, reorienting educational personnel and financing adult education programs for those women who were forced to drop out of schools. The curricula and textbooks should be freed of possible gender stereotyping.
In general, the focus of this document is on structural conditions rather than actor qualities. Only two paragraphs contain advice in terms of desired change in women and men respectively: It is proposed that education should contribute to developing and enhancing the aptitudes of women for decision-making, management and leadership in the fields of science, technology and management (paragraph 169). It is also proposed that educational programs should enable men to assume as much responsibility as women in the upbringing of children and the maintenance of the household (paragraph 173). The document does not spell out how the aptitudes of women should be enhanced and how men should be enabled to assume equal responsibility with women in bringing up children and maintaining the household. It is conceivable that both actor (men and women) change in attidudes and cognitions as well as structural change may enable men. How someone's aptitude should be enhanced is more questionable - it may prove to be an impossibility (for an interesting discussion of how the concept of aptitude has changed over the years cf Bisseret, 1979, ch. 1).
Agenda 21: Actor and structural orientation
Agenda 21 is a programme of action for sustainable development worldwide adopted by more than 178 Governments. It is the result of over two and a half years of negotiations before the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 3 - 14 June 1992: "While they lack the force of international law, the adoption of the texts carries with it a strong moral obligation to ensure their full implementation". Of the 25 principles, none relates directly to education. Principle 9 calls for states to
"cooperate to strengthen endogeneous capacity-building for sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies"(p. 10).
Principle no. 25 states that peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible. This principle is of utmost importance to any educational activity.
Both formal and informal education is seen as indispensable to changing people's attitudes in order that they develop the capacity to assess and address their sustainable development concerns. Education is also seen as critical for achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effective public participation in decision-making. To be effective, environment and development education should deal with the dynamics of both the physical/biological as well as the socio-economic environment and human development. It should be integrated in all disciplines.
Chapters 2 - 8 relate to Social and Economic Dimensions. In chapter 4 concerning "Changing consumption patterns" it is called for new concepts of sustainable economic growth and prosperity. It is also seen as necessary to reinforce values that support sustainable consumption through education. Chapter 5 calls for developing and disseminating knowledge concerning the links between demographic trends and sustainable development. These links are seen as synergistic relationships. Chapter 7 on "Promoting sustainable human settlement development" calls for developing a culture of safety. This would imply nationwide and local awareness campaigns through all available media "on the nature and occurrence of natural disasters, their impact on people and economic activities...the social and economic advantages of adequate pre-disaster planning" (p. 61).
Chapter 8 deals with the integration of enviroment and development in decision-making. One of five means of implementation is to improve education and technical training, particularly for women and girls, by including interdisciplinary approaches, as appropriate, in technical, vocational, university and other curricula. This improvement of education and training is meant to contribute towards the integration of environment and development at various stages of the decision-making and implementation process. Apart from women and girls the other target group is government personnel, planners and managers.
One of the four sections (ten out of forty chapters) deals with strengthening the role of major groups (p 217 - 246). In the preamble broad public participation in decision-making is seen as a fundamental prerequisite for the achievement of sustainable development, including "new forms" of participation such as participation in environmental impact assessment procedures (p. 219). Two such major groups are children/youth and indigenous people.
Children and Youth.- It is seen as imperative that youth from all parts of the world should participate in decisions about issues that will affect their lives. It is emphasized that children and youth will bring unique perspectives to solving important issues.
"Children not only will inherit the responsibility of looking after the Earth, but in many developing countries they comprise nearly half the population. Furthermore, children in both developing and industrialized countries are highly vulnerable to the effects of environmental degradation. They are also highly aware supporters of enviromental thinking. The specific interests of children need to be taken fully into account in the participatory process on environment and development in order to safeguard the future sustainability of any actions taken to improve the environment" (p. 225).
This general basis for action is a good starting point for the development of education. But it sounds rather unrealistic when it is stated that each country should ensure that more than 50 per cent of its youth, gender balanced, have access to secondary education. One activity is to ensure "that education reflects the economic and social needs of youth and incorporates the concepts of environmental awareness and sustainable development throughout the curricula" (p. 225).
One objective is to ensure the survival, protection and development of children in accordance with the goals endorsed by the World Summit for Children in 1990. Nothing specific about educational content, form and organization is included.
Indigenous people. - It is recognized that indigenous people over many generations have developed a holistic traditional scientific knowledge of their lands, natural resources and environment (chapter 26, p. 227). In the activities section, one of four activities is to strengthen research and education programmes aimed at:
i) Achieving a better understanding of indigenous people's knowledge and management experience related to the environment, and applying this to contemporary development challenges; ii) Increasing the efficiency of indigenous people's resource management systems, for example, by promoting the adaptation and dissemination of suitable technological innovations (p. 228)
The following six target groups are discussed: NGOs, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, scientific and technological community and farmers. This content is short and sketchy and does not add anything to the document's ideology on educational policy (p 230 - 245).
In 1993, the Section for Humanistic, Cultural and International Education at Unesco published "A Sense of Belonging: Guidelines for values for the humanistic and international dimension of education". The guidelines are the outcome of the European experiment project organized under contract with the Consortium of Institutions for Development and Research in Education in Europe (CIDREE). The guidelines do not commend "a particular set of values but rather a set of underlying principles, qualities and key ideas which the authors believe should inform and enhance any education system intent on developing the humanistic and international dimension of education"(p.6-7). The purpose of the document is to
"clarify the combination of ideas of which the notions of peace, human rights, ethical and cultural values, and the ideal of international understanding are a part...provide guidelines and principles for the development of education systems, formal and non-formal, that promote the importance of the values dimension as a means of fostering humanistic and international understanding" (p. 5).
The guidelines emphasize the attributes, ethical qualities and dispositions of persons rather than society. It says nothing about nature and the world. The following statements illustrate these principles of inclusion and exclusion:
In section 7 (p. 13) all statements concerning principles and qualities refer to desired individual attributes such as a sense of self-esteem, respect and tolerance for others, sense of social responsibility, openness and decency.
The unifying base for planning and implementation of educational experiences is cooperation, interdependence and autonomy (p.14 - 16). Each of these "three key ideas" is transferred into individual qualities as well. The rationale for the idea of cooperative attitudes is essentially to maintain/create social cohesion in complex societies. In this way the document does not state the relevance for teaching humanistic values in light of issues of unfair inequalities as e.g. evident in the global hunger torture. The Unesco guidelines would not be of much use in guiding the rich in how to deal with the starving and how such issues should be dealt with in the classroom. The document does not have a conception of unjust structures including relationships between rich and poor.
The document does not seem to be concerned about how international and humanistic education is related to solutions of violence inflicted upon the majority of the world’s people. Leading thinkers on what to do with the torture of hunger are of no relevance to the teaching of humanistic values as defined in the document. Sætra (1995) argues that there is a fundmental gap between two sets of leading thinkers in the rich world today. One argument used by Hans Magnus Enzensberger is based on the concept of "the field doctor's dilemma" or the "triage" as the principle of action in today's world. After the battle, the field doctor gave priority to those who could return to military action after treatment. The second priority was given to those who would recover after some time. The worst wounded were left dying. Sætra sees this priority as unacceptable and in opposition to other leading thinkers with roots in the rich part of the world as the Finnish philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright. Sætra predicts that the contradiction between these two ways of approaching the global hunger torture problem will be at the core of human rights discussions in the future: How should the 'haves' think about those millions dying: By changing their lifestyle or shrugging their shoulders while referring to the principle of 'triage' which would leave them without the responsibility for the misery of others.
Another UN statement can serve as contrast to show how international and humanistic values can be applied in terms of human rights through a more structual analysis which definitely is not based on the ideology of 'triage': The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989. It is pointed out that if trends in 1993 continue, 200 million children between 6 and 11 will receive no formal education in the year 2000. Lack of basic education keeps them in poverty and illiteracy just like their parents. This lack of education will also make it difficult for the poorest countries to increase food and industrial production as well as prevent causes of illness and death because this requires the dissemination of scientific and technological innovations.
A Unicef document summerizes the convention's 'educational' articles (28 and 29) this way:
The child has a right to education, and the State's duty is to ensure that primary education is free and compulsory, to encourage different forms of secondary education accessible to every child and to make higher education available to all on the basis of capacity. School discipline shall be consistent with the child's rights and dignity. The State shall engage in international co-operation to implement this right...
Education shall aim at developing the child's personality, talents, and mental and physical abilities to the fullest extent. Education shall prepare the child for an active adult life in a free society and foster respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, and for the cultural background and values of others.
Educational systems can be seen as designed to fit the oldfashioned national
security concept described in the Framework Paper of Project Global 2000 (1993
- later in this section only referred to by page number). The aims of national
educational systems are often the reproduction of the ideology of present power.
Althusser has called this system the ideological state apparatus. Bourdieu and
Passeron (1977) sees the educational system as one of the most important in
reproducing 'arbitrary' cultural power and Bernstein (1990) views the educational
system as a most important device utilized by 'the ruler' for purposes of exerting
power and control.
This general view is acknowledged by implication in the Framework Paper of Project Global 2000 when it states that effective change begins in the imagination. But the paper does not explicitly deal with the relationship between the power of education and other sectors of society such as the economy, the environment, human rights etc.
Only once is the education of the masses mentioned. When discussing the role of Third World actors in the discussions of a new world order (p 8), only leaders and activists are mentioned. It would be rather important, I would think, to emphasize the role of 'free' and 'autonomous' intellectual analysis by academic communities which are in daily touch with the marginalized. In this way research can be a voice in the formulation of truth along with their colleagues elsewhere.
There is an enourmous inequality between developed and developing nations in terms of their capacity to produce knowledge at academic institutions. Likewise, it would be important to design educational systems that would enhance the possibility of accepting local knowledges and identities as valid educational content and form. In this way public opinion and dialogic democracy would develop with a solid base in existential realities and daily lives. A difficult task in education is to integrate commonsense and subjective knowledges with scientific and more objective knowledge. In accepting own subjectivities and culture at the outset new forms of culture may easier evolve when working with scientific knowledge. This emphasis on identity as part of learning would empower individuals and enable them to understand better if the educational system is being used for purposes of enhancing the power of the few over the many (p. 6).
The educational challenge today is to further the understanding of the relationship between micro/oneself/local community/work place/school experience and macro/global order/global power including all the intermediate levels. It is a great task even for the most qualified academicians to understand how oneself/local community is shaped by macro realities and how macro realities are being shaped by oneself/local communities. This educational task focusses the attention toward the necessity to constantly question oneself in an ecologically and economically interdependent world in which new conflicts and crisis are the order of the day. An important difference between elite versus social democracy lies in the degree to which communication is controlled. Without conscious thought given to the control of communication in enhancing the development of knowledge, I am afraid the power of the imagination of the masses will be limited. Then we would be left with the imagination of the elites. In that case we would lose the fruitful synthesis of the imagination of both the elites and the masses. If present elites cannot draw on the imagination of the masses, their creativity might be restricted. And if the masses do not have support through the imagination of present elites, the imagination from below might have little effect.
Ball (1990) points out that the field of policy analysis is dominated by commentary and critique rather than by research. In his exploration of the economic, political and ideological levels of educational policy making, he investigates primarily the contradictions within each level before going on to look at the contradictions between them. This approach seems to be based on Althusser's (1969) understanding that the three levels are relatively autonomous. This makes it possible to analyze each level separately and in different theoretical perspectives. Ball employs a structural strategy for analyzing the economic level, an interactionist strategy for analyzing the political level and a discursive strategy for analyzing the ideological level. He finds that abstract accounts tend towards tidy generalities and often fail to capture the messy realities of influence, pressure, dogma, expediency, conflict, compromise, intransigence, resistance, error, opposition and pragmatism in the policy process (Ball, 1990, p. 9)
I agree with Balls (1990, p.3) understanding of policy as 1) the 'authoritative allocation of values', 2) operational statements of values and 3) statements of prescriptive intent.
He sees values as inherent in a social context. This means that processes of transformation of value conflicts are decisive for which values are chosen as the guide to policy formulation. Both power and control must be seen in this light of conflict transformations. One unit of analysis in the study of conflict transformation is the discourse. So far, however, Ball does not seem to be aware of the contribution of peace research to the understanding of conflict - one of the most valuable recent contributions coming from Johan Galtung (1996), who emphasizes the importance of conflict transformation rather than conflict resolution.
It is high time that the discourses of all the 10000 societies (Elise Boulding, 1994) are identified and communicated as essentials and imperatives if the concept of global governance shall be more than abstractions without touch with the wisdom derived from the lived culture and the practice of life in all those societies.
A core purpose would be to help developing and stimulating the discourse on
how the global civic culture can formulate quality education. This general statement
needs clarification, elaboration and operationalization. Subsumed under this
general purpose would be action research or research and development relevant
to the question of how education can help build global civic culture. Formal
education may suffer from 'symbolic violence' (Bourdieu) or 'structural violence'
(Galtung) in its dealings with the diversity of the 10000 civic cultures in
its attempt at developing ideas and practices that should set (global) standards
for quality education and communication controls.
There is already a discourse within the global civic culture in terms of what constitutes quality education. This discourse has roots in the national and sub national discourses on quality education. It seems obvious that some nations and parts of nations contribute more to the discourse than others. This implies that it would be very important to ensure that the proposed network ensured a place for the silent voices in the global civic culture.
The global civic culture would be non existant if it were not for its roots in the everyday lives of the people. It is in the existential realities that educational practices, theories and ideologies find their concrete expressions. Hence, it is in these realities that the seeds of the future global civic culture would be found. On the other hand, with the constant unfolding of the same global civic culture it is a reverse trend going on: the everyday realities are to varying degrees part of this globalism already so that these realities are being influenced by the global civic culture as it is presently developed. This dialectic between micro and macro is basic.
A major problem to be solved in the future is the problem of domination and oppression in developing further guidelines to quality education and communication control. The unfair and unequal participation in presentday world structures have made too many societies silent, marginal and peripheral. Their potential contribution is therefore wasted before it is even known. Odora (1996) sees the 'neo-liberal' agenda of the World Bank and the IMF is part of the lifeline of industrialized countries. Odora's study intends to shift the analysis away from the recipient of aid to the powerful provider in attempting to understand the role of the latter in subjugating broader understandings of education to the narrow understanding of schooling of the western type and theirby inculcating a concept of pedagogy that excludes an integrated understanding of socio-cultural, socio-political and socio-economic relations and realities. In an earlier contribution she points to the power of adult education and micro democracy in helping the powerless produce a new culture:
It is precisely about the restoration and re-capacitation of the local societies and individuals, and awakening their sensibilities and consciousness as to the nature of meanings and meta-processes that not only shape meaning, but which constrain, and continue to impinge upon their true empowerment. Adult education is about locating human beings in their organic environment and enabling them to take control of the resources to which they are entitled, and to utilize this state of empowerment to bring about a development that they can understand and can control (Odora, 1995).
The proposed three-stage teaching-learning program of developing knowledge about changing relationships between different groups of people by a curriculum development from within is in harmony with the call from the Commission on Global Governance to empower the non-governmental sector and international civil society to prevail on governments to ensure that "we, the peoples" become the instruments of change to a far greater extent than fifty years ago. This, according to the Commission, involves nothing less than a change in the international system. And as desirable change is conditioned by quality education, it seems that the invitation to educators from this prestigious commission should be accepted. The present paper is my answer to the invitation in the hope that it could lead to coordinated efforts, maybe in Project Global 2000, for developing a symmetric field which would produce a Declaration on Learning Global Governance.
* This paper was originally prepared for a panel presentation of the Education Council of Project Global 2000 - sponsored by Global Education Associates, New York - on "Redefining Security and Sovereignty in an Interdependent World" during the March 1995 Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Boston.
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