Challenges in Education in Today’s Society – Globalization and Changes in Education
By organizations with attributions in the educational field (as UNESCO, Youth International Authorities, and others). The so-called “demographic winter” phenomenon, which reveals the dramatic consequences of the “modern” life, marked by familial and moral decline, by miscarriage, vulgarization, and the homosexuality “normalization”, by the poisoning influence of the majority of mass media and the “Hollywood culture” are inoculating egocentrism, frivolity, and irresponsibility. This demographic trend offers a new dimension to how abundance and resources are distributed and gives a new vision on elementary educational issues.
The globalization of education reflects itself in the extension and unification of educational practices, used by all those public or private entities involved as active social educators. Over time, the public education systems in developed or emerging countries, which promote formal education, consistently illustrate the practice of a classical education system. In non-formal education, there are used more innovative and diverse methods of education. Still, unfortunately, few of these are oriented upon individual behavior reshaping in the global context, and they are looking only to proliferate consumerist habits by preparing youngsters for a successful professional career start. NGOs with international coverage and professional training companies have fixed the currently understood “development in education” in comfortable limits. This makes room for a reshaping of educational fundamentals and, more obviously, for the ultimate purpose of learning.
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Most people think that education should equip them with the proper exploitation instruments to forever trample over the masses. Still, others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than a means to an end. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education that stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason but with no morals.
Socially speaking, the technological revolution, the broader access to information, and the modern lifestyle facilities have made possible the appearance of an irreversible phenomenon in the conflict between generations. In our present times, the children, “sons of globalization,” have access to multiple sources of information, with the internet being most of the time an instrument of self-education. The balance is leaning in favor of the power of informed youth, who become “the teachers”, explaining the new world order to the eldest. This theory considers the acceleration of technology and the way of our lifestyle, but, beyond its observational character, it does not bring up the discussion on the relevance of educational systems, visible outmoded, which attempts to destroy the moral and statutory principles. The wisdom is transmitted from the old generation to the youth, and not backward.
Therefore we are raising the question regarding how organisms responsible for educational issues should reconsider the fundamentals of this basic activity, which clearly has guided the evolution of our world so far. It isn’t enough for organizations like U.N.E.S.C.O or U.N.D.P. to confront the absence of primary education and the discrimination regarding access to education in underdeveloped countries to avoid resettling the educational needs inside an inappropriate system. It is necessary to deal with these aspects in proper time because we consider education the key element that can slow down the process of the planet and people’s self-destruction.
The proposal regarding fundamentals reshaping and reviewing the individual education, approached in all stages and cycles of life, starts with the assumption that “Man has to be educated to act responsibly towards the environment and civilization, and not interfere in the harmony and balanced world development with his behavior”. This observation, not exactly recent, triggered a chain of initiatives in the educational system in countries like France, Italy, Germany, including Romania. Still, I consider that implementing a discipline of Civic Education in the gymnasium module is not enough neither convincing.
We feel that the new fundamentals and principles of education, which must be known, understood, and applied by every teacher, through all the range of educational processes in the long life learning of individuals, and also in the nonformal educational process, whereas people have access during existence are:
1. Self-consciousness is essential because it allows every individual to find his role in society, know his weak points, and develop them according to his unique talents genetically inherited. A person aware of his/herself can easily choose the occupation or the carrier to practice that they will be able to direct their energies to and recognize the real problems that the world and society face. Consciousness-based education, introduced in 1971 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is unique in its ability to develop the total brain potential of every student effectively.
2. Stimulating creativity – this special quality is reflected in the mental and social process of generating new ideas, concepts, associations and permits individual adaptation to unpredictable contexts and situations. There are simple techniques associated with lateral thinking that can promote this capacity, for example, improvisation, fiction as an imaginary product (Randomness, Improvisation, P.S.).
3. Communication – in the actual forms and methods used as learning practices, communication is not capitalized at being the supreme value because many individual activities it’s encouraged, promoting inappropriate values like egoism, indifference, self-interest. Without communicating problems and discussing difficult situations, there is no way to claim to solve the issues in optimal time, quality, and accuracy parameters. The man can not act in terms of social responsibility as a “macro attitude”, which I consider shallowly approached, especially in the economic environment.
4. Promoting a responsible role in society – education must train one for quick, resolute, and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose.
A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit, in many instances, do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. This is how they could develop and exercise an active role in society.