Friday, February 23, 2007

Education and Globalization

Contributing to peace and human development
in an era of globalization through education,
the sciences, culture and communication
Theme of UNESCO's
Medium Term Strategy

According to Alan Taylor:
We are now living in the second era of globalization, not the first. The first stretched from roughly 1870 until the start of World War I in 1914 and saw unprecedented integration in international market for goods, capital, and labor.......Circa 1870, the ratio of world trade to GDP stood at 10 percent, rising to 21 percent by 1914, falling to 9 percent by 1938, and then rising to 27 percent by 1992.
Branko Milanovic points out:
The “Halcyon days” were never Halcyon for those who were “globalized” through colonization since colonial constraints prevented them from industrializing. And they were even less “Halcyon” for those who were taken into slavery. Even among the Western economies, the 19th century globalization, contrary to some views, failed to bring income convergence. The record of the last two decades (1978-1998) is shown to be uniformly worse than that of the previous two (1960-78). It is thus only by a serious misreading of the recent evidence that the partisans of globalization are able to argue for its unmitigated beneficence........Global capitalism needs to be “civilized” in the same way that national capitalisms of the 19th century were “civilized” after World War II—a period which then witnessed the fastest growth in history.
UNESCO as Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz "What is the impact of globalization in the fields of education, culture and knowledge sharing?" He replied:
New technologies can support cultural diversity by making it easier for communities to express themselves. But globalization has sometimes been pushed too fast and in an inappropriate way, threatening the stability of existing cultures. Many societies have traditional ways of handling social support, but sometimes international institutions have come in with assistance programmes that undermine those local systems.
What specifically does Globalization mean for educators? UNESCO has addressed this issue in a number of publications:
* UNESCO Position Paper on higher education in a globalized society

* "Globalization and Educational Reform: What Planners Need to Know" by Martin Carnoy, UNESCO, 1999.

* "Globalization, Human Rights and Education" by Jacque Hallak, UNESCO, 1999.

* "Education and Globalization," IIEP Newsletter, April-June, 1998.

* “Globalization and Higher Education,” First Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education.
More generally, the idea of “globalization with a human face” is woven into the very fabric of UNESCO’s program, as its strategic responses to globalization. Thus in 2004, UNESCO held a conference on the theme of Globalization and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Opportunities, Threats and Challenges in Japan. Siimilarly, in 2006, UNESCO and the United Nations University held a conference in Japan on the theme of Science and Technology in the Era of Globalization.

Here is a 2005 annotated review on the topic of Education and Globalization (posted on the Eldis website).

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