Education, in my view, needs a call for passion.Not interest, but authentic and sincere passion.
My driving question for my decision to change my career and focus on renewing education was and is not because it is trendy, but because through a very strong reflective process that took place around 5 years ago and crystallized over the years, I came to the realization that this is what I can be great at and where I have the passion to be great at. Combining these 2 elements (passion & talent) as Sir Ken Robinson mentions in his book , The Element and observing myself and my history, I am here.
This semester I am studying how Ethics is taught/included in MBA programs. Interesting I think. The basis of this research is a theory of mine; which I am sure some of you share as well: this whole crisis that we are leaving these past years is not because some bankers, politicians, policy makers, business people, educators etc did not know what was right and what was wrong. My theory is that it happened and it still happens because all the above powers cannot apply what is right. They don’t have the strength to model moral behavior when times call for such.
On this basic theory is also where my quest for “education with character” started from. I am aware that education systems worldwide lack of infrastructure, budgets, more qualified management and teaching staff, innovation etc. I am aware of that. My question is, ok, I assume we have all that. How do we ensure that they are used for the right purpose? What is the right purpose of Education?
It seems it goes down to that same question…again. I will give the answer, with all the wisdom that I think I have acquired over these 29 years of life:-). Education’s aim is to develop knowledgeable, responsible and ethical leaders. All these general words, cover for many things, but they are also specific enough.
I remember reading a case study on Education reform in Rwanda, after the genocide, which gave a great lesson on how context relevant Education should be. I read this case study this week, about the IDEAS project in Australia, which was mainly based on the Appreciative Inquiry method – which I have worked on – and taught me how important the community is and how powerful the stories we tell about ourselves are.
As I close this day, the question to reflect is how can powerful, relevant, context driven stories (about people, teams, nations) can become a mean for facilitating the learning of ethics in our Schools and Universities?
I would love to hear your views.