Educating for Responsibility to Live Well With Each Other and the Earth

Communication during the Seminar on Value Based Education, International Culture Centre, IIUM Kuala Lumpur

Betsan Martin, November 2018

Preparing young people and students for the world of the Anthropocene requires reference to the navigational stars of interdependence, solidarity and responsibility. Climate change is compelling us to reorient our economies, rethink our education, and calibrate our values towards understanding of ourselves as part of nature.

Responsibility brings values beyond those of classical economics and neo-liberalism. This paper will draw on a radical philosophical account of the face-to-face relation as the site of human encounter where responsibility arises. This shift from an individual notion of the self to a relational view brings up new thinking on teaching, knowledge and education. Ineducation an ethics of responsibility can be a reference for classroom relations, knowledge as a public good, policy for plural interests, and engaging with communities

New Zealand and Malaysia share a legacy of British colonial impacts on our histories and education systems, and most profoundly, on indigenous peoples, for who obligation is often a central cultural orientation. This paper includes discussion of responsibility in indigenous philosophies such as Sejahtera and Kaupapa Māori.

The backdrop is to reorient education from its role in an economy of exploitation to an economy of stewardship for ‘our common home’ or ‘oeconomy’. Face-to-face with each other – in the sense of all others, requires us to consider our use of resources and future generations.

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