Deconstructing Development Education

What is Development Education? How does it relate to “development” and education, and what is its purpose?

The first assignment in the “Principles and Practices of Development Education” module in the DE Master at the Institute of Education/University of London was to “explore understandings of development and development education”. For me, the result was a short essay, in which I try to deconstruct development education by having a closer look at its elements: development and education. After outlining various approaches to development, in particular the thinking of Amartya Sen (Development as Freedom) and Ananta Kumar Giri, who introduced a reflective and self-critical element to Sen’s concept (Development as shared human responsibility), I attempt an excursion in the thinking of French adult educationalist Marcel Lesne. I try to link the sketched thinking on development and eduction to various existing concepts of development education and global learning. In the conclusion, I attempt to outline an approach to development education based on values, empowerment and social transformation.

You can download the short essay (1600 words) here: Deconstructing Development Education

Enjoy the reading, and don’t hesitate to leave critical comments! This blog shall be about exchange and debate, so your reactions are more then welcome.

2 thoughts on “Deconstructing Development Education

  1. Great to see this blog Tobias – professionally stimulating as an educator. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and engaging in conversation. Global education is always rooted in a particular vision for the future, or world view and philosophy of life that is rooted in specific values – there is no value neutral education and even our post-modern educators still end up espousing certain values without acknowledgement or making them explicit.

    Also not sure that ‘the individual does not need to be taught’ or no place for knowledge transfer – is the educator simply a facilitator? What is the role of the educator? I know education needs to be student-centred, interactive and not simply ‘knowledge transfer’ but these need not be mutually exclusive.

    Thanks again for the blog – and greetings from Australia!

  2. Hi Rod! Thanks a lot for the first comment on this still very new blog of mine – it’s even more rejoicing to read you as it comes all the way from Australia! Indeed, I might have been a little polemic in dismissing knowledge transfer completely – sometimes it is certainly great to learn from inspiring people – but it was in the perspective of teachers training focussing very much on factual knowledge and little or pedagogic skills. I also thought of Jacques Rancière’s “The ignorant Schoolmaster”, which, based on the story of Joseph Jacotot, argues that teachers do not need to know anything, but, by using equity as a starting (and not end point), teachers and students can learn anything together, as a way for real emancipation, beyond an expert/student relation which is always characterised by power hierarchies.ère


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