PROJECT

PROJECT

 We believe, that philosophers of education and educationists should jointly take action to reach educational policy makers in order to change the current educational paradigm, also taking into account different traditions from different parts of the World.

 

The main purpose of this particular project is to consolidate, at the international level, the efforts of thinkers on education and educationists concerned with the current state of education in order to counter the negative impacts on human flourishing. We believe that a renewal of educational values can be developed through a critical rethinking of human education and its long-term consequences, and by developing constructive ideas and proposals that are most relevant for a globalized world.

 

The Project has been developed by a group of leading philosophers of education being concerned about dehumanizing trends in education and significant growth of commercial and technicist approaches to it.

 

We believe that the views of the Dalai Lama who is the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the author of books proclaiming humanistic positions beyond religion epitomizes a great deal of what our project values. He has spoken and written about education as a priority issue in his lectures and books and collaborated with educators over the past 20 years, especially advocating the idea of secular ethics in modern education. Due to his world-renowned reputation, we consider that his support for our project could be very welcomed, and therefore we contacted him and presented the idea of our project to him. After discussion, HH the Dalai Lama approved of the Project and in addition, has graciously accepted our invitation to participate in it.

 

“My hope and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call ‘education of the heart.’ Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values: love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness”.

His Holiness the Dalai-Lama XIV

 

 

“Human Education in the 3-rd millennium”

Draft project

Background
This Project began with several philosophers of education from different countries coming together, who shared
common concerns regarding some dehumanizing trends in educational policies and practices. In particular we have
observed that accompanying the increasing emphasis on global economic competitiveness there is a significant
growth of commercial and technicist approaches to education and a dilution of humanizing values. The
significance of which have been discussed previously in the Faure et al. (1972) report to UNESCO titled Learning
to Be, and to a lesser degree the Delors (1998) report titled Learning: The Treasure Within. Today these trends are
observed to be increasing globally and, as far as we understand, they occur under the influence of the post-
industrial technocratic-information scenario.
The main purpose of this particular project that we propose is to consolidate, at the international level, the efforts of
thinkers on education and educationists concerned with the current state of education in order to counter the
negative impacts on human flourishing. We believe that a renewal of educational values can be developed through
a critical rethinking of human education and its long-term consequences, and by developing constructive ideas and
proposals that are most relevant for a globalized world.
Currently, our group has embarked on taking the first steps: enlisting several colleagues and organizations from a
variety of countries. Typically, many educational reforms and policies have been initiated in the West. However,
since we are pursuing a different emphasis in policies, one that promotes human values in education, we have the
vision that the crucial events of this international project should take place in a non-western part of the world (not
in the USA or Europe in particular), and we see India as the right place for this.
We believe that the views of the Dalai Lama who is the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the author of books
proclaiming humanistic positions beyond religion epitomizes a great deal of what our project values. He has
spoken and written about education as a priority issue in his lectures and books and collaborated with educators
over the past 20 years, especially advocating the idea of secular ethics in modern education. He declares: “My hope
and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call ‘education of the heart.’ Just as we take
for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when
we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values:
love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.” Due to his world-renowned reputation we consider that his support for
our project could be very welcomed, and therefore we contacted him and presented the idea of our project to him.
After discussion, HH the Dalai Lama approved of the Project and in addition, has graciously accepted our
invitation to participate in it.
Current Vision of the Project Goals and Strategy
The current vision of the project is the following:
Examination and elucidation of human nature, of the values most pertinent for human flourishing as well as of the
modern trends which prevent and contradict it, are necessarily philosophical in nature. This holds true for the
variety of inquiries that occur across cultures which seek deeper understandings in contemporary education in all its
forms and aims. We therefore recognise that philosophy of education must play a significant role in educational
renewal, and that it must occur in close cooperation with educationists.
In particular, we see the need to emphasize the problem defined by philosophers and social science scholars as a
neoliberal influence on educational policies. While theoretically couched in terms such as ‘freedom’ of the
market, neoliberalism has morphed into monopoly capitalism (Harvey 2007) producing consequences which are
perceived by some as causing ‘war’ on both education (Giroux 2014) and on democracy (Chomsky 1999; Deetz
1992; Wolin 2018), where populations are being controlled through illusions (Chomsky1989; Dinan & Miller
2007) rather than being emancipated through education.

We believe, that philosophers of education and educationists should jointly take action to reach educational policy
makers in order to change the current educational paradigm, also taking into account different traditions from
different parts of the World. Therefore, we aim at the globally relevant Declaration on Education, which criticizes those contemporary trends that pose a danger to humanity by dismissing the necessary approach to education based on such
values as love, solidarity, care, justice, cooperation, equality and diversity.

Implementation
The 1st stage.
The starting point for achieving this goal will be an Initial Roundtable conference. This will involve a meeting with
a small group of thinkers, including the Dalai Lama, for two days in Dharamsala, India. This meeting will help to
identify and clearly articulate the main aspects of the significantly challenging problems of our time, and establish
directions that need to be developed further during the 2nd stage.
The 2nd stage.
The second step, as indicated above, will involve a large conference that combines a forum of philosophers,
scholars and politicians of education and a workshop with practitioners on all levels and forms of education in
different contexts. The conference will be scheduled for 5-7 days. Its program will include:
1) discussion of working papers on various relevant problems, which should provide the key materials for position
papers;
2) demonstration of the implementation of different pedagogical ideas during practitioners' workshops, as well as
their discussion and formulation of the main problems and messages for the Declaration;
3) deliberations on the main provisions of the Declaration;
4) decisions on the forms of intervention this Declaration seeks to make for improving the educational experiences
globally in terms of policy and practice in different institutions, etc. This will include identifying the challenges
with the ‘translation’ of such interventions on a global scale given the current assembly work shaping national
education systems and other non-formal and informal settings: education systems operate within geo-political
contexts that are contingent on specific regulatory regimes, laws, political settlements and institutional orders.

The 3rd stage.

The conference should lay the ground for the collective decision to convene an international meeting of thinkers
and politicians of education to elaborate and adopt the Declaration on Human Education in the 3-rd millennium
and provide a handbook for educators who are willing to engage in this new educational paradigm.

Venue
We are planning all events of the project to take place in India, because India is the birthplace of great knowledge
of human nature and knowledge of the possibilities and methods of moral, mental and spiritual development. Also
it is particularly important that India is the country with the second highest population in the world, where the
problems of developing countries can be found in all their diversity, and at the same time it is a rapidly progressing
country following the democratic path of development.

Dates
Tentative dates – 2019-2021.
The 1 st stage – beginning of 2019.

The 2 nd stage – beginning of 2020.
The 3 rd stage – 2020-2021.

 

The Project is now sponsored and supported by

Save Tibet Foundation
Tibet Culture & Information Center
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives