Wildfire changes day to night over Lillooet.
Human civilization is entering a period of change, caused by technology among other things, that will fundamentally disrupt the basic assumptions and social patterns we have experienced over the past century. Education too is going to be radically altered over the next few decades. The first tremors of this ground swell can now be discerned.
Our daily lives in the western world are being shaken by the rumblings of financial instability at the very core of our capitalist system. The shock of the recent global economic disaster is a harsh example of this. These are times of change where past assumptions can’t always be counted on.
We are numbed by the range of crises that loom around and before us. The proliferation of nuclear weapons, the radicalization of religious fundamentalism, the disintegration of time honoured social institutions, the inevitability of peak oil, and of course the accelerating collapse of the earth’s ecosystem that sustains us. We live in times of change, times of challenge and, for some, times of despair.
As educators we need to be informed, engaged, and most of all confident that humanity is capable of rising to the challenge, because those students who we teach will look to us for reassurance and direction. And yes things will change, and that transition will be uncomfortable, but we, as a species, have the abilities and resources to create a just and sustainable world, rich in biodiversity. A large part of the solution will be found in the emerging technological capacities that are at the moment seemingly so disruptive.