Navigating Unchartered Waters: Peace within Hearts, Hands and Minds
Ms Narsee’s paper was motivated by a need to foster worldwide institutional collaboration and to reconsider conceptualisations of teaching, learning and researching education, encompassing a concern with human rights and a culture of peace. Education is a fundamental element in all processes that aim to build a culture of peace and human rights (UNESCO 2000). It is more than the provision of information, it is lifelong, value-based process of improving knowledge and action within the framework of the principles of the international instruments of human rights. My paper is underpinned by the underlying principle of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, Satyagraha and Ahimsa. In this paper I articulate that in the context of deep human crisis in the 21st century, the education of future citizens need to be redressed so that a better balance is achieved between academic excellence and human values and moral perceptions. The making of moral citizens must mean persons with ‘human excellence’. I argue that single- minded focus on economic growth and globalization over much of the 20th and 21st centuries has led to an erosion of human values (Galtung, 2003, Lasonen, 2003, Lickonia, 1993). Anger, resentment, lust for revenge, even success through aggressive competition, subverts, undermines and are corrosive of this good. For peace education to accomplish societal change, attitude and value formation need to be considered. This is the first for the Durban Institute of Technology, where a module of this nature entitled “Value-Based & Peace Education” will be piloted with students across the faculties. The module strives to produce in learners learning outcomes oriented to knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes through an integrated approach. It seeks to encourage the culture of peace, interfaith dialogue and education for wholesome value choices. Principles, which are essential cornerstones on which an education for a humanistic and international society must be built, are incorporated.
Sheila Narsee (South Africa)
Department of Languages & Communication Faculty of Arts
Durban Institute of Technology, Steve Biko Campus
Sheila Narsee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English &
Communication at the Durban Institute of Technology (DIT), South Africa. She holds a Masters degree in Technology (Education) and her field of research and interest cover a wide spectrum: workplace literacy/communication, lifelong learning , humanities and social sciences in engineering education and currently value-based and peace education. Sheila is widely published both locally and internationally. Her international presentations and exploratory research visits include USA, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Greece, and Beijing. Sheila was fortunate to be selected as one of 28 delegates representing 28 countries to present and participate in the UNESCO Conference on Intercultural Education, Human Rights and a Culture of Peace in Finland in 2003, generous funding of UNESCO and the Finnish Ministry. This experience so inspired her that she has initiated a module titled " Value-Based & Peace Education", which she is piloting in 2004 at her institution.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)