Development education (DE) seeks to promote an understanding of the nexus between a person and the wider global community. DE primary role is to encourage critical examination of issues that are of a global nature. Some of these include climate change and international development. In essence, development education seeks to bring to the attention of individuals issues like social justice, diversity, global citizenship, conflict resolution and interdependence among others. Tom Kitt refers to DE as a significant concept underlying and supportive of development work. According to him, DE is crucial to enlarging the level of public understanding of developmental issues not only at the local level, but also at the global level. More significantly, it seeks to challenge problems which perpetuate poverty levels in the society and injustices by enhancing equal development.
The reflections on the five-generation model of development education, a document by MM Peinado argues that DE is a miscellany which includes activities not only of an educational nature like educational tools kits and trade fair, but also others that had little to do with education like ‘cause marketing’. Kumar discuses DE in the context of globalization and defines it as a new discipline which seeks to introduce new learning relationships of a global nature. The European Consensus on Development, on the other hand, defines DE as a means towards fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development around the global. The Union seeks to use development education to eradicate poverty not only within its member states, but also to promote means of facing these challenges in developing nations, which seem to be most affected by poverty levels and high rates of illiteracy. Douglas Bourn views DE as a product emerging for the desires of governments to secure greater public understanding. He argues that this was in view of seeking support for international development.
Common threads that characterize these definitions include the aspects of international development and poverty eradication. Additionally, the definitions tough explore aspects of social, environmental and economic issues. They seek to deep the essence of education within a community by including non-educational matters that add significant values to the society. It involves more than just classroom work. There is also a global aspect. However, there are a few differences especially when authors propagate their views using human rights, values and perceptions and sustainable development themes.
The recurring themes of international development goals, educational goals and goals for social change are used to propagate arguments for educational development. These are founded on the values of equality, solidarity, co-operation and inclusion. DE is cardinal because it creates awareness of international development goals and sustainable human development goals. It is cardinal to note that when societies, communities and states join forces with a view to address issues that are of a global nature, it becomes easier to make informed decisions and actions. More significantly, DE fosters and focuses on full participation of citizens. It is cardinal for the people to be involved in the designing of solutions to eradicate poverty. Co-operation and inclusion are crucial components of DE because they enable people to accept the provided solutions. In essence, DE seeks to bring the focus of the society on the social, environmental, economic and international policies.
Andreotti, V. "Theory without practice is idle, practice without theory is blind." Development Education Journal (2006): pp7-10.
Andreotti, Vanessa. "Global Citizenship." 2006. www.developmenteducationreview.com. 09 November 2010 <http://www.developmenteducationreview.com/issue3-focus4?page=show>.
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Kumar, Ajay . "Development Education and Dialogical Learning in the 21st Century." International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning (2008).
Peinado, Manuela Mesa. "Reflections on the Five-Generation Model of Development Education." Education Global Research (2011).
Proceedings of the GENE Conference. "Learning for a Global Society." 2003.
The European Consensus on Development. "The European Consensus on Development:the contribution of Development Education &Awareness Raising." 2005.