Educating for a Just and Sustainable World 

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Open Veins of Latin America: A Re-appraisal 50 Years On

This blog celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the classic study of the European - and later United States' (US) - colonisation of Latin America titled Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (1997). Published in 1971 by the Uruguayan journalist and author Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins gives an unsparing account of the five hundred years of 'pillage' that followed Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492 which included indentured slavery, extractivism, colonialism and indigenous genocide. The article reflects on what Galeano's text tells us about the importance of history to the contemporary discourse on development.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: A Re-Appraisal in the Age of Climate Change, Populism and Fake News

The fiftieth anniversary of the publication in English of Paulo Freire’s seminal text, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, offers the opportunity for a re-appraisal in the age of the climate emergency, populist nationalism and fake news. Born in 1921 in Recife, Brazil, Freire was a philosopher, educator and activist who worked with illiterate peasants using a revolutionary methodology that elevated education beyond the classroom to wider social and economic transformation. Forced to flee his native Brazil following a military coup in 1964, Freire wrote Pedagogy of the Oppressed in exile, and he remains a touchstone figure for social justice activists in the global North and South.

Five Ways in which Global Educators can respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Five months ago, 9,000 nurses from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) went on strike in the north of Ireland for the first time in the union’s 103-year history.   Seeking pay parity with their colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales, the RCN estimated that nurses’ pay in real terms had fallen by 15 per cent over eight years and they’d ‘had enough’.  Going on strike was a last resort, but staffing shortages and low pay had created ‘unsafe’ services for patients.  Fast forward to the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, COVID-19, and we see nurses and other frontline health workers feted from their windows and doorsteps by a grateful public in lockdown  The nurses’ strike was one local example of how ‘development’ had moved too far in the direction of the market and away from the social needs of citizens.   

The Global Economy is not only Extremely Unequal but Deeply Sexist: here are five ways in which we could do development differently

A raft of independent reports published this year, raise serious questions about economic instability and rising levels of poverty, particularly among low paid women. This new blog from the Centre for Global Education suggests how we can start to narrow the poverty gap and do development differently.

Centre for Global Education Film on the Climate Strikes

On 20 September 2019, seven thousand people took to the streets of Belfast to demand urgently needed action on climate change.  Inspired by the 16-year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, and her ‘Fridays for Future’ climate strike movement, the Centre for Global Education produced this film to give a voice to some of those involved.  The strike on 20 September was a ‘General Strike’ in which trade unions and civil society movements followed the lead of young climate activists to call for political action on the climate emergency locally and globally.  In the film we spoke to climate activists to find out why they got involved with the climate strikes and what they think should happen next.  Please share the film in schools, in the workplace, in communities and on social media.

Greta Thunberg, Global Learning and Social Change: Lessons for International NGOs from the Climate Strike Movement

This new blog from the Centre for Global Education argues that the global movement for climate action inspired by Greta Thunberg has exposed the lack of critical interrogation by INGOs of government and corporate inaction to reduce global warming.  It reflects the growing inertia of an INGO sector trading in ‘incremental change’ rather than ‘systemic political and economic transformation’. Part of the solution lies in embracing the radical pedagogy of global learning as part of internal capacity-building and external stakeholder engagement.

When They See Us is Event Television about Racial Injustice that Resonates in Trump’s America

23 million account-holders with Netflix have watched When They See Us, a drama recreating a scandalous miscarriage of justice inflicted on five Black and Latino teenagers in New York in 1989.  Stephen McCloskey suggests that the drama captures the unease and concern over race relations in Trump’s America. 

It’s time for the Wealthiest One Percent to Start Paying their Way

An alarming new report from Oxfam points to extreme levels of global economic and social inequality ten years on from the international financial crisis. This is largely attributed to the under-taxing of the world’s wealthiest one per cent, cuts to public services and gender discrimination.  Stephen McCloskey argues that it’s time for the one percent to start paying their way.

The Shock Economics of Austerity have Targeted the Poor to Disastrous Effect

A damming report from the United Nations Rapporteur on Poverty has condemned the UK’s austerity policies as ‘punitive, mean-spirited and often callous’.  Stephen McCloskey argues that the shock economics of austerity have been used to implement punitive new welfare policies that have hit the most vulnerable hardest.

Caring for Calais

Maria McCloskey is a solicitor, Chair of the Immigration Practitioners’ Group NI and Vice Chair of the Centre for Global Education’s Management Board. In July 2018, Maria volunteered with Care4Calais. Here, she talks about her experiences and some of the people she met.