Global and Civil Learning

Here is an interview by a McMaster student with my new colleague Henry Giroux that puts well the challenge we face in teaching civic and moral responsibility. (DV) Rahmani: Interview with Henry Giroux.

McMaster is capable of attaining the highest quality of excellence in the traditional sense, but I think it is also providing a new model of excellence, one that measures a university in terms of how it addresses the needs of civic society on both a national and global level. There is a certain worldliness about McMaster, a sense of being in the world, being attentive to the civic quality of a larger global public sphere. This means, in part, taking seriously what it means to educate students to be critically engaged, civic citizens of the world.

What happens to dead universities?

SFU News – SFU integrates TechBC students – Feb 21, 2002 is an article about how Simon Fraser University is taking on the students stranded when TechBC was closed. TechBC was an interdisciplinary university set up in 1999 and soon closed due to budget and student issues. One of their undergrad programs was in Interactive Arts (for more on the program, see the interview from Switch.)
So what was the full story on TechBC?

Village Colleges

The design, decoration and equipment of our places of education cannot be regarded as anything less than of first-rate importance – as equally important, indeed, as the teacher. … We shall not bring about any improvement in standards of taste by lectures and preachings; habitation is the golden method. … The school, the technical college, the community centre, which is not a work of architectural art is to that extent an educational failure.

viewing Impington – Henry Morris and the idea of the village college is an extended essay in an encyclopedic site on informal education: The essay on Morris and village colleges talks about the attention to balanced space for these community education centres. The Village College combined children’s education with lifelong learning and community spaces.

It would take all the various vital but isolated activities in village life – the School, the Village Hall and Reading Room, the Evening Classes, the Agricultural Education Courses, the Women’s Institute, the British Legion, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the recreation ground, the branch of the County Rural Library, the Athletic and Recreation Clubs – and, bringing them together into relation, create a new institution for the English countryside.

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