Globalisation, knowledge and the need for a revolution in learning: can we really build a City of Man?
The world has reached a crucial stage in its development and there are many reasons why it is time for us as educators to stop and take stock of precisely what place we are playing in it. I think that the credit crunch has made us all aware of this for we have seen something of the weakness of the capitalist system – but I think that the credit crunch is itself a symbol of something far deeper and more problematic. As a result of the European Enlightenment we have viewed things far too simply and from a skewed position and I want to suggest that we can see it in many areas of our work as well. But the world has also become a complex place and even simple things no longer appear simple. I want to illustrate this from my own definition of learning which is much more complex than many that we see in other text-books because it tries to take the whole person into consideration – our conceptualisation is itself far too narrow. Elsewhere I (Jarvis, 2009) have defined it as
the combination of processes throughout a lifetime whereby the whole person – body (genetic, physical and biological) and mind (knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, emotions, beliefs, meaning and senses) – experiences social situations, the content of which is then transformed cognitively, emotively or practically (or through any combination) and integrated into the individual person’s biography resulting in a continually changing (or more experienced) person.