Aiming for world peace by promoting 'violence' in education
conference contributionposted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Scott Webster
In order to contribute towards UNESCO’s goal of pursuing world peace, aims of education must transcend the limited scope of national self-interest which has dominated schooling systems in the West for the last two centuries and further back when the survival of each polis in Ancient Greece was of paramount importance. Aims must therefore become different and the environment that is thought best for this to occur is a democratic one. The case is made that such a democratic environment should involve opportunities to evaluate the value of current aims of education and to explore others in light of the pressing need to pursue peace on a global scale. In order to promote such a democratic environment of discussion and debate the notion of ‘violence’ is considered as a potential framework for such a re-evaluation. The sort of ‘violence’ that is called for is in reference to its use by Emmanual Levinas who employed it emotively to misinterpret Kierkegaard. The use of this misapplied term ‘violence’ may nevertheless be of use in initiating the sort of inquiry of a Deweyean type regarded here to be necessary to improve aims of education democratically in order to pursue world peace.