Towards higher education for a better civil society

Towards higher education for a better civil society Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Craig Mahoney Higher education around the world is at a juncture. For instance, academics are now challenged to protect academic freedom, to treat lifelong learning as a human right and to reinvent the institutional vision, mission and values so they are compatible with the realities of the emerging world paradigms of globalisation, social responsibility and sustainable development.  To this end, educators must first understand what it means to be a socially responsible institution and their role in civil society. Civil society can be defined as the third sector of society. Whereas the first and second sectors of society include government (that is, the public sector) and business institutions (that is, the private sector), civil society (that is, the civic or community sector) includes all other individuals, groups and institutions (for example, citizens, families, educational, religious, non-profit and non-governmental organisations) that operate, by and large, [...]

New higher education literacies for a sustainable future

New higher education literacies for a sustainable future Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Mandla Makhanya As the world becomes more interconnected and interdependent, nations face increasing pressure to improve their political, economic, social, technological and environmental infrastructures in order to compete in an increasingly globalised world.  Within this context, perhaps the most fundamental and important component of any nation in the 21st century is its educational system. As societies become more complex – economically, socially, technologically and otherwise – so must their educational systems. To this end, nations have responded by creating diverse educational systems that now consist of many different types of educational institutions, including trade schools, technical colleges, community colleges, liberal arts colleges and research universities, among others.  In a complex society, a one-size-fits-all approach is unable to address all the varied needs of society. Therefore, a highly diverse educational system is seen by many as one of the keys to the promotion of economic [...]

Human Creativity as a Renewable Resource

Human Creativity as a Renewable Resource Patrick Blessinger1; Enakshi Sengupta2; Taisir Subhi Yamin3  1 St. John’s University, New York, USA 2 The International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) 3 The International Centre for Innovation in Education (ICIE) Note: Originally published in: International Journal for Talent Development and Creativity – 6(1), August, 2018; and 6(2), December, 2018. Retrieved from Abstract This article is a scholarly essay that uses secondary data sources together with historical analysis to provide a broad overview of the development of humans throughout their long history on Earth, how humans have slowly decoupled themselves from the Darwinian evolutionary condition by developing language and intelligence which, in turn, has allowed them to adapt the environment to fit their needs instead of simply adapting themselves to fit the harshness of the natural environment and a survival of the fittest principle. Thus, unlike all non-human species, as human society continues to evolve, the [...]

Creative learning as a renewable resource

Creative learning as a renewable resource Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Taisir Subhi Yamin St John’s University, USA, The HETL Association, USA and the International Centre for Innovaton in Education A renewable resource is traditionally viewed in terms of renewable natural resources, but with the importance now placed on solving the huge problems associated with global climate change and on creative and interdisciplinary learning as a means to address these problems, it is now time for a broader definition of the term renewable resource. The imminent global problems facing the planet (for example, climate change, extreme poverty, hunger and the refugee crisis) and the complex and interconnected nature of those problems, precipitated by mass industrialisation, require a new way of thinking that makes creative learning and lifelong learning top priorities for educational systems around the world.  Thus, learning should be viewed as a renewable human resource since it provides an unlimited source of new ideas and problem-solving [...]

Improving academic success through service-learning

Improving academic success through service-learning Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Taisir Subhi Yamin St John’s University, USA, The HETL Association, USA and the International Centre for Innovaton in Education At the George Washington University geography students enrolled in an urban sustainability course worked with the Anacostia Watershed Society to help restore and sustain the Anacostia River ecosystem. At the University of Wisconsin students worked with Habitat for Humanity to construct housing for low-income families. In addition to tertiary education, service-learning is also used at the primary and secondary school levels, for example, by drawing on National Geographic resources to help students in an earth science course in New York City to think more like scientists by engaging them in real-world watershed sustainability initiatives.  These are just a few examples of the many different types of service-learning projects that students are engaged in at different academic institutions. Service-learning defined Service-learning is a teaching strategy, a learning activity [...]

Creating inclusive curricula in higher education

Creating inclusive curricula in higher education Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Mandla Makhanya St John’s University, USA, The HETL Association, USA and The University of South Africa The ongoing development, growth and stability of modern economic and democratic systems require that people engage in continual education and training throughout the course of their lives – that is, lifelong and lifewide learning. As a result of this contemporary reality, higher education systems around the world, including both formal and non-formal types of learning, have experienced unprecedented change in the past few decades in the areas of democratisation, internationalisation and treating lifelong learning as a human right. These changes have been driven by underlying factors such as social movements, economic forces, legal reforms, technological innovation and changing student needs and demographics. The changes have brought with them a renewed focus on inclusion and equity as paramount issues in the shifting paradigm of higher education. The increased attention to equity and inclusion have, in turn, led [...]

Humanising higher education via inclusive leadership

The demand for higher education of all types is at an all-time high. As the world becomes more integrated and interdependent through the processes of globalisation and internationalisation and more driven by and dependent on advanced knowledge, skills and competencies, lifelong learning has not only become a necessity for economic development and social progress, but it is now recognised as a human right.

Go to Top