Mapping higher education’s literacies of the future Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta, and Mandla Makhanya The world continues to become increasingly defined by more complexity and uncertainty. The planet continues to become more complex as a result of advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, biotechnology, and genetic engineering, among other innovations. At the same time, the planet continues to become more uncertain as a result of climate change, biodiversity and oceanic degradation, the refugee crisis, extremism, and nuclear proliferation, among other global problems. The growing anxiety associated with the increased and paradoxical juxtaposition of innovation and global problems places greater urgency on educational institutions to become actively involved in addressing these concerns and issues. Although the main purpose of education is to produce learning, higher education also serves several other equally important aims, including the civic or political, economic, social, environmental and personal purposes of education. This contemporary reality raises serious humanitarian concerns [...]
HE institutions must learn to adapt to innovate Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta, and Mandla Makhanya Humanity stands on the precipice of an emerging revolution. This new revolution is brought about, in part, by the integration of biological, technological and social systems. For instance, we have seen remarkable advances in cybernetics, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, quantum computing, neural interfaces and genetic engineering, among others. Development of human intelligence This new revolution is just one in a long line of revolutions in human history over the past 10,000 years. The first major revolution was the Agricultural Revolution (also known as the Neolithic Revolution), which occurred in the Middle East around 10,000 BCE. This transition marked a turning away from nomadic hunting and gathering to stationary agricultural societies. During this period, humans established non-nomadic societies centred on crop and animal farming. Humans domesticated both plants (for example, wheat, lentils and flax) and animals [...]
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, [...]
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 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 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 [...]
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.