Some thoughts on sustainability

Summary of some articles of development by some colleagues

Article 1: ‘Tyranny/Transformation: Power and Paradox in Participatory Development’, reviewed by Isilay. It is possible to identify two visions of development:

– ‘Community development provided by multinational organisations and decision-makers, composed mainly of western white men, where development means becoming more modern, rational, industrial and westernized even for the cost of cultural and environmental values.’ This vision has been called ‘tyranny’.

– Participatory development, where the development process is more empowering, democratic, just and effective. It incorporates local knowledge in the development process. However, development agencies were implementing the projects in ways to serve their own agendas.

Development is a dynamic and political process. Definitions of development are relevant. In both visions of development a top-down structure has remained.

Article 2: It is a preface: Biography and Ethnicity : Development and Changes in Senses of Socio-cultural Belonging in Migrant Populations in the US and Germany

Volume 10, No. 3 September 2009 Michaela Köttig, Julia Chaitin, J.P. Linstroth & Gabriele Rosenthal, reviewed by Diana. Diana sees a connection between ‘development’ and ‘socio-cultural belonging’. ‘Constructing and developing another identity’ is another element in this review. ‘Interaction’ is another main indicator of development and transformation of collective belonging.

Article 3: Tyranny/Transformation: Power and Paradox in Participatory Development, Brian Christens & Paul W. Speer, Reviewed by Zeynep. This article was already reviewed by Isilay.

Article 4: Counteraction as a Crucial Factor of Learning, Education and Development: Opposition to Help, reviewed by Lucas. Development should be considered as a result of learning as well as counteraction to learning. Positive and negative feedback are necessary for the functioning of any system, as can be seen in nature. He sees ‘help’ on one end and ‘counteraction’ on the other end. In an educational setting, counteraction is a complex issue, often unpredictable, but an important and even necessary aspect of development.

Article 5: Body Contact and Body Language: Moments of Personal Development and Social and Cultural Learning Processes in Movement Psychology and Education Volume 9, No. 2, Art. 63 May 2008 Helle Winther, reviewed by Cécile.

The focus here is personal development and interaction in movement, with a focus on body contact, how it is very present in infants and very absent in adult communication. Body language and eye contact play an important role in personal development.

Overview of different visions of development and methodologies given for analysing them (taken from above articles)

– Modern development: criteria: are rational, industrial, without regard for cultural and environmental values. (article 1)

– Egoparticipatory development: criteria: empowering, democratic, just, effective, incorporating local knowledge. Implementation is based on the agenda of the development agency. (article 1)

– Development through interaction in a socio-cultural belonging: criteria: identity construction, development and transformation through socio-cultural and collective belonging. (article 2) Development with a focus on interaction and body contact. (article 5)

– Development as a result of learning: criteria: learning, questioning material learned, progress. (article 4)

Search on sustainability and sustainable. 1st use of term in what fields

Wikipedia says: “The history of sustainability traces human-dominated ecological systems from the earliest civilizations to the present. This history is characterized by the increased regional success of a particular society, followed by crises that were either resolved, producing sustainability, or not, leading to decline.[1][2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sustainability

Sustainability is thus the very core ingredient for life. Emerging industrial societies, modernism and production without due consideration for the planet has brought with it the consequences. The planet, a living organism can’t take it anymore and reacts. This in turn has opened our eyes and we say: we need to reduce production, we need to recycle, we need to live in a way that is sustainable for our survival.

Google search indicates: sustainable future, development, tourism, energy, cleaning, luxury fair, finance, living, food movement, architecture, business, design, cities, schools, education … This clearly indicates that sustainability is required in almost every area of human endeavour. Here is an example for sustainable education: The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education. Integrating sustainability and design into schools and communities. The Cloud Institute equips school systems K-12 and their communities with the core content, competencies and habits of mind that characterize education for a sustainable future. We do this by inspiring teachers and engaging students through meaningful content and student-centered instruction. http://www.sustainabilityed.org

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