There are moments of teaching in every educator’s life when you are reminded that you are not the smartest person in the room. Rather, the students around you have much to teach you. This can be as much the experience for those teaching young children as those who teach adults or at universities. Such moments can change us forever. Such an approach to education draws on the work of Paulo Freire’s (1970) vision of a pedagogy that is rooted in the lived experience of our students. The argument is that our role as educators is to highlight power structures that shape these experiences, inspiring students to question, challenge, and agitate for change. Freire believed that education was about addressing the needs of the world and connecting with the problems surrounding us. This chapter discusses the cultural interactions from this perspective and outlines how this can alter our life journey. Drawing on the concept of ‘cultural humility,’ I argue that this should be seen as a step beyond cultural competence. Cultural humility is a guiding principle for educators seeking to facilitate culturally appropriate learning and as an effective approach for ethical and sensitive communication in diverse and constantly evolving learning and professional settings.
In the nineteen essays of this collection, the 21st century citizen is introduced, deconstructed, probed and admired among the messy realities of the contemporary world. As an inter-disciplinary project, the collection draws on expertise from across Europe, North America and Australasia to offer new insights into such diverse existences as the environmental citizen, the young citizen, the multiple citizen, the non-citizen, and the global citizen. It unflinchingly spotlights the failures of our contemporary societies to resolve the endless, universal problems of conflict, poverty and oppression. It also opens windows of hope onto a range of new understandings and innovative approaches to the challenges we face, from the mass movements of refugees to the digitalisation of social contact. This material can be read as a whole, as a conceptual collection, or it can be dipped in to and out of between work and leisure. Whether it is read as research or pastime, this volume will challenge and confront, comfort and renew, the many ways of thinking about citizenship in the 21st century.
A key question that confronts universities today is ‘why do we exist?’ Given constraints on public finances, and the many alternative education service providers who boast excellent facilities, why should governments and the broader public invest in us? How do universities actually justify themselves? Such questions give rise to confusion, as the modern university attempts to understand its role in the contemporary world. The aim of this chapter is to reflect on that role. We argue that for universities to survive and flourish, there must be a renewed and increasing focus and emphasis on community engagement and partnership building.