CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES
Today, it would be difficult to find a community that has been unaffected by globalization, yet its effects are still unknown to many people. This paper is an attempt to bring the subject to the awareness of educators while particularly focusing on those in the Philippines. It is ironic that globalization on one hand has incited people all over the world to protest against it; on the other hand, it has drawn the world closer together. Various contradicting effects of globalization on nations all over the world, especially on the economic sphere, are presented in the early part of the paper, and then the specific impacts in the Philippine context are discussed. The latter portion of the paper discusses an attempt at reconciliation of the conflicts created because of globalization through global education or peace education.
Recently, strong opposition to the war in Iraq has been expressed, not only in the countries which sent combatants but also in many other countries around the world. Massive protests have been well organized and tens of thousands of people have participated. A similar kind of organized opposition was seen in Seattle in 1997. Protests effectively derailed the World Trade Organization's (WTO) agenda regarding the worldwide installation of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments. Similarly, in June 1989, news about student demonstrations in China could not be stopped from filtering out of the country, despite the Chinese government's effort to control the news by means of banning satellites and fax machines, or by prohibiting foreign journalists from transmitting and broadcasting information about the way the government handled the country's dissidents. Supporters sympathetic to the dissent ensured the flow of information in and out of China, letting the world know that the Chinese government had ordered its army to fire on the protesting students. These examples of organized opposition suggest that peoples of different races, cultures, and classes, including citizens from various parts of the world, have worked to develop a form of world public opinion in opposition to exploitation and globalization.
As nations become globally interdependent, a growing number of citizens in both North and South contexts are becoming socially and politically aware of each other. Viewing planet Earth as a place where countries and peoples share common opportunities, common resources and a common future, such critically-aware citizens note that policies and actions imposed in one site or part of the world often impact on other countries, either positively or adversely. It is ironic that globalization, on the one hand, has incited peoples all over the world to protest against it, while on the other hand, globalization has drawn the world closer together. Peoples on opposite sides of the globe watch the same movies and shows, wear similar clothes, eat similar food and drink, and even communicate in a common language (Savage & Armstrong, 1992; Touraine, 2000).
The contradictory impacts of globalization affect countries all over the world, especially with respect to the economic sphere, which is the subject of the first part of this paper. For example, while the internationalization of economies promises to bring prosperity to underdeveloped countries that need it most, it also causes poverty and enhances the disparity between the rich and the poor. Through the examination of global education and peace education, a reconciliation of the conflicts that are generated by globalization is attempted in the second part of the paper. Peace education seeks to address problems of globalization that extend beyond national boundaries. As economies become interdependent, peoples increasingly rely on each other to work out shared difficulties (Stockard, 2001; Wright, 2001). Currently, it is difficult to find a community or country that is unaffected by globalization, and yet a country such as the Philippines is very much affected by this phenomenon but does not currently include the subject of globalization in its educational curriculum. Examples such as this lead to the final pages of this paper, where the impact of globalization in the Philippines is examined. In this paper, globalization is used synonymously with modernization and with development, while global education is used interchangeably with peace education and with development education.
Definitions of Globalization
The impact of globalization will be understood more clearly by first defining the term, though it is interpreted differently by different authors. Some claim that globalization means the competition of companies nationally and internationally to maximize profit. It is also identified as a process of the international integration of economies by means of the social restructuring of the modes of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services on a global scale; this restructuring is accomplished in part through the removal of trade restrictions and the opening of national borders to allow capital to flow freely between countries (Burbules, & Torres 2000; Carnoy, 1999; Hirst, & Thompson, 1996; Scholte, 2000; Sanders, 1996; Tujan, 1998). Some authors go even further and suggest that globalization is not merely a process of economic integration, but the actual universalization and commodification of knowledge, technology and communication, culture, health care, heritage, genetic codes, and natural resources such as land, forests, air, and water (Barlow, & Clarke 2002; Reiser, & Davies 1944; Smith, 2000). A third definition equates globalization to westernization and modernization, where existing local social structures and cultures are destroyed and replaced by the social structures of capitalism, rationalism, industrialism, and the imperialism of such social institutions as McDonald's, Hollywood, CNN, and the like (Schiller, 1991; Scholte, 2000; Spybey, 1996; Taylor, 2000). All three definitions serve as the referents of globalization in this paper.
Impacts of Globalization
Although the roots of globalization can be traced back to the Enlightenment era of eighteenth-century Europe (Gray in Smith, 2000), the impact of globalization has never garnered as much attention as it has in the last sixty years or so. Rationalism as a paradigm of knowledge configuration allows globalization to flourish. It aims to define reality by means of observable, physical truths that are discoverable and understood in terms of scientific, objective research. The Enlightenment vision that dominates in the United States upholds this rationalist theory as it asserts that scientific knowledge is non-territorial and that objective truth is "valid for anyone, anywhere, anytime [such that] certain products, regulations, technologies, art forms, and the like can apply across the world" (Scholte, 2000, p. 95). The Enlightenment mindset opposes territorial divisions and state borders as it is affirmed as follows, "Reason knows no territorial limits" (Albrow, 1996, p. 32). Rationalism sets the foundation for other globalization forces to develop. It promotes a knowledge framework for capitalist production and the advancement of scientific thinking, a framework out of which technologies which open up intraterritorial spaces emerge (Smith in Hakovirta, 2000; Scholte, 2000). Other models of knowing are undermined and dismissed as irrational by rationalism. Nonetheless, so-called irrational knowledge and subsistence development have, in some ways, offered resistance to globalization. As an example, indigenous peoples' ways of knowing and living have sustained them for centuries.
In other areas, the movement of eco-centrism also works to oppose the rationalist belief. While rationalism claims that nature is subservient to humans (Eckersley, 1991), in eco-centrist knowledge, humans are only part of a larger "life system," and are considered to be subordinate to nature. Indigenous peoples' cognizance of and relationship with nature becomes an integral part of the rejection of violence against, and the destruction of the environment (Warren, 1996). Some environmentalists and animal rights activists promote an understanding of Gaia, a notion that considers planet Earth to be a living thing and a source of life (Lovelock, 1979).
is often succeeded by a series of economic crisis. In the 1930s, Latin
America experienced a foreign exchange problem created by a drop in
export income in Argentina and in Brazil. In the 1940s, Europe underwent
a crisis after its economy suffered during the Second World War. Later,
as colonized countries gained independence, efforts were made to put
the economies of Asian and African countries on their feet. A need
to establish a new international economic order arose, and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (now known as the World Bank) were organized. Martinussen
(1997) explains the functions of the institutions:
The IMF [was] established to encourage international co-operation in the monetary field and to remove foreign exchange restrictions, to establish exchange rates, and to facilitate a multilateral payment system between member countries. The purpose of the World Bank [is] to encourage capital investment for the reconstruction and development of its member countries (p. 34).
With the focus on economic growth in Third World countries, capital became increasingly internationalized. The IMF and the World Bank helped to develop the economy of poorer countries by lending them money for infrastructure, for communication networks, and for banking facilities.
Africa and Asia were pushed to move through gradual changes toward industrialization by means of a modernization process. This was the case because First World economists were of the belief that developing countries existed in a state of poverty because they are not industrialized. The Western experts believed that modernization would benefit both the developing and the highly developed Western countries. Hence, foreign capital flowed into Third World countries to build factories, as well as industrial and commercial establishments. Expectations were raised by the promise that globalization would create a more prosperous and egalitarian world.
However, naive optimism was eventually dashed because modernization brought, instead, enhanced economic disparity: poor countries became poorer, and rich countries became richer. The foreign capital that was provided to help the poor countries was motivated by the prospect of earning sizable returns in the form of interest. Debtor countries were given little banking control, so that capital was effectively free to move in and out of the country through an open trade policy. For the developing countries, the payment of debt-related interest alone was impossible. In order to repay their loans, debtor countries had to deprive their people of basic necessities. Increasing amounts of raw materials, such as logs, minerals, grain, and others items, were exported in order to earn the foreign exchange necessary to counter the growing trade deficit. Vast areas of farmland that had been planted with subsistence crops were now planted with cash crops to feed the hunger of foreign traders, not the farmers who tilled the land. Unregulated global market practices sacrificed forests and vast tracts of land for short-lived trade benefits. Governments of poor countries made radical cutbacks in spending, thereby reducing public and social services, and creating massive unemployment. Ultimately, the "structural adjustment" made by a poor country's government in order to repay its loans was economically, socially, and ecologically disastrous for its citizens (Bello, Kinley, & Elison, 1982).
Technology facilitates international trading practices, the transfer of capital, and also makes possible the virtualization of international finance. "National state governments [become] unprecedentedly vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of money markets," Smith (2000) writes. The World Bank and the IMF demand that Third World countries open up their markets to free trade so that such countries can accumulate hard currency through increased exports. Third World countries, however, are often not able to compete with the products imported into their countries because foreign governments often subsidize those products. As well, import tariffs commonly applied by debtor countries are often removed in order to comply with the conditions set by lending countries. When the growth of imported products surpasses a country's exports, a trade deficit results, and it is ultimately the rich country that accumulates the hard currency, not the poor one. On this subject, George (1992) cites a statement made by Senegal's Minister of State, Abdoulaye Wade: "facts emerge from the World Bank's accounts [that] Africa is paying this institution more than it receives from it, which means that, contrary to received wisdom, African poverty is financing the long-term wealth of the rich countries" (p. 208). As a consequence of the internationalization of capital, a new international division of labour emerges.
Early on in the internationalization process, developing countries export raw materials to developed countries, which subsequently manufacture goods. The developing countries, in turn, import the finished products. As the new international division of labour evolves between First World and the Third World countries, industries are established in developing countries to manufacture products for local consumption. Poor host countries become less dependent on foreign import, although they are still dependent on capital goods and on the import of machinery and technology. This results in the import substitution economy evident in poor countries since products that are normally imported from other countries become available locally. Later, changes are made to international division of labour practices. Now, First World corporations promote the production of goods in developing countries, not merely for local use, but for export to world markets, as well. As a result, Third World countries begin exporting goods, and the reigning import substitution model is changed to an export-oriented economy. Further assurances of wealth and economic stability are pledged, as employment opportunities are created in the developing countries (Brecher, & Costello, 1994). The legal framework that organizes foreign investments in poor host countries makes investment attractive. Hardly any restrictions hamper the transfer of capital or the repatriation of profits to rich capitalist countries. Tax policies and exemptions are favourable to investor countries. Leaders of host countries, desperate for the injection of foreign capital, go even so far as to create a political will in their countries to meet the expectations of foreigners. Environmental standards are also brought very low or are non-existent and thus enhance profitability. The economic advantages of globalization are expected for both South and North countries (Brecher, & Costello, 1994).
Eventually, globalization results in largely unilateral gains that are reaped by transnational corporations. Despite employment at the corporations' plants, workers can hardly provide themselves with basic supplies, since they are paid poorly. The support of workers' rights and health and safety standards are virtually non-existent in these corporations. Labour costs are extremely cheap, and unions are repressed. In order to discourage workers and unions from asking for better wages and benefits, and better working conditions in general, workers are prevented from forming unions. The pollution of water sources by the chemical and gas emissions of factories destroys the environment. Host countries hardly benefit from the operation of transnational businesses because whatever profit those companies make is repatriated to capitalist countries and is not reinvested in the local economy. The 'global stranglehold' of mega-corporations identified by Dumont is summarized succinctly by Toh (1987), when he writes, "Transnational corporations super-profitably exploit cheap 'disciplined' labour and raw materials and transfer inappropriate technology [thereby] aggravating mass unemployment, or products harmful to health within unregulated consumer systems" (p. 60).
Globalization proponents argue that modernization should extend further from urban sites into rural communities so as to reach the poorest of the poor. Consequently, they push for agricultural development. Poor countries that have large agricultural sectors and a large rural population are encouraged to venture into the green revolution program. In this process, landless farmers are first given land by means of a land reform program that involves the redistribution of land to small farmers, since it believed that "large and wealthy landowners do not have strong incentives to increase productivity or production" (Martinussen, 1997, p. 138). However, this logic is contested by means of the argument that production is in fact more efficient and increases as a result of the cultivation of a larger track of land. By and large, the land reform law allows wealthy landowners to avoid giving up productive land, which is stipulated by the land reform law, such that small farmers are given unproductive parcels of land, getting hardly any yield from them.
At the same time as land reforms are imposed, large corporations, believing that technological innovations in agriculture can increase productivity, become the effective decision makers of the green revolution (Bello, Kinley, & Elinson, 1982; Shiva, 1991). Varieties of high-yield crops are developed in research centres funded by organizations such as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Crops are closely monitored and the necessary fertilizers and water are supplied by the organizations. Crops are sprayed with pesticides and insecticides to keep them free from diseases and insect attacks. The green revolution employs more labour and capital efficiently. It hires farmers, who are unable to get any crops from their unproductive land. Some countries become self-sufficient in food crops; some of them even export their crops to earn foreign exchange to pay foreign debt.
Despite positive developments,
millions of people still do not have enough to eat. The green revolution
pushes small landowners off their lands to accommodate the wealthy
landowners' large-scale, high-tech agriculture.
Local crop varieties capable of withstanding pests and droughts are replaced by less resistant, non-reproducing, privately patented hybrids. The hybrids give much higher yields, but require large amounts of commercial fertilizer, often imported, and energy. So [the] traditional farming that once supported communities [is] replaced by low-wage jobs and unemployment (CCIC, 2003).
In the long run, the modernization of agriculture brings more harm than good. Toh (1987) quotes Linear to explain this point:
such massive use of costly quasi-indestructible poison, (agrochemicals used to combat plant, animal or human diseases), has created even more virulent strains of diseases; poisoned poor workers and peasants at work or through consumption; contaminated agricultural ecology; and overall yield costs more than the alleged benefits of increased yields or better health (p. 63).
Education is not spared by the overreaching grasp of globalization. Since "education mirrors society in the sense that social change generates educational change" (Anderson, 1991, in White, 1999, p. 168), educational policies bend to accommodate the impact and objectives of globalization. Globalization stands to provide a venue to deliver education in a more equitable manner by improving the quality of education for all students including the poor through the standardization of curriculum and standardized testing. However, since tests are 'influenced by political contexts,' testing and standardization do not necessarily raise the quality of education. Mathison et al. (2000, p.100) states, " high stakes testing and standards movement in general are conceived as a broad corporate strategy to control both the content and process of schooling." Real growth becomes limited when schools teach to the tests. Moreover, pressure is exerted on schools and educational institutions to produce not only disciplined, skilled, and reliable workers, but also quick learners who are flexible, can multi-task, and are team players. Although the jobs created by globalization often demand personable, highly competent, and skilled employees, there is frequently no job security for workers and corporations offer few benefits. Since workers may have to change jobs a few times during their lives as result of changes in the global economy, the average level of education is raised (Carnoy, 1999). The governments of developing countries are thus pressed to increase spending to produce a more educated work force, which attracts foreign investments to their particular country. However, the forces of globalization discourage public spending and promote private spending on the expansion of education and other services.
which is ushered in by globalization forces, changes the way education
is delivered. The use of technology in classrooms revolutionizes the
way students learn, think, work, and access bodies of knowledge and
the world. The use of technology in the classroom can assist with
the accommodation of students-differences, promote critical thinking,
develop problem-solving skills, and enhance students' interconnection
with others in different parts of the globe. Information technology
can offer a motivating, relevant, and a dynamic way of teaching and
learning (Quisumbing, 2001; White, 1999). Despite the remarkable promise
of technology, former Prime Minister of Thailand, Anand Panyarachun,
made the following observation at the opening of the Sixth UNESCO-ACEID
International Conference in Bangkok on December 12, 2000:
As we are all becoming increasingly aware of all the tremendous promise the new ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) are bringing to the world, there are also disturbing perils we have to ponder: the increasingly isolated lives people are leading, the anonymity that comes with urbanization just as people are becoming connected in cyberspace, they seem to become disconnected in real time and space. There is also the very real possibility of indigenous cultures to be left behind or forgotten, just as unique species of plants and animals are facing extinction, so also the potential disappearance of unique human cultures and their intellectual heritages (In Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding 2001).
Panyarachun's message is valid, for although technology has increasingly made humans' work easier in many situations, some of its implications are a cause for concern.
In terms of human security, social justice, environmental care, and democracy, the consequences delivered upon humans by globalization continue to be diverse, although I consider them to be more adverse than positive. Third World governments are attracted by globalization to the development it promises to bring to poor countries. The term "development" suggests an increase in productivity and an improvement in the quality of people's lives. However, more than four decades of development around the world have resulted in poverty, social injustice, and environmental degradation. Hancock (1989, p.114) cites Esteva's view on development: "Development means the sacrifice of environments, solidarities, traditional interpretations and customs to ever-changing expert advice. Development for the overwhelming majority has always meant growing dependence on guidance and management." Zachariach emphasizes the definition, "In many parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, development has become an odious word because of its connotation to patronization, unfulfilled promises and, worse, deceitful cover-up of inhuman exploitation" (1983, p. 5). This perspective on development challenges the dominant paradigm of modernization increasingly labeled globalization-following the role model of North industrialized nations.
Modernization proponents argue that as countries experience sustained economic growth, individual income, in due course, will rise. This theory assumes that the success of development is measured solely by the value of economic input and output rather than by human and environmental considerations. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While some countries enjoy accelerated economic growth, the poor of those countries are caught in floods and drought, in structural violence, and are adversely affected by vanishing sources of income. Since the planet's resources have benefited only a few, global development has in fact created much disparity so that massive poverty exists in the mindset of unprecedented wealth. There are over a billion people who are unable to meet their basic needs amongst those whose consumption is not ecologically sustainable. In the modernization paradigm, development has prioritized economic growth even as the rural and urban majorities have remained economically and socially marginalized (Korten, 1990; George, 1976).
Globalization and Peace Education
Since globalization is here to stay, efforts should be continually made to mitigate its destructive effects. This challenge has been taken up through global education or peace education efforts initiated by people at the grassroots level, in the upper echelon of governments and societies, and by peoples' movements, religious groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others. Many schools have added global education to their social studies curriculum, while others have integrated it into other subject areas. However, greater awareness of and participation in the movement is required, particularly on the part of First World countries. Simultaneously, more education and conscientization is necessary in Third World countries. It has taken centuries to realize the encroachment of globalization into world systems; it may take longer to mollify its negative effects.
Beginning in the 60s,
North-based NGOs that worked in the areas of aid and development began
to realize that their partnership work in assisting Southern peoples
and communities, through people-centred projects, was not sufficient.
Equally important, it became apparent, was the need to raise awareness
among Northern citizens of structures of global injustice and the
role their countries' foreign policies and industries (e.g., trade,
transnational corporations, and aid) played in reproducing North-South
inequalities between and within societies. This increased awareness
aimed to motivate citizens to take action in solidarity with Third
World citizens to transform the structures of injustices and foster
a fairer world system. It was in this social context that the movement
called development education (sometimes referred to as popular education)
emerged (Arnold, 1991; Cronkhite, 1991; Osler, 1994; Zachariah, 1983).
refers to the teaching and learning processes relating to issues in development [and seeks] to make [people] more aware of the problems of development and to assist in the formation of attitudes and behaviours that will facilitate the constructive transformation of the many relationships between rich and poor countries or [individuals] (Ariyaratne, 1991, p. 5).
Most importantly, development education drew inspiration from the dialogical and conscientization strategies formulated by the well-known Brazilian adult educator, Paulo Freire (1973). Burns (1989) describes Freire's central concept of conscientization in the following way:
It is a uniquely human possibility which stems from the human ability or grasp and expresses the reality in which s/he finds her/himself and simultaneously to transform that reality. Acquiring the 'language' to express reality in thought, word and action is a process of becoming conscious of historical and cultural conditioning. Through the realization of the effects of these on individuals and on others, and through a change of position from passive object to active subject in relationship to reality, one begins to be able to act to change reality and to acquire a new way of seeing that reality (p. 33).
In recent decades, a growing number of critical educators, including those in development education, have argued for a more holistic framework of consciousness-raising through peace education. While the major issues of underdevelopment and global injustice remain central to building a more peaceful world, humanity must also resolve a range of other issues and problems in social, political, and cultural life. Thus, as peace and global educators (Burns & Aspeslagh, 1996; Hicks, 1988; Reardon, 1988, Selby, 1993; Toh & Floresca-Cawagas, 2000) have argued, development issues cannot be understood when isolated from other problems including militarization, human rights abuses, cultural conflicts, environmental destruction, and personal or inner peace. Peace education delivered formally in classrooms, informally in communities, as well as in boardrooms tries to address the globalization issues. Some of its gains, big and small, give us reason to be hopeful.
Human rights, "the
fundamental values societies hold to be at the core of human dignity"
(Polentas, 1999; 1989), are guaranteed by the United Nations. Starkey
(1994) makes this point about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people…the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom (p. 11).
Yet human rights are often violated in the process and safeguards of modernization, particularly by the practices of class-based injustices, racism, sexism, discrimination, and others. A holistic global education needs to integrate the core issues of human rights, such as gender equity, into the classroom (Brock-Utne, 1989; Reardon, 1986). Similarly, as the young campaigner on child workers Keilburger (1998) noted, dominant development models have exploited the labour of children and violated their rights as children and as human beings. In North and South contexts, hopeful indications of women's rights movements and child abuse prevention movements often surface in newspapers, although the struggles continue. In schools, child abuse prevention programs are included in the health curriculum. Women's centres and income-generating activities, such as co-operatives, are more consistently in place in numerous Third World countries. The ratification by 191 countries of the Convention on The Rights of Children, an international treaty protecting the rights of children signaled an engagement with, and the empowerment of, child labourers, few of whom are normally given access to alternative economic and social resources (Toh, 2001).
Peace educators today cannot avoid dealing with the effects of war and other consequences of militarization. Massive global spending on weapons and other military technologies clearly diverts valuable resources away from many nations' basic needs. As Floresca-Cawagas & Toh (1993) note "peace education motivates citizens to become more aware of the anti-development effects of militarization, and hence lobby for the conversion of arms expenditures into programs which satisfy the basic needs of the poor, (e.g., food, housing, health care, jobs, education)" (p. 7). In school, efforts are being made to stop violence. Most recently, Edmonton Public Schools announced a "Zero tolerance campaign for bullying," which is one of the curricular expectations covered in Edmonton classrooms, as well as The Safe and Caring Schools program. Peace demonstrations and peace rallies against wars across the globe-lately against the war in Iraq-are gaining more momentum by the hour. The stand that the Canadian government has taken to not support the United States' invasion of Iraq is impressive. Although new tensions are emerging, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reduction in arms that were accumulated during the Cold War era, the "Walk for Peace," the reconciliation effort in Cambodia, and the bloodless People's Revolution in the Philippines, may all be examples of peaceful responses to physical and structural violence.
There is now widespread consensus among peace, global, and development educators that future development projects must promote sustainability (Fine, 2001; Shiva, 1991). Environmental degradation and the depletion of resources adversely affect the earth's ecology, and thus bring about poor living conditions. Many people are forced to leave their homes when their land can no longer sustain them as a result of destructive environmental practices. "The resulting environmental damage undermines the peoples' abilities to support themselves, furthering the cycle of poverty," CCIC (2003) claims. Peace education also tries to address the issue of environmental destruction, among others, through formal education. For example, the subject of waste management, the study of trees and forests, pond life, and ecology are all topics taught in science classes in elementary and high school in Alberta. On the informal side, environmentally and ecologically conscious groups have been formed throughout the world to protest against commercial logging, mining, damming, and other deleterious activities that destroy the earth. In many Asian countries, laws have been passed that require developers to meet environmental guidelines before roads and tourist facilities can be built.
is conducted within a peace education framework and centres on issues
of intercultural/'ethno-racial' conflicts. Ethnic diversity is found,
in some degree in most, if not all, of the world's countries. However,
there are increasing numbers of examples of conflicts between cultural
groups that have lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide (e.g., Rwanda,
Bosnia, India, Iraq, Kosovo). In other cases, people are denied their
rights because of the colour of their skin. Conflict ensues when a
nation's or community's dominant group tries to integrate or to assimilate
minority groups without regard for their identity or cultural diversity.
Most displaced peoples are poor, and it is minority groups that are
often blamed for a country's economic downturn. If globalization is
to equitably benefit all cultural and ethnic groups within a society,
and around the world, intercultural respect and solidarity clearly
need to be developed. With the mobility of world populations that
is enabled by globalization, governments, particularly those of Canada
and The United States, have sanctioned educational policies and practices
that affirm cultural pluralism. They have done so not only to address
issues of ethnic diversity, but other socio-cultural differences such
as behavioural patterns, literacy practices, bodies of knowledge,
language use, and cognitive skills (Leistyna, 2002). The indigenous
people in the Nunavut Territory have been given the opportunity to
apply their own way of governance through self-determination. Also
in Canada, the Alberta government tries to include aboriginal wisdom
in its new social studies curriculum. One of the core values upon
which a comprehensive peace education is based is the ideal of global
citizenship. Reardon (1988) states that:
The value of citizenship calls on us to educate people to be capable of creating a nonviolent, just social order on this planet, a global civic order offering equity to all Earth's people, offering protection for universal human rights, providing for the resolution of conflict by non-violent means, and assuring respect for the planet that produces the life and the well-being of its people (p. 59).
This idea is further developed by Reardon in relation to the other core value she discusses the value of humane relationships which starts "with interconnections between the human order and the natural order and emphasizing a human order of positive relationships that make it possible for all to pursue the realization of individual and communal human potential" (Reardon, 1988, p. 59). There is an urgent need for peace education so that globalization problems such as the violation of human rights, poverty, environmental destruction, and structural violence can be alleviated and eventually eliminated. Peace education is necessary in order to resolve global issues, to preserve the environment, to safeguard human rights, and to ensure peace within and between countries. In a time of economic interdependency, world citizens have to learn to work co-operatively in culturally diversified settings. Peace education can assist in the development of social harmony, equity, and social justice as alternatives to tensions and wars.
The empowerment component that lies at the heart of peace education coaches citizens to exercise their social, political, and economic rights (Floresca-Cawagas, & Toh, 1989). It helps people to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will ideally free them from hunger, from abuses and exploitation, and from structural violence as they take greater control over the direction in which their lives are headed (Selby, 1993). Global education, or peace education, puts "great emphasis on participatory and experiential modes of learning, which foster both pupil autonomy and the development of critical thinking skills. Effective learning is seen as arising out of affirmation of each pupil's individual worth, the development of a wide range of cooperative skills, the ability to discuss and debate issues, to reflect critically on everyday life and events in the wider world, and to act as responsible citizens," observes Hicks (1993, p. 20). Citizens are empowered when they are given the chance to participate in the decision-making processes, especially on those that directly affect them.
Finally, a holistic model
of peace, or global, education is ideal, especially one that DePass
et al (1991) describe:
to develop a "partnership between professional development educators, schools, and the broad range of social movements . What is required of partnerships is mutual respect and common recognition of common important goals. When the right to life and viable community is threatened anywhere, by nature, social, or political cause, we have a common goal and a common responsibility to protect and support those who are threatened (pp. 1-2).
Peace education must not only involve school personnel, but also the community, private citizens, governments, business and everyone else since for it to be effective, it must be taught holistically.
Globalization in the Philippines
The Philippines is one of the highly globalized countries in the South that has been subjected to development and is still experiencing adverse repercussions. The country's development problems find their roots in the colonization era, when foreigners invaded the Philippines. Spain was the first to colonize the country and did so for more than four centuries. The Japanese lorded over the Philippines after the Spaniards left, and finally, the Americans ruled over it for many years before allowing its people to form a democratic republic (McCoy & De Jesus, 1982).
Racism took root in the country during the colonization period, and was grounded in the foundation of the power imbalances between the colonial subjects and the imperialists. Ideologies of racism and cultural superiority were used to rationalize the actions of the imperialists (Constantino, 1975). The natives were regarded as inferior and incapable of managing their own affairs. The authoritarian rule of the colonizers consistently subjugated the Filipinos, who eventually lost their sense of self-worth. The disdain directed at them by the imperialists was internalized and thus contributed to the Filipino's loss of self-respect and the development of a "colonial mentality." As a result of years of subjugation, Filipinos looked down on themselves. The Filipinos also adopted exploitation and corruption from their colonizers, so that when the invaders left, the local leaders who took power were well versed in corruption. In recent times, those in power have taken advantage of their positions by helping themselves to whatever resources are available to their office for their personal enrichment. Foreign aid intended for humanitarian purposes to help the poor often does not reach the identified beneficiaries. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to expand.
Also worthy of note is the fact that in colonial times, foreigners stripped the Filipinos of their freedom to live in their own way, to practise their traditions, and to own property. They became 'squatters in their own land' and 'slaves in their own kingdom.' They were not allowed to participate in the economic and political affairs of the country. The invaders made the decisions that directly affected the Filipinos, without any consultation with the people themselves. When their rights were taken away, so were their pride and dignity. Marginalization and the blatant disregard for the Filipino peoples' rights have continued into the present, long after they gained independence from the invaders. People are continually forced off their land by globalization. Western values are directly and indirectly imposed on them through technology and trade and are gradually replacing traditional Filipino values, obliterating a distinct Filipino cultural identity.
Although the country is now independent, it still receives a lot of foreign aid in the form of loans. The Philippines, which used to be an exporter of rice in the 1960s, has in recent years been unable to feed its own populace, since its productive and fertile lands are now owned by either the national elites or by the transnational agricultural corporations (Dahm, 1991; Hayami, Quisumbing, & Adriano, 1990, as cited in Miron, 1997) and are planted with cash crops such as pineapples and bananas. Cash crop prices are fixed by transnational corporations (TNCs), which are more concerned with profits than with the welfare of the farmers. While corporations own vast farmlands, many citizens do not own any land and are unable to farm even for subsistence purposes. Agrarian reform programs that have been instituted in the country have been unsuccessful because they have not been accompanied by necessary agricultural support, such as irrigation systems, information about more productive farming techniques, and farm loans (Floresca-Cawagas & Toh, 1989, 1993). Similarly, " the adoption of a mechanized chemical-intensive and fertilizer-dependent rice technology [has driven] many small farmers to bankruptcy, while bringing windfall profits to farm machinery manufacturers, the fertilizer cartel, and the U.S. pesticide monopoly" (Bello, Kinley, & Elinson, 1982, p.87).
The structural violence
inflicted upon farmers by the Philippine government is clearly illustrated
in a press release issued by the IBON Foundation on February 21, 2001.
IBON claims that the President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has recently
approved the importation of 554,000 metric tons of rice from Vietnam,
Thailand, China, and the United States. This move will result in a
decline in the price of locally produced grain and will, in the long
run, displace those local farmers who are not able to compete with
the cheap imported rice. The IBON Foundation states, "Instead
of directly addressing basic concerns of farmers like insufficient
post-harvest facilities, farm-support programs and the scrapping of
the bogus agrarian reform program, Malacanang has perpetuated a cycle
of import-dependency to offset the country's perennial rice shortage"
The present president was one of the signatories of the country's entry into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1995, which has allowed the importation of not only rice, but of other agricultural products as well. This globalization policy, put in place by the Philippine leaders, has been detrimental to the entire country, not just to the farmers.
The country's economic structures have been set up to continue the exploitation of local resources and to benefit transnational corporations, which seem to be the modern-day colonial powers. The Foreign Investment Laws of the Philippines make it easy for foreigners to do business in the country though they produce little or no benefit to the host country beyond employing local people at exploitative salaries. Foreign businesses can siphon off, without restrictions, whatever savings and earnings they make from the employment of underpaid, highly qualified local workers who often work in poor conditions.
The Philippine government encourages foreign domination by allowing foreigners to own up to one hundred per cent of a business in the country. This is enabled by the Act Liberalizing Foreign Investments, passed in 1996. Unless a business has something to do with the manufacture, repair, or storage of ammunition, lethal weapons, explosives, military ordnance, and other similar products, any non-Filipino can have total ownership of a business. Although the amendment is intended to improve the economic situation of the country, since it entices foreign capital to come in, it may prove disastrous in the long run.
Transnational corporations (TNCs) control production and services in the Philippines. They manipulate government policies to their advantage and drive local competitors out of business. TNCs in the country have been involved in mining, logging, the production of energy, and the construction of highways. These businesses have been largely responsible for irreversible environmental destruction in the country. Forests are denuded, and people are inadequately paid for their land when corporations build highways to gain easier access to and from their plants, factories, and tourist resorts, and to facilitate the transportation of their produce. Floods, created by mining and logging, wash villages away, killing villagers and rendering the land unproductive. Chemicals that are drained from processing plants pollute water sources. People are displaced, and water species are obliterated to make way for electricity generating dams.
Stories are told by villagers about lives and homes destroyed along the Agno River in the Cordilleran Region, Northern Philippines, to make way for a dam. "The relocation plan for the citizens from their good farmlands and 'abundant natural resources base' [turn] out to be a social disaster . The relocation program [is] plagued by the lack of preparation of the resettled population for new livelihood, inadequate farm lots and poor soil, poor domestic water supply, and soil erosion," report Bello, Kinley, & Elinson (1982, p. 87). Despite their strong opposition to the dam's construction, the residents have no choice but to give up everything their livelihood, their dignity, their culture, and their community life. According to the World Bank, "The government has acknowledged the importance of preserving the nation's natural resources and has made plans to protect the forests, national parks, fisheries, and coastal waters, and to control waste disposal, air and water pollution" (World Bank, 1993, cited by Miron, 1997). "However," the World Bank adds, "these plans are often compromised in favour of attracting foreign firms to invest in the national economy" (Miron, 1997, p. 37).
When people are pushed to the limit, when they are stripped of rights and freedoms, they are reduced to destitution and they are left with no alternative but to take up arms. Such was the origin of the militarization movement of the New People's Army (NPA) and the various factions of the Islamic autonomy movement in the southern Philippines (Floresca-Cawagas & Toh, 1993). During the abusive Marcos regime, between 1966 and 1979, the New People's Army on the island of Samar grew to 500 armed men and a popular base of 200,000 farmers. Nine thousand troops in ten battalions were sent to the island. "The arrival of the Philippine Army began a reign of terror, murder, and rape," state Bello, Kinley, & Elinson (1982, p.95). Instead of finding a peaceful solution to the unrest, the government continues to increase its military budget in order to quell the rebels. Military clashes between the Moro movement and Philippine military personnel are a common event in Mindanao, in the southern part of the country.
Violence may be stopped by identifying solutions to the problems caused by globalization. They can only be found through peaceful means, through social justice, and with respect for the rights of each of the groups involved. For this reason, I was dismayed to learn that global education is not a mandate of schools in the Philippines. It is imperative that global education be included in the Philippine social studies curriculum. The country presently continues to be colonized by multi-national corporations through globalization. In fact, the Philippines has been subjected to the IMF and the World Bank's Structural Adjustment Program for more than three decades now. It is surprising that the new Philippine social studies curriculum in the elementary, which has been mandated and followed for the first time this school year has excluded globalization. For a country that is highly globalized such as the Philippines and whose social and economic problems stem mostly from globalization, it is inexcusable not to include the topic. Hopefully it is covered in the higher grades, although it is not to say that primary children are not capable of understanding the concept. Its inclusion, as early as the primary years, may be a more effective tool in developing democratic citizens.
Peace education should be designed around global issues, studies that address the problems brought about by globalization, a more holistic approach to themes related to environmental care, cultural solidarity, human rights and social justice. By introducing global perspectives through issues-centred methods, students become critical thinkers. They are better prepared to deal with changes and are empowered to take their place in a dynamic interconnected world. Stimulating and meaningful global education programs should work to change popular attitudes and to encourage people's involvement in establishing a lasting peace throughout the world.
Given the absence of peace
education, or global education, in the Philippine's social studies
curriculum, it makes me wonder whether the state has a hidden agenda
to encourage globalization and to silence communication around its
effects. Avoidance of the issues is tantamount to encouraging and
condoning the ills of globalization. Consequently, I would like to
pursue further research work on the impact of globalization and how
it is addressed and dealt with in Philippine schools. I am interested
in learning about the kinds of educational opportunities provided
to students that will develop their awareness of the dichotomies presented
by the trend. I would like to know how students are encouraged to
formulate and implement plans of action that may mitigate the difficulties
brought about by the globalization movement. To be able to forge ahead
and look beyond globalization, Filipino youth must be prepared to
meet the challenges.
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