HUMANIZING SYSTEMIC CHANGE: LEARNING, TECHNOLOGY AND DIVERSITY IN GLOBALIZED CRISIS
Our era sees its knowledge explosion enmeshed with technologies of breathtaking scale and the expansion of a system of globalized power. Initial promises made for the digital revolution - that technology would underpin a move towards more equal and democratic futures where human emancipation from burdens of menial labor and differentiated access was imminent – have proven premature, if not false. This paper examines processes and factors shaping globalized learning as it negotiates its way between technology and needs of the diverse individuals and communities who constitute this changing world. Globalization opens up real possibilities for transformative learning, where knowledge exponentially grows without constraints of national curricula or vested self-interest. The contradictory nature of globalization outlines the challenges for education and learning if sense is to be made of the emerging planetary social order. The nature of systemic crisis means that education systems will need to focus ever more intently on providing competence and skills to promote adaptability and creativity, thus turning crisis into a springboard for new directions. Education and learning structures will need increasingly to be shaped by values and vision as to the best way to secure human development in a way than enriches all stakeholders. The interaction between technology and globalization creates new challenges but also new opportunities. The pervasive globalizing process means policy and strategy need to be linked to parallel international analysis on how new forms of cultural diversity impact on learning needs of populations subjected to unprecedented levels of change. The removal of barriers to participation and the enhancement of embedded equality approaches will, at the end of the day, be about asserting strategic policy vision.