Building Together an Ethical Environment for Educators
The education sector is evolving; the teacher-student dynamic has shifted away from the conventional unilateral flow of knowledge towards new models of learning. In a digitalised world of ubiquitous and immediate internet access, teachers are not the only source of knowledge in the classroom, but how can the education sector adapt to this new environment while maintaining an inclusive education for all? This question, among others, was addressed during the Multistakeholder Forum on Ethics in Education organised by Globethics.net in Geneva, Switzerland on the 6–7 December 2017.
Christoph Stückelberger, President and Founder of Globethics.net and opening keynote speaker highlighted the risks and opportunities for inclusive education presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and by the developments in Artificial Intelligence, robotics and digitalisation. He emphasised the need to keep technology as a benefit for humanity without being dependant upon it. He advised that "The criteria for all new educational technologies must be if it supports inclusive, fair and free education and if it helps us to learn to be humans with integrity".
Elmar Kuhn, Dean of the class VII ‘World Religions' of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in his keynote address spoke of the gaps between policy and values-driven action saying that "Education should transform the mind towards values-driven behaviour… tolerance is not enough, respect and dialogue based on sharing values are what is needed as well as addressing what inclusive education means". Peter Neuner, Medical Director of Rotary International, emphasised the life-saving importance of education and empowerment, in particular of women and of health workers in Africa and education as the key to changing society.
The Forum comprised two panel discussions: the first one addressed the needs of an inclusive education with different viewpoints on how education can be beneficial to the whole community from the perspective of educators and other social actors; and the second panel provided examples of how inclusive education affects different social actors.
In the workgroup discussions that followed participants explored and analysed how best to find the balance between achieving accessibility and diversity versus compliance with existing policy and regulations in education with a view to identifying changes that could usefully be made to ensure that education is more inclusive and values-driven.
The Globethics.net Multistakeholder Forum on Ethics in Education: Building an Ethical Environment for Educators on 6-7 December 2017 was organised as part of Globethics.net's ethics in higher education programme in the run up to two other events organised together with The Education Relief Foundation, the Global North Round Table Discussion on Balanced and Inclusive Education on 7 December 2017 and the Global High-level Forum on Balanced and Inclusive Education at the United Nations on 8 December in Geneva, Switzerland.