Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP-Pakistan

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Core Themes Colonial and Imperialist Basis of Leading Development Practices Why most of the people in the world are powerless and poor? Is it because they lack natural resources, the people are lazy or somehow inferior, or due to overpopulation? Using a dependency theory approach, we will examine how these stereotypes are wrong and how powerlessness and impoverishment are deliberate human creations, which started to occur on a global scale with the European invasion of the world. We will examine the process of colonization, neo-colonialism, and other economic political forces, which oppress most of the people in the world and continue to keep it so. We will examine attempts to alter these fundamentally unequal social and economic relations. In doing so, we will examine a variety of themes including the role of Indigenous peoples, religion, education, revolutions. The basic structure of this course is primarily chronological as well as geographic and thematic. At first we will focus on pre-European Indigenous civilizations. Then we will closely look at the brutality and unprecedented destructive nature of the European conquest. We will then closely examine the institutional and societal structures, which were put in place to concretize colonialism. With that we will look at the creation of crippling economic dependencies through international systems and institutions. We will then look at the possibilities of altering and transforming this dire situation. Radical Education and Critical Pedagogy The highly complex and intricate learning spaces of civilizations and societal systems were annihilated by the invasion Factory Model Schooling during the past one hundred years. This phenomenon proved to be the most effective in indoctrinating, misleading and controlling the natural radical reflex of various cultures societies to raise serious challenges against a global order of brutal control, plunder and aggression? Human existence has effectively been reduced to an instrument of economic consumption and production. Our collective abilities to reflect, think, conceptualize, create, and re-create are effectively uprooted by the modern form of ritualistic and mechanistic schooling. Most tragically, our inherent abilities of conscience, morality and righteousness to challenge social injustice, materialistic plundering and moral decay are shattered, since there is no societal leaning phenomena which promotes the moral bases of human existence. The realms of Radical Education and Critical Pedagogy emerged to take the monumental twopronged challenge on: One, to expose the nefarious bases of the existing system, and two, to reinvoke the indigenous societal learning as well to create new meaning and purpose for humans to pursue the development of their minds and souls. Led by Paulo Freierie, Ivan illich, Henry Giroux and many others, this movement has become the primary reference point for social thinkers and practitioners to reflect on their actions, and this reflection leads to a fundamental transformation of their belief systems.

This theme will critically examine that how the current education systems work. This theme will also study the way the factory-style mass schooling/teaching has lead to a dehumanization of societies, and crippled/stifled true learning. This theme will enlighten the learners with the fact that how controlled and manipulated influencing mechanism of mechanistic learning promote specific agendas and structures such as human capital, homogenized mass production, militarism, nation-statism, individualism, consumerism, and competition, and, it continues to reproduce socio-economic inequalities throughout the world. Culture spirituality and Social Change This century has witnessed the most severe and concerted episodes of religious, ethnic, racial, and cultural intolerances. All the ideals of pluralism, acceptance or diversity have been repeatedly desecrated. It’s ironic to examine these facts of brutal violence and atrocities in the era of lofty claims of democracy, freedom and human rights. The purpose of this theme is first to critically examine the application of Modernity and Anti-spiritual forces [guised as secularists] on the globe as the one of the biggest myths, which has caused the most widespread injustice and powerlessness, while claiming to do the opposites. Then we will re-invoke the powerful ideals of indigenous cultural and spiritual constructs as rich sources of individual and collective concretization, to spark the process of broad-based and sustainable positive social change. The course it thus sequenced in two major sub-themes. The first phase will focus on the ascent of Modernity as global phenomena, and its inherent conflict with the traditional cultural and spiritual structures. In this phase we will look at the birth of the so-called modern thought and promotion of this ideal over every other human sensibility. In the second phase we will examine that how the marriage of modernity and neo-liberal economics made modernity the most profitable enterprise and the existence of traditional spirituality and culture is a hindrance to the relentless march of greed and profit. Most of our theme is then focused on re-conceptualizing the meaning of culture and spirituality as the bases for serious social transformation. We will examine that what are the obstacles, which are denying us to re-build our cultural confidence and our belief systems. Why are we unable to establish a firm foundation to preserve and secure our knowledge, wisdom, spirituality, and moral values? Why are we not able to develop tools necessary to challenge dehumanizing and exploitative institutions and systems?