EVENT: EDUCATION AS IF PEOPLE AND PLANET MATTERED

An advertisement for an event "Education as if people and planet mattered", a green leaf in the background.

When: Tuesday 26th of April at 16.00-18.00

Where: Metsätalo, Room 8 (address: Unioninkatu 40) at the University of Helsinki centre campus

For whom: The event is open for everyone and the talks will be recorded and published online for those who are unable to attend on-site.

Registration: Please register for the event here. Last day to register is on Friday 22nd of April.

We live in times of multiple concurrent crises. Both the climate emergency and the pandemic are forcing us to rethink how human life can be arranged in relation to all other life. Persistent inequality and exploitation of both human and non-human life make visible the violence embedded in the dominant “normality”. Responses to the current crises need to be both immediate and guided by practices for deep transformation in the long-term. In this task, education continues to have a crucial role. 

There is however a need to re-think how education, learning and teaching are organized. Universities cannot continue to teach and educate as if we’re not living amidst a mass species extinction and climate emergency, nor can universities continue to prepare students to be members of a society which is destroying the very life that it is premised on. At the same time, the increasing precarity of academic work and neoliberalisation of universities pose huge challenges for fostering critical education.

In this event we will discuss and explore ways to transform education, teaching and learning in universities in relation to the multiple socio-ecological crises and global inequality. We will hear from two brilliant researchers and educators about the work they do in educating “as if people and the planet mattered”. Emphasis is given to collective re-imagination, but also to the practical tools and ways of teaching that participants can incorporate in their own work in higher education.

The event is aimed to be a co-learning space, with the purpose to stop together in the discomfort of living in a world of hurt and crisis, all the while opening up spaces for alternative and transformational ways of learning. The discussion will thus be central to anyone working in higher education.

The event is directed towards university educators, lecturers, PhD-students and all others working with or interested in transforming education towards a more just and “care-full” being.

Speakers:

Luis “Iñaki” Prádanos Garcia (professor, Miami University)

A photo of Luis Prádanos (Iñaki).

Luis Prádanos (Iñaki) is a professor of contemporary Hispanic cultural studies at Miami University. He is the author of Postgrowth Imaginaries (Liverpool UP, 2018). Iñaki's research and teaching interests include environmental humanities, political ecology, critical energy studies, regenerative design, and decolonial extinction studies. His teaching approach is based on "The Pedagogy of Degrowth". In his free time he enjoys dancing and designing a permaculture food forest in his yard.

Sharon Stein (assistant professor at University of British Columbia)

A photo of Sharon Stein.

Sharon Stein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines the complexities and challenges of internationalization, decolonization, and sustainability in higher education. Through this work, she seeks to interrupt common colonial patterns of educational engagement, including: uneven and extractive relationships between dominant and marginalized communities; simplistic solutions to complex problems; and ethnocentric imaginaries of justice, responsibility, and change. She is the founder of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network, and a founding member of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures collective.

Facilitator: Saana Hokkanen (PhD researcher at the Global Development Studies, University of Helsinki)

The event is co-organized with the Global Development Studies discipline (University of Helsinki).

Covid safety: In accordance with the University of Helsinki guidelines, we recommend the use of facemasks and encourage good hand hygiene. Do not attend the event if you are sick or have been exposed to covid.