I’m a little ambivalent toward globalization. Maybe ambivalent isn’t the right word – I jump back and forth between praising it and criticizing it, and often argue that we need less of it if this planet is going to survive. But today I’m going to discuss the good side of it – specifically the open sharing of ideas between people around the world, since that’s what’s going to save us in the end.
Today I had the great pleasure of attending the first Korea Forum hosted by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (who I work for, in case you’re new here). The day focused on how Korea is perceived and discussed in Canadian high school curriculum, largely dealing with the limitations. Most of the information that appears in our courses has to do with the Korean War, and even that information is noticeably brief. As for Korea’s culture, economic history, etc, odds are it doesn’t come up in most classes in Ontario. After today, I’m going to make sure that changes, at least in my classroom.
What made today such an excellent experience was the chance to sit down in a small, more intimate setting with educators and scholars from Ottawa, the United States, and the People’s Republic of Korea to discuss education. I was lucky enough to speak directly with Professor Andrew Eungi Kim of Korea University and several staff from the Korean embassy here in Ottawa, and listen to a lecture from Professor Mark Peterson of Brigham Young University. I learned a great deal about Korean history, Korea’s relationship with other countries, and ways to discuss these topics in my classroom. And the reason why I was able to was because my school board and scholars in Korea have been in contact, and organized this event. That is how globalization benefits us. Despite all the flaws and all the damage that has been done by globalization, it might be that the sharing of ideas globally is the only way we’re going to make things better.
Yep, I’m a little philosophical and optimistic today. Might be because I’m still reeling from finishing writing my novel. But I think there’s some validity to what I’m getting at here. If we’re not talking to people around the world, we won’t get a picture of how the world is faring, which means we can’t come up with solutions that will benefit the entire world. So if you have the opportunity to meet and discuss with people from other countries, I suggest you do it.