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ERIC Number: ED564432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
Psychological Approaches within Sustainable and Global Learning. Think Global Thinkpiece Series 2013
Sander, Jane; Conway, Paula
Think Global
In this paper the authors explore what gets in the way of embedding a meaningful global learning curriculum and why some teachers and students find it difficult to engage with global issues. The authors use a psychodynamic model to try and make sense of what some global learning practitioners might find puzzling and frustrating. A psychodynamic model of the mind underpins the Grow2Grow programme at Commonwork. It has helped to understand why the troubled young people sometimes do things that appear to go against their best interests--for example not attending, or attending but behaving in ways that are very challenging for other young people and the staff on the programme. The authors believe that similar psychological processes can affect the way students, teachers and whole schools do or do not engage with the challenging issues in a global learning agenda. A psychodynamic model focuses on the way early infant developmental processes and experiences can affect our relationships, behaviour and choices. It highlights the way in which humans struggle with ambivalence and motivational conflicts based on a complex mix of desires, anxieties, defences and needs. The authors will start in this paper by introducing this model a little more, before exploring its implications for sustainable and global learning. Unlike any other mammal the human infant is born highly immature and totally dependent at first on maternal environmental care. Sixty percent of brain development happens post-natally. What do humans do as babies in the face of such total helplessness and dependence for survival on another? Psychoanalysts and child psychotherapists have observed that in the earliest phase of life infants utilise three basic defences to manage feelings of helplessness and terror: (1)the illusion of omnipotence (Winnicott 1960); (2) splitting (Klein 1935); and (3) projection (Klein 1935). The authors will briefly explain each of these because understanding these defences provides a way of understanding how as children and adults we manage any situation that provokes acute anxiety. They suggest that climate change, resource depletion, unjust economic practices and their consequences provoke just such anxieties because at some level humans know their own interests and even survival is at stake and dependent on forces largely outside ourselves, just like the infant in the hands of its primary carers. In the following narrative the authors frequently use the language of "climate change" as shorthand for a much fuller understanding of the forces and issues faced within global learning.
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Think Global (United Kingdom)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)