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George Mehaffy

Dancing with History: A Cautionary Tale (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE - 0 views

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    "Dancing with History: A Cautionary Tale
    © 2010 Brenda Gourley.
    EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 45, no. 1 (January/February 2010): 30-41

    (Brenda Gourley (brendagourley1@gmail.com) was Vice Chancellor and CEO of The Open University in the United Kingdom and before that Vice Chancellor and CEO of the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. She holds a variety of board memberships ranging across both private and public sector organizations.)

    We are living in historic, extraordinary times. Even taking into account the global economic downturn, the fact remains that never before has the world been so prosperous, never before have so many people lived such long and healthy lives, never before have we witnessed such dazzling technology, and never before have we reached, on average, such advanced levels of education. And yet never before have so many people lived in such poverty, never before have so many died from preventable diseases, never before has the planet itself been so threatened, and never before have so many people needed education.

    Indeed, I would argue that it is education that threads all these factors together: education fuels sustainable development and a reliable way out of poverty; education is fundamental to working democracies and enlightened citizenship; education promotes social justice and an understanding that is essential to the peace and harmony - and even the continued life - of our species on this planet. Through education and the institutions of higher education - that is, colleges and universities - new and innovative ways are being found to meet not only the needs of the 21st century but also the rights of people to be educated. We have unlocked formidable new capabilities, and if we pay attention, we can solve many of the problems that confront us. But to do so, education and universities will need to reach many, many more people than hitherto and will need to be relevant to our times. The questions to be asked are whether innovation
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