About Global Perspectives
Ethics of Education in an International Context
While developing an international course, PSPD faculty member always keep clear the motives and goals of such an endeavor, so the project remains grounded in context and sensitivity. It is expected that participants take this exercise of questioning the motives and ethics of international practice seriously, and bring this mindset with them for the rest of their professional career. Some questions that all academic and professional planners who practice internationally should consider are listed below.
Will you, as an individual or as a group, be participating in a worthwhile project?
- Will your expertise be appropriate for the role you will be asked to fill, and within the context in which it is to be applied?
- Will you recognize and listen to local expertise?
- Will you consider the historical context of the country you are working in and its implications for your work?
- Will you take the time to understand important aspects of local culture, politics, economics, and societal concerns?
- Will you consider the dynamics of current and historic power relations between individuals, organizations and countries, and the implications of these for your work?
- Will you coordinate work with other partners, including Non-governmental organizations, governments, universities, and CBOs indigenous to the country?
- When we go away, what are we leaving? Are we leaving increased capacity or are we perpetuating dependency?
“At the individual level, planners can and should ask themselves hard questions about their potential involvement, and be willing to walk away when the answers suggest they should.”