The focus of the seminar has grown out of collaborative work between the University of Regina, Canada, and the University of Exeter, UK.
Our present historical moment is at an unstable ‘tipping point’ where everything we know and trust is in danger of irreparably falling apart. There are a number of crises challenging stability: the refugee crisis, the economic crisis, the energy crisis, the climate change crisis; these can be summed up as crises of uncertainty motivated by the speed of technological change, the rise of distributed power, which represent a threat to the mainstream and those in power resulting in a retreat into the safety of the known and the rise of traditionalism and xenophobia. In considering how to respond to these crises we argue that there is an absence of an ethics adequate for the long term future.
Crisis points are not in themselves negative. When perceived as negative this can result in a retreat to previous forms of stability (safety); when negativity is suspended, crisis points can offer opportunities to create something radically different.
We think that the crises mentioned above, collectively call for a radically creative research invention. The invention we have in mind relates to the educational relationship which can be conceived a crisis in itself (a meeting between entities that are radically different).
Evidence of radical difference can be found in the work of scholars such as Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich, Walter Mignolo and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and in movements such as Democratic Education, Human Scale Education, Folk Education, Krishnamurti Schools.