Quality Education in the Anthropocene Era

what is quality education

What is the Anthropocene Era?

It is a great destruction, by human hands. It is the greatest betrayal to the planet we breathe. The consequences of our actions, choices and lifestyle as a human species have been, are and will be very severe for the ecosystem. There have been five major extinctions in Earth's history, and the diversity of life on Earth has decreased dramatically. However, none of this has ever happened by human hands.

The biggest extinction since a meteor hit the earth millions of years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs was named by scientists. sixth extinction seen as. However, this time it will be the extinct human species, along with many other living species, of course. The person who has succumbed to his greed and ego, on the other hand, is tragicomicly unaware that he is consuming his own blood because he does not understand anything other than consuming.

Here scientists have suggested a name for this careless extinction; Anthropocene Age. There are many geological epochs in the history of the world, and these epochs have changed as a result of enormous ecosystem changes. However, for the first time in the history of the world, the consequences arising from the actions of a living species have had a deadly effect on the ecosystem.

As a result of these changes in the structure and systems of the earth, according to the view of scientists, the geological structure of the earth has also changed. Therefore, we are now in the geological period we are in. Holocene Age It doesn't seem possible to say. Although this change has not been formalized yet, the consequences of human behavior on the ecosystem seem quite natural.

Increasing production amounts starting from the Industrial Revolution changed the way of life of millions of people. People's movements have changed the soil, water and air due to many reasons such as our transition from a productive society to a consumer society, excessive population growth, unplanned urbanization, factories and unmanagement of their wastes.

Perhaps the breaking point of this change that has existed for a while Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 it happened. The result of such a large nuclear use is that the ecosystem still does not form in the region, and even though it has been 77 years.

Finding Your Way in the Anthropocene

Our future is full of uncertainties. It is not easy to live with the destruction that has occurred in the world as a result of the activities of the human species. One of the biggest consequences of this destruction climate crisis and the changes it brings, natural disasters, and increasing inequalities day by day, it is very difficult to find our way.

The future – as a matter of fact; today's – complex problems need creative solutions. However, existing education systems prefer to destroy creativity instead of supporting it. Educator Ken Robinson in his TED talk watched by millions “creativity has the same importance as literacy” he said. He later wrote “Creative Students” in his book “How can we strengthen students' creativity?” seeks an answer.

creative students

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The issues he discusses in the book not only criticize the current education system, but also offer solutions. As we move towards such a complex future, we need quality education more than ever in order to sustain our lives and transform systems towards goodness. Education is really necessary.

Speaking of Quality Education;

We must move away as soon as possible from the assumption that our planet and resources are unlimited and that everything that exists is for humans.

The Anthropocene Age to us; He says that we are in multiple and complex crises that trigger each other. While these crises have made themselves felt in all areas of life, education is one of the areas most affected by the crises. However, there is a beautiful side about education; Although it is negatively affected by the crises, education also plays a significant role in the crisis resolution processes.

The quality of education, which has such a large share in this solution, should be mentioned. Are the existing education systems sufficient to solve the complex systemic crises brought by the Anthropocene Age? Not alone, of course.

Well, what kind of changes that can be made in its structure and content can increase the contribution of qualified education to this process?

The education systems that are still used today are designed to be suitable for the social structure after the Industrial Revolution and to serve this system. This education system, which is designed to train workers and consumers, and to fill all the points necessary for the parts of the gear to work without getting stuck, does not serve the needs of 2022.

Technological developments, the destruction brought by the Anthropocene Age and the needs arising after it, transforming systems force the needs of education to a great transformation. Starting from the educational purpose, its capacity and content should be examined in detail and adapted to the requirements of the age. So, what should this transformation encompass? What are we talking about when we say quality education?

What is Quality Education?

In the Anthropocene Age, the education system needs to be transformed in such a way that it can raise individuals who are resilient, multidimensional, and have strong adaptability in the face of complex, multiple and triggering crises. This is what quality education is in the age we live in.

The ways to achieve this are to turn the trajectory of education systems into the future. A participatory, inclusive, accessible and life-related education system where teachers, students and all stakeholders have a say It will be very productive for the generations that will struggle with the uncertainties of the future.

Able to meet the needs of the planet, away from uniform definitions and uniform learning programs, aimed at the development of ecological, economic, political and technological literacy. an education system It will be a story of design and transformation that befits these years, when the most educated period in world history has ever been experienced.

In this new education system, of course, it is not enough to focus only on the development of basic skills. The well-being of the planet and living things is necessary for the continuity of life. citizenship, justice, climate crisis, sustainability should be included as a separate course in the curriculum.

Based on these views; quality education is to enable the individual to realize himself it can be tried.

“Qualified Education” from the Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Development Program announced in 2015 by the United Nations member states in the following years and on behalf of “Sustainable Development Goals” There is a roadmap called

This roadmap consists of 17 main and 169 sub-targets and includes poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water and energy, economic growth, industry, cities and infrastructure, production and consumption, climate crisis, water and terrestrial life and peace. and focused on justice. Sustainable development can be said to have been achieved if all 17 sub-objectives under 169 headings are met.

Qualified education The sub-headings prioritized in this roadmap prepared to support it are as follows; free primary and secondary education, access to pre-school education, access to technical, vocational and higher education, the number of qualified people, the end of discrimination, universal verbal and digital literacy, sustainability and world citizenship knowledge, building inclusive and safe schools, scholarship opportunities and qualified teachers in higher education meeting its demand.

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About the Author

Gokce Gokbalkan

Gökçe Gökbalkan Selçuk is a 32-year-old social entrepreneur. After graduating from Özyeğin University's Department of Business Administration in 2013, she completed her master's degree in Social Projects and NGO Management at Bilgi University. Right after Özyeğin's graduation, she started working at the Student Life Office of the same university, affiliated to the Dean of Students, and directed some of the university's social awareness projects, peer counseling, university entrance course, orientation and graduation programs for 4 years, and took part in the organization of all of them. She then attended Okan University Social Entrepreneurship Center for a year. After her time there, she started working in the acceleration process of Özyeğin University Sustainability Platform in 2018. She is currently the Social Responsibility Projects Team Manager of the same university.

Learning to learn, producing and social benefit are my three important missions in life.
Ever since I was a student, I have always taken care to carry out my studies in this context.
I screwed up my first social enterprise attempt, but I've always been proud to share what I learned from it.

Qualified educational design, social responsibility communication, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, social responsibility/corporate social responsibility and design-oriented thinking are the fields I particularly enjoy working with.

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