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Conscience… Embedded in Higher Education Curricula?

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Article 21 Apr 2023  Download ©Copyright 2023

Should the word ‘Higher’ in Higher Education signify specific focus in the development of an Elevated Conscience?

This article gives consideration to how education, and specifically university and business school education, should regard itself as a key holder of responsibility for the development of elevated human conscience. • If in the pursuit of what is considered as advanced research, knowledge and skills we ignore congruency to conscience, then our future on this planet is assuredly doomed. • A higher education should exemplify a higher state of human being. One that strives for inclusion of the wellbeing of all things on this planet: human, animal and environment. • If there is cause for any sufferance and even extinction, then we can understand that education has failed and that we are no longer homo sapiens, the wise ape. • Both teacher and student have equal responsibility. Let it become a matter of highest conscience that both a 360-degree and multi-dimensional view be adopted in all curricula. One where both teachers and students are constantly given time to individually and collectively reflect and to give voice both to what is being taught, and the forward implications of how it might be applied for the good of all. Timeline: What is Conscience? Established by the UN General Assembly in 2019. April 5 is now the International Day of Conscience; a global day of awareness to commemorate the importance of human conscience. In 5 April 2023, it published this Conscience Timeline to help assess its evolution up to 2005. What would be your version for 2023 – What is Conscience? “Wholeness and oneness. All that we are. All that is. Feeling the wholeness of ourselves. Feeling oneness with everything and everyone around us. HEMA PATEL, RESET & REDISCOVER A revealing response in a time when technology now enables us to communicate easily with each other from all corners of the globe, and medical/behavioural research has never been so informative on the human condition. Yet the paradox where there is a growing sense of yearning to feel better connected, whole and ‘at one’ within ourselves. In other words, where conscience feels at peace and in harmony with all else.

Conscience and Education

Of course, when we speak of education, it isn’t just about schools and institutions. It is everywhere: in families and communities, through observation of animals, nature, the environment and, what can often be an important oversight, the observation and influence we have over ourselves. We are constantly either being influenced or are the influencer; constantly being the educator or the educant. Therefore, it is not the suggestion that the role of conscience development is left for ‘further up the ranks’ in any formal education system. It starts from the cradle and moves on to child day care, kindergarten and so on ad continuum. We could adopt the strategy to be sequential, systematic and explicitly develop conscience from kindergarten onwards instead of it being put to sleep: “Most learners are turned off from learning by the time they leave primary school. By the time they leave secondary school they feel hopeless. That is a huge system failure. KIRSTEN DURWARD, GLOBAL LEARNING CONNECTIONS Or we could respond to the global urgency for change and start anywhere and also EVERYWHERE, and ALL AT ONCE. LifeRoute especially advocates an all-inclusive development of higher conscience within Higher Education and where it is fuelled by the recognised needs of future employers within corporations and communities. Where personal learning trackways can be filled with purpose and meaning for the individual because the teacher is the beacon of inspiration through always doing what their conscience says is the right thing to do. Even if it means deviation from prescriptive formats and where they have to resort to make it up as they go along instead. How can we learn to tune into and develop conscience otherwise?

The Final Frontier

“The emptiness of space exists in our hearts. We need to bring compassion back into our schools before we are lost in the wilderness of apathy and conformity. JOHN RAINFORD FRSA FTLS You are invited to take a few minutes reading this note from William Shatner, the actor from the films and TV series Star Trek: “In Oct 2021 I had a life-changing experience at 90 years old. I went to space, after decades of playing an iconic science-fiction character who was exploring the universe. I thought I would experience a deep connection with the immensity around us, a deep call for endless exploration. I was absolutely wrong. The strongest feeling, that dominated everything else by far, was the deepest grief that I had ever experienced. I understood, in the clearest possible way, that we were living on a tiny oasis of life, surrounded by an immensity of death. I did not see infinite possibilities of worlds to explore, of adventures to have, or living creatures to connect with. I saw the deepest darkness I could have ever imagined, contrasting so starkly with the welcoming warmth of our nurturing home planet. This was an immensely powerful awakening for me. It filled me with sadness. I realised that we had spent decades, if not centuries, being obsessed with looking away, with looking outside. I did my share in popularising the idea that space was the final frontier. But I had to get to space to understand that Earth is and will stay our only home. And that we have been ravaging it, relentlessly, making it uninhabitable.” Conscience is not just about the ability to an’ inner voice’. It is also to act in alignment with what one personally intuits as the right thing to do. Our conscience is our greatest human super-power. When we channel and use it properly, it is our greatest source of the BRAVERY and COURAGE that enables us to say “Enough is enough.” “Capitalism has ravaged our families and communities, breaking them up, putting profit before people – and then we wonder why some children are cancelling their own lives. It’s tragic. SAM McDONALD, WITH-HUMANITY We must all of us STOP LOOKING AWAY. Through education and the engagement of reflective practice, elevation of human conscience has to become recognised and adopted as today’s most important work if we are to assure our beautiful and ONLY planet’s future. If not now, then never… it is the time to GIVE VOICE in every boardroom, staffroom and meeting for the common good. If you foresee obstacles and deterrents to this, then LifeRoute invites you to get in touch.