Meaning of International Understanding
Dr. Radhakrishnan has rightly said
"It is essential for us not to live apart but to live together, understanding one another's fears and anxieties, aspirations and thought. We must work for racial harmony. we may be American, we may be Russian but we are essentially human beings. Let us learn to live in a world community."
Education for International Understanding means a cosmopolitan education which will produce a loyalty to world citizenship.
It also refers to international efforts at co-operation and harmony in the exchange of teachers and students, rehabilitation of backward cultural areas, mutual understanding through school instruction and the like.
Ways and Means for education for International Understanding
Education for international understanding implies the promotion of democratic citizenship etc. The following are some of the ways and means of organising education for promoting the feelings of internationalism :-
i) Promotion of world citizenship
ii) Promotion of world peace
iii) Promotion of independent and critical thinking
iv) Promotion of construction rather than destructive feeling
v) Developing the student's faith.
vi) Eradicating of racial, religious, cultural and national prejudices
2) Redesigning the curriculum
The traditional curriculum followed in our schools and universities does not fulfill all the possibilities of internationalism. The redesigning curriculum should enable our students :-
i) To learn that the earth is the home of man and other living things
ii) To gain knowledge about the world we live in
iii) To learn how to promote better understanding of the interdependence of the world
iv) To inculcate respect for all major religions of the world
v) To know something about the long strength of mankind to replace conflicts with co-operation
vi) To develop a desire and the simple skills
vii) Knowledge of various cultures of the world
3) Instruction in various school subjects
A UNESCO publication states,"Extracts from the works of the writers such as Dickens, Gorkey, Tolstoy, Tagore and Isben can be used to illustrate stages in social progress. So the best of literature of other nations must be included in the curriculum.
True art should be included in the curriculum. The true hape of human feelings should be depicted and shown in art. It is beauty involved in the art that is significant.
it can play a vital part in the peaceful intercourse of the people of the world. The study of modern languages should be the study of modern people.
Students should be told how the scientists of various nations have contributed in fighting against disease. He nourishes in his heart goodwill to the whole of mankind.
The field of history should be wide enough to enable the students to cultivate international outlook. History should be taught objectively and with a cultural bias. students should be encouraged to study newspapers and magazines.
The knowledge of consumption, production, taxation, human resources etc can be given our international level.
Philosophers throughout the history of the world have been stressing mental peace as the human goal.
The language of mathematics is universal, with largely the same symbols, through out the world. It should be impressed that almost all subjects and problems lend themselves to mathematical treatment.
4) Co - Curricular activities
Co - Curricular activities which go in the school from time to time can be geared to educating for international understanding. The following activities are suggested :-
i) Celebrating birth anniversaries
ii) Celebrating international week
iii) Celebrating days of international importance
iv) Organising and running UN societies
v) Organising pen friend's club
vi) Arranging exhibitions
vii) Dramatic representation
viii) School assembly
ix) International games
x) News of other countries
5) Face to Face contacts
Face to face contacts are of great help in broadening outlook, breaking rigid isolation of individual nation's and in removing imaginary fears and grievances. The following activities are useful in this regard :-
ii) Cultural and study tours
iii) Arranging visits and excursions to foreign students
iv) International youth festivals
v) Exchange of teachers and students
Role of teacher in International Understanding
The teacher is even more important than the curriculum because he is medium through which the curriculum is implemented and its goals are achieved. A teacher can make the following contributions towards international understanding:-
i) Broad Outlook
The teacher must have broad outlook among his students. He must have international outlook and world - mindedness to promote international understanding among his students.
ii) To understand man as man
The major objective of the teacher should be to enable children to "understand man as man", first then as a Indian, American, Jew, Hindu or any other
iii) Wedding out the idea of violence and war
The teacher has to keep in mind that , "since war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defence of peace must be constructed." Every person should grow up with faith in man and courage in himself.
iv) Emphasizing peace
The teacher must emphasize that the maintenance of peace is the only panacea for all the ills of the present sick world and to build that peace in the minds of man is our major task.
v) Cultivating right values
The teacher should inculcate among children the right values of life, like co-operation, friendliness, love for justice, love for truth and love for humanity.
vi) Educating adult society
The teacher should make an all out effort to educate the adult society for peaceful co-existence and international understanding.
vii) Correct Interpretation
The teacher should not give a biased view of other countries. He should give correct facts, correct knowledge and correct interpretation of history, culture, life style etc.
viii) Use of effective methods of teaching
The teacher should teach in such a way that ideal of 'world citizenship','live and let live' may be developed.