Friday, September 22, 2023

Dr. Meskerem Lechisa’s amazing speech

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They will be destroyed, but the church will not be destroyed – Dr. Meskerem. This study is based on two assumptions regarding the importance of a utopian perspective in education. The first is that this can only be possible, not by focusing on the means while the end is not in sight, but rather by focusing on the end and creating goals that have outcomes based on a specific vision. That means, hoping for some utopia to spontaneously come out of educational research and practice is not considered as a viable option. It is rather assumed important to start by defining the desired utopia and then come back to aligning the means with it. The second assumption is that the utopia conveyed in education should be the imagined “Ethiopia” itself that has been in the hearts and minds of generations to be preserved, protected, and continued, as well as restored whenever things get off track. Based on these assumptions, this study seeks to draw some basic insights that can help address the problem of the long-existed failure to anchor modern education (in this particular study, elementary social studies) in an Ethiopian utopia. The study focuses on children in grades three to five in an urban context. It hopes to begin by finding out the underlying assumptions, paradoxes, inconsistencies, distortions, and fragmentations constellated around the imagined “Ethiopia” as envisioned by children, and possibly also by teachers. This is considered relevant based on the belief that the “emancipator potential” of the “utopia” can only be unleashed by guiding social studies curriculum development in such a way that they address ideological, philosophical and world-view conflicts perceived by learners and practitioners.

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