Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden (2010)

2 Apr

“In a world with extreme imbalances of power and wealth, the more powerful partner in the cultural exchange sometimes embeds deep – often unconscious – assumptions of its own superiority, and then projects the assumption of inferiority onto the weaker partner.   When development agencies, NGO’s, missionary societies, and volunteer groups travel to traditional cultures in order to “help” them, it powerfully reinforces the assumption of the superiority of the developed nations and the inferiority of traditional societies.  This can undermine people’s self-respect at a deep level.”- Schooling the World.

Here is an intriguing documentary titled, Schooling the World, which brings to question the historic and future impact of developed nations such as the United States, taking on the role of educators for children in indigenous cultures in the developing world.

It opens your eyes on the education development programs being implemented in developing countries. Many have criticized these programs for executing carbon- cut and widespread education models, failing to take into account indigenous knowledge and traditional values which ultimately has negative socio-economic effects in the community.  Is it really the “White Man’s Burden”? What do you think? Is it effective? Who is it actually helping??


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