Professor Neville Bruce, director of the Centre for Integrated Human Studies, will address Malaysian educators next week about future focused courses.
Education for world futures, and new technologies and pedagogies will be the topics under discussion when Professor Bruce showcases his Integrated Human Studies postgraduate and undergraduate courses and units at seminars at Wawasan Open University in Malaysia.
Integrated Human Studies is a new field that uses interdisciplinary methodologies to consider human and planetary futures. Professor Bruce said the courses were developed in response to concerns that tertiary education was not addressing pressing issues. “Human actions have brought us to the brink of catastrophe: we face issues of global inequity, resource depletion, overpopulation, climate change, continuing wars, and the list goes on. The problems are so complex there is even a special term for them: wicked problems. A single disciplinary approach is not enough to apprehend these problems and propose solutions.”
Professor Bruce said the course content stressed collaborative inquiry and research, and lent itself to online delivery. “A huge array of resources is available online, and there are also technologies that facilitate teaching and learning. This opens up a world of possibilities for delivering education internationally, sharing knowledge and concerns, and forging strong relationships.”
The courses are part of Professor Bruce’s bold vision, Education for World Futures, which he will describe in two talks in Kuala Lumpur and Penang on August 3 and 5. He believes his plan, for universities and students to collaborate internationally in teaching and learning, will strike chords with Wawasan Open University, whose mission is to “make higher education accessible to all”. “Wawasan”, which means “vision”, is also the name of a nine-point plan for economic and cultural development for Malaysia, Wawasan 2020, first mooted in 1991 by then prime minister Mahathir.
“Education is the key,” said Professor Bruce. “We need to understand our situation globally and work together to address issues that affect every human on this planet. I’m optimistic that with the extraordinary technologies at our disposal we can share knowledge effectively and create a cohort of graduates who will be able to make a real difference.”
Professor Bruce will also conduct workshops on online technologies and pedagogies, at which he hopes to share his and benefit from others’ experience.
Karen Connolly or Steve Johnson, (+61 8) 6488 2324