From Tolerance to Caring

The most common word in schools and society today in relation to the increasing diversity of the 21st century, globalized world is tolerance.  The credo of “be tolerant toward those who are different from you”, however, can fall short of building relationships and mutual understanding to be able to truly collaborate with others in solving our common problems and creating a more peaceful world.  To tolerate differences, in the way we look, think or act, can be interpreted as an acceptance of diversity, but it can be understood as simply “putting up with” what is considered “other” without trying to truly understand the reasons for people’s differences and how these differences can be opportunities for mutual learning and growth.

To care, alternatively, is to show true empathy and genuine concern toward others, taking all possible measures to avoid harm and promote kindness and compassion.  With acts of school violence and bullying as headline news, schools cannot be a place of only academic learning, they must be a key location for teaching students to take ethical and moral stances in their lives.  As one of the first sites beyond the family for building social relations with others,  schools are a crucial site for teaching and learning how to live with others in society peacefully.  Efforts must be truly invested in to create a caring environment with all members of the school community, where everyone is valued and supported.   
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To transform education in order to move humanity forward to face the challenges of the 21st century, increasingly globalized world in a collaborative, creative, critical, connected and caring way.

The founder and primary contributor to Education for Contemporary Times is Sarah O. Weiler, long-time educator with a M.A. in Global Education from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at the prestigious Institute of Education at the University of London in the UK.
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