You would change the way it educates its children.
The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers build schools in traditional land-based societies around the world, convinced that school is the only way to a ‘better’ life for rural and Indigenous children.
But is this true? What really happens when we replace another culture’s canon of knowledge with modern schooling? Does life really get better for its people?
SCHOOLING THE WORLD takes a challenging look at the actual impacts of institutional education on the world’s last sustainable land-based societies.
Beautifully shot on location in the Buddhist culture of Ladakh in the northern Indian Himalayas, the film examines the hidden assumption of cultural superiority behind education aid projects, which overtly aim to help children “escape” to a “better life.”
It looks at the failure of institutional education to deliver on its promise of a way out of poverty – in the United States as well as in the so-called “developing” world.
And it questions our very definitions of wealth and poverty – and of knowledge and ignorance – as it uncovers the role of schools in the destruction of traditional sustainable agricultural and ecological knowledge, in the breakup of extended families and communities, and in the devaluation of ancient spiritual traditions.
Finally, SCHOOLING THE WORLD calls for a “deeper dialogue” between cultures, suggesting that modernized societies have at least as much to learn as they have to teach, and that these ancient sustainable societies may harbor knowledge which is vital for the survival of all in the coming millenia.
LOST PEOPLE FILMS presents SCHOOLING THE WORLD: THE WHITE MAN’S LAST BURDEN
photography JIM HURST and BEN KNIGHT sound recording JIM HURST
produced by NEAL MARLENS, JIM HURST, and MARK GROSSAN directed and edited by CAROL BLACK
featuring WADE DAVIS, HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, VANDANA SHIVA, MANISH JAIN, & DOLMA TSERING
DVD-NTSC-R0 color/65 minutes copyleft 2010 lost people films WWW.SCHOOLINGTHEWORLD.ORG