29
OKT
2015

A global discourse competence for bilingual lessons in Politics, Economics & Culture?

The first months of the project mainly dealt with the overall issue about the conceptual design of lessons in Politics, Economics & Culture. We looked at competencies of the subjects English and Politics & Economics, respectively, and believe that “global discourse competence” nicely summarizes the aims and also constitutes a true interdisciplinary approach.
So what does global discourse competence mean? We are not sure yet, but rather still in the initial stage of defining. Here are some preliminary thoughts:
Latest with the world economic and financial crisis since 2007, it has become apparent that interpreting economics solely with orthodox methods is far from sufficient. We know that economics, the financial system, society, globalization, culture etc. are all strongly intertwined. We have learned, taking consideration of the growing body of comparative literature about global issues in general, that social problems, social movements and so on are mostly dislocalized nowadays. I.e., they are space-independent. Nevertheless, a comparative approach is increasingly – and rightly – becoming academic mainstream, away from traditional “country studies”, often too much focused on “otherness”, and isolating exogenous variables that cannot be eschewed from any comprehensive explanatory model. Thus, comprehensive comparison, rigid inquiry on a global scale help us to understand local dynamics as well – as global discussions are mostly, but not only, held at a local level.
In other words, discussions about such issues are increasingly global in nature, albeit held literally everywhere on the globe, in all kinds of different settings. And it is but understood that English, initially a medium of colonial hegemony, constitutes the global lingua franca, also for the purpose of deconstructing mainstream methods and interpretations of society in general. Thus, what we need are multifaceteded, interdisciplinary approaches, not only in academics, but also in society in general – including secondary schools at its very center. We want to increase participation in these subject-based and academic discourses at an early age, also about methods of study and interpretation. Discourses, they lie at the center of inquiry. How to promote discourses, subject-based, open, controversial, as early as possible? Discourses set subject-based rules of negotiation and discussion, they set quality-standards and so on. Of course, we know that the question what a discourse is, deserves attention as well. It does thus not come a surprise that this question has attracted the attention of renowned academics, as, inter alia, Habermas, Foucault etc. – authors who have set the standards in academia.
We want to think global and cosmopolitan. We want globalization in classrooms, integrative and participatory. Hence, we thought global discourse competence to be a nice “catchphrase”, to define our overall project goals and thus outline and evaluate an orientation framework in order to study Politics, Economics & Culture manifold.
More to follow soon.

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