Global civics course in Arabic for Science students in higher education has been developed by a group of scientists and experts using Hakan ALtany as a reference and guideline. The course de-velopment was funded by Fetzer. Global civics is an important and new concept. Global civics suggests to understand civics in a global sense as a social contract between the world citizens in the age of interdependence and interaction. It has been developed by Dr. Hakan Altinay, a World Fellow at Yale, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a global ethics fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Global Civics is a response to our increas-ing global interdependence, as well as a search for how to manage that interdependence. It high-lights the importance of uplifting our perspectives towards global interdependence and its attendant responsibilities including environmental issues. “Everyone is a guardian” Mohammad pbuh. The task is enormous and requires all hands on deck. Science will play a pivotal role in identifying the centripetal dynamics; foregrounding overarching human and environmental concerns; and provid-ing key clues on how to overcome this challenge.
This course concerns with questions regarding the rights and responsibilities of human beings to-ward each other in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. Further, it focuses on issues that unite people across the globe, including the interdependencies, common spaces, and institutions. Furthermore, implications of these issues for the whole humanity and for making the world a better place will be emphasized.
This course aims at developing students’ skills and competencies that lead to the development of global civic responsibility. More specific, the course focuses on,
a. Exploring and developing students’ sense of responsibility towards the globe and the humanity.
b. Raising students’ awareness about human rights issues across the globe.
c. Developing students’ ability to identify causes of conflicts across the globe and the strategies used to resolve them.
d. Enhancing students’ intellectual skills including their ability to identify, describe, analyze, and evaluate global issues.
e. Developing students’ participatory skills that enable them to take and defend their posi-tion, and work with others to manage conflicts.
f. Enhancing students’ critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, communication and collaboration.
Altogether, at the end of this course students should be able to express their own diagnosis concerning the state of the world as well as their own synthesis about how best to live in that world.
The course has been taught now in two countries Morocco by Dr Latifa Bilali at the university of Kadi Eyad and Tunis by Dr. Layla Ben Ayed at the National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia.
The course includes modules on the following topics
1. Sustainable Development (Water, Food and Energy
2. Environment (pollution, and climate change
3. Global Economy and International Trade
4. Identity and Religion
5. Public health
6. Conflict resolution, Peace Building and Reconciliation
7. Poverty and human development
8. Inequality and Global Justice
The course material is available in two language online at http://www.welovechange.org/en/projects/global-civics.html
The course is taught in an interactive way. Student read material watch videos before hand and have a discussion class. questions posted on a forum for follow up discussion. the course also includes debates and culminates in a group project where students create a project that serves the community while disseminating the concept of global civics.
Professor Layla observed about her students “what I really appreciate is that the fact they were developing each other’s ideas and not rejecting their differences.”
The course was hugely successful in Morocco and Tunis. Professor Bilali and Dr Leyla Be Ayed were instrumental in administering and implementing the course in their universities.
In Morocco Professors from other disciples were involved in administering the module to provide a rich discussion. Professor Bilali was a beacon inspiring her students and together with her stu-dents developing projects in the community that will have long lasting impact on the local people. Students developed creative project such as alternate energy resources, solid waste and medici-nal plants in various underdeveloped communities in Morocco.
In Tunis, Professor Layla shared with us her reflections “Globally, it was a fructuous and rich expe-rience that I want to renovate again. This course is really a chance for our students as it is far from the usual courses that they are used to take. It will let them to be aware of their needs, their rights, their duties, etc. and most of all respect each other’s point of view.”
We hope that this is only the tip of the iceberg in spreading the concept of Global Civics through out the Arab world and beyond.