Beyond the WEIRD education system in the age of AI

Uflewska, A. and Tordzro, G. K. (2022) Beyond the WEIRD education system in the age of AI. Postcolonial Directions in Education, 11(2), pp. 215-247.

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In this article, we aim to contribute to the ongoing debate on reimagining education systems, their content and underpinning values in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Indeed, twenty-first century education is being transformed into a global network (Dede & Richards, 2020), with new constellations already emerging (Phipps, 2019). From the outset, we analyse the omnipresence of the ‘western’ European tradition across the education systems globally (Bhambra et al., 2018; de Sousa Santos, 2014; Smith, 2012; Mignolo, 2011; Fanon, 2001; wa Thiong’o, 1986; 1969), and its incongruity with the knowledge and values needed for sustainable coexistence in the cyber-physical (hybrid) reality of natural life and AI. To do so, we refer to the work of Henrich et al. (2010, p 29) appearing in Nature, where the authors coined the acronymic pun, ‘WEIRD’, to highlight the education system’s ‘western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic’ origins and ties. We not only use it but also propose to extend it by adding an additional letter, ‘O’, to ‘WEIRDO’ to underline the systems’ growing obsolescent content and values. We propose to reach beyond this WEIRD-ness, shifting the debate from ‘western’ eurocentrism and decolonisation into wider postdiscriminatory and ethically committed approaches and practices, such as SEEDS: smart educational ecosystems of dependence and support. Underlining a gradual emergence of de-centralised and proactive initiatives, SEEDS focus on the ‘motion out of the notion of inclusivity into the concept of embracing’ (Tordzro, 2019a; 2019b; Tordzro, 2018; 2016; Kumordzi et al., 2016), constituting a set of signposts aimed at reconfiguration of the current epistemological, methodological and axiological disbalances into ones directed at harmonious co-existence and loving kindness. SEEDS is consonant with the recent reports of the European Commission (2022, online), emphasising the ‘triple imperative to protect, prepare and transform’, and UNESCO (2021) urging for a new social contract for education in the face of current dangers to humanity and planet Earth. Examples of such educational outlooks already exist, including Ubuntu (Caraccioli & Mungai, 2009), Adinkra (Tordzro, 2019a; 2019b), Afa (Kumordzi et al., 2016), Moana (Hendry & Fitznor, 2012), Hawaiian and Pacific (Herman, 2014), and the First Nations of the American (Pacari, 1996; Deloria, 1970) and Australian continents, each going beyond the WEIRD education system in the age of AI.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Educational innovations, artificial intelligence -- educational applications, intelligent tutoring systems, education -- philosophy.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tordzro, Dr Gameli Kodzo and Uflewska, Dr Agnieszka
Authors: Uflewska, A., and Tordzro, G. K.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
T Technology > T Technology (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy
Journal Name:Postcolonial Directions in Education
Publisher:University of Malta, Faculty of Education
ISSN (Online):2304-5388
Published Online:19 December 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Postcolonial Directions in Education
First Published:First published in Postcolonial Directions in Education 11(2): 215-247
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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