Lessons and reflections post Covid-19
This course emerges from the global health situation the world is living. Through discussions, presentations and analyses of the direct and indirect implications of the pandemic, and its effects in Colombia and abroad, it seeks to provide participants with a space to develop their English language skills, critical thinking skills, socio-emotional skills, and cultural sensitivity. From a broader perspective, it intends to provide a greater understanding of who we are as individuals but also as members of communities and societies; what drives us, what disheartens us, and why.
The course is structured around three fundamental questions:
- How has humanity lived (as well as destroyed itself) up until recently?
- What new ways of living and coexisting can we imagine in the aftermath of the current pandemic?
- How will you/we contribute to these new ways of living?
Discussions in the past semester have revolved around a range of topics proposed by the course instructor and students´ alike, based on their interests: Black Lives Matter and racism; violences (in plural) against women and other sectors of society; feminism; machismo in Latin America and other regions; new ways of living through virtuality; towards better, safer, more engaging and more inclusive education systems; and death in the Covid juncture.
These discussions have been enriched by guest speakers who work in different fields. These have included human rights activists with experience in promoting human dignity in the Colombian prison system; change agents in Kerala, India, who have worked to promote child rights throughout the education systems; physicists and psychologists in Manila, Philippines who have worked to promote inclusive education systems that take account of children with exceptionalities ranging from Asperger’s syndrome to gifted children exhibiting a range of talents but also learning disabilities.
Particularly in the second half of the course, students explored innovative solutions to problems relating to sustainable urban development; new energies; clean water and sanitation solutions; addressing hunger, among other issues – this to reflect on what some refer to as the “new normality” and others as a “new reality”.
The range of topics explored seek to provide participants with the ability to read the word but also read the world, and some of the critical forces that shed light on what has made humanity shine but also what has not.