Essay: Critical Reflection 1: Time-Space Compression and global flow of landscapes

There are numerous theories and concepts of globalization in module one reading articles. Among these theories and concepts, I am particularly interested in the concepts of ‘time-space compression’ of David Harvey and ‘global flow of landscape’ of Appadurai (David Harvey & Appadurai as cited in Christie, 2008, p. 45 & 53). I strongly agree with David Harvey that modern technologies can shorten time and shrink the space (David Harvey; as cited in Christies, 2008). It is definitely true that new technologies now have transformed the way people live, study, work, travel and communicate. For instance, air travel now has been the most efficient way for international travels in human history. People need just hours to travel from Europe to North America whereas in the past, people needed several weeks or months. In addition, people living in different parts of the world now can do their business transactions at a single time unit and communicate with their relatives via modern information technology. For example, although now I am living in Australia, I can call and skype my relatives living in my country of origin Saudi Arabia. Moreover, new technology now enables university lecturers and students to teach and learn without even having to go to the university campus. This helps them to use their time more efficiently and effectively. Many students in my countries now can do online courses at many universities around the world. Thus, it is undeniably true that globalization really makes time become shorter and the world become smaller.
The other concept that I am really in favor of is ‘global flow of landscapes’ proposed by Appadurai (as cited in Christie, 2008). Globalization now has made the world to become more interdependent and interrelated. This allows ‘free flow’ of what Appadurai called ‘global flow of landscapes’ including the global flow of people, technology, finance, media and ideas (Appadurai; as cited in Christies, 2008, p. 53). I have no doubt that international migration now can be witnessed in every country around the world. In my country, Saudi Arabia, for instance, there are a huge influx of migrant workers from many countries in the region and Asia working as a construction workers, domestic servants, and in other sectors of economy. In addition, technology, ideas, media and culture now have been freely moved across the national boundaries. Stemming from a kindergarten teacher background in Saudi Arabia, for instance, I now can witness almost all children in my school started using IPads and IPhones for study, playing games and watching cartoons. Many of them now also started speaking English in addition to their mother tongue.
Overall, globalization through modern technology has really transformed almost every aspects of life in the 21st century. Time-space compression and global movement of landscapes provide a good picture to see how globalization affect the way people live, work, study and communicate. However, ‘time-space compression’ may not be beneficial to those who cannot access to modern technology. The snapshot of Lebohang and Thembile in Christie (2008) serves as a very good example of how new technology creates inequalities of opportunity between those who can access to it and those who cannot. Likewise, global flow of landscapes may bring not only positive consequences, but many adverse effects such as international crimes, exploitation now can be also seen in many parts of world.
Christie, P. (2008). Globalization, the ‘knowledge of economy’ and education. In Opening the doors of learning: Changing schools in South Africa. Johannesburg: Heinemann, pp. (41 ‘ 71). Retrieved from University of Canberra E-Reserved:

My Critical Reflection 2

Consider the argument that in order to be able to critique national education policy, we need to understand its relationship to global neo-liberalism.

Globalization has made the world to become more interdependent and interconnected in terms of education, economics, politics, culture and technology. I feel no doubt that global neo-liberal education policy now has more or less affected every education policy around the world. Thus, I strongly agree with the notion that global neo-liberalism is a good benchmark for evaluating a given national educational policy since this global neo-liberal education policy demands for more accountability, transparency of education outcomes. This leads to the global comparison of education outcomes such as global standardized tests like PISA (PISA, 2011). Global measure of education outcomes leads to global policy convergence, what Lingard (2005) called a new form of policy borrowing. Education reforms in many OECD countries, for instance, have been made in response to the demand for more accountability, transparency of education outcomes by global neo-liberal education policy (Olssen, Codd & O’Neill, 2004) However, this neo-liberal education policy has been wildly criticized for focusing narrowly on testing or ‘high-stakes tests’ and mistrust of teachers and schools.
The demand for more transparency and accountability of the education outcomes by neo-liberal education policy in Australia under Rudd government had led to the development of ‘My School Website’, which makes the results of numeracy and literacy test of each school across Australia available online (Lingard, 2005, p. 130). However, this demand for accountability through ‘My School Website’ led to the ‘mistrust of teachers and schools’ (Schleicher, 2008; as cited in Lingard, 2005). This form of accountability also links the education outcomes directly to the schools, overlooking social economic status of the students that also directly and partly contributes to the educational outcomes. Low performance school tend to concentrate on low socio-economic communities (Lingard, 2005). Hence, Schleicher (as cited in Lingard, 2005) suggests that there should be more ‘intelligent forms accountability’ and ‘recognition that individual schools needs to work different ways in respects of their specific communities as a move toward rich accountabilities’ (p. 133). For instance, the success behind the education system in Finland is due to the absence of ‘high-stakes and standardized testing’ and the education system in Finland recognizes professional autonomy and intellectual practice of the teachers (Lingard, 2005, p. 133). Although there is a high demand for better quality of education, education system in my country, Saudi Arabia, does not follow the ‘high stakes’ or extreme testing systems. The education systems in my country focuses more on social harmony.
In addition to high accountability, global neoliberal education policy focuses on producing human capital, which is believed to stimulate the economic growth for the country (Lingard, 2005). Global neo-liberal education policy, moreover, has made the education to become a commodity, which can be purchased and sold on the basis of free market. This leads to the privatization of education in almost every country around the world. In my country, privatization of education is also allowed from pre-primary education to higher education due to the demand for higher and better quality of education. In addition, the government of Saudi Arabia has a policy to send students to study overseas in order to meet the demands for highly skilled workers to serve the needs for the country. For instance, there are 80, 000 Saudi Arabian students currently studying in different universities across Australia.

Lingard, B. (2010). Policy borrowing, policy learning: testing times in Australian schooling, Critical Studies in Education, 51(2), pp. (129-147), DOI: 10.1080/17508481003731026.
Olssen, M., Codd, J. & O’Neill A.M. (2004). Education policy: globalization citizenship & democracy. London: SAGE Publication.
PISA (2011). PISA ‘ Measuring Student Success around the World. [YouTube video] Retrieved from:

Critical Reflection 3:
Intercultural Education and Globalization

The aim of education in this global neoliberalism era is to produce human capital in order to stimulate the national economic growth (Lingard, 2010). Since there is a strong association between education and the economy of a given nation, the change in economy will inevitably lead to the change in job markets, which ultimately leads to change in education (Christies, 2008). For instance, global job markets now need not only those who are professionally competent and highly competent in information communication technology (ICT), but also those who are culturally competent. The ideas of ethnoscapes of Appadurai (as cited in Christies, 2008) suggested that globalization has increased the global flow of people across the globe. Economic migrants, for instance, has been witnessed widely across the globe. This global flow of people has increased intercultural interaction and communication. Thus, I strongly believe that without intercultural education, people from different cultures may not be able to live together in harmony and peace. In addition, students who are not culturally competent may face difficulties working in multicultural organizations. This may diminish their competitive advantages on global job markets.
Intercultural competence, according to Perry and Southwell (2011), refers to the ability to interrelate successfully and acceptably with individuals from various cultures and intercultural competence has four dimensions incorporating attitude, knowledge, skills and behaviors. According to UNESCO (2006) there are four pillars of intercultural education encompassing ‘learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be’ (p. 19 ‘ 20). These four pillars of intercultural education intended to promote ‘sustainable way of living together in multicultural societies’ by nurturing respect, understanding and dialogue between various cultural groups (UNESCO, 2006). To achieve sustainable way of residing together peacefully, UNESCO (2006) also proposed three principles of intercultural education, including (1) respecting cultural identity of the students, (2) providing cultural skills, knowledge and attitudes to the learners in order to enable them to fully and actively participate in society and (3) providing the learners with cultural skills, knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote respects for other ethnic, cultural and social and religious groups and nations (p. 33). These principles focuses on promoting cultural understanding and respects and maintaining individual identities.
To follow the guidelines of intercultural education of UNESCO, school needs to adjust curriculum and pedagogy to fit the intercultural education. However, culturally homogenous society may find it hard to promote intercultural education since intercultural education involves social interactions, language and religion education. In some countries, people from ethnic minority groups need to learn the language of the culturally dominant groups and it is very hard for school to promote cultural diversity since most the curriculum and teaching pedagogy are designed to meet the needs of the majority groups. For instance, religious education in my country, Saudi Arabia, focuses mainly on Muslim religious teaching because most of the citizens are Muslim. The other barrier to intercultural education is cultural imperialism or cultural hegemony. Oftentimes, many countries, especially those homogeneous countries still believe that their culture is better or more important than other cultures. This egocentric belief makes it hard to promote cultural diversity and multicultural society through education.
Christie, P. (2008). Globalization, the ‘knowledge of economy’ and education. In Opening the doors of learning: Changing schools in South Africa. Johannesburg: Heinemann, pp. (41 ‘ 71). Retrieved from University of Canberra E-Reserved.
Lingard, B. (2010). Policy borrowing, policy learning: testing times in Australian schooling, Critical Studies in Education, 51(2), pp.(129-147), doi: 10.1080/17508481003731026
Perry, L.B. & Southwell, L. (2011). Developing intercultural understanding and skills: models and approach. Intercultural Education, 22 (6), pp. 453 ‘ 466, DOI: 10.1080/1467598.2011.644948.
UNESCO (2006). UNESCO guidelines on the intercultural education. Paris: UNESCO.
Critical Response 1

Hi Gabrie Bulyak,
The concept of ‘time-space compression’ of David Harvey (as cited in Christies, 2008), may not be easily rejected in this epoch of globalization. Christie (2008) argues that people now can do their business transactions and do their banking online from wherever they are and whenever they want (p. 44). Therefore, I strongly agree with you that the availability of modern technology such as the internet connection and communication devices really enables people across the globe to share information constantly. For instance, social media such as facebook and twitter through communication devices can disseminate information across the network within a few seconds. In addition, many professions now can benefit substantially from the availability of the modern technology. For instance, the University of Canberra now is using Moodle as a means for communication, which enables the students and teachers to communicate without having to be physically present on the campus. Thus, it is undoubtedly true that modern technology really helps reduces time and space for people to travel in order to communicate with each other.
I also agree with you that digital devices and modern technology have some adverse consequences for the people. For example, cybercrime and hacking can be frequently witnessed now. In addition, Castells (as cited in Christies, 2008) acknowledges that although globalization is highly creative, and productive, it can also be very exclusionary (p. 50). Thus, I feel no doubt that modern technology benefit only those who can afford and access to it. Those who cannot access to it will be excluded, marginalized or left behind. For instance, the many nomadic tribal communities living in dessert in my country, Saudi Arabia, benefit nothing from modern technology since they cannot access to those modern technologies.
It is also hard to reject the notion that globalization leads to cultural change. The global flow of landscapes proposed by Appadurai (as cited in Christies, 2008) exemplifies the global movement of people, technology, finance and ideas. It is due to this force of global flow of landscapes that it is hard for any cultures across the globe to be not affected. However, I feel that cultural change does not causes much concerns for any nations. Cultural change may not be likely to lead to ‘cultural homogenization’ since all cultures have their own unique identity, which is hard to be completely changed albeit being influenced.
Finally, I agree with you that although globalization causes some major undesirable consequences such as social exclusion or cultural changes, it seems that the benefits of it outweigh the costs.
Christie, P. (2008). Globalization, the ‘knowledge of economy’ and education. In Opening the doors of learning: Changing schools in South Africa. Johannesburg: Heinemann, pp. (41 ‘ 71). Retrieved from University of Canberra E-Reserved:

Critical Response 2

Hi Jed Wolki,
I strongly agree with you that global neoliberalism has made education to become more competitive since this kind of policy enables education outcomes to be compared globally. PISA, for instance, has been used as a benchmark to measure education outcomes across OECD countries as well as East Asian Nations. This global comparison of education outcomes has coerced various countries and states to adjust their national education policy (PISA, 2011). This leads to a high demand for more accountability and transparency of education outcomes within each nation. I really like the way you pointed the positive and negative impacts of this policy on Australian education policy.
I agree with you that that neoliberal education policy under Rudd government, which demanded for more accountability and transparency of education outcomes through establishing ‘My School Website’ and ‘High Stakes Testing’ helped raise education outcomes as well as produced numerous harmful effects to schooling in Australia (Lingard, 2010). This negative impact of this kind policy can also be seen in England, which adopted an extreme ‘high stakes testing’. This ‘high stakes testing’ education policy of the UK has been criticized widely for being too extreme and narrow since this extreme neo-liberal English policy regime failed to recognize the important roles of classroom teachers on the learners’ performance especially students from the underprivileged family (Lingard, 2005). Therefore, this form of assessment produced not only what Lingard (2005) called ‘defensive pedagogies’ but also ‘a growth and concentration of poverty in the UK with consequent impact upon school performance’ (p. 139).
Your concerns over the shift from focusing the actual knowledge and skills that the students learned towards what is being tested is extremely worthwhile because this shift will lead to the change in pedagogy. Thus, teaching will focus only on how to raise the test scores of the students, overlooking the role of teaching in scaffolding weak children to acquire new knowledge. This extreme testing system, moreover, overlooks ‘out-of-school factors’, such as economic background and cultural background of individual students have on ‘high stakes tests’ (Lingard, 2005, p. 140). Thus, the accountability and transparency of education outcomes of neoliberalism cannot be rejected, but there should be a more sophisticated forms of accountability rather than depending only on test scores.

Lingard, B. (2010). Policy borrowing, policy learning: testing times in Australian schooling, Critical Studies in Education, 51(2), pp. (129-147), doi: 10.1080/17508481003731026
PISA (2011). PISA ‘ Measuring Student Success around the World. [YouTube video] Retrieved from:

Critical Response 3
Hi Richie Favave,
I have read your reflection on intercultural communication and cosmopolitanism with a great enthusiasm and I strongly agree with you that intercultural competence is absolutely vital in the epoch of globalization. International education, tourists, multinational corporations and international trades have increased the global mobility in the age of globalization or what Appadurai called ethnoscapes (as cited in Christies, 2008). Bauman (as cited in Rizvi, 2005) suggested the national boundaries in this era of globalization has been levelled down for global businessmen, global cultural mangers, cosmopolitan and global academics, who increasingly seek the world’s commodities, capital and finance. This global mobility, furthermore, leads to the increase in intercultural communication and interactions. Thus, people who are not intercultural competent may find it very hard to communicate with other people from different cultures.
However, I tend not to agree with you on the ground that intercultural education could pose a threat to local cultures. The aim of cultural education is to promote sustainable way of residing peacefully together among people from different cultural groups within society through mutual respects and understanding other cultures (UNESCO, 2006). I undoubtedly believe that the more people come into contact with other people from different cultures, the more they understand, respect the values of other cultures. My concern would be lying on how school can develop a curriculum and teaching pedagogy that support intercultural education. Although language is inextricably linked with culture, incorporating language alone into the mainstream curriculum for promoting intercultural education may not be insufficient (UNESCO, 2006). Intercultural education, according to UNESCO (2006), is about providing knowledge, attitudes add skills about cultures in order for the learners to understand and respects other cultures in society. However, to provide this knowledge and skill, the government needs to invest a huge among of money, which I think may be still a big barrier to intercultural education in most countries.
I do not agree with you that cosmopolitanism brings cultural influence or social change. I think that the ideas of cosmopolitanism or ‘citizens of the world’ refers to how globalization or living overseas has transformed one’s identity or what Beck (2000; as cited in Rizvi, 2005) called ‘globalization of the biography’. Moreover, a cosmopolitan did not have any prejudices against other national cultures because a cosmopolitan was more open to other cultures, ideas and customs (Rizvi, 2005). Thus, cosmopolitanism should be a big concern for social and cultural change.
Christie, P. (2008). Globalization, the ‘knowledge of economy’ and education. In Opening the doors of learning: Changing schools in South Africa. Johannesburg: Heinemann, pp. (41 ‘ 71). Retrieved from University of Canberra E-Reserved.
UNESCO (2006). UNESCO guidelines on the intercultural education. Paris: UNESCO.
Rizvi, F. (2005). International education and the production of cosmopolitan identities. In A. Arimoto, F. Huang, & K. Yokoyam (Eds.). Globalization and Higher Education (pp. 77 ‘ 92). Hiroshima: Hiroshima University.

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