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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Education: a product, a process or a combination?

Posted By: Miguel Fortes
Date: Thursday, 12 August 1999, at 1:39 a.m.

In Response To: Education: mother of all wise practices / Worldwide. (R. Sudarshana)

A most interesting thesis, indeed, one that hits the core not just of coastal zone management, but that of education itself. If we are talking about "wise practices," your effort, through your provocative ideas and in-depth analysis, is itself one wise practice we should cultivate. What I am not sure about is how you regard education. Is it a process, a product of that process, or both? This question is almost "hair-splitting" and admittedly almost unnecessary. But when you say ".... with which education is developed, practised, and imparted." (last two lines of paragraph 1), are you equating education simply to that process of acquiring knowledge? Allow me now to respond, and perhaps augment or substantiate, the theme of your thought-provoking message. I just hope our colleagues in the WP Bulletin Board will find my thoughts useful.

My late response to your message is due largely to our implementation of a kind of education (applied to integrated coastal management) which we, in protected area management, now deem more essential and much more pragmatic and receptive to the actual needs of people, compared to what we have been doing before. Briefly, this is so because (1) it imparts not just knowledge, but knowledge infused with culture and values, and complimented with skills, 2) it is directed to the people who are directly affected by the impacts of decisions, (3) it is implemented by the people mandated to implement the actions, but with the early and active participation of the other primary stakeholders, (4) this is undertaken right at the place where the actions are taking place and (4) it is predicated upon scientific knowledge that is action and management oriented, translated into a form that is easily understandable and acceptable by the people. I have provided case studies to illustrate these points in my example wise practice entitled "Combining research and education in protected area management / Ulugan Bay-Philippines."

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