How to know their inherent dignity

Educational system has failed students by not helping them know ‘the world within,’ expert Donna Hicks says.

As an international affairs professor, Donna Hicks tells her students stories of a world fraught with conflict and reconciliation, serious topics her students said they had never encountered or cared for so deeply before.

A key to resolving these international crises, which she can be seen even on a micro level in any society, is recognizing the inherent dignity of every person, especially the future leaders of the world, Hicks said. She spoke at a 2017 Spring International Colloquium organized by the IECO Institute at Harvard Campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Hicks is an associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Recognition of that inherent dignity, the “deeper, more inner level of what it means to be a human being,” has been ignored for far too long, she said. Answering the question “What’s missing in educating future leaders?” Hicks said her students always tell her they care about “deeper human issues.”

Identifying with a concept by Sir Ken Robinson, that human beings live in two worlds, the world around and the world within, Hicks said her students innately “want to understand what it means to be human.” They seek something deeper than self-knowledge about their own individual desires, she said. According to Hicks, education has taught today’s students so much about the world around them, but not how to understand that “world within.”

“What is this inner world of ours? We’re so private – it’s so deep, it’s so present in our lives – yet we know so little about it,” Hicks said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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