This great endeavor, Asgardia, with its laudable ideals and worthy mission has for its own, an opportunity to breach the conventions of what is possible with regard to public institution. Particularly, I am referring to the institution of Education. It is a subject near and dear to me as ...
This great endeavor, Asgardia, with its laudable ideals and worthy mission has for its own, an opportunity to breach the conventions of what is possible with regard to public institution. Particularly, I am referring to the institution of Education. It is a subject near and dear to me as I have been involved with it in one context or another for a sizable portion of my earthly life.
I have seen many proposed ideas in the conversations regarding how education as an institution might be made manifest in Asgardia and to my sociology-laden mind, I keep returning to this notion that we must somehow reconcile one major sociocultural reality of earthbound civilization: the differences in the concept of the self among the varying societies on earth.
Cultural competence luminary Professor Jean Moule (2012) suggested that "the self develops very differently in cultures where group members conceive of themselves not as individuals but part of a broader collective" (p. 104). How important a distinction, more especially in a proposed society wherein its denizens are constitutionally afforded the right to "the harmonious development of individuals" (2017, Constitution, Article 4).
The wording suggests an amicable blending of both individualist and collectivist sociocultural values. Harmony, that all-important, cultural homeostasis that flows between the individual, the family and the community, providing security, obligation and a strong sense of cultural purpose that stretches deep into the past, hoping for the future. Next to it, is the individual; an assertive force that exists within society but apart from it as well, allowing the exploration and development of identity, singular experience and unique potential without being unduly fettered by inherited mores, folkways and culturally-mediated prohibitions to an extent that could destroy the vast diversity of our many voices. Can such seemingly juxtaposed societal modes coexist? More specifically, can they be fostered intentionally within our citizens as normative?
This, I think, is very attainable and would be a boon to Asgardian culture. Within the institution of Education, this ethos could be a core component of how learning is facilitated in the first place and fits squarely within the boundaries of both the spirit and the letter of the Asgardian Constitution.
As we move forward in this work, I am excited at the prospect to debate the possibility of such a lofty constitutional notion as the harmonious development of individuals. In my mind, a space-faring humanity needs command of the fullness of its potential and even beyond, both collective and individual. Space is big, cold and dangerous. It is also our destiny.
My fellow Asgardians, who among you feels the same? Who takes issue? What are your ideas? How do we fulfill such an exemplory calling?
The Stars Await,
Think Populations, See Individuals
Constitution of the Space Kingdom of Asgardia. (2017). Chapter 2, Article 4(4)(e) Supreme Values of
Asgardia. Retrieved from https://asgardia.space/en/page/constitution#c2-a4
Moule, J. & Diller, J. (2012). Cultural competence : a primer for educators. Belmont, CA: