Academic Mobility: Bridging Tourism and Peace Education

Academic Mobility: Bridging Tourism and Peace Education

Anabela Monteiro (Universidade Europeia, Portugal), Sofia Lopes (Universidade Europeia, Portugal) and Fabio Carbone (Coventry University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5053-3.ch016
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Abstract

Education has played an influential role over time in economic, social, and cultural development and, hence, in the formation of individuals. The considerable increase in academic mobility, in recent decades, shows that it is an essential tool in students' education. Due to its specific characteristics, academic mobility has a strong link to multiculturalism, and one of its missions is to be a transmitter of values and is an important element for educational tourism. In this sense, this chapter intends to demonstrate the pedagogical potential of academic mobility, its individual and social effects in terms of peace education, and to explore the relationship between academic mobility and tourism for an environment of intercultural and peace sharing.
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Introduction

In the broad context of education and its transformative power, it is important to understand the pedagogical potential of academic mobility to boost intercultural competencies and as a form of educational diplomacy. The interest in academic mobility, as well as the study of its motivations and effects, have increased over the past few decades. At the base of academic mobility programs, the multicultural contact at both social and educational level is one of the intrinsic elements of this experience, if not the most important. As Banks (2009, p. 14) stated, “the major goal of multicultural education is to restructure schools so that all students acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to function in ethnically and racially diverse communities and nations, and in the world”.

The different educational systems are promoters for the acceptance of cultures. According to Silva and Rebolo (2017, p. 189),

Education is an important contributor to make possible a change for a society that discusses cultural differences, taking into account the necessary recognition of the legitimacy of different cultures […] There are, implicated in intercultural education processes, not only strategic, structural, technological, political and control elements but also, elements of the human and cultural dimension.

He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me […] (Saint-Exupéry, 1942).

Academic mobility and educational tourism are promoters of global citizenship, and this strand is a pillar for the peacebuilding project. This study focuses its attention on the relationship between academic mobility and educational tourism and their involvement in the peacebuilding process and in the resolution of conflicts. Therefore, this chapter is organised according to the main objectives. For the understanding of academic mobility, it was necessary to approach the role of education as a formative agent for peacebuilding and conflict transformation, the educational curriculum and the role of academic institutions in promoting intercultural understanding. The definition and importance of academic mobility, as well as its programs, the main motivational factors and their influence on conflict transformation were also approached. For the understanding of what literature has studied about this theme was done a systematic literature review with the main concepts, last, the relation between academic mobility and educational tourism and their contribution to the peacebuilding process was also highlighted.

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Education, A Formative Agent For Peacebuilding And Conflict Transformation

Throughout the centuries, education has always been an actor of economic, social and cultural development, having as its functions the correlation between the individual and society, the individual and the state and the individual and the globalised world. In 1946, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization was established to contribute to world peace and security through education, science, culture, and communications.

Nowadays, the new communication challenge focuses mainly on the need for better understanding, new ways of accepting and interacting with other cultures, the presence of multiculturalism. Bourdieu (1996) states, in this context, that “culture is the substantial content of education, its source and its final justification [...] one cannot be thought without the other”. For this reason, it is urgent that institutions, namely educational ones, have an innovative capacity to think about culture with the spectrum that the global world allows the development of inter-global competences based on international knowledge (UNESCO, 2017).

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