Cultivating Civic Generosity in Elementary Youth Across Glocal Cultures, Ecologies, and Generations

Cultivating Civic Generosity in Elementary Youth Across Glocal Cultures, Ecologies, and Generations

Laura B. Liu (Indiana University – Bloomington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3955-1.ch020
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Abstract

This research explores cultivation of civic generosity in elementary youth as a cultural, ecological, generational practice developing global-local connections and enhanced by arts-based pedagogies, including reading, creating, and sharing children's books. In this study, 2nd grade students across two public school contexts (rural middle-income and rural low-income) reflect on learning generosity from a grandparent/parent to create a children's book presented in a public library. This study draws upon perspectives of participating elementary school teachers, administrators, and librarians to understand how the curricula and their partnerships enhanced student understanding, appreciation, and expression of generosity as a glocal civic practice.
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Theoretical Framework

This research is framed by three pillars of theoretical thought: (1) glocalization as the interchange between the global and the local; (2) civic generosity as cultural, ecological, and generational; and (3) placemaking as a practice of making a space a home for diverse groups. This framework provides the foundation for exploring glocal civic generosity as a vital form of 21st century placemaking, and how arts-based pedagogical approaches enhance youth learning. A summary of the generosity curricula implemented across two 2nd grade classrooms in different contexts will follow a discussion of the three pillars of this theoretical framework.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Glocal Civic Generosity: Interchange between the global and the local that results in generosity across cultures, ecologies, and generations; often results in an important form of 21 st century placemaking involving arts-based educational approaches playing a civic connective role.

Generosus: A Greek term for generosity, with the connotation of giving from a position of abundance and nobility, often without expectation of receiving in return.

Glocal Placemaking: Glocal placemaking connects our youth with our broader world, while maintaining “appreciation for the particular place” where they live ( Noddings, 2013 , p. 85).

Glocalization: Dochakuka , or glocalization , first used in Japan in the field of business, is translated literally as land ( do ), arrive ( chaku ), and process of ( ka ) ( Dumitrescu & Vinerean, 2010 ). This term was popularized in the U.S. by University of Pittsburgh Professor Roland Robertson in the Harvard Business Review in the 1980s ( Dumitrescu & Vinerean, 2010 ), and refers to the co-presence of universalizing and particularizing tendencies (Khondker, 2004 AU21: The in-text citation "Khondker, 2004" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Placemaking: Placemaking relates to the Greek term, philochoria , or love of place , and involves shaping a place to reflect its unique cultural and ecological aspects ( Noddings, 2013 ) particularly to bring about community renewal (Zelinka & Hardin, 2006 AU22: The in-text citation "Zelinka & Hardin, 2006" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Ren (?): In ancient Confucian culture, ren (?), often translated as human benevolence , is composed of two Chinese characters: ren (?), human , and er ( ? ), two , to express that to be human is to be human together. Generosity is foundational for ren (?), with trustworthiness, deference , tolerance , and diligence ( Analects , 17:6, as cited in Yeo, 2008 , p. 379).

Shu (?): Shu (?), or generosity, emphasizes giving and receiving in Confucian heritage.

Ecological Conscience: The reflective and even spiritual capacities needed for human behavior to change its current course toward over development and ecological depletion ( Gatta, 2004 ).

Ubuntu: Ubuntu , a Nguni Bantu term from southern Africa, specifies giving what is good or truly needed, as an act of kindness ( Kubow & Liu, 2015 ). This term has continued to pave the foundation for civic life, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu highlights we belong to a greater whole (1999) and cannot exist in isolation (Tutu, 2008 AU23: The in-text citation "Tutu, 2008" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Generosity: In ancient Greek society, generosus implies giving from a position of abundance and nobility, often without expectation of receiving in return. In Confucian heritage, shu (?) includes giving and receiving as key to generosity. Ubuntu , a Nguni Bantu term from southern Africa, specifies giving what is good or needed, as an act of kindness .

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