By Gemma Bradshaw, SIMA Academy Editorial Contributor.
With the UN’s International Day for Tolerance on the horizon, I’ve been thinking about how these big meaningful words get lost in translation.
Somewhere along the way the idea of tolerance came to mean a shortcoming.
I had confused it with the idea of putting up with something, but not really changing my opinion. Probably because of some incident when I was a child, now long forgotten, where I was told to be more tolerant. The result was the very opposite of what is intended.
Well I’m happy to stand corrected and reclaim this important word. Everything we’re doing in the realm of global citizenship education is about tolerance.
Not the wooly idea I had from my childhood. But the bold idea, the one that’s actually in the dictionary: to show willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
When you take a look at the synonyms it seems even clearer. Words like: open-minded, unprejudiced, unbiased.
Take a glance at today’s news headlines and you’ll understand how vital it is that we cultivate this perspective in our students.
In our ever-changing world they need a deeper understanding of the world’s political, economic, and social issues. Not only that but the ability to interpret media messages; the capacity to engage with people from a variety of backgrounds; and the skills to succeed in a global and interdependent society.
I’m proud to say that the social impact films we share in SIMA Academy open students eyes to the world beyond their classroom and crucially allow students to see their place in a more tolerant society.