This chapter aims to contribute to your ability to:
expand your understanding of various components of social and environmental education, and how they interweave
affirm your capacity to influence, act on and change your world (in conjunction with Chapter 4)
critically investigate related teaching ideas.
Globalisation is not new. To speak of a beginning of globalisation is, to some extent, meaningless. The world has never been anything other than global! The difference is that we have become more aware (that is, educated) about the phenomenon in recent times. Vast empires existed in the past, long before the age of European colonisation, including the Mongol Empire, arguably the biggest empire in history, and various Chinese and Islamic empires.
In Australia’s region, the empires of Majapahit (based in present-day Java, around the 14th and15th centuries CE) and Srivijaya (centred in Sumatra, as early as the 8th century CE) covered considerable areas and exercised influence, if not control, more widely again over land and sea. Many of us in Australia are only vaguely, if at all, aware of them. The Khmer Empire, with its capital Angkor, might be more familiar. In our extended region, the teachings of the Buddha, Confucius and Hinduism were being spread long before the birth of Christianity. More recently, the teachings of Islam came to the region. Depending on your dei nition of slave trading, such trades have existed for centuries, if not millennia. Large migrations of people are not new; migrations across the Pacific and around the Indian oceans occurred long before Europeans colonised the region. Aboriginal spirituality asserts that Indigenous people have been in present-day Australia since the Beginning, the Dreaming. Some archaeological evidence suggests, however, that migrations occurred more than 45000 years ago, perhaps even 60000 years ago.