Carlos Alberto Torres Shares Perspectives on Global Citizenship Education at American University of Cairo

UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education and UNESCO Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education was invited by Alternative Policy Solutions to take part in AUC’s centenary celebration.

Carlos Alberto Torres, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education and UNESCO Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, spoke at a 100th year celebration of the American University of Cairo (AUC) in November at the invitation of Alternative Policy Solutions, a non-partisan, public policy research project of AUC. Torres’ topic,  “Education, Social Justice and Global Citizenship,” was presented in conversation at AUC’s main campus in Tahrir, moderated by Farida Makar, a PhD candidate at Oxford University and an expert on progressive education in Egypt in the periods between 1900 and 1952.

Torres, who is the principal biographer of Brazilian philosopher and critical social theorist Paulo Freire and a renowned scholar of Freirean thought, is the founder of Paulo Freire Institutes in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and UCLA. His teaching and research interests include the political sociology of education, the impact of globalization on K- 12 and higher education, and the intersection of area studies, ethnic studies, and comparative international education. Professor Torres is most recently concerned about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular interest in goal 4.7: global citizenship education and sustainability.

Professor Torres spoke on the role of education in addressing today’s globalized world and the potential for a better world through global citizenship. He stated that “citizenship” means “diversity; in religion, ethnicity, opinion and talents. The only way for achieving citizenship is to accept this diversity.”

“Democracy starts in classrooms, if there is no democracy in schools there will be no democracy in the society,” he said. “Schools should be a place to construct the love of life, for the students and the teachers, and if it is not so we have failed.”

Torres is the former director of the UCLA-Latin American Center, and has been a visiting professor at universities throughout the world. In 2015, he was selected as the inaugural UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship.

Torres was president of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) (2013-2016) and served the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), one of the founding societies within the WCCES, through membership on the Board of Directors and as CIES President from 1994 to 1998. He is an Honorary Fellow of CIES.  He is a Correspondent Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and the former director of the UCLA-Latin American Institute.

Torres is the author of 70 books including “Dialogue and Educational Praxis – A Critical Reading of Paulo Freire” (São Paulo: Edições Loyola, 2014. Print), the just published Wiley Handbook of Paulo Freire (see included flyer) and co-editor of “Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local” (With R. Arnove, S. Franz, eds. 4th ed. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2013). He is the co-founder of the International Paulo Freire Institute Network, which includes colleagues and institutions in more than 90 countries throughout North America, South America, and Europe. Torres’ newest book, “The Wiley Handbook of Paulo Freire,” was published in July.

To view Professor Torres’ lecture at the American University of Cairo, visit this link.

Courtesy of Carlos Alberto Torres