Discourse, Education, and the Collective
Capacity building requires forums in which space has been created for learning about the betterment of society. Open forums for discourse can accompany and assist undergraduate students through their four years of university studies. Through an ongoing cycle of study, consultation, action and reflection, youth between the ages of 18 and 25 can learn more about who they are, what type of life they are leading, and the significance of engagement towards social change. In such settings people with potential learn about the dynamics of their engagement in social action and about the issues confronting prevalent discourses. They develop capacity to reflect, analyze, and learn from study and from ongoing action. Important in this process is the erection of essential elements constituting their conceptual framework. It is through some type of structure in the values and mind that people contribute to their families, neighborhoods, communities, and civic engagements. This structure is constant, but evolving. This structure encapsulates their principles. This structure allows progress to circumvent problems associated with whimsical decision-making or changes in mood and environment. Principles and scruples are as indispensable to productivity in the workplace as they are to advance in the social and intellectual setting. It, is after all, through the sum of multiple individual’s conscientious striving that we advance as a civilization. In this way, on a personal level, we acquire the tools necessary to decipher and understand the complex mesh of intentions and realities we are inundated with in popular culture. Such tools include the ability to disentangle, understand and contextualize undergraduate university hierarchies and course content. Most people come to recognize the less than flawless value system that went into the design of their university courses and majors. Undergraduate students engaging in this forum, then, emerge with a sense of responsibility to assume ownership for their own education. This spiritual and intellectual empowerment is the agency by which we seek out and acquire the kind of knowledge necessary to live productive, contributory, and meaningful lives.