The upcoming conference on 28-29 September 2016 entitled ‘Learning Outside the Lines‘ focuses on Children and Youth in an Interconnected World. But why are children so important?
Professor Hoda Mahmoudi, holder of the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland, tells us the following:
Around the world the experiences of children range from those with affluence, well-funded schools, accessible health care, and peaceful homes and communities, to those who are impoverished, exposed to untold violence, and victims of injustice. This conference presents interdisciplinary work of some of the most distinguished scholars, and seeks to widen and deepen our understanding of childhood and youth in relation to the inequalities of nation, gender, ethnicity/race, education, class, religion and minority/majority belonging.
You may ask why the focus on children and youth and how does this conference relate to global peace? Children are remarkable learners, actors and carriers of the future. Currently they reside in a world that although not of their own making, has profound influence on their lives both positive and negative. They come into the world dependent and helpless. From the moment of their birth and into their childhood they are intensely engaged, captivated and curious about their surroundings, about the people who care for them and others with whom they interact. They are razor-sharp observers, taking in with all of their senses whatever crosses their path. Given the opportunity they will show curiosity, interact and connect with and show people, animals, objects, music, art, tools and technologies, eager to learn about the world in which they move.