World Scouting: Educating for Global Citizenship

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9780230340688: World Scouting: Educating for Global Citizenship

Many works have been written on scouting worldwide, but most of them were centered in a particular country or moment of history. This book, based on the first existing academic research on world scouting, explains in a very comprehensible way the main characteristics of world (boy and girl) Scouting, the largest youth movement in the planet, existing in more than 165 countries of the five continents with more than 30 million young people worldwide. Using new data and storytelling, the work covers the main elements that distinguish the scout movement over the world, and explains its origin, evolution, operating system, and the soundness of its values.
 
Furthermore, besides nature and woodcraft, the book uses Scouting as an unexpected lens through which to analyze many social issues of our world, like the ones related with identity and citizenship education. As an accommodator of multiple identities, scouting has dealt with patriotism, belonging, immigration, racism, gender, religion, fanaticism, militarism, and peace. And when examining its role as an educational agent, we find personal autonomy, critical thinking, values of coexistence, participation, leadership, and human rights, but also debate on political involvement, geopolitics, sexual orientation, and culture war.

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From the Author:

If you were to ask someone on the streets of Mexico DF for the description of scouting, it is unlikely to include Asia, World War II, colonialism, or the United Nations. It might include a neighborhood scout unit or memories of being a cub scout as a child. But scouting is the neighborhood and also the world: the local group in London's East End and the training of those who would lead the processes of decolonization; the boys and girls camps in the Pyrenees and the brotherhoods of youths in countries and communities at war; the social implication in Harlem and the community development programs in Indonesia.
 
Thus, few people know that scouting is a movement particularly strong in developing and emerging countries, that it is one of the strongest association realities in Arab countries, and that when it was formalized in 1920, world scouting had national associations in over 50 percent of the world's independent countries--a percentage that has not dropped since and has actually increased to a current figure of 83 percent, while the number of independent countries increased from 63 (1922) to 194 (2008). It is likewise unperceived that former scouts constitute the main parliamentarian intergroup in the British House of Commons and in the Parliament of Korea. It is mostly unknown that scouting has been forbidden by totalitarian regimes, and it is still forbidden in communist countries. And not only this--even fewer people know that more than two-thirds of all current and former NASA astronauts have been involved in boy and girl scouting, among them 20 of the 24 men who traveled to the moon, including 11 of the 12 moonwalkers. Neil Armstrong, the first human who walked on the moon, had a Scout Badge with him in that historical moment.
 
Scouting is a movement that many people are vaguely familiar with, relating it mainly to recreational activities that have no social impact other than the fact that they keep the boys and girls busy. That is the consequence of one of the greatest strengths of the scout movement, which is also one of its worst weaknesses: the deeply intuitive nature of its educational action. For young people, scouting is about enjoying, not about learning. And that is why they become scouts. But, at the same time, this is a weakness because most scholars and professionals see only the recreational aspect of scouting, unable to perceive the strong educational impact of this movement. This is the gap this book attempts to cover.

From the Inside Flap:

(From the book's Foreword)

This is a groundbreaking and unique book. Those are words which can seldom be used honestly in referring to a new book. In this case they are well justified. Vallory's work begins to fill a huge gap in the published literatures regarding 1) comparative education; 2) non-formal education; and 3) citizenship/moral education. The subject of study is world scouting, which is a curiously un-researched phenomenon. ... In spite of its size and reach and international recognition, the published academic literature on World Scouting is scanty, to put it mildly. There are some local accounts or histories, and a few scholarly articles or books, mostly dealing with the early history of the movement, all of which the author cites. But it is a quite tiny list considering the history, global reach and size of the scouting movement. ...
 
This is a masterful book on the history of World Scouting. Vallory has managed to capture the main features of the worldwide spread of this voluntary educational movement over a century, through the course of two World Wars, many smaller conflicts, the "cold war" and its aftermath, and the eras of European colonization of much of the world, and then de-colonization and the establishment of myriad new nations, all in a relatively brief text. Vallory is excellent at pulling together the various strands of a very complicated history covering just over a century, in a manner which is readable and clear. He highlights and outlines the main tendencies and tensions without getting dragged down in endless details; but does offer telling "details" at just the right point to illustrate the main story he is developing. And the footnotes are quite helpful in guiding the reader who may have a great interest in some particular detail to a deeper level of literature. ...
 
This work is a monumental contribution to the ongoing debates in comparative and international education, and other social science and educational fields as well, over issues such as "globalization" and "localization" or cross-cultural institutional transfer. ... As Vallory amply demonstrates, "scouting" is everywhere "local" yet everywhere "global", always identifiably "scouting." For students of comparative and international education there is much of great value here to ponder over and learn from. ...
 
Given its global scope it is obvious that world scouting exists and thrives in all such societies, and develops within them (among its members at least) as well a consciousness of "belonging" or "citizenship" in a global community as well. It is in discussing how this came about, how scouting could develop, implant and maintain its vision of global citizenship across such varied cultural/historical terrain that Vallory's work really stands out. This is ultimately a story of subtle international diplomacy at one level with local level work at another level. It is a very complex and conflict-ridden tale which is very well told in this book, and well worth pondering for anyone who is seriously interested in trying to find ways in which the varied people of this planet can learn to live together peacefully.
 
Since this book is the first systematic scholarly study of the vast terrain of World Scouting, there are many questions which beg for further study. But that is a function of a groundbreaking work such as this. Now that the ground has been broken there are myriad furrows to plow, and fields to sow and harvest. That is for the future. Here it is enough to have begun, and done so very well indeed.
 
Joseph P. Farrell
Professor emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto)
Past President, Comparative and International Education Society

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Book Description Palgrave Macmillan. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 5.6in. x 0.7in.Many works have been written on scouting worldwide, but most of them were centered in a particular country or moment of history. This book, based on the first existing academic research on world scouting, explains in a very comprehensible way the main characteristics of world (boy and girl) Scouting, the largest youth movement in the planet, existing in more than 165 countries of the five continents with more than 30 million young people worldwide. Using new data and storytelling, the work covers the main elements that distinguish the scout movement over the world, and explains its origin, evolution, operating system, and the soundness of its values. Furthermore, besides nature and woodcraft, the book uses Scouting as an unexpected lens through which to analyze many social issues of our world, like the ones related with identity and citizenship education. As an accommodator of multiple identities, scouting has dealt with patriotism, belonging, immigration, racism, gender, religion, fanaticism, militarism, and peace. And when examining its role as an educational agent, we find personal autonomy, critical thinking, values of coexistence, participation, leadership, and human rights, but also debate on political involvement, geopolitics, sexual orientation, and culture war. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780230340688

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