I was lucky to have the opportunity recently to play host to two Latvian visitors, two university lecturers interested in developing workplace well-being in their country. They had received funding to help them research how workplace well-being is being developed in other countries, hence their time with me to talk about the UK scene. They enjoyed their trip and were pleased with what they learned, and so they were very grateful to me and my colleagues for our time and hospitality. However, it was not one sided. We very much enjoyed our time with them and learned a great deal from them too. It reminded me of a previous visit to India where my colleagues and I were helping Indian colleagues to develop a good track record in publications. We were happy to help, but once again it was a two-way process – we learned much from our hosts and very much enjoyed being with them. It is clear, therefore, that there is much to be gained from international exchanges; it is not simply a matter of the so-called developed world helping the developing world. Such exchanges can be on an egalitarian, reciprocal basis, rather than a one-way paternalistic basis. Teachers should be learners too.
September 23, 2012