A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual's life stance. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds.
It is derived from the Italian word manifesto, itself derived from the Latinmanifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous. Its first recorded use in English is from 1620, in Nathaniel Brent's translation of Paolo Sarpi's History of the Council of Trent: "To this citation he made answer by a Manifesto" (p. 102). Similarly, "They were so farre surprised with his Manifesto, that they would never suffer it to be published" (p. 103).
An Early Manifesto on Education
Educational manifestos are documents proposing a change or changes to a current education system. They can be written by governing bodies, organizations, or individuals involved in education as parents, student, administrators, or other stakeholders. The writer or writers are positioned as a minority group, with manifestos aimed at a majority group. Educational manifestos include personal or group beliefs about what is important or right in education, make statements about the current state of education, differentiate common terms in education, and make suggestions for changing current education systems.
They can often include observations about society and whether or not students are prepared to participate fully in it when they are finished with mandatory schooling. These observations can include a perceived misalignment between mandatory school and society, an unjust, unfair, or right aspect of education, or perceived lack of personalization in learning. Other topics that are frequently addressed in educational manifestos include curriculum, funding, personalization, class size, teacher burnout, and standardized testing, among others.
Digital Humanities Education Manifesto
These manifestos may offer a reflection or rethinking of some aspect of education or teaching and learning. These may include personal stories, quotes, anecdotes, or experiences in the classroom or administration. The reflection or rethinking serves to illustrate how or why an aspect of an educational system requires change. These reflections often remind readers of the importance of positive, consistent teacher-student relationships in a good education system.
Educational manifestos call for reflection or ‘rethinking' on the part of the majority in education, offer a reason to hope for change, and make recommendations to put change into action. Reasons for hope can include anecdotes from students, teachers, or parents, or a callback to what motivates teachers and students to teach and learn together. Manifestos written by individuals frequently conclude by sharing techniques, tactics, or philosophies that the writer has found helpful in their own teaching or administrative practice. Those written by groups or organizations include recommendations for initiating or continuing change in appropriate areas.
The Ventotene Manifesto (1941), by Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi encouraged a federation of European states, which was meant to keep the countries of Europe close, thus preventing war, it is widely seen as the birth of European federalism.
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