Particular focus on History Teaching, International Understanding and Peace
This summer a new book will be published about the roles played by UNESCO and other international organizations. In the book UNESCO Without Borders multiple authors from cross-disciplinary and diverse geographical areas. Professor Aigul Kulnazarova (International Relations) and Associate professor Christian Ydesen (Learning and Philosophy) are the editors. This book assesses the global implications and results of UNESCO’s educational policies and practices. It explores how UNESCO-approved guidelines of textbook revisions and peace initiatives were implemented in member-states, illustrating the existence of both national confrontations with the new worldview promoted by UNESCO, as well as the constraints of international cooperation. The book is divided in five parts: the Introductory Framework, UNESCO’s challenges and opportunities, UNESCO and the Politics of History Education: local and global discourses, UNESCO’s Experiments with Race, Science, and Anti-racism and UNESCO and International Understanding in a Divided World.
Recently professor Aigul Kulnazarova also gave an interview about the role of UNESCO in Historical reconciliation and education in Japan. According to her “despite the efforts deployed by the Organization [UNESCO], the Japanese history education remained ambiguous and partial.” The article offers an interesting insight into the Japanese situation and provides a good overview of UNESCO’s arrival in Japan until now.
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Within the initiative of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) UNESCO aims to empower learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world. In close connection to this a Teacher’s Guide on the Prevention of Violent Extremism (You can download the Guide below) has been developed in direct response to the needs of UNESCO’s Member States as expressed in the landmark 197/EX Decision 46 taken by UNESCO’s Executive Board in October 2015. As such, this Guide also constitutes UNESCO’s first contribution to the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, as it relates to the Education Sector. To read more about this Plan of Action click here.
In the guide you can read about the push and pull factors of violent extremism, early signs, tips on how to discuss controversial (local) issues and learning to think about questions like: “What are the ground rules?” or “How to be a non-judgmental listener?” The guide was created after a consultation process with experts and teachers from all over the world. It was also field-tested by educational stakeholders in selected countries. As a first, it should be considered a prototype, which can be contextualized, adapted and translated in order to respond to the specific needs of learners.
2015 marks UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary. Highlighting those 7 decades of UNESCO action and development, UNESCO archives together with the “Global History of UNESCO Project” (hosted by the University of Aalborg, Denmark) organizes an anniversary conference. The objective is to gain a better understanding of UNESCO’s relevance and its capacity to help building the defences of peace in the minds of men and women.
The UNESCO 70th Anniversary Conference on the history of UNESCO will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 28th and 29th October 2015. Click here for a brief presentation and the programme. To register, go to the conference website.
As Monday 5 October is World Teacher’s Day, UNESCO will pay extra attention to this by organizing the UNESCO Schoolday. This conference in The Hague will focus on UNESCO’s familiar themes of Peace & Human rights, Intercultural Learning, World Citizenship and Sustainable Development.
You can find the preliminary programme here, and register here.
Please note that the Schoolday is in Dutch.