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  • Thinking and Building

    PeaceThrough Innovative Textbook Design

    Thinking and Building

    PeaceThrough Innovative Textbook Design

    Division for the Promotion of Basic Education

    Report of the inter-regional experts meeting on developing guidelines for promoting peace and intercultural understanding through curricula, textbooks and learning materials

    Paris14-15 June 2007Division for n of Basic EducationEdotion of Basic Education

    cegThrough Innovative Textbookough In

    Thinking and

  • Thinking and Building PeaceThrough Innovative Textbook Design

    Report of the inter-regional experts meeting on developing guidelines for promoting peace and intercultural understanding

    through curricula, textbooks and learning materials

    Paris14-15 June 2007

  • Authors: Dakmara Georgescu and Jean BernardEditor: Carolyn Peterson

    Section for Inclusion and Quality Learning EnhancementDivision for the Promotion of Basic EducationEducation SectorUNESCO7, place de Fontenoy75352 ParisFRANCE

    UNESCO International Bureau of EducationPO Box 1991211 Geneva 20SWITZERLAND

    The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    The authors are responsible for the choice and the presentation of the facts contained in this work and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.

    UNESCO 2007 Printed in FranceED-2008/WS/2

  • Contents

    Preface ............................................................................................................ 5

    Inter-regional experts meeting on thinking and building peace through innovative textbook design ..................................................................... 7

    Background ................................................................................................ 7Organization and objectives ....................................................................... 9Proceedings ................................................................................................. 11

    Summary of presentations ............................................................ 121. Textbooks and learning ............................................................... 12 2. Textbooks and peace ................................................................... 143. Cultural dimensions and stereotypes in textbooks ...................... 164. Textbooks and teachers ............................................................... 19

    Thematic discussions, exchanges and group activities ........... 20

    Fundamental assumptions on the role of textbooks in quality learning .................................................. 21

    1. The positive potential of textbooks as tools for peace ............................ 212. The negative potential of textbooks as obstacles to peace-building ....... 223. Alternative approaches to textbook development and provision ............ 224. Flexible and meaningful solutions in compliance with contexts

    and needs ................................................................................................ 23

    Recommendations and proposed next steps ................................ 24

    References ..................................................................................................... 26

    Annexes ........................................................................................................... 27

    Annex 1: Background Paper ....................................................................... 27Annex 2: Agenda ........................................................................................ 35Annex 3: List of Participants ...................................................................... 38Annex 4: List of Recommendations ........................................................... 46

  • 5

    PREFACE

    At the half-way point toward fulfi lling the world commitment to achievement of the Education for All and Millennium Development Goals, there has been signifi cant progress toward the goal of universal access to education. However, with 72 million children still out of school and one in fi ve adults without basic literacy skills, we still have a long way to go toward reaching this goal. At the same time, we cannot and should not ignore the issue of quality. Are the needs of all learners being met? Is the education they receive relevant to their lives? Do they have access to textbooks that are learner friendly, gender-balanced, and free from stereotypes? Do teaching methods and materials promote the skills and values essential to learning to live together in a rapidly globalizing world?

    EFA Goal number 6 explicitly calls upon educational systems around the world to improve every aspect of the quality of education. The Dakar Framework for Action lays out a specifi c correlation between an adequate supply of learning materials and successful learning outcomes, and calls for curricula and materials that build upon the knowledge and experiences of teachers and learners. As we know, books, equipment and even sophisticated learning technologies cannot by themselves ensure that quality learning is taking place. School environments, curricula, managers, methodologies, communities, and above all teachers have key roles. However, because of the special status ascribed to textbooks as authoritative sources for the transfer of knowledge and social values, the infl uence they can have on impressionable young minds is a matter of shared concern.

    The experts meeting Thinking and Building Peace through Innovative Textbook Design held in Paris 14-15 June 2007 brought together textbook developers, researchers and practitioners from countries of Europe and the Arab States to deliberate issues of quality at several levels. These discussions focused not only on the content of textbooks and learning materials, but also on their instructional design and use in a variety of learning contexts. The common agenda underlying the discussions was how to reinforce and expand their role as tools for peace as well as for gaining equitable access to knowledge and skills for learners of all backgrounds and abilities.

    The development and use of textbooks and other tools for learning are likely to continue to evolve with new advances in technology and innovations for effective, equitable and inclusive learning. However, the goal remains much the same. Within the framework of the Cooperation Programme between UNESCO and ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientifi c and Cultural Organization) it is our mutual hope that the conclusions and recommendations reached by the experts will be the fi rst step in a process that will result in the formulation of Guidelines for the development and use of materials that enhance all aspects of quality learning as well as contribute to the long term development of sustainable cultures of peace.

    Ann Therese Ndong-JattaDirectorDivision for the Promotion of Basic Education

  • 7

    INTER-REGIONAL EXPERTS MEETING ONTHINKING AND BUILDING PEACE THROUGH INNOVATIVE TEXTBOOK DESIGN

    BAC KG RO U N D

    The Inter-Regional Experts Meeting (UNESCO, Paris, 14-15 June 2007) was envisaged as an important step in the implementation of the UNESCO-ISESCO Cooperation Programme, aimed at developing Guidelines for Promoting Peace and Intercultural Understanding through Curricula, Textbooks and Learning Materials (Activity I.11).

    Based on their respective mandates, both organizations are actively involved in the building of peace in the minds of young people, with a view to fostering competencies for learning to live together in the twenty-fi rst century. In the framework of the Euro-Arab dialogue, this activity is closely linked to several other initiatives aimed at promoting constructive dialogue amongst peoples of diverse cultural backgrounds and religious traditions, between and within the multicultural societies of Europe and the Arab States. These principles and practices for learning to live together are at the core of programmatic action of both organizations in the fi elds of education, science and culture, with the aim of supporting and facilitating international understanding, co-operation and the advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Both UNESCO and ISESCO promote education in line with Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, stating explicitly that

    Education shall be directed toward the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

    Given that in most educational contexts textbooks are the most visible part of the curriculum, they have an important role to perform in shaping learners knowledge, values, attitudes and behaviours. While they are not the only factor that impacts on personal and social development (teachers, the school environment and the broader social contexts also play important roles), textbooks are extremely infl uential and continue to be so, even in our increasingly digitized era.

    Since the founding of UNESCO in 1946, signifi cant progress has been made in the direction of fostering peoples comprehension of, and res