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Futures of Education: UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Network’s curated input to the International Commission

Girl reading a book - Outdoor setting

UNESCO has launched a global conversation on how knowledge, education and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainly and precarity. These complex challenges require innovative and interdisciplinary solutions. The UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks from all disciplines and scholarly fields, comprised of 800+ institutions and affiliates in over 110 countries, were invited to prepare think pieces to help advance a shared vision for the future.

Humanistic Futures of Learning: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks (UNESCO, 2020) presents the first curated contribution to the global debate on the futures of education. A selection of 48 think pieces by over one hundred authors from 65 institutions presented in this volume were selected from 178 submissions by 400+ authors received in response to the call for contributions. The main findings were presented to the International Commission on the Futures of Education at their first meeting.

A humanistic approach to education and development is the common thread that weaves together the diversity of contributions into a rich tapestry on learning. The approach is grounded in a vision of development that is economically inclusive, socially just, and environmentally sustainable. A vision that acknowledges the diversity of knowledge systems, of worldviews, and of conceptions of well-being, while reaffirming a common core of universally shared values. A vision which promotes an integrated approach learning, acknowledging the multiple personal, social, civic and economic purposes of education.

The independent think pieces highlight key dimensions to be considered in re-visioning and re-purposing education for the future of humanity and the planet. They call for greater focus on a number of critical areas such as: The role of culture in strengthening social and environmental sustainability; the values and attitudes that are needed to shape future generations; the importance of both robust public education, as well as of other learning spaces; the need to strengthen human creativity and capability in the digital era, as well as the role of higher education in generating the knowledge and driving the innovation required to transform our world.

Humanistic futures of learning: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN networks is published in English and French.


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