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close this bookInternational Conference on Education 43rd Session - Final Report (IBE, UNESCO; 1992; 91 pages)
View the documentSUMMARY
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsPART I. The contribution of education to cultural development
Open this folder and view contentsPART II. Education, culture and development: new prospects for interaction for the benefit of the individual and society
View the documentPART III. Preliminary report on the implementation of Recommendation No. 77 adopted by the International Conference on Education at its 42nd session
View the documentPART IV. Recommendation No. 78 to ministries responsible for education and culture concerning the contribution of education to cultural development
Open this folder and view contentsANNEXES

PART IV. Recommendation No. 78 to ministries responsible for education and culture concerning the contribution of education to cultural development

The International Conference on Education (ICE), convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, meeting in Geneva at its 43rd session, held from 14 to 19 September 1992,

Convinced of the primacy of the human being, not only as an agent but also as the ultimate goal of any development and, for this reason, of the need to promote personal self-fulfilment in all its dimensions, particularly through wide access to culture and education,

Mindful that the Constitution of UNESCO, adopted on 16 November 1945, affirms that the Organisation's purpose is to give fresh impulse to popular education and to the spread of culture and to preserve the independence, integrity and fruitful diversity of the cultures and educational systems of its Member States,

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10 December 1948, proclaimed the right of each person freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits (Article 27),

Also bearing in mind the Declaration and recommendations adopted by the World Conference on Cultural Policies (Mexico City, Mexico, 1982), the Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its fourteenth session (Paris, France, 1966) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,

Recalling Resolution 41/187 of the United Nations General Assembly which declared the period from 1988 to 1997 as the World Decade for Cultural Development, with a Plan of Action organised around four major objectives: acknowledging the cultural dimension of development; affirmation and enrichment of cultural identities; broadening participation in culture; and promotion of international cultural co-operation,

Stressing that the strengthening and enriching of cultural identities is one of UNESCO's major objectives, as shown by its third Medium-Term Plan (1990-1995), and that at the same time it is through dialogue and cross-fertilisation among various cultures that these identities can be enriched to achieve a culture of international understanding and peace,

Recalling the 'Earth Charter' and other documents adopted by the international community at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992),

Recognizing the fundamental role of education in development, including cultural development; also recognizing the importance of education for international understanding, co-operation and peace, education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as environmental education, in order to emphasise humanist values,

Taking into account the cultural aspects of education for all and of literacy, emphasised by both the World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990) and the 42nd session of the ICE (Geneva, Switzerland, 1990),

Aware of the far-reaching changes that have recently occurred in the world and of the impact that these changes may have on the renewal of values and educational reforms in the context of the twenty-first century,

Agrees that, in the light of international thinking, the following frame of reference should serve as a support for measures to be taken at the national and international levels:

1. Culture: The definition adopted by the World Conference on Cultural Policies (Mexico City, 1982) considered culture as 'the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or social group' It includes modes of life, traditions and beliefs, the arts and letters, while incorporating in its value system the fundamental rights of human beings. The culture of a country is not confined to scholarly culture, but also includes popular culture. It is not restricted to the heritage, but is enriched and developed through both creativity and memory. A living culture cannot be inward looking; exchanges make it fertile. Lastly, scientific culture plays an increasingly important part in human culture, to which it helps to give a universal foundation.

2. Development: Means both evolution and a change of status, progress and enrichment or self-fulfilment. It is measured neither exclusively nor primarily by The increase in the quantity of possessions and therefore can neither be confused with, nor reduced to, material growth. Development should be measured both by the enrichment of human beings and by the improvement to the quality of Their lives that it brings. Nowadays, it is recognised that the cultural dimension is an indispensable ingredient in any socio-economic, technological, scientific or other development policy.

3. Cultural development, as a dynamic process, means the enriching of culture, the strengthening of forms of cultural expression and making culture available to everyone by promoting wide-ranging participation and creativity through appropriate means in a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance.

4. Education: The setting in motion of a process of all-round development of human beings, taking place throughout life and aiming at complete personal fulfilment in intellectual, physical, emotional, moral and spiritual terms. The task of education is not only to transmit knowledge, know-how, values, and other components of the cultures to which individuals belong, but also to foster creativity together with independence. By developing receptiveness and acumen, it increases the capacity of individuals to enrich, in turn, both Their own and other cultures. It also contributes to the better integration of the individual into cultural, social and economic life, and hence to the training of the human resources on which all development, whether spiritual or material, depends.

Education, however many forms it may assume, has to maintain a dynamic interrelationship with culture. In order to perform its role efficiently as an agent of cultural development and better prepare individuals for life in a society that is being enriched by different cultures, education needs freedom of expression, freedom of participation, free exchanges between people, scientific knowledge and cultural creativity. Education requires equal access to the learning process and a democratic cultural life; at the same time, it is one of the most important means of creating and improving that life.

5. Cultural education: This expression covers: (a) an introduction to knowledge and appreciation of the cultural heritage and an introduction to contemporary cultural life; (b) familiarisation with the processes by which cultures spread and evolve; (c) recognition of their equal dignity and the indissoluble link between cultural heritage's and contemporary culture; (d) artistic and aesthetic education; (e) training in ethical and civic values; (f) media education; and (g) intercultural/multicultural education.

6. Interculturality/multiculturalism: These terms mean knowledge and understanding of different cultures and the establishment of positive relationships of exchange and mutual enrichment both between the different cultural components within a country and between various cultures throughout the world. Having regard to the wide variety of factors specific to the present-day world, modern societies are, to varying degrees, having to contend with the multicultural phenomenon.

Given this trend towards increased cultural diversity, multiculturalism means going beyond both assimilation and the passive coexistence of a multitude of cultures to develop self-respect as well as respect for and understanding of the cultures of others.

7. Intercultural/multicultural education: Intended for all pupils and citizens, this education is designed to promote respect for cultural diversity and mutual understanding and enrichment. A true approach to such education should not limit itself to providing supplementary content, or be confined to peripheral school activities or to certain disciplines, but should permeate all teaching and the whole educational structure. This education involves the joint responsibility of educationists and all the other partners involved, including the family, cultural establishments and the media. It is commonly understood to include programmes, courses or events for all learners that, in an educational context, promote respect for cultural diversity and enhance understanding of the cultures of various identifiable groups. In addition, it furthers integration and school achievement, promotes international understanding and makes it possible to combat all forms of exclusion. The aim should be to move from an understanding of the culture of one's own people to an appreciation of the cultures of neighbouring peoples and, ultimately, of world culture.

8. Science, technology and culture: The progress of all societies is profoundly marked by science and technology whose development is strongly influenced by social and cultural factors. In order to be truly free and less subject to constraining factors arising from their natural and social environments, people need science and technology. But, to be liberating, scientific and technological culture has to be linked to, ethical and humanistic values. The end goal remains the self-fulfilment and future of humanity, in other words of each and every one of the people forming the human community.

Considers that the following strategies and measures should be taken at national level:

9. The co-ordination of educational and cultural development policies and strategies with those of development: Member States are invited to strengthen this co-ordination. In order to link education and culture more closely with each other and with development, educational and cultural policies in Member States can be drawn up and implemented with the participation and co-operation of other institutions of society contributing to cultural and socio-economic development. These policies may be based on the following considerations: (a) increased co-operation between formal and non-formal educational establishments and cultural institutions; (b) the development of the participation of staff from cultural institutions in the educational process; (c) the broadening of the network of cultural institutions co-ordinated with an improvement in the initial and in-service training of the network staff; (d) an increase in educational programmes broadcast by the media; (e) the taking into account, when allocating public and private resources, of the reciprocal needs of education and culture.

10. The place of the school in the promotion of culture: In order to be able to better satisfy the demands of contemporary society and to respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century, the school must open up to its social, economic and cultural environment and become a place for fruitful dialogue, broadening its horizon to cover the cultures of the world, whether regional, national or local. k addition to developing intelligence and the abilities of observation, critical reasoning and problem-solving, the school should seek a balance between the intellectual and analytical abilities and the emotional, spiritual and moral qualities of learners. It should be more open to the needs of the community and of the whole of society.

11. Development of interdisciplinary and co-operative activities: The teaching of the various disciplines should give rise to interdisciplinary and co-operative activities conducive to cultural and intercultural education. To ensure closer integration of cultural, intercultural and interdisciplinary practices, schools will find it useful to adopt a project approach. The purpose of a project is to encourage teamwork with a view to achieving common objectives. Teaching could be made more effective by organising co-operation with artistic and cultural partners through twinning arrangements between educational and cultural establishments.

12. The cultural and intercultural dimension in curricula: It is essential to recognise the role of culture as the foundation on which the content of education is built. The syllabuses of various disciplines, including scientific and technological ones, should therefore be prepared with the participation of specialists in cultural and educational specialists as well as anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and others.

13. Introduction to an understanding and appreciation of the cultural heritage: The educational presentation of the cultural heritage, which is based on materials such as text-books, guides and audio-visual documents, should be accompanied by collaboration with cultural institutions, visits to cultural establishments, sites and monuments, and practical activities. This presentation forms the cultural substrate upon which each people founds its own identity and the contribution it makes to human civilisation. Appreciation of the cultural heritage should prompt pupils to ask questions that transcend the mere physical dimensions of the cultural product and touch upon the symbolic value and meaning of that heritage in the relationship it bears to the present-day world and universal values.

14. Teaching and languages: The choice of one or more languages, the mother tongue or a national or foreign language, as a separate subject or as a medium for studying other subjects is determined by the educational and cultural policy of each country. When choosing the language of instruction, in particular at the level of basic education, account should be taken both of the efficiency of the educational process and the right of individuals and various ethnic groups to preserve their cultural identity, of which their language is one of the most important vehicles. The views of these groups should be taken into account, as far as possible, in decisions concerning them. It is desirable that the education system, particularly through out of-school cultural and educational activities, should contribute to the preservation and development of minority languages, particularly unwritten ones. In this context, research should be carried out in such fields as educational science, linguistics, anthropology and history, and the preparation of teaching materials in the mother tongue should be encouraged.

15. History teaching: While aimed at imparting a critical knowledge of one's own culture, such teaching should also seek to promote awareness and appreciation of other contributions to national and global civilisation. History teaching should include elements concerning the development of universal culture, thought and creativity and should avoid a presentation exclusively in terms of power conflicts and confrontations. The study of religions in a spirit of tolerance could be one of the components of studies of cultural creativity. On the basis of research findings, the authors of history textbooks and history teachers should strive for the greatest possible intellectual rigour in transmitting historical knowledge to schoolchildren and seek to avoid over-emphasising subjects that have led to confrontation between communities. When teaching different disciplines, a proper place should be reserved for the history of scientific and technological development in the context of overall socio-cultural development.

16. The commemoration of historical events: Commemorations, such as that of the Five Hundredth Anniversary of the Encounter between Two Worlds (1992), the fortieth anniversary of the Bandung Conference (1995), the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations (1995) and the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1998), should be an opportunity for teachers to encourage their pupils to consider the mutual benefits, the interaction and the complementary of cultures and the contribution made by all peoples to global civilisation.1

17. Preschool education: Taking into account the critical importance of early childhood in the overall development of the human being, during which cultural and moral aspects are essential, the network of pre-school educational establishments should be broadened, backed up with initial and in-service teacher training and staffed with well-trained educators, psychologists and socio-cultural organisers. Taking the environment into account, the school is also invited to co-ordinate its activities with those of the family, helping it to adopt a better education for its children by means of a well-thought-out policy of lifelong education. In school and in the family, the greatest attention should be paid to health education.1

1. As requested by the Conference, the Secretariat has finalised this paragraph by adding to it several examples of historical events

18. Aesthetic and artistic education: This form of education should aim not only at the fulfilment of the personality and an openness to other perceptions, but also at the development of aesthetic and artistic appreciation's, as well as the stimulation of creativity. There should be more of this education at different levels of study, more emphasis on its cognitive effects, particularly through an interdisciplinary approach, and an enhancement of its academic significance.

Artistic education should promote access to a variety of cultural events, be Hey of local, national, regional or universal scope, encouraging appreciation of the diversity of values and meanings inherent in them. It could constitute a stage in further training for the artistic professions. It is important to provide young people with opportunities to participate in artistic and cultural activities by themselves as well as to be acquainted with them. Adequate teacher training in aesthetic and artistic disciplines should also be provided. Cultural institutions and non-governmental organisations concerned with cultural affairs should make their resources available as widely as possible to the school and to the community in order that their educational vocation can thereby be strengthened.

19. The development of ethical and civic values: The education system should assume a fundamental role in ethical, civic and moral training, complementing that played by the family. Together with other institutions, it should contribute to the promotion of human rights, the development of democratic behaviour and the affirmation of the values that have become more necessary than ever in modern times, such as respect for human dignity, tolerance, dialogue, solidarity and mutual support. In order to develop these qualities, teachers should participate with their pupils in solidarity and assistance for the sick, deprived or socially underprivileged people, the elderly and disaster victims; pupils could also act as organisers for educational, sports and other activities intended for younger pupils and children not enrolled in school. It is important to present learners with examples of moral behaviour in keeping with the above-mentioned values. In the teaching of science and technology, particular attention will be paid to ethical aspects and behaviour.

20. An introduction to the major problems of the contemporary world: In order that learners have a better grasp of the political, social, cultural, economic, demographic, environmental and other issues of modern societies and to improve their ability to cope with them, teachers should be trained to handle and provide information in the teaching process and explain their historical background, evolution and consequences while helping the learners, both youngsters and adults, both in the formal and informal structure, to forge a personal opinion. It is important that each learner does not remain indifferent to events taking place outside his/her country or region, but develops a feeling of solidarity and joint responsibility for the world's common problems. The mass media can be useful instruments to reach this goal.

21. Developing attitudes in favour of environmental protection: The formal and non-formal educational process should make young people and adults aware of environmental problems and the accelerating damage to the natural and cultural environment. The education system should also inculcate in learners a sense of responsibility, develop in them a new pattern of behaviour enabling them to make a personal contribution to environmental conservation and improvement, and make them aware of certain questions such as the production, processing and transfer of toxic waste and their ecological and cultural consequences.

22. Access to education and cultural life by people who are disadvantaged or who have disabilities: Public authorities and other responsible bodies should adopt the necessary measures to ensure access to education and cultural life and guarantee equality of opportunity for socially or economically disadvantaged people, the elderly, as we'" as people with mental or physical disabilities. Social, physical and attitudinal barriers that restrict full and equal participation in educational and cultural programmes should be eliminated.

23. Cultural development through interaction between the school, the community and society: Since it forms part of the local community, the school should, prepare pupils to participate in the socio-economic and cultural life of the community and act as a centre for community educational and cultural activities. In order for the school to become a useful instrument of communal integration, particularly in rural areas, a process of consultation and agreement should take place between the educational authorities and all other partners: parents, local authorities and associations, business enterprises and cultural institutions, which should help schools to step up their cultural activities in favour of the community.

24. The role of the education system in relation to women and girls: There should be genuine equality of opportunity for girls and boys as regards access to education, the pursuit of their studies and their choice of education and a career. Women play a key role in the transmission of cultural and moral values. In the field of adult education, the education system must find the means to organise activities for both genders related to literacy, general culture, basic pedagogical knowledge and civic, health and sports education; these activities should lead, among other things, to the relinquishing of certain traditional practices harmful to both the health and dignity of women and girls.

25. The educational role of the media: The ever-increasing part played by the media in human life requires that their use for educational purposes should be both extended and improved. For this purpose, those in charge of the media, both public and private, in collaboration with educational and cultural institutions, are invited: (a) to give greater prominence to and to diversify their educational and cultural programmes intended for various kinds of learners and for the public in general, and to ensure that these programmes are of a suitable educational quality; (b) to make available to schools and non-formal educational centres the necessary teaching and other materials required for media education.

26. Media education: For its part, the education system should give greater prominence to media education. This form of education could be assigned a double function: (a) creating a better understanding of the roles functioning and effects of the media on individuals and on society, and on the development of the capacity to interpret independently and critically the message conveyed by the media; (b) as an educational tool designed to improve the quality of teaching.

27. Associated Schools: Many significant innovations in the integration of cultures into the learning process have been introduced through UNESCO's Associated Schools Project (ASP) and other projects. Education authorities should increase their support to such projects. It is desirable that these schools work in collaboration with educational research institutions and universities in order to give their innovator experiences a solid theoretical grounding. The findings of such co-operation should be made available to the teaching profession as a whole in order to enhance the multiplier effect of innovative projects.

28. The role and training of teachers: In the promotion of the contribution of education to cultural development, the teacher plays the most vital and unique role. In this context, a true sense of commitment on the part of the teacher is very necessary. Thus, his or her services should be recognised and appreciated by the community.

The cultural dimension should be taken into account in pre-service and in-service training for ad teachers. One of the aims of this training should be to give them a broader and deeper knowledge of cultures in their wide variety, both within the country and in the world. Teacher training should also take into account the importance of media, technology and environmental education. It should also provide him/her with the skids to incorporate pupils from nondominant cultures into the learning process. Intercultural and/or multicultural education require special skids related to their innovative character. They can for appropriate teaching methods that take into account, with intelligence and tact, the heterogeneity of its intended beneficiaries. It also requires appropriate assessment procedures. A command of methods and techniques of observation, listening and intercultural communication, a command of more than one working language where appropriate and some notions of anthropological analysis should enable teachers to better carry out their professional functions within the complex reality of a plurality of cultures. This training should have the support of educational and cultural research centres, of cultural and higher education establishments, and of the media. Whenever possible, it should take advantage of local cultural resources.

Considers that regional and international co-operation should be strengthened in the following areas:

29. Action for co-operation at the regional and subregional levels: Bearing in mind the specific characteristics of each region and subregion, the co-operation at these levels in respect of the contribution to cultural development could, concentrate on: (a) teacher training; (b) pedagogical research, in particular through the launching of pilot projects.

30. Action to promote intercultural/multicultural education: To achieve better mutual understanding among various cultures, it is vital that national, regional and international authorities encourage among countries: (a) exchanges of pupils, children, young people, teachers, youth leaders, researchers, and specialists in the fields of culture and training programmes abroad; (b) exchanges between schools and youth organisations; (c) learning of modern foreign languages; (d) exchanges of teaching and audiovisual materials, scientific equipment and educational research programmes; (e) the promotion of educational and cultural programmes of general interest. In order to promote these activities, the above mentioned authorities could make use of UNESCO's networks.

31. External aid to promote intercultural/multicultural education: In the framework of development aid, Member States, international agencies and other institutions concerned should increase and better co-ordinate their aid to promote the cultural and intercultural aspects of education, particularly at the level of basic education, giving special attention to cultures facing occupation, oppression or annihilation, ensuring their protection, free expression and cultural development.

32. Recommends to UNESCO, in co-operation with the relevant MOs and NGOs, and with a view to ensuring that greater emphasis is placed on the cultural and intercultural aspects of education, that it:

(i) increase, through an intersectoral and multidisciplinary approach, projects and programmes concerning the fields in question; and accord priority to the role of education in cultural development in the next Medium-Term Plan;

(ii) encourage the collection, analysis and distribution of information and experiences concerning innovations in cultural and intercultural education, including those concerning the Associated Schools Project;

(iii) stimulate the development of quality criteria for intercultural/multicultural education;

(iv) provide support for the efforts made by national education systems to promote intercultural education and related research, and likewise provide support for the review, production and dissemination of teaching materials for intercultural education, including history textbooks (also on the history of science and technology), and for teacher training;

(v) draw the attention of the Intergovernmental Committee of the World Decade for Cultural Development, the World Commission on Culture and Development and the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-First Century to the reflection on the contribution of education to cultural development that took place at the 43rd session of the International Conference on Education.

33. Recommends to the International Bureau of Education, particularly in the framework of preparatory activities for the 44th session of the ICE (1994), that it carry out a comparative analysis of those aspects of educational reforms dealing with cultural and intercultural education and international education, and prepare a comparative study on the experience of the Associated Schools and other innovatory educational establishments in this field. The IBE will contribute to the follow-up to the present Recommendation by, among other things, an analytical and evaluative presentation of the national reports which will be presented to future sessions of the ICE.

34. Invites Member States to take into account the present Recommendation when adopting their educational and cultural policies and to provide information concerning its follow-up and application in the national reports that they will prepare for future sessions of the ICE.

Adopts on 19 September 1992 and submits for consideration by the ministries responsible for education and culture and other appropriate authorities and agencies in Member States, and to the institutions within the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations concerned, Recommendation No. 78.


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