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The International Bureau of Education (IBE) and its role in Education Development Clementina Acedo, PhD Director of UNESCO IBE Oslo, 15 September 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The International Bureau of Education (IBE) and its role in Education Development Clementina Acedo, PhD Director of UNESCO IBE Oslo, 15 September 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The International Bureau of Education (IBE) and its role in Education Development
Clementina Acedo, PhD Director of UNESCO IBE Oslo, 15 September 2011

2 History of the International Bureau of Education

3 Milestones in the IBE History
Founded in Geneva as a private, non-governmental organization to promote comparative educational research and international understanding through education IBE adopted new statutes making it the first intergovernmental organization in education The IBE organized the first International Conference on Public Education Institutionalization of relations between UNESCO and the IBE (joint commission) 1925 1929 1934 1952

4 Milestones in the IBE History
IBE an integral part of UNESCO as an “international centre of comparative education” The International Conference on Public Education becomes the International Conference on Education and is held every two years Development of an International Information Network on Education and expansion of the computerized educational documentation system Role of the Council strengthened and IBE Statutes revised 1969 1970 1985 1995

5 Milestones in the IBE History
IBE given new mandate to focus on educational content and curriculum development 48th session of the ICE - “Inclusive Education: The way of the future” Adoption of the "Strategy aimed at making the IBE a Centre of Excellence in Curriculum“ (2011) “Its global and comparative perspectives on curriculum, combined with its reach, networks and experience, make the IBE unique in the world among institutions in this field.” 1999 2008 2011

6 The International Conference on Education

7 The pioneers A new orientation of research represented by a group of specialist in Europe and the United States; represented by William James ( ), Edouard Claparede ( ), John Dewey ( ) gave rise to the New Education Movement. Geneva as a centre of education innovation Bridging education and psychology as foundations of education; basis of moral behavior; ‘mind’ as a specific function of the human organism that can be guided Claparede ‘functional education’: guiding the behavior of a child's activity (but a genuine activity, i.e. an autonomous one), involving the child’s mind according to his/her own needs and centers of interest. At the school level: expressed in the principles of pupils’ intellectual activity, of individualization of educational processes and content through the exploitation of natural centers of interest

8 Creation of IBE—intergovernmental and comparative education
1925. The Governing Body of the Institute Jean-Jaques Rousseau decided in 1925 to set up the IBE, with Pierre Bouvet as first Director, Adolphe Ferriere as Assistant Director with Elizabeth Rotten and Marie Butts as Secretary General 1929. The IBE becomes an intergovernmental organization, the Board appointed Jean Piaget, Professor of the University of Geneva as its Director who with P. Rosello will preside the IBE for forty years “The development of education is an essential factor for peace and for the moral and material progress of mankind, and in order to encourage this development, it is necessary to collect documentation about the efforts made towards research and its application in the educational field and to ensure a broad exchange of information and documentation, so that every country will be excited to benefit by the experience of the others” P. Rosello

9 1929-Creation of IBE—intergovernmental and comparative education
Ecuador, Geneva, Poland joined followed by Czechoslovakia, Egypt and Spain. Members contributed by an annual minimum of 10,000 Swiss francs. Soon 24 Sates joined Educational developments: Coordination on behalf of the “progress in education”. The 1930s, economic depression begins, the monetary system was collapsing, unemployment rising, reduction of teachers’ salaries, tuition costs increased. In 1934 alarmed by the effects of these restrictions in the future of schools, the IBE published ‘economics in the field of public education’ (3rd International Conference of Public Education) also to discuss ‘compulsory schooling and the raising of school leaving age’ and ‘admission to secondary schools’ (also a way to reduce unemployment)

10 The war years 1939-1945. Contribution to humanitarian work
Communications were interrupted due to the war. In spite of the war the IBE remained operational. It organized a Service of Intellectual Assistance to Prisoners of War. A donation of 10,000 francs from the Swiss Federal Council allow to set up this service Sending collective parcels, books and reading material to prisoners of war camps. Also supplying specific books to individual prisoners on request. In July 1940 barely, 1,000 books have been sent but one year later the total reached nearly 50,000. By the end of the war 587,020 books have been distributed through this service. Starting in 1940 the IBE issued stamps of ‘great educationists’ to raise funds for extending these activities

11 The International Conference on Education
From 1934 on, the IBE organized an International Conference on Public Education, inspired in its choice of themes by the principal educational trends and innovations of the day It is, thus, as the founders of IBE had hoped it would be, a virtually universal forum offering those responsible for education at the highest level an opportunity to discuss major educational issues together in order to advance policy and educational practice The adoption of recommendations in the field of education was at a time a bold innovation. Educationist at the time were highly suspicious of government intervention in education and governments were also wary of any international action with regard to education. In this context, Albert Thomas, the first Dir. of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and one of IBE most faithful friends, warned against producing conventions. He felt that in the field of education it was ‘better to advise than to attempt to impose’

12 The International Conference on Education
The conception of a recommendation was linked to that of educational freedom and also to the idea of experiment allowing for innovation International inquires were conducted on the subjects chosen for the recommendations Information supplied by Member States on steps taken to implement the recommendations, indicates however that they have had a real influence, not only on educational legislation but also on educational practice When the recommendations have not lead to a solution to these problems they have at least contributed to their analysis by approaching them in the variety of ways and in the light of concrete realities

13 The International Conference on Education
Some recommendations of an administrative nature 1934: Compulsory schooling and the raising of the school leaving age 1939: The organization of pre-school education 1952: Access of women to education 1963: The struggle against the shortage of primary teachers Some recommendations of an essentially educational nature 1937: The teaching of modern languages 1949: The introduction to natural science in primary schools 1956: The teaching of mathematics in secondary schools 1967: Health education in primary schools Themes of the recent sessions of the ICE 48th session (2008) - Inclusive Education: The way of the future 47th session (2004) - Quality education for all young people: Challenges, trends and priorities 46th session (2001) - Education for All for learning to live together: contents and learning strategies - problems and solutions 45th session (1996) - Strengthening of the role of teachers in a changing world

14 Information on educational systems and comparative education
National Reports Since the 1930s, Member States present to each session of the ICE a National Report on the Development of Education, considered as one of the main sources for comparing educational data across countries and over time. The reports sent by the ministries of education served as the basis for the International Yearbook of Education from 1933 onwards. Since 1996, the reports serve as a basis for the preparation of profiles of national education systems included in the database World Data on Education Information data basis, but also show the evolution of the study of comparative education

15 The International Bureau of Education
UNESCO Institute specialized in curriculum Global reach and field-based orientation Main areas of services  Capacity development and technical assistance  Knowledge management and production  Policy dialogue

16 IBE Strategy 2008-2013: Mission
The IBE is the UNESCO institute specializing in curriculum, educational content, learning methods and structures Its overall mission is to contribute to the attainment of quality education for all. Innovative approaches in curriculum design & implementation Sharing, Networking & knowledge production Comprehensive & participatory approaches Balancing top-down and bottom-up approaches Building on existing capacities and capacity development

17 IBE Strategic focus as CoE in curriculum

18 Quality - the critical global challenge in education and development
Universalizing access to basic education a long term commitment Jomtiem Declaration (1990) and the Dakar Framework for Action (2000) that quality education came to be recognized as crucial to the EFA agenda EFA GMRs have compiled evidence of inequalities in quality measures (both between and within countries) National and international assessment have shown us that learning outcomes are especially unequal within countries and tend to fall along fault lines: gender, socio-economic status, poverty, rural-urban residence, religion, and among ethnic, indigenous, immigrant and language groups

19 Quality - the critical global challenge in education and development
Therefore, equalizing the actual provision of quality education and improving learning outcomes constitutes a critical global challenge in education, especially for countries in the developing world. “Quality goes with equity” Making equity provisions and improvements throughout the whole system Improving the “worst off”, attention to diversity of learners

20 What prompts curriculum reform?
Curriculum is at the core of most comprehensive education reforms Achievement of EFA goals - Extension of compulsory education (basic education from 7 to 10 or 12 years) Quality standards and international benchmarking Political and economic changes and globalization Democratic transitions (curriculum content, school-based management, decentralization, school-parents participation) Education and national reconstruction after armed conflict Relevance: Youth disaffection, unemployment Alignments and adjustments Future and innovations oriented (math and sciences, ESD, Alignment of curriculum, teacher training and assessment

21 Types of education reforms & the role of curricula
Top down Bottom-up Piecemeal Comprehensive Large-scale School-based Driven by: Politics  Economy  Pedagogy  Philosophy  Science & Culture  Technology  A mix of factors Alignment Adjustments Innovation Forecast Driven by: Curriculum  Assessment  Teacher education and training  The need of aligning them

22 Curriculum reform Opportunity for developing an overall vision for the education system- quality standards Major national undertaking, requiring strong political leadership extensive consultation with stakeholders technical expertise developing capacity of ministry of education personnel and teachers

23 What is a curriculum framework?
Curriculum policy documents that contain broad orientations with regard to why, what, how and how well students should learn Regulatory document (“Constitution” of the education system) Quality reference (“standards-setting document”)

24 Curriculum Frameworks are important regulatory documents
Why students should learn? learning aims and goals; specific learning objectives – for a subject or education level What students should learn? the content of learning in a broad sense: what knowledge, skills and attitudes will be acquired and developed through what learning areas and subjects what are cross-cutting objectives and issues How students should learn? what concept of learning is privileged what are desirable teaching and learning strategies i.e. learner-centred and interactive

25 Curriculum Frameworks are important regulatory documents
how should the learning environment look like i.e. warm, secure and enabling what are connections with the community and real life i.e. project work and community service how is time allocated and used i.e. for differentiated curricula i.e. for extra-curricular activities How well students should learn? which performance levels are defined how to assess the learning outcomes how to foster self-assessment how to provide a good balance between assessment of learning and assessment for learning?

26 Curriculum « Cycle » Curriculum Frameworks Subject curricula/
Syllabuses Learning resources (i.e. textbooks) Teacher guides Assessment guides

27 Out-of-school & community
IBE’s struggle for aligning curriculum with teacher training and assessment School Out-of-school & community Curriculum Teachers Learners Learning Learning environment Assessment

28 Curriculum: learning content selection and organization, methods and environments
Life-long learning Problem-solving Learning to live together (LTLT) Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Knowledge Skills Attitudes Competencies

29 Learning content: examples of quality tensions with regard to what is “relevant”
“Math” wars in the U.S.A. Ideological perspectives in history teaching (i.e. France; U.S.A.) Gender issues (i.e. Viet Nam) The image of the “other” Preparation for life and work versus academic training (i.e. sub-Saharan African countries) All IBE Alerts and Digests

30 Education quality at the forefront of political debate secrets of success?
More data available Drawing examples of good practice Money not the key factor Culture counts Some systems could jump forward by bringing their worst schools up to the standards of their best Four themes emerge: Decentralization (handling power back to schools) A focus on underachievement students A choice of different types of schools High standards for teachers

31 Learning methods: issues & tensions
Classroom practice have the strongest association with achievement Children belonging to disadvantaged social background benefit the most from reduced class size High teacher expectations contribute significantly to pupil performance EFA GMR 2005: The Quality Imperative

32 Learning methods: issues & tensions
Are teachers well prepared? Do they adhere to interactive pedagogies? How to manage learner-centredness in difficult conditions?

33 Teacher training: what works, and alignment with curriculum
Whole-school approach School-based training School improvement Schools networks Communities of practice Inputs Processes Outputs

34 Assessment: balancing assessment of and for learning
Challenges: Clarity of purposes Measuring what is measurable Alternative means for assessing competencies


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