Rethinking Education: Towards a global common good?

UNESCO, Jun 05, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Four major themes from this report from UNESCO describing education as a "common good":

  • Education is not the only force to sustainable development, but it is one of the most important ones
  • We need to keep the human element of education (things like culture, society, inclusiveness) and not just the utilitarian aspects
  • We need more flexible methods of delivering and validating learning in a complex employment environment
  • Knowledge and learning are not just public goods (ie., provided by the public) but are common goods, ie "necessary for the realization of the fundamental rights of all people."

"If education is seen as this deliberate and organized process of learning, then any discussion about it can no longer be focused solely on the process of acquiring (and validating) knowledge. We must consider not only how knowledge is acquired and validated, but also how access to it is often controlled and, therefore, how access to it can be made commonly available." 85 page PDF. Good stuff.


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