Cover Image
close this bookA Sense of Belonging - Guidelines for Values for the Humanistic and International Dimension of Education (CIDREE - UNESCO, 1983, 31 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. Purposes of the Document
View the document2. The Nature of a Changing Society
View the document3. Educational Implications
View the document4. Values, Society and Schooling
View the document5. The International Dimension
View the document6. Values and Consensus
View the document7. Principles and Qualities
View the document8. Three Key Ideas
View the document9. Democracy
View the document10. Realisation in Schools
View the document11. Implementation Strategies
View the document12. Evaluation
View the document13. Recommendations for the Humanistic and International Dimension of Education
View the document14. Practical Suggestions for the Implementation of the Guidelines
View the documentReferences

8. Three Key Ideas

In the planning and implementation of educational experiences three general ideas:

· Co-operation
· Interdependence
· Autonomy

provide a unifying base for development of the principles and qualities set out in section 7 and a framework for conflict resolution.

These have implications for the ways in which schools and teaching are organised and for the nature of interactions between and among all members of the school community. That is to say, opportunities which allow students to act variously as interdependent members of groups working on cooperative tasks, and as autonomous individuals must be built in to the planning of all educational experiences (see section 14 for a range of practical suggestions).

Society is complex and if social cohesion is to be maintained, attitudes which value cooperation are essential. Cooperation is characterised by a willingness to engage with others in mutually agreed tasks aimed at a shared purpose. This entails; an ability to consider the needs and purposes of both the group and its individual members and to negotiate the means by which these may best be addressed; a capacity to judge the contribution each might best bring to the enterprise, paying attention to the particular attributes and skills of the group members; a readiness to concede individual objectives in favour of the wider group purpose.

In learning and teaching situations it is possible to utilise activities that engage learners in co-operative learning. These activities include:

· using group work and paired activity which rely on co-operative working strategies

· using whole class discussion

· promoting project work as a means of reinforcing the importance of cooperation and negotiation

Through co-operative activity, pupils will also address such matters as self-esteem and mutual respect. Additionally, group work and paired activity help broaden learners’ perspectives on their work and that of others, develop an appreciation of consensus-forming and an understanding of the importance of democratic process.

Interdependence is characterised by an understanding of how all members of society inter-relate in a variety of ways, sometimes as autonomous individuals, sometimes as co-operating groups. It is characterised by mutual respect which arises out of self-esteem and awareness of the need of others. It is based on trust and consideration. It is important for people to accept the rights and dignity of others and to co-exist in a productive and supportive manner. Teachers can foster mutual respect by creating opportunities where learners can:

· learn from each other
· see diverse views and values as important
· recognise the individual worth of others

In developing mutual respect, teachers will need to be consistent in their behaviour and be willing to help learners take responsibility for their own learning.

“Learner autonomy is characterised by a readiness to take charge of one’s own learning in the service of one’s own needs and purposes”.22 This means that personal awareness, self-image and self-esteem are necessary for the development of self-directed autonomous learning. Autonomy, however, does not mean individualism. Personal decisions are necessarily made with respect to social and moral consideration. The development of autonomy is, thus, a matter of personal, social and moral education”.23

22 Leni Dam. «Learner Autonomy in Practice - An Experiment in Learning and Teaching» In «Autonomy in Language Learning» CILT, 1990

23 Towards foreign language learning as learner growth: supporting self-esteem and collaborative skills in language learning: Viljo Kohonen, Tarja Folland and Leena Taivalsaari, University of Tampere: Finland

Teachers can help learners develop a positive self-image and a sense of individual worth by designing activities in which:

· all pupils have a sense of achievement
· each individual’s response is valued

Often, the learner’s positive self-image is undermined by a lack of success in learning tasks. Success in learning is intrinsically motivating as well as fundamental to successful achievement of the next learning task. Similarly, when learners know that their efforts are valued both by the teacher and their peers their self- esteem is enhanced.