|A Sense of Belonging - Guidelines for Values for the Humanistic and International Dimension of Education (CIDREE - UNESCO, 1983, 31 p.)|
We live in an increasingly diverse and multicultural world where each segment of society tends to regard its own values as sacrosanct and its own needs as paramount. Yet although we belong to different cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, we share one planet and a common humanity. How then, can we contrive to live in peace?
Is it possible to define some basic outcomes which education systems should provide that would help us to live in tolerance and peace, respecting the cultural and individual worth of others?
The UNESCO World Conference on Human Rights (June 1993, Vienna) unanimously agreed that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and inter-related. The conference considered human rights education essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among communities and the fostering of mutual understanding, tolerance and peace. This consensus strengthens the impetus of those in the educational community to seek a universal value base related to peace, human rights and democracy.
The Sixth Regional Conference of Ministers of Education and those responsible for economic planning in Asia and the Pacific, organised by UNESCO with the cooperation of ESCAP (Kuala Lumpur, June 1993) stated in its final declaration that the size and complexity of this region, which accounts for nearly two thirds of the worlds people and is predicted soon to become the largest force in the global economy, would suggest that a consensus on educational priorities would be difficult to achieve. The Conference agreed however, that two overarching concerns stood apart from all others. The first was the importance of values, ethics and culture in education; the second, the need to improve the situation of women and girls within education systems.
The Medium Term Plan of UNESCO for 1990-995 foresees the enhancement of the humanistic, cultural and international dimensions of education as a contribution to peace, human rights and elimination of all forms of discrimination in formal and non-formal education within the framework of the World Decade for Cultural Development.
In accordance with the provisions of the Plan, during the first biennium (1990-91) studies on humanistic, cultural and ethical values were carried out in Africa, a regional meeting was organised in Asia (Tokyo, Japan), a workshop was held in Europe (Budapest, Hungary) with papers prepared for each of these activities. During the 1992-93 biennium experimental projects were launched in different regions and annotated bibliographies were prepared in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Carribean on values education in order to enhance the exchange of information on values related to cultural pluralism, peace, tolerance and democracy.
These guidelines on Values for the Humanistic & International Dimension are the outcome of the European experimental project organised by UNESCO under contract with the Consortium of Institutions for Development & Research in Education in Europe (CIDREE).
The project has resulted in a pedagogical approach, concentrating on specific principles, qualities and ideas as the basis on which to build a learning experience that promotes the humanistic and international dimension.
The reader should critically examine these principles, qualities and ideas with a view to determining both their universal applicability and the appropriateness of the guidelines that have been adduced from them. In this way the document will achieve its major purpose: to stimulate critical thinking on issues which are at the heart of education.
A draft of these guidelines was used as the working paper at the UNESCO International Conference & Workshop held in Oslo in October 1993. The guidelines have been refined in the light of views expressed during that event.
UNESCO and CIDREE are grateful for the generous support and hospitality given by the Royal Norwegian Ministry for Education, Research & Church Affairs which made the workshop possible.
Section for Humanistic, Cultural
& International Education