Another Unesco report – another acronym – another decade?

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

UNESCO has published a new report: Global Citizenship Education: Topics and learning objectives.  This promotion of GCE begins:

 This publication ... is the first pedagogical guidance from UNESCO on global citizenship education.  It is the result of an extensive research and consultation process with experts from different parts of the world.  This guidance draws on the UNESCO publication Global Citizenship Education: Preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st century and the outcomes of three key UNESCO events on global citizenship education: the Technical Consultation on Global Citizenship Education (September 2013), as well as the First and Second UNESCO Fora on Global Citizenship Education, organized in December 2013 and January 2015 respectively. Before it was finalized, the guidance was field-tested by education stakeholders in selected countries in all regions to ensure its relevance in different geographical and socio-cultural contexts.

A whole page of acronyms follows, which is never good news.  My favourites were:

  • OSCE/ODIHR Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
  • GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH – and
  • ESD – you know what that is.

Curiously, the last acronym is never used in the report.  Even more curiouser, the phrase 'education for sustainable development' is only used 4 times:

  1. in the list of acronyms (p.11), which hardly counts
  2. on p. 15 in a list of other education 'for's
  3. ditto on p. 18
  4. on page 54 as "one of the targets of the education goal in the post-2015 development agenda."

Can this really be the same UNESCO that spent 10+ years promoting ESD as the thing the world needed most?  Has there been a Paris coup that I missed?   Surely another Decade cannot be far off.


Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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