The present book is based mainly on the work of the forty-sixth session of the International Conference on Education (ICE), organized by UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) and held in Geneva from 5 to 8 September 2001. The theme of the conference was ‘Education for All for Learning to Live Together: Contents and Learning Strategies - Problems and Solutions’. Unless stated otherwise, the numerous quotations chosen to illustrate the points made in this book are from ICE documents and contributions. The Conclusions and Proposals for Action adopted by the 2001 ICE are provided in Chapter V.
The ICE is the only regularly occurring event during which Ministers of Education from all over the world can meet. It therefore serves as a unique and highly appreciated international forum for high-level dialogue on educational issues and their policy implications.
The 2001 ICE brought together over 600 participants from 127 countries, including in particular 80 Ministers and 10 Vice-Ministers of Education, as well as representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The themes of the 2001 ICE were, and still are, very relevant all over the world: those in charge of education have become well aware of the necessity and complexity of living together, as well as of the role and limits of education in this respect.
The ICE was inspired by abundant literature dealing with the principle issues that participants debated, including: Preparatory reports;
National reports presented by the Member States;
Examples of initiatives and good practice (including those presented at the conference as video case studies);
Messages from Ministers of Education attending the Conference;
And contributions from the numerous researchers, experts, educationists and decision makers at all levels of education who also participated in the Netforum between April and August 2001.
More information and opinions on the vast issue of Education for All for Learning to Live Together were added during the Conference itself, in the form of keynote addresses, presentations and debates during the two plenary sessions, six thematic workshops and the special session devoted to partnerships with civil society.
The present book draws on this wealth of experience, research, opinions, ideas and visions of the future. It seeks to contribute to bringing the debate on Education for All for Learning to Live Together closer to actors of the global educational community. By setting out ins concise way the key issues and proposed actions, and illustrating them with concrete examples, numerous quotations and a number of questions, this book is intended particularly for teacher trainers, teachers themselves and their professional organizations, as well as for all actors in civil society who endeavour to improve the quality of education, to encourage dialogue and to foster in this way the capacity for living together.
Neither a ‘conference report’ nor a scientific or academic work, this book is intended to be a sort of ‘gallery of photographs’ of the forty-sixth session of the ICE – its atmosphere of dialogue, the themes of its debates, and the first-hand descriptions and experiences exchanged. Far from prescribing norms or standards, it intends to share information, ideas and practices, rather like the ICE itself, in a spirit of exchange and dialogue.