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Critical challenges in education addressed at the IBE-UNESCO Learning Series



The IBE-UNESCO held its latest Learning Series event on 16 October with the launch of Conrad Hughes’ new book, Educating for the Twenty-First Century: Seven Global Challenges. The event took place at the IBE-UNESCO Headquarters in Geneva, with people in attendance from the International Geneva and abroad. The event marks the most recent collaboration between the IBE-UNESCO and the International School of Geneva, La Grande Boissière, where Dr. Hughes is the Campus and Secondary Principal.
Dr. Hughes provided participants with an overview of seven global challenges that affect education and learning: Mindfulness, Singularity, Terrorism, Sustainability, Post-Truth Politics, Knowledge, and Character. These subjects not only represent difficulties that educators face in helping students and learners become global citizens and lifelong learners but also critical challenges for humanity in the 21st century. Dr. Hughes pointed out that these issues are not necessarily new; rather, they are encountered in ever-changing capacities and with more frequency, which requires evolving our methods and strategies for dealing with them, particularly in the field of education.
Dr. Hughes also expressed gratitude to the IBE-UNESCO for helping to bring the book to fruition. In particular, he thanked the IBE-UNESCO Director Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope and Programme Specialist Dr. Simona Popa. The presentation was followed by a book signing and reception, where participants discussed their initial impressions of the book. Michael Martrich—a teacher visiting from the International School of Dakar, Senegal—stated that “the book is accessible without sacrificing the complexity of 21st century education, which is always changing.” IBE-UNESCO Senior Programme Specialist Renato Opertti addressed the importance of the book in recommending a framework for providing quality education for present and future generations. “The book is a window through which to reframe learning and bring us to a new dimension,” Mr. Opertti said of the work.
Education for the Twenty-First Century: Seven Global Challenges is the latest in the IBE-UNESCO series on Curriculum, Learning, and Assessment, co-published with Brill Publishers. The IBE-UNESCO describes the book as “A virtuoso performance of great imaginative force, the book takes the reader through philosophical reflections, humorous anecdotes, syntheses of cutting-edge research and examples of best practice, to answer fundamental questions about education and learning in the 21st century.” It can be purchased online at the Brill Publishers website.