Posted in ICAE Documents and Publications



Montreal 14 June 2015 


We, adult educators and learners of the world and members of the International Council for Adult Education, reaffirm, together with the 2015 World Education Forum, that education throughout life is a fundamental human right, a basis for guaranteeing the attainment of all other human rights, and a public good. 

We reaffirm our global, regional and local commitments and our passion for the full realization of the right to education for peace. This right is required to build the world we want for all, especially for young and adult people, regardless of age, gender, ability or circumstances. This right is the foundation of a world based on democratic participation, justice, equality, respect, care and solidarity among our diverse people. We must be in harmony with our cultural and environmental rights... 

Read more here:    icae_declaration_140615.pdf 



The education we need for the world we want

Posted in ICAE Documents and Publications

The Working Group on Education is formed by: The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), the World Education Forum (FME), the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), the Latin American Council of Adult Education (CEAAL), the Journey on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO, Brazil), the International of Education, the Popular Education Network of Women from Latin America and the Caribbean (REPEM).



ICAEVS2016 - (30) Sandra L. Morrison

Posted in ICAE Documents and Publications

Closing thanks from ICAE President

What an incredible learning space that the virtual seminar has provided- a time and a space to strenuously debate the topic of global citizenship education as we have garnered opinions from around the world on its meaning and its application in our communities. It is easy to be overwhelmed by what can be seen to be insurmountable issues, but let us not falter. The dynamic and ever changing global order may have left us struggling to understand its new formations but in times of crisis we look to learning as that transforming tool to empower us (Thaman, 2009; Smith 2011). In these exchanges, we have theorised, intellectualised, conceptualised and shared our practical experiences then trusted in our collective wisdom to find strategies that respond effectively. Graham Smith (2011) talks about the politics of truth imploring us to understand our limitations and strengths; that no one is pure and for educators to own up and understand where we are compromising as we pursue moral and ethical leadership.  Our strength lies in our collective power to commit to each other, to simply realise what we can influence and what we cannot influence and  to know the difference. In the quest for quality global citizenship education let us be the model we want others to be.
Every generation has its contribution to make, to reflect on its past and to reimagine its future. Right now that time and responsibility belongs to us. Our exchanges prove to me that we will never give up hope to improve on our own existence and our aspirations being bound by a common spirit as expressed by Hau’ofa:

In the twilight we sit
Drinking kava from the bowl between us
Who we are we know and need not say
For the soul we share came from the vaihi.
(Hau’ofa, 2008,p.108)

Thank you for all your contributions, your thinking, your energy to participate in a virtual dialogue which has tested, reaffirmed and sometimes challenged our own understandings. In many ways the pursuit for global citizenship education is endless and full of complexity.  However as Smith (2011) says  “In coming to understand transformation more profoundly we must appreciate that the journey is just as important as arriving”… if we ever arrive!
In solidarity.

Hau’ofa, E. (2008). We are the ocean. Selected works. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.
Smith, G. (2011).Transforming Education: Maori Struggle for Higher Education. Presentation to Manu Ao.
Thaman, K. (2009). Making the good things last. a vision of education for peace and sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region. http://www.accu.or.jp/esd/forum_esd_2009/pdf/fji_kon.pdf



ICAEVS2016 - (28) 2nd Synthesis

Posted in ICAE Documents and Publications

2nd. Synthesis and conclusions*  
Jorge Osorio, ICAE-Chile

At the end of the first part of our Seminar we set out the need to advance in a practical definition of GCED from local issues as a first space for the exercise of citizenship, and from there to think "globalization" and its impact on the life of people. The ideal (dominant) model of globalization places us before a global reality which creates technological and communicational conditions to promote intercultural dialogue, the search for peace between peoples and the modernization of social development programs that enable to eradicate poverty. However, globalization is being a phenomenon that does not favor a change of mentality and policies in a sense of justice, inclusion and non-domination.

Some speak of a colono-globalization to describe a new neo-colonial model that organizes the production and exchange of tangible and intangible assets from powerful "centers" impervious to ecological, social and cultural realities of peripheries, i.e., of territories, ecosystems, cultures and societies, which are subject to the discipline of major multilateral financial institutions that "homogenize" the world under a so-called "order supported by the liberties and the free market". So obvious realities lead to restructure the very notion of national States and to recognize how the "institutional sense" of domestic policy of countries collapse as a result of the control dynamics of powerful actors of the "global order".

Given this background, the Seminar has examined what is the meaning of designing a strategic action aiming to generate an active citizenship to ensure relations of justice in society and propose a way to understand the factual dynamics of globalization in a sense of responsibility and planetary sustainability involving an economic order that ensures the care of common natural and cultural assets.

K.J. Baldeh, from Gambia, opens this second part of our Seminar putting "feet on the ground" of all we are working for a global citizenship from the peoples. He sets out the tensions caused by globalization understood as technological modernization and communication for individuals and their local communities still living anchored to their traditions and rules of collaborative coexistance, united for belonging to cultures that generate esteem and appreciation of their own history. This "enclosed world" of communities (Baldeh) is impacted by the cultural dynamics generated by global modernization, in particular, technological and media openness to new symbolic "worlds", of consumption, expectations and projects of life.

The processes of identification, belonging and recognition built -in long historical paths- around an idea of the "national" and "own" is stressed in such a way that processes of redefinition of cultural identity occur. The question that Baldeh poses is what content should have an education that "opens to the world", with its demands for critical reading of reality, an own search of its ways of interacting with cultures, with the "other worlds" and of understanding of globalizing dynamics and their concepts of modernization in a context of poverty, exclusion and illiteracy.

Awidi reaffirms what other participants noted: the complex and contradictory nature of globalization and the need to dispute (provide content) to the exercise of citizenship worldwide. The challenge to criticize and overcome the "ethnocentrism" that is dominating the definition of globalization and citizenship is then necessary, as well as trying to give them content from the "edges", from the "peripheries", from "the peoples". The liberal vision of citizenship that Western democracies propose must undergo deliberation from these "edges", from the "invisible" and violated, from the victims of "collateral damage of globalization". Taking on this challenge allows us to take on -in our educational program for global citizenship- situations of great impact on the lives of millions of people such as forced displacement of families and communities, trafficking, terrorism, climate change, protection of biological and cultural diversity, racism, the walls of segregation as a way to confront the problems of refugees and migrants, gender-based violence and discrimination. Awidi, from his own experience, expresses that the local and "the ethnic" is no longer enough to understand the subjectivity of marginalized sectors: the impact of "collateral damage" determines their life and reduces or substantively denies them their "citizenship".

The "center" ("Davos" in the image of T. Ireland) looks at the world from what is known to it and its ways of accounting for what the "different" are, live and expect, "other worlds". Critical education, popular education in Latin America and other regions have built their "teaching of citizenship" as a process of decoding of the politically dominant values and imaginaries and of re-significance of the role of educators working from sub-alternate communities. This has been the tone in which anti-globalization movements have participated in the process of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

In the same perspective, Kiebooms suggests that our education should stretch what is "known" in order to open local communities to global knowledge and cultural multiversity, which are the primary inputs to develop: a) a critical and respectful awareness of diversity (i.e., how the "world" is organized and operates) and, b) a will to appreciate the community aspects (the sense of the common) over the understanding given by the dominant liberalism (Bulajic).

In this context, Skynner proposes us to reflect on the meaning and usefulness that the development of "processes of monitoring" of the GCED can have. The criteria she proposes can be summarized as follows: a) global problems lead international organizations, UNESCO itself, to promote global citizenship education policies in countries; b) these proposals are made by recognizing the cultural diversity of countries, different national education systems and the actions taken by communities, NGOs, social movements and civil society organizations; c) given that the requirement of GCED is a phenomenon rising on global initiatives it is necessary to know what are the contents and how are we educating for global citizenship; d) the problems this global mobilization for GCED are facing are contradictory and complex, since each country or region has its own thematic priorities and consequently the field of citizenship education is multifaceted and not always has mechanisms or entities that can make a follow-up of ongoing projects, its participants, teachers and methodologies.

The commentators appreciate initiatives as the one presented by Skynner, but they make clarifications and set limits. Tuckett highlights what the development (imposition?) of measurement and monitoring policies by multilateral agencies has meant and suggests some criteria that should be the basis for GCED monitoring, including: a) that it is directed to identify and disseminate the most important lessons learned and issues in the regions; b) that civil society organizations have an active role in this critical process of monitoring as catalysts for initiatives and thought; c) that the background to be developed reaches policy makers in order to open in the countries a field of debate on the modalities and contents of GCED in educational policies of the countries.

Baril coincides with Tuckett's opinion and frames these proposals under the saying "democratizing monitoring", while emphasizing three "indicators" that should be on the basis of monitoring: a) how GCED experiences contribute to the democratization of societies; b) how GCED experiences contribute to generate a culture of global sustainability, and; c) how GCED experiences develop skills to exercise rights and citizen participation.

Ireland has finished the discussions in this Seminar calling for GCED not to become an empty concept, manipulated and trivialized by its instrumental, utilitarian and tactical use by the liberal globalist agencies, calling not to stop giving critical, resistance and reestablishment content of a way of life and a new civilizational project that is based on three aspects: a) planetary sustainability; b) full recognition of cultural diversity as a civilizational value and; c) the exercise of common rights for all people, without exclusion and without structural "discard" which causes the neo-liberal globalization.

Picking up the conclusions of the first part of our Seminar and placing them in line with what is proposed in this final part, it is considered that GCED has major challenges for both: a) the shared challenges proposed by international programs (e.g., Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the new goals of Education for All), and b) the requirements of communities that, from the local level, "open up and participate in the world", from the dignity and recognition of their cultures, appealing to: a) peace and sustainability of the planet; b) the ideal of just and participatory democracies; c) the necessary recognition of common rights to access public cultural property; d) the social distribution of power and knowledge; e) live in a world without gender violence or ethnic, territorial and cultural discrimination.

We systematize these appeals by stating three major challenges that remain at the end of the Seminar:

-    The challenge of developing new political "literacies" so that the culture of non - discrimination and democratization is expressed in the communities and in everyday life and becomes a "common sense" in a permanent citizen learning.

-    The challenge of developing educational actions that generate skills in people and their communities to confront the risk, uncertainties, asymmetries and differences in the globalized world through learning programs placed in local social contexts, promoting popular and community education, citizen participation in public life and the generation of educators capable of leading the "openness to all worlds" with a critical approach and based on the universal value of respect for differences and the search for spaces for the construction of the "humanly common" in a relationship of radical kindness with the common home-the planet.

-    The challenge of building local and global citizenship influencing the public arena in order to get policies that ensure access and participation of all people in educational processes at all stages of their lives, both through formal education entities and through cultural and educational institutions of civil society organizations, local communities, social movements, indigenous organizations. In this regard, the seminar showed that educators have the task of influencing those people designing educational policies of countries so that this approach can be at the basis of new educational reforms, their priorities, their investment and the training of teachers.

* The authors of the contributions to this Virtual Seminar are quoted between brackets indicating their names


ICAEVS2016 - (27) Timothy D. Ireland

Posted in ICAE Documents and Publications

Reflection by Timothy D. Ireland
UNESCO Chair in Youth and Adult Education
Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil

Looking back and looking forward: CONFINTEA and GCED

We live in an age in which marketing with its catch-phrases, slogans and mantras is increasingly present in the field of education. Education has to be sold to the general public as a commodity with market value. Certain concepts suddenly become the flavour of the month and dominate the lexicon of international and humanitarian agencies before they are overtaken by another more fashionable concept. For me Education for Global Citizenship is another of these conceptual mantras along with education for peace, education for sustainable development, education for all, education first and so on. In the field of adult education we can perhaps identify other concepts which have much stronger track records and historicity – the very concept of adult education goes back a long way. Then there are the variations on lifelong education, lifelong learning, permanent education. The concept of adult education contributing to the education of world citizens goes back to the first International Conference on Adult Education held in Elsinore (Denmark) in 1949, with its emphasis on restoring peace to the international community after the Second World War and the importance of international cooperation in this process.

The most recent International Conference on Adult Education, CONFINTEA VI, held in Belem do Para (Brazil) in 2009, approved the Belem Framework for Action which talked about “The role of lifelong learning (as) critical in addressing global educational issues and challenges” and “We are convinced and inspired by the critical role of lifelong learning in addressing global and educational issues and challenges”. However rather than attempting to pit one concept against another perhaps it would be more productive to attempt to identify a series of tenets upon which there is certain consensus when discussing the world in which we live and upon which concepts of education should be built. Here I have borrowed shamelessly from the other excellent contributions to the virtual seminar which have already been published.

Firstly the world we inhabit is unique and it houses all humanity. Secondly we are all nature and this links us to all forms of life. Thirdly, despite our cultural and social diversity we live in an interdependent world - whether we want to or not. Fourthly there is little denying that our world is an increasingly interconnected world. In Brazil there are more mobile phones per capita than the total population of the country. Fifthly although not always interpreted in the same way, there exist certain human rights which are common to humanity. Sixthly in order to guarantee planetary survival we have little alternative but to invest in forms of sustainable development or other modes of development. Lastly we live in an ever increasingly globalized world which gives rise to concepts like global citizenship, global governance, global leadership, etc.

Any concept of education, to be comprehensive or, what we used to call, ‘holistic’, needs to address these issues, always taking as its starting point the non-neutrality of education. Education is always for or against the interests of distinct parts of society. The notion of the spirit of Davos and the spirit of Porto Alegre seems to sum up clearly these differences.  Education needs to address the local, national and global challenges and threats whether it be the question of sustainability, population, migration, poverty, energy, globalization, conflict. Hence rather than inventing new concepts perhaps we should be a little less hasty and revisit, for example, the conceptual framework and the agenda set out in the Hamburg Declaration of 1997 most of which remains as promises to be achieved. This can be enriched by the perspective of Popular Education which recognises that education is about power relations whether it is locally, nationally or globally and about emancipation from all modes of oppression. Ethically, as educators, the chips are down and we need to stand up to be counted.