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Open Learning Communities

The Open Learning Communities - Community Schools Project
Transforming Community Schools into Open Learning Communities

"Given the trend toward more open societies and global economies, we must emphasize the forms of learning and critical thinking that enable individuals to understand changing environments, create new knowledge and shape their own destinies. We must respond to new challenges by promoting learning in all aspects of life, through all institutions of society, in effect, creating environments in which living is learning
(The Amman Affirmation, 1996). 


Last update: 27 june 1999

In response to challenges articulated by the Jomtien Conference and the Amman Affirmation, UNESCO's Learning Without Frontiers Unit and the NGO Program on Literacy and Education for All have established a new initiative: the  Open Learning Communities - Community Schools Project. The project seeks to create dynamic Open Learning Communities by building the capacity of community schools and other learning institutions, and the communities in which they are based, to act as catalysts for educational change. We aim not only to improve current systems and the quality of formal and non-formal education, but also to develop alternative learning spaces for the future. 

In order to meet this aim, we are in the process of developing a conceptual framework, collaborating closely with our network of partners. This network includes a wide range of practitioners, policy-makers and researchers working in grassroots groups, community-based organisations, national and international NGOS, bilateral and multilateral agencies, government ministries and departments, universities and research institutes, world-wide.

To facilitate the collaborative process, a  workshop will be taking place in Ouagadgougou, Burkina Faso, 12-16 July 1999: Transforming Community Schools into Open Learning Communities.

The workshop has been organised in partnership  with the UNESCO- Ouagadougou office and Action Aid (UK), with financial support from the Nuffield Commonwealth Programme. A  report will be made available on this website shortly after the workshop. We expect the report to include a finalised conceptual framework for the creation of new visions and analytical frameworks around the concept of open learning communities, an outline of decentralised follow-up field activities, and 'case-studies' of existing community-based learning initiatives. 

We envisage  the Open Learning Communities-Community Schools Project to be an ongoing process, building on transdisciplinary contributions from  individuals and organisations within  both  the formal and non-formal education sectors, and encompassing all facets of life-long learning. We welcome yours! 

Please contact Criana Connal, for further information on how to get involved in our project. You may also want to contribute to our 'pool' of resources and documentation on field applications and pilot projects, or to our collection of papers exploring the concept of open learning communities.

Learning Without Frontiers
Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education
UNESCO
7 Place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP
France
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 09 17
Fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 08 28
Email: Criana Connal