ERF Occasional Papers
Revisiting Learning: The Treasure Within - Assessing the impact of the 1996 ‘Delors Report’
ERF Occasional Paper No 4
Published by UNESCO in 1996, Learning: The treasure within, or the Report of the Delors Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century, proposed an integrated vision for education worldwide. Much like the Faure report Learning to Be which was published a quarter of century earlier in 1972, the ‘Delors’ report has been widely considered to be a key worldwide reference on the conceptualisation of education and learning. What has been said since then about the vision and the paradigms of lifelong learning and learning to be, to know, to do and to live together? What do we know about the influence and impact that this vision has had both on international, as well as on national educational discourse, policy and practice? This paper discusses these questions as a basis for the revisiting of the report in order to determine the degree of continued relevance of this vision for education in light of societal transformations since the mid-1990s.
Desire and Doubt: Driving Forces of Creativity and Rationality?
ERF Occasional Paper No 3
Human beings have naturally inherited a set of behaviors in order to live in and sustain their community. These behaviors include the duo creativity and rationality which are at the same time complementary and widely opposed. While creativity uses unconscious cognitive processes and is stimulated by hormones and the desire to understand one’s environment in order to find new path and new way of viewing things, rationality enables human beings to sort out this newly acquired knowledge and select what is true or provable in the bric-a-brac of manufactured knowledge. It is the simultaneous use of both of these capacities that enables human beings to progress in their understanding of their reality without losing themselves in a mass of hypothesis that may prevent them from finding the truth. Still, both of these capacities have in common to rest on doubt and dissidence, on the challenging and questioning of mainstream beliefs, even if they express themselves in different ways. Therefore, stimulated by desire and doubt, feelings inherent in human beings, creativity and rationality won’t cease to participate in the exploration of the human beings reality anytime soon.
Beyond the Conceptual Maze: The Notion of Quality in education
ERF Occasional Paper No 2
Discussions relative to the quality of education often remain blurred by the lack both of clarity, as well as of a common understanding of what is actually meant by the term quality. Arguably, this has to do with the fact that, rather than an operational concept, quality in education is a notion which commands a seemingly intuitive understanding. As such, there is no single definition or approach, but rather, diverse possible conceptualizations and multiple approaches, each based on widely differing assumptions. This paper takes stock of some of the conceptualizations of the notion of quality in education, as well as of possible analytical approaches, and their underlying assumptions.
The Challenges of Creativity
ERF Occasional Paper No 1
Creativity - or the urge to explore and to invent without knowing in advance how useful the outcome may be - cannot be taught, but it must be detected, recognized and encouraged. This is a challenge both for all forms of learning, as well as for all levels of education. While the purpose of education is to transmit knowledge and to develop the ability to learn how to learn, creativity requires that we learn how to unlearn, and to question established paradigms. Based on an examination of the diverse components and forms of creativity, this paper explores the challenges of fostering creativity in education.