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The Four Pillars of Education

Inline with the editorial policy of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, I often find myself sharing articles on the nature of learning and learning methods without having necessarily to be connected to technology. Technology is definitely part and parcel of the educational spectrum but it does not subsume it. As a teacher, I personally look at  technology only as a means to perfecting my teaching and therefore enhancing my students learning. Having a basic knowledge on the teaching pedagogy and learning theories is another means to bettering our teaching practice which would eventually serve our ultimate goal : Improving our students learning.That being said, today's post is about the four pillars of education as has been conceptualized by United Nations report on Education. I have really enjoyed reading the entire report and those four pillars in particular stood out for me and thought you might be interested in reading them as well. I will copy you parts of what these pillars are all about and provide you with the links to read more on them .

1- Learning to Know


This type of learning is concerned less with the acquisition of structured knowledge than with the mastery of learning tools. It may be regarded as both a means and an end of human existence. Looking at it as a means, people have to learn to understand the world around them, at least as much as is necessary for them to lead their lives with some dignity, develop their occupational skills and communicate with other people. Regarded as an end, it is underpinned by the pleasure that can be derived from understanding, knowledge and discovery. That aspect of learning is typically enjoyed by researchers, but good teaching can help everyone to enjoy it. Even if study for its own sake is a dying pursuit with so much emphasis now being put on the acquisition of marketable skills, the raising of the school-leaving age and an increase in leisure time should provide more and more adults with opportunities for private study. The broader our knowledge, the better we can understand the many different aspects of our environment.... Click Here to read more.

2- Learning to Do

This question is closely associated with the issue of occupational training: how do we adapt education so that it can equip people to do the types of work needed in the future? Here we should draw a distinction between industrial economies, where most people are wage-earners, and other economies where self-employment or casual work are still the norm.
In societies where most people are in paid employment, which have developed throughout the Twentieth century based on the industrial model, automation is making this model increasingly "intangible". It emphasizes the knowledge component of tasks, even in industry, as well as the importance of services in the economy. The future of these economies hinges on their ability to turn advances in knowledge into innovations that will generate new businesses and new jobs. "Learning to do" can no longer mean what it did when people were trained to perform a very specific physical task in a manufacturing process. Skill training therefore has to evolve and become more than just a means of imparting the knowledge needed to do a more or less routine job...Click Here to read

3-Learning to Live together


Violence all too often dominates life in the contemporary world, forming a depressing contrast with the hope which some people have been able to place in human progress. Human history has constantly been scarred by conflicts, but the risk is heightened by two new elements. Firstly, there is the extraordinary potential for self- destruction created by humans in the twentieth century. Then, we have the ability of the new media to provide the entire world with information and unverifiable reports on ongoing conflicts. Public opinion becomes a helpless observer or even a hostage of those who initiate or keep up the conflicts. Until now education has been unable to do much to mitigate this situation. Can we do better? Can we educate ourselves to avoid conflict or peacefully resolve it? Click Here to read


4- Learning to Be


At its very first meeting, the Commission powerfully re-asserted a fundamental principle: education should contribute to every person's complete development - mind and body, intelligence, sensitivity, aesthetic appreciation and spirituality. All people should receive in their childhood and youth an education that equips them to develop their own independent, critical way of thinking and judgement so that they can make up their own minds on the best courses of action in the different circumstances in their lives.
In this respect, the Commission embraces one of the basic assumptions stated in the report Learning to Be:. the aim of development is the complete fulfillment of man, in all the richness of his personality, the complexity of his forms of expression and his various commitments - as individual, member of a family and of a community, citizen and producer, inventor of techniques and creative dreamer'. Click Here to read

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