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Building Communities of Learning and Practice in Challenging Times


The aim of the round table discussion is to exchange experiences that could help us better understand the role of education (broadly defined) in the global crisis, taking Greece as an example, and find ways to help each other navigate through opportunities and challenges.

Change is a constant in life but during some eras and in certain countries the call for change permeates life itself, requiring shifts that are often of a transformative nature. Such moments in the lives of both individuals and countries afford opportunities for growth. The country of Greece, while center stage at the moment, is a microcosm of issues facing all of humanity. Come and participate in a dialogue about some of these key issues and their relevance to you, your country, and humanity.

Last year (2011) Marcie Boucouvalas, Ph.D., Clare D. Klunk, Ph.D., and Linda M. Morris, Ed.D., facilitated the workshop “Engaging Lifelong Learners in the 21st Century: UNESCO as a Beacon and Binding Force”.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Provide a foundational understanding of UNESCO’s relevance to this conference and lifelong learners in the 21st century.

  • Build a collective understanding of UNESCO’s reach in ICTs and Education.

  • Have a glance at the history and ongoing projects of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

  • Better understand the concerted efforts of UNESCO’s Education Sector

  • Examine the broader deeper perspective on education offered by UNESCO.

  • Catalyze a dialogue spotlighting the relationship of the UNESCO discussion to the keynote address (“Continuing Education and Distance Education: A Marriage of Convenience”).

  • Provide a participatory forum for action planning.

This year Marcie will discuss the findings of her exploratory research project “ADULT LEARNING FOR SOCIETAL DEVELOPMENT IN GREECE: A COLLABORATIVE EXPLORATION OF DRIVING AND RESTRAINING FORCES” (including but not limited to understanding and applying 2 key UNESCO documents from major Assemblies in (a) Adult Learning and (b) Higher Education).

The concept of learning embraced the UNESCO rendition of learning to do, think and know, be, live together, and learning to change (i.e., to transform self and society).

Dr. Boucouvalas undertook this project as a Fulbright Scholar to Greece (February to June, 2012). Established by Senator William Fulbright in 1946, Greece’s Fulbright partnership with the USA is the oldest in Europe, having begun in 1948. For more information about the Fulbright Foundation in Greece please see www.fulbright.gr.

Those of you who wish to contribute by sharing your experiences at the round table discussion may submit your ideas HERE.


Suggested Readings:

UNESCO Education

Delors, J. (1996). Learning: The treasure within (Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the twenty-first century.) Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (266 pages). ISBN-10: 9231034707; ISBN-13: 978-9231034701

Confintea VI (2010). Belem Framework for Action: Harnessing the power and potential of adult learning and education for a viable future. UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. (39 pages). All rights reserved. Can be downloaded at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001877/187789m.pdf

Follow-up Strategy of the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education

Lifelong Learning / Lifelong Education Bibliography No. 68, 2010. A bibliography published annually by the Documentation Center of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) to inform UNESCO Staff, researchers and institutions. Can be downloaded at

Boucouvalas, M. (2011-2012). Our global reach: UNESCO and ICAE as catalyst. Adult Learning, 22(4), 23(1), 4-8. (Special theme issue). [A free copy of the paper can be downloaded HERE]

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

Home page for the 2011 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva, Switzerland May 16-20 2011. An interactive website to include overview and timelines of WSIS, U2 videos of key presentations, executive briefings, news briefs, outreach, twitter, facebook, testimonials on all aspects of the 2011 WSIS. Check it out: http://groups.itu.int/wsis-forum2011/Home.aspx

World Summit on the Information Society (2011). WSIS forum 2011: Outcome document (draft). Can be downloaded at : http://groups.itu.int/wsis-forum2011/Agenda/OutcomeDocument.aspx

Souter, D. (2010). Towards inclusive knowledge societies: A review of UNESCO’s action in implementing the WSIS outcomes. Published five years after the Tunis phase of WSIS, this report examines what was achieved, what are the challenges in implementation of WSIS outcomes. The report can be downloaded at http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=30452&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html 






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