More efforts are needed to mainstream values like tolerance and the appreciation of cultural diversity within National Education Policies

08 June 2017

An analysis of different themes and concepts associated with Global Citizenship Education (GCED) reveals that within the main topics associated with GCED, appreciation of cultural diversity and tolerance are less likely to be reflected in national education policies, curriculum and teacher education.

UNESCO commissioned an analysis of the country reports to the fourth and fifth consultations on the implementation of the Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974) in light of Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goal on Education. The analysis included 57 reports from 2012. These series of key findings are presented ahead of the forthcoming data from 2016.

The analysis of country reports from 2012, found that concepts related to human rights and fundamental freedoms, and peace and non-violence are broadly included in the national education policies (88%), curriculum (86% and 72% respectively) and in teacher education (54% and 16% respectively).

However, concepts related to cultural diversity and tolerance are less likely to be reflected in national education policy (67%), less likely to be mandatory in curricula (68%), and less likely to be mandatory in teacher education (16%). The first of the two groups of concepts related to peace, non-violence, human rights and fundamental freedoms, which have to do with the individual rights and non-contestable ideals, seem to be more widely and easily accepted, while cultural diversity and tolerance, which require proactive efforts to embrace and accept differences, less so.

As is shown below, in all areas - especially in teacher education - concepts related to cultural diversity and tolerance are less like to be reflected, vis-à-vis the other two related groups of concepts.

UNESCO’s support to the global momentum for GCED has advanced the conceptualization and operationalization of GCED, notably with the publication of the GCED Topics and Learning Objectives in eight languages.

UNESCO has received 82 country reports with data from 2016 and data will be available by mid-2017.

As the world moves forward on the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda, UNESCO is committed to monitoring the progress towards the achievement of Target 4.7, with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship. Regular reports, news, analyses, publications and links to data sets produced by UNESCO and its partner provide evidence that indicate how the world is progressing towards the achievement of the Target.