Research projects

A number of research projects have been initiated based on the challenges identified in Rethinking Education, mainly around equity and relevance of education and lifelong learning for different social groups. The following projects are currently underway:

Youth and Changing Realities: Revisiting the Relevance of Secondary Education in Latin America

This project explores how formal education, particularly at secondary level, can be made more relevant and responsive to the needs and aspirations of learners. A first study identifies regional trends in youth disengagement from secondary schooling in the Latin American and the Caribbean region. Coordinated jointly with the International Bureau of Education and the International Institute for Education Planning in Buenos Aires, Youth and Changing Realities: Revisiting the relevance of secondary education in Latin America will be published in English and Spanish in early 2017.

Recognition, Validation and Accreditation of Youth and Adult Basic Education as a Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Undertaken jointly with the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, this study examines the extent to which adult literacy and basic education are integrated into national recognition, validation and accreditation frameworks. It aims to better enable disadvantaged young people and adults to obtain recognized qualifications.

Rethinking Adult Education and Lifelong Learning: Civil Society perspectives form around the world

UNESCO has partnered with the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) to organise a series of regional, civil society-led consultations around the challenges of adult and youth education in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and contradiction. This series explores the strategies, programmes and practices which may enable the accomplishment of Education 2030 in the years to come. These dialogues took place throughout 2016 in all regions of the world.

Indigenous Knowledge and Education Policy in Latin America

This study, undertaken jointly with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC), investigates the extent to which indigenous worldviews and knowledge systems are accounted for in educational policies and practices in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and how their inclusion might be a lever to enhance the relevance of education. This study will be complemented by a thematic report on the situation of indigenous peoples in education in Latin America that is being prepared along with the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE).

Harnessing Local Cultures to Advance Education in sub-Saharan Africa: Review of education policies and practice

Coordinated jointly with UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar, and with the participation of all five UNESCO Regional Offices in Sub-Saharan Africa, the purpose of this study is to document and compile strong examples of cultural assets and traditional values that have been leveraged and harnessed to enrich education policies and practices in African countries. It focuses especially on convergences with the Education 2030 agenda, which calls for greater inclusion and equity in education systems, by means of society-wide participation and through all channels: formal, non-formal and informal.

Assessing Competencies in Media and Information Literacy

This project tests tools for assessing teachers’ competencies for the critical analysis of information conveyed through various media. The pilot is currently being undertaken in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Grenade and Honduras in cooperation with the UNESCO Knowledge Societies Division, the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean and Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE).

Post-basic Learning Opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring the perspectives of young people

Coordinated jointly with UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar, and with the participation of all five UNESCO Regional Offices in Sub-Saharan Africa, this study is to assess the relevance of educational provision for youth (15-24 years of age) in Sub-Saharan Africa by means of exploring youth surveys in the Region and learners’ opinions on the responsiveness of education and training opportunities to their aspiration and their needs.

The Culture of Testing: Socio-cultural drivers and effects in the Asia-Pacific region

The Asia-Pacific region, has seen a growing “culture of testing” with many countries’ education policies focusing on increasing levels of student learning achievement. While these developments may be interpreted as efforts to enhance educational quality, this focus may also be undermining other fundamental aspects of learning that are often not captured in tests and examinations. This study, coordinated with UNESCO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, aims to understand the socio-cultural drivers behind the “culture of testing” and their effects on the relevance of education to youth, to local cultures and as possible factor for disengagement, while also exploring their impact on education policies and practices, on students’ holistic development.