Education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility.
Today, 24 January, the world recognizes the International Day of Education (IDE) as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, the thematic focus for the globally celebrated observance day is “Changing Course, Transforming Education,” a reflection of recent efforts to promote an “urgent rebalancing of our relationships with each other.
The day’s significance remains rooted in the belief that education is central to worldwide peace and development. Furthermore, as stated on UNESCO’s IDE webpage, education is a “human right, a public good, and a public responsibility.” However, recent crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread forced migration, and climate change disasters, have undermined advances in education and brought to light previously existing impediments to equitable education access. Such trends highlight the need for a shift in approach that allows education to become openly accessible to all learners worldwide.
The theme of “Changing Course, Transforming Education” aligns closely with the work of Childhood Education International. Our mission is to develop and amplify innovative solutions to education challenges that affirm children’s learning and development as the pathway to sustainable futures for all. This requires a significant shift at all levels of education, which is the underlying focus of our Rethinking Education Practice Area. From education policies that go further in guaranteeing equitable education access to innovative teacher-student dynamics that open up optimal paths for learning and development, rethinking and transforming education is crucial.
The theme is also the protagonist of the recent report Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education. Developed by the International Commission on the Futures of Education, the report acknowledges “the power of education to bring about profound change.” However, this potential has thus far remained unrealized for too many children worldwide, who lack access to the promise of education. The key in rectifying the unfulfilled promises, as the report outlines, lies in transforming pedagogies to advance cooperation and solidarity, bolstering the role of the teaching profession, redesigning education spaces, and pursuing other evolutions that foster a more durable and sustainable education infrastructure.
Childhood Education: Innovations, CE International’s flagship magazine, has long held education innovation as essential in expanding learning opportunities for children worldwide. The first edition of 2022 includes articles on a public engagement campaign to enhance everyday language learning, envisioning a learning environment that encourages language diversity, and more. Furthermore, CE International recently compiled a special collection of articles from the magazine and the Journal of Research in Childhood Education. The “Cultivating Environmental Protectors” collection consists of 15 free-access articles that assist education leaders in transforming their learning environments into spaces that foster environmental stewardship.
The International Day of Education marks the start of a new year by emphasizing the potential of a revolutionized role for education in the global society. The following events and resources encourage education leaders and educators to join the call for a “new social contract for education”: