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Knowledge acquisition is changing radically, UNESCO Declaration states

02-08-2007 (Bonn)
Knowledge acquisition is changing radically, UNESCO Declaration states
Knowledge acquisition and sharing will increasingly be technology mediated, and traditional educational processes will be revolutionized, said experts at a UNESCO organized event in Kronberg, Germany, recently.
Adopting the “Kronberg Declaration on the Future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing” the high-level experts also said that leaders in the public and private sectors must embrace change in organizations and people by providing opportunities and incentives to facilitate and motivate, as well as to overcome typical barriers in knowledge acquisition and sharing.

They anticipated that in the coming decades, the importance of acquiring factual knowledge will decrease, whereas the ability to find one’s way in complex systems and to find, judge, organize and creatively use relevant information, as well as the capability to learn, will become crucially important.

The “Kronberg Declaration” that UNESCO and the German Commission for UNESCO have just released summarizes the discussions at the meeting of a UNESCO High Level Group that took place from 22 to 23 June 2007 in Kronberg, Germany. The event was jointly organised by UNESCO and the German Commission for UNESCO, and was sponsored by BASF.

Eighteen international experts from thirteen countries agreed on the fact that knowledge acquisition and sharing institutions are facing dramatic changes, mainly due to the rapid development of ICTs. Models of knowledge acquisition, the role of teachers and trainers, the institutional framework and methods of assessment will change radically over the coming decades, they said. They also highlighted that knowledge acquisition and sharing institutions will have to focus more closely on the development of social and emotional abilities and skills.

The experts anticipate that while learners will play an ever more active role in knowledge acquisition and sharing, including in content creation and dissemination, their teachers will act increasingly as managers of learning processes and as coaches.

The experts stressed the need to involve all stakeholders, including the private sector, academia and user communities in developing long-term policies and implementation strategies. Multistakeholder partnerships shall provide sustained, long-term real solutions for ICT applications in knowledge acquisition and sharing.

“We have seen over the past 10 years a dramatic increase of the dependence of global development processes from the ability to efficiently produce, disseminate and use information and knowledge” says Abdul Waheed Khan, UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Communication and Information. ”Lack of access to knowledge increasingly accentuates marginalization and economic deprivation, and we need to join efforts to bridge these gaps”.

According to Walter Hirche, President of the German Commission for UNESCO, "knowledge is ever more an essential condition for making self-determined decisions on life options; therefore, the need to continuously enhance new ICTs in order to ensure access to learning instruments and content for all people is an important conclusion of the Kronberg declaration."
Related themes/countries

      · Germany
      · ICT in Education: News Archives 2007
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