Project Description

Barcelona, 23rd and 24th November 2016

This November, the Escola Nova 21 Alliance organized, together with UNESCO and the OECD, a symposium to contribute to the confluence of international knowledge on the educational purpose and foundations of learning practices with research and educational work already existing in our country. The symposium was held at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona, and included an inaugural lecture by the former Director General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, on the challenges of education in the world today, twenty years after the Délors Report, which he promoted. A short time before, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Catalan Government, Raül Romeva; the Rector of the UPF, Jaume Casals; and the Vice Rector of the Open University of Catalonia, Marta Aymerich, had inaugurated the symposium.

Escola Nova 21, the alliance promoted by Unescocat among others, aims to contribute, over a period of three years, to empowering teachers, families and society to promote an educational system in the direction set by Agenda 2030: towards a truly competitive purpose that favors children and young people becoming autonomous people with a full life, and towards learning practices that respond to the knowledge of how people learn. 

UNESCO’s reflection on educational purpose, with its two major reports on Education (Faure and Delors), as well as the recent Rethinking Education and the work it begun on rethinking learning in a complex world; and the OECD, with its previous work on learning practices of the Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) initiative, and the current study, Innovative Pedagogies for Powerful Learning – both provide the main frameworks on which to develop the process of change, which Escola Nova 21 has synthesized in the Advanced School framework

The symposium has enabled the confluence of the research work of academics from different Catalan universities, heads of schools and institutes, and representatives of educational and local administration, with the work on education in the 21st century of UNESCO, represented by the expert in Educational Research and Prospective, Carlos Vargas, and the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation of the OECD, represented by its director, David Istance. Thus, international knowledge and experience has connected with the work of educational transformation in the Catalan educational system. 

The four main thematic areas of reflection have been: the purpose of a competence-based education in a complex world; grounded practices of competence-based learning; the challenges of assessment; and how to make educational change possible, in addition to various discussion groups about more specific and related issues. The symposium was brought to a close by Meritxell Ruiz, Education Minister of the Government of Catalonia. 

Complete program of the Symposium on education change

You can review the opening ceremony of the Educational Symposium here:

Opening ceremony of the Educational Symposium

Federico Mayor Zaragoza – Inaugural lecture

Summary video of the Educational Symposium

Conclusions and clousure of the Educational Symposium