Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alliance of Civilizations - United Nations

  • Alliance of Civilizations -


    To bring the concept of an Alliance of Civilizations to practical fulfillment, education must be addressed at multiple levels.

    The most obvious aspect of education that must be considered are those efforts that replace ignorance of the Other with knowledge of the Other, promoting understanding and tolerance in place of misunderstanding and intolerance.

    Concerning relations between the predominantly Muslim societies and Western countries, education is a key component of many of the themes that the Alliance seeks to advance, including positive youth engagement, the development of responsible and constructive media, the integration of diverse populations, and the effective interaction of contemporary societies.

    The complexity and connectedness of modern life requires a holistic attitude toward knowledge and awareness of the significance, dignity and responsibility of each individual in the overall context of humanity. It also requires educational security, in which regional, class, gender and age equity in educational opportunity become vital goals to promote constructive social engagement over violence. In an increasingly inter-connected world, education for all is not only a vital objective, but also one that should be within reach.

    Download the thematic paper on education

    Other Resources

    World History and Geography Presentation (PowerPoint file)

    Education Issues and Efforts (PDF file)

    Access to Education (PDF file)

    Second Meeting of the HLG - Report on Education (PDF file)

    Clash of Civilizations?
    Exploring Misconceptions about the Islamic World – A Daily Lesson Plan on the AoC by the New York Times Learning Network

    In this lesson, students learn about a United Nations initiative to create the Alliance of Civilizations to resolve conflict between the East and West. They then discuss and dismantle a number of misconceptions about the Muslim world.

    Breaking the Silence Education Project
    UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project, was launched in 1998. It aims to break the silence surrounding the Transatlantic Slave Trade, while forging new triangular links between over 120 ASPnet schools in 22 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe.

  • Education about Religions and Beliefs -

Welcome to the clearinghouse on Education about Religions and Beliefs! This is a site-in-progress, so please bear with us as we iron out the kinks in the next couple of weeks.

Why are we doing this site? Participants at the AoC January 2008 Madrid Forum expressed the strong desire that the next AoC clearinghouse should be a clearinghouse on “Education about Religions and Beliefs” (ERB). Education about different religions and beliefs, and critically thinking about the nature of beliefs, enables populations to deal sensitively and tolerantly with the reality of today's globalized multicultural world where one will encounter people who believe in many different religions, or people who may not believe in any religion at all.

This site focuses on primary and secondary education about religions and beliefs – as a starting point. Material on civic education, tolerance education, ethics education, and other forms of education aimed at enabling us to learn to live together will also be featured.

This section is the heart of the Clearinghouse. It features consensus guidelines (drawn up at local, provincial, national and international levels) about teaching about religions and beliefs in schools, and learning and teaching materials including curricula, syllabi, and teaching tools.

A brief explanation of each of the resources follows.


Guidelines are documents that contain a broad explanation/suggestion on education about religions and beliefs, intercultural education, diversity etc. These can be international suggestions as well as national and regional/provincial/local, depending on the country of its origin and may be used as guidelines as to what the courses should involve.

Learning & Teaching Materials


The curricular guidelines lay out a program's educational philosophy, specify purposes and course content, identify implementation constraints and articulate assessment and evaluation criteria.

The curriculum is the actual course of study and includes the goals, methods and evaluation for each and is more specific than the guidelines. They most likely include a specification on what grade they are supposed to be used in.

They may also include banks of materials that teachers can modify to meet the needs of their learners.


Syllabi, on the other hand, traditionally represent the content of an individual course and specify how this content is graded and sequenced.

It is a specification of work of a particular department in a school or college, and it might be broken down into subsections, which will define the work of a particular group or class.

The syllabus is the individual set of rules, procedures, expectations, goals, materials for the class, including the texts and additional books that will be read, meaning that it also can include its own set of teaching tools

Teaching Tools

The contents of the teaching tools are tools to be used during education about religions and beliefs classes. This can be lesson plans, games, text books, or other interactive resources that can be used either directly or as an inspiration.