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The "four pillars" and e-Education for all

jeudi 6 novembre 2003, par Cornu Bernard

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Project Proposal

The "four pillars" and e-Education for all

October 2003

e-Education for all

UNESCO has stated as an essential priority the aim of "Education for All". This ambition is double : it means ensuring access to Education to everyone, and especially the most disadvantaged ; and it also means ensuring access to quality in Education for all. Improving access to and quality of education is a major challenge for preparing the future.

Education is not only a matter of content an subject transmission. A report to UNESCO by the Commission for Education in the XXIst century noted that education should include four main dimensions, four "pillars" : Learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, learning to be.

Information and communication technologies bring new tools, new concepts, new resources, new pedagogies for teaching and learning. These new possibilities must not be reduced to technological tools. It must take into account all the dimensions of education.

The "e-Society", the society changed by information and communication technologies, needs a new kind of education. This new kind of education, the "e-education", musty be made accessible for all, and must be a quality education for all. The four pillars are concerned in this vision of Education. The particularity of the project is to take into account that information and communication technologies do not only bring technological changes, but more social, global and fundamental ones. It is therefore important to relate information and communication technologies to the aims of "education for all" and to the "four pillars" of education.

Project aims

The aim of this project is to take into account the wide set of possibilities of information and communication technologies, in order to promote and improve e-Education for All, addressing each of the "four pillars" of education. At this stage, concrete ideas and actions must be defined more precisely. Main aims :

  • Create new pedagogical strategies, tools and resources in order to promote e-education for all.
  • Create pedagogical strategies oriented towards the four pillars of education : learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, learning to be.
  • Create "e-educational services", especially for developing countries.
  • Create tools and resources for teachers, aiming at the development of e-education for all :
    • Tools and resources for e-education
    • Using e-education for enhancing education for all
    • Using e-education for implementing the spirit of the four pillars of education.
  • Create international communities around e-education strategies.
  • Create knowledge building and exchange processes within the local community.

Key principles

Created knowledge should support the attainment of social goals, such as those stated in the UN Millenium Declaration, and should support shared understanding.

  • Participation of several of the following actors : governments, UN organs and agencies, international/national/regional organisations, international professional organisations, business sector, civil society, academic institutions, and so forth.
  • Projects will be directed at practical, real-world contributions to the creation of instances of e-Education, e-Health, and e-Society, especially in developing countries, and not to academic or industrial research or development. The latter may, however, be required for the execution of the projects.
  • The ICT used to implement these capabilities/facilities/services must be based on the experience and finances of the sponsoring organization(s).
  • The ICT used to implement these capabilities/facilities/services and the businesses established to develop the local economy must recognize the lack of a strong electrical supply and of a robust communication infrastructure in many developing areas and the need to develop commerce based on dematerialized or virtual activities.
  • Project execution will include a reciprocal goal of enriching the developed nations with the created knowledge of the culture, languages, and value systems of the local community.

Needs Addressed

  • Contribute to the aims of the Dakar Forum "Education for all", particularly in the field of e-Education. Ensure access for all to the benefits of new technologies, methods, contents, resources to improve Education.
  • Provide resources, methods, tools, ICT-based, in order to enhance the balance between the "four pillars" of Education : learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together, learning to be..

Plan of activities

  • Designing and experimenting educational tools integrating the "four pillars" and usable in developed and developing countries.
  • Producing recommendations for developing e-Education for all.
  • Promote concrete actions and experiments for "e-Education for all". For example :
    • 2 or 3 local actions in schools or universities in developing countries
    • a distance-action through Internet about e-Education for all and the four pillars
    • a more global action at a policy-makers and decision-makers level.
  • These actions should be focused on concepts such as :
    • networking for all
    • enhancing collective intelligence.

Expected Outcomes

  • Concrete tools, resources, recommendations, web-resources, should be developed and produced.
  • The results of the experiments, the recommendations, the tools and resources produced should be generalisable and disseminated.
  • The outcomes should provide basis for "e-Educational policies". For example, following the Dakar Forum, provide an "e-Education for all Framework for Action", based on some designed and experimented actions.

Critical Success Factors

  • Real cooperation between developed and developing countries
  • Meeting the actual needs of learners and educational systems.
  • Real international dimension.
  • Precise contribution to the aims of the Dakar Framework for Action.

Key Measures of Success

  • Local success of the first experiments
  • Possibility of generalisation and dissemination

Scientific Results Expected

  • New elements about the articulation of the four pillars in Education
  • Technological, pedagogical, political, social, ethical principles and statements for developing e-Education for all.".

Outline Timetable

  • Phase 1 : Establishing principles and aims for the international project.
  • Phase 2 : Describing a concrete list of possible actions to be carried out in the framework of this project.
  • Phase 3 : Designing a "road-map" for each action and for the global project.
  • Phase 4 : Selecting the appropriate partners and places for experiment.
  • Phase 5 : Carrying out the different actions.
  • Phase 6 : Gathering the results and outputs ; evaluating.
  • Phase 7 : Stating principles for dissemination
  • Phase 8 : From the results and outputs, design recommendations and possible actions to be stated and carried out officially as a follow up of the Dakar Framework for Action, by international bodies (UNESCO, OECD, Countries having participated in the WSIS, …).

Human Resources

  • A coordinating board
  • Teachers and professors
  • Researchers
  • Technologists and implementers
  • Experimenters

Material and financial Resources

  • Such a project needs resources for developing tools and methods, resources for experimenting them in some places, resources for establishing definite and permanent follow up in some places.
  • Resources include : human power, computers, technology and development, resources for people to meet and cooperate. Potential actors
  • Private companies to be precised
  • International bodies
  • European Commission
  • La Villa Media could be the focal point of such a project, in partnership with
    • SAWT
    • international bodies
    • universities and schools
    • private partners
    • etc.


Prof. Bernard CORNU is the director of La Villa Media (the European Residence for Educational Multimedia), Grenoble, France, and a Professor at the IUFM of Grenoble, France (University Institute for Teacher Education).

He is a Professor (applied Mathematics) at IUFM (Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maitres - University Institute for Teacher Education) of Grenoble, France. For ten years (1990-2000) he has been the Director of the IUFM of Grenoble. Until 1994, Bernard Cornu was the Chairman of the 29 IUFMs in France. He was (2000-2002) an Advisor for Teacher Education at the French Ministry of Education.

Prof. Bernard Cornu is a mathematician at Grenoble University. He studied the influence of computers and informatics on mathematics and its teaching, and also worked in didactics of mathematics. He has been the Director of the Institute of Research on Mathematics Teaching (IREM) of Grenoble, and then the Head at the in-service teacher training office for the Academy of Grenoble. His scientific speciality is now the Integration of Information and Communication Technologies into Education, and its influence on the Teaching Profession and on Educational Policies.

As a member of IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing), he has been (1995-2000) the chairman of Working Group 3.1 ("Informatics Education at the Secondary Education Level"), and he is now the secretary of the IFIP TC3 (Technical Committee for Edcucation).

Prof. Bernard Cornu is a Member of the French National Commission for UNESCO, and the vice-chair of the Education Committee. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Governing Board of IITE, the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in education, located in Moscow. He has been (1998-2002) the President of the French Commission for Mathematics Education.

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