THE EDUCATION RELIEF FOUNDATION

Balanced and Inclusive Education (BIE)

ERF's Mission is to deliver, promote and embed a new, inclusive balanced education that enables young people to learn from the contributions of diverse civilisations and cultures.

Balanced and Inclusive Education provides us with both the ethical and the practical framework for redesigning our education systems. The principle of “inclusion” is no longer limited to the access of the marginalised to the school institution as it stands, but goes beyond this by also seeking to resolve the causes of exclusion, marginalisation and imbalance in our societies, the seed of which lies at the heart of our education systems.

Four Pillars of Balanced and Inclusive Education (BIE)

ERF's balanced and Inclusive Education is based on four pillars: intraculturalism, transdisciplinarity, dialecticism, and contextuality.

INTRACULTURALISM

Approach based upon in-depth cultural intro- spection for a more complete understanding of the inter-indebtedness and interdependence of cultures

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Drive towards the uniformisation and globalisation of culture (disappearance of difference, which is thought to be problematic and not useful).

An ethical concern for interculturalism: welcoming and promoting the difference between « others » and « us ».
Intraculturalism: A deep interest in understanding one’s own culture, so as to appreciate its interdependence and inter-indebtedness with other cultures – coming to the realisation that « others » are also « us », and that there is a profound, innate human solidarity undergirding our differences.

TRANSDISCIPLINARITY

Integrative multi-perspective approach based upon inter- connecting both academic as well as non-academic know- ledge domains for a complex and holistic understanding of the world

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Pluri-disciplinarity: Education is conceived by specialists in education, and consists of different subjects taught side-by-side in different classes.

Interdisciplinarity: Education is conceived by diverse disciplinary specialists, together, and the curricula attempt to overcome barriers between subjects.

Transdisciplinarity: Education is conceived both by specialists and by stakeholders who are not specialised. Curricula reflect the social needs and aspirations relevant to educational attainment, going beyond the limitations of academic disciplines.

DIALECTICISM

Interactional and synergetic approach based upon problem-posing dialogue and critical exchange, for free and critical thinking through the proactive participation of learners

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Unidirectional teaching of knowledge by rote memorisation, with the student responding to questions posed by the teacher, who knows all the correct answers.
There is a concern for stimulating participation by the student in class, such as through moments of debate held under the guidance of the teacher.
Dialecticism: A pedagogy based on back-and-forth dialogue, study and debate among ideas, between students, enabling them to motivate themselves and take charge of their studies – supporting the development of active citizens from school into adulthood, developing critical thinking skills, active research and the ability to manage doubt.

CONTEXTUALITY

Context-centred approach based upon the integration and adaption to the realities, values, and interpretive frameworks of the learners, to develop their sense of co-ownership and co-creation

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Uniform teaching of standardised knowledge, free of any links to the learning context.

Attention is paid to contextualising certain lessons to respond to the specific needs of a given country.
Contextuality: the adaptation of curricula, methods and didactic content to local, national and global realities, articulating universalisable lessons through an educational institution that is open to the local community, capable of becoming an active development actor, co-creator of solutions to local problems, and participative citizen for the common good.

School is a place where young people should learn about and develop a healthy pride in their identities, embracing the humility of knowing that our cultures are all deeply indebted to each other – and finding the richness, beauty, utility, interconnection in each of them. This is how they build true solidarity and social cohesion, growing up into engaged, proactive citizens.

We are bringing together governments, academics and civil society to chart a better path, and establish the means to construct innovative education systems that respond to every student’s needs.

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