Role of Education in Developing International Understanding


International Understanding is the cornerstone for building lasting world peace. Though a difficult and challenging task it is by no means an unattainable one. Education has a crucial role to play in laying the groundwork for achieving international understanding. Peace begins in the minds of people and it is in young minds that the future of the world rests. In this regard education can spearhead the efforts to create a culture of peace leading to a harmonious and conflict free human society.

James P. Grant, former Executive Director of UNICEF stated at the International Conference on Education, Geneva, 1994:  Education for peace must be global, for as the communication revolution transforms the world into a single community, everyone must come to understand that they are affected by what happens elsewhere and that their lives, too, have an impact. Solidarity is a survival strategy in the global village.

The UNESCO in 1974 in its Recommendation Concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms stated that the following objectives should be regarded as major guiding principles of the educational policy:Image result for international understanding

  1. An international dimension and a global perspective in education at all levels and in all its forms; Understanding and respect for all peoples, their cultures, civilizations, values and ways of life, including domestic ethnic cultures and cultures of other nations;
  2. Awareness of the increasing global interdependence between peoples and nations;
  3. Abilities to communicate with others;
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    • Awareness not only of the rights but also of the duties incumbent upon individuals, social groups and nations towards each other;
    • Understanding of the necessity for international solidarity and cooperation;
    • Readiness on the part of the individual to participate in solving the problems of his community, his country and the world at large.


Education, through the following ways and means, can contribute extensively for bringing about an international outlook among students:

  • The aims of education should reflect the need for creating an international perspective among students.
  • The curriculum should be so designed as to manifest a global outlook, it should include within its range a knowledge of world heritage, the countries and cultures of the world.
  • The various subjects should aim to develop an international attitude and include topics related to world regions, religions, diverse thoughts and views from across the globe.
  • The learning experiences provided to students should be delivered to them using different teaching methodologies that inculcate a democratic and tolerant attitude in them such as group discussion, co-operative learning, project method etc.
  • The teacher has a critical role to play in developing an international outlook in the students. The teacher should have an open mind, encourage global thinking in his pupils, deliver the content to students without any bias or prejudice and inculcate in them the thoughts that will lead to peace.[wpdevart_like_box profile_id=”foundationsofeducationbook” connections=”show” width=”300″ height=”100″ header=”small” cover_photo=”show” locale=”en_US”]
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    • Through various co curricular activities like cultural programmes, morning assemblies, competitions with international themes or issues, students can be made aware of their responsibilities world citizens.
    • Teacher exchange programmes as well as student exchange programmes can to a large extent help in fostering an international outlook.
    • International understanding can be cultivated through international study tours and excursions.
    • Speakers from other countries can be invited to interact with students so that they are exposed to different viewpoints and opinions.
    • Celebrating international days can go a long way in creating a global awareness among students and thus promote international understanding.


In the words of Dr. Radhakrishnan, “The world once divided by oceans and continents is united physically today but there are still suspicions and misunderstandings. It is essential for us not to live apart but to live together. Understanding one another’s fears and anxieties aspirations and thoughts are what we are expected to do. We must not claim a racial extermination, enslavement or segregation but work for racial harmony. We may be German, we may be American, we may be Russian but we are essentially human beings. Let us not overlook this fundamental fact let us learn to live in a World Community.”

[shc_shortcode class=”shc_mybox”]Thus, it can be seen that education is the prime instrument through which seeds of peace can be sown in young minds and thus aid in developing an international understanding among the future citizens of our world. In today’s world, the nuclear checkmate may have resulted in an uneasy peace among the states but what is required is the creation of a positive peace in the minds of individuals which will ultimately lead to global goodwill and give a chance for an enduring peace in the world.[/shc_shortcode]



Education:Philosophy, Sociology and Economics. Edited by Naseerali M.K.


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