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DMU education experts lead global summit to help teachers achieve UNESCO goals

An education summit that could help raise teaching standards across the globe has been organised by experts from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Dr Sarah Younie and Dr Marilyn Leask focused on practical ways to deliver the UNESCO Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA), aimed at improving young people's lives through education.

HLS teacher summit main

Dr Marilyn Leask and Dr Sarah Younie, first and second left

They welcomed teachers, researchers, academics and policy makers from as far afield as Pakistan and Australia to the event in London.

Dr Younie, Reader in Education, Innovation & Technology, said: "We looked at how we can improve teacher knowledge through giving them access to research.

"One example was for teachers to understand the 12 most common mistakes in spelling and how to address this. We also looked at teaching English as an additional language.

"These are truly international goals.

"There have been lots of attempts to do this before but not with such a joined-up approach."

UNESCO has been entrusted to lead the UN's Sustainable Development Goal number four - ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all - and have formulated the FFA to achieve this.

Dr Younie and Dr Leask, DMU Visiting Professor of Education, were asked to host the event because of their education project, MESH (Mapping Educational Specialist knowHow). This is an international online research resource to support teachers and echoes UNESCO's goals.

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Guests spoke about teacher education and the critical role of teachers in the successful implementation of the framework, with targets for 2030 including that young people across the world are numerate and literate.

Gary Brace, UNESCO UK National Commission (UKNC) Non-Executive Director for Education, was one of the key speakers.

He said: "The summit was an energetic and inspiring event attended by professionals and academics who understand the vital role of teachers and ongoing teacher education to delivering the new goals. The speeches were wide-ranging and sparked creative discussions."

Mr Brace considered how teacher education could be used to overcome resource constraints in developing countries.

He added: "The UKNC is looking to pursue these questions further in future policy work, in collaboration with members of its expert network, which Dr Younie has been invited to join."

The DMU team will produce a report of the Teacher Education Knowledge Mobilisation Summit, which international guests will forward to their UNESCO in-country commissions, so that recommendations are presented as a collaborative outcome.

Dr Younie added: "We were very pleased with how it went and had positive feedback. The delegates asked us to run a follow-up event next year."

Posted on Thursday 26th May 2016

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