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Learning To Live Together

Learning to Live Together (LTLT) is one of the four pillars of learning identified in the landmark report Learning: The Treasure Within, presented to UNESCO by the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century in 1996. Recognizing the challenges and dynamics of the modern world, it placed particular emphasis on LTLT in creating a "new spirit" through mutual understanding and building common projects.

UNESCO Bangkok's new publication Learning to Live Together: Education Policies and Realities in the Asia-Pacific, examines how education systems in 10 selected countries—Afghanistan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, The Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—are trying to transform this vision into reality. The LTLT pillar forms the conceptual base of this new publication, which identifies two complementary LTLT processes—"discovery of others" and "experience of shared purposes."

In today's increasingly interconnected world, threats to peace and security, increased mobility, environmental degradation, and economic inequality all form part of the many challenges that we continue to face. Through these two processes, learners can develop key competencies to help cope with the demands of our ever-changing world, such as empathy, cultural sensitivity, media and information literacy, and teamwork and leadership, among others.

This report shows that national education policy frameworks in these 10 countries have, for the most part, taken the concept of LTLT into account as they refer to a number of themes, such as peace, human rights, gender equality, and the environment, in defining the purpose of education in their policies. Some countries have also listed pertinent aspects of LTLT and the need for learners to develop skills in the socio-emotional domains as part of their education goals, such as the National Education Goals in Sri Lanka or the Melbourne Declaration in Australia.

Of course, teachers are fundamental agents of social change, and thus also play a fundamental role in promoting LTLT in the classroom. As critical role models for their students, teachers who can themselves demonstrate competencies such as empathy, communication, leadership, and teamwork through participatory and collaborative teaching approaches are more likely to impart these competencies to learners. At the same time, the findings show a gap in teacher knowledge and support for the transfer of LTLT competencies in classroom settings, which indicates the need to further embed and promote LTLT in pre- and in-service teacher training.

Resources

UNESCO Bangkok Report, Learning to Live Together: Education Policies and Realities in the Asia-Pacific

Read the publication from 1996, Learning: the Treasure Within, which included an LTLT pillar and gave rise to the LTLT initiative.