UNESCO’s first education seminar, in 1947, was on the theme of education for international understanding. In 1948, UNESCO published a radical pamphlet, written by Marie-Therese Maurette, the then Director of the International School of Geneva, who in promoting the need for “International-mindedness”, posited that this was a concept which needed to be “taught rather than caught”.
Among her proposals were: more prominence in atlases to “the world” as a “concept” rather than over focusing on individual countries; a new “World History” course; insistence on pupils learning a second language and participation in some form of community service.
By 1951 a small group of headteachers volunteered to form the Conference of Internationally Minded Schools. In the same year, with UNESCO backing together with the support of staff, parents and governors of the International School of Geneva and the United Nations International School in New York, the International Schools Association (ISA) was founded. ISA was the very first educational,nongovernmental organization (NGO) to have, and to continue to have, consultative status at UNESCO. ISA became one of the earliest examples of supranational educative bodies operating on the stage of global education. By the early 1960’s there were some 50 self-declared international schools, more than half of which were ISA members.
Education is the best instrument to build a better world. Living in peace is achieved by working together and celebrating our cultural diversity and similarity.