About the UNESCO Chair in DCMÉT
Welcome to the UNESCO Chair in Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education (DCMÉT) website!
This website is meant to serve as a meeting-place, a hub of activity and participation, an archive for our research, and a center for re-imagining democracy, global citizenship and transformative education, the inter-related, interdisciplinary concepts underpinning our project. We are hopeful that this UNESCO Chair DCMÉT will be able to engage colleagues, students, activists, civil society members, decision-makers and a variety of interested parties around the world. The UNESCO Chair DCMÉT was founded in 2016, and the first term was completed in late 2020. An application for renewal for another four years is in process.
What is a UNESCO Chair?
A UNESCO Chair involves research, civil society participation, linking up with partners in the Global South, and a direct connection to UNESCO objectives and goals, especially, pertaining to the UNESCO Chair DCMÉT, in relation to human rights, global citizenship, education for sustainable development, peace education and education for all within a critical, engaging and inclusive lens. Working with UNESCO and other UNESCO Chairs is also a unique feature of the work undertaken by a UNESCO Chair.
Why a UNESCO Chair?
The Co-Chair, Gina Thésée, became involved with UNESCO’s Teachers Task Force for Education for All in 2012, attending the annual Policy Dialogue Forums, respectively, in Buea, Windhoek, Kinshasa, Rabat, Mexico City and Siem Reap, for the next several years. She served as a Rapporteur as well as a presenter in several of the meetings, and Paul R. Carr served as the Rapporteur general for the Rabat meeting in 2014, during which time we both spent several months in Paris working on UNESCO projects. The work continued in Canada with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, attending meetings, cultivating relations, and developing a network with the other roughly 25 UNESCO Chairs in Canada, culminating in the proposal for the UNESCO Chair in Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education.
Our collaboration together (Carr and Thésée) over the past almost twenty years has led us to a number of countries around the world, and we are hopeful that the engaging, dynamic and transformative work that we have seen and experienced in a variety of contexts will spill over to the work of our UNESCO Chair.
Objectives of the UNESCO Chair in DCMÉT
Contribute to the democratization of educational systems and societal structures in diverse geographic spaces, notably in the South.
Establish meaningful, sustained and effective relationships, partnerships and collaborations between the North and the South in relation to the core themes of the Chair.
Generate a beneficial interdisciplinary and overlapping research program in relation to democracy, global citizenship and transformative education.
Build and enhance capacity for education for democracy in several jurisdictions.
Establish a certificate in democracy and transformative education as well as other means of transferring knowledge.
Develop a vibrant, tangible and mutually beneficial network of partners between the North and South in relation to the core themes of the proposed Chair.
Cultivate collaboration between researchers in the North and the South on the core themes of the proposed Chair.
Develop a range of publications in support of the central focus of the proposed Chair.
Organize a hub of activity for the proposed Chair through workshops, courses, conferences, symposia and meetings.
Develop an effective, meaningful and productive relationship with other UNESCO Chairs.
How is the UNESCO Chair website organized?
This website and the UNESCO Chair in DCMÉT build on over a decade of research on democracy and education, including the Global Doing Democracy Research Project (GDDRP), founded in 2008 by David Zyngier and Paul R. Carr, which grew from the first study Carr conducted on education for democracy in 2006. We now have over fifty similar projects with some 5,000 participants in more than a dozen countries. A Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant (2012/2013-2016/2017) on Democracy, Political Literacy and Transformative Education (DPLTE) further underpins our work, and much of the research, analysis, findings and documents related to that project is also integrated into this website and the work of the UNESCO Chair.
All of the sections on the website will grow over time, and we will continue to share all of our analyses, findings, publications and outcomes of the research as well as experiences with colleagues from around the world. We will also enhance and develop networking and instruments and resources that will assist all those interested to better connect with our research, the fields of democracy, global citizenship and transformative education, and emerging collaborative projects and opportunities.
We hope that language will not prove to be a barrier, nor will national, cultural, political and/or disciplinary contexts and approaches present any obstacles to our evolving work. Our team functions in English, French and Spanish, and we will make every reasonable effort, in solidarity and in collaboration, to work with others. We are working toward making the website more user-friendly in all three languages, and the Google translate function should also allow for some meaningful access in most languages.
In sum, we hope that this website will be helpful to those interested in democracy, global citizenship and transformative education, and also that anyone interested will feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, queries and/or requests. We invite colleagues and friends to join us via Facebook and Twitter, which provide frequent updates, engagement, and news aimed at extending our interest in participatory democracy.
Lastly, we want to acknowledge and thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), which generously provided a research grant that has supported the work leading to the UNESCO Chair DCMÉT. It is also important to highlight the contribution of the DPLTE research team, including Collaborators Brad Porfilio [San Jose State University, USA] and David Zyngier [Monash University, Australia], and Research Assistants in Ontario [Gary Pluim and Lauren Howard] and in Québec [Franck Potwora, Lidia Guennaoui and Keven Poulin]. We also are most appreciative of the support that we have received from the Université du Québec en Outaouais, the host institution for our UNESCO Chair DCMÉT, as well as the Université du Québec à Montréal, where the Co-Chair is located. Lastly, we are also grateful for the support from all of our colleagues on the Executive Committee and the National and International Advisory Committees as well as many others (including our Special Advisors), who have been sources of inspiration and guidance over a long and sustained period of time.
Many thanks to all who have had a hand in cultivating this UNESCO Chair, DCMÉT, which seeks, ultimately, to be a vehicle for social change, and, in a humble way, we sincerely hope, a better world.
Best regards, please fell free to contact us, and enjoy the website!
Dr. Paul R. Carr & Dr. Gina Thésée
Chair and Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education
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