EuChemS provides feedback on the draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) text

May 29, 2018

EuChemS has provided feedback on the draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) text.

We are generally pleased with the text and its emphasis on open access to educational materials and ways to move forward with improving education on a global scale. Nevertheless, we identified one important aspect to be missing: the role of educational researchers. You can read our response below, and access the draft recommendations here.

EuChemS feedback:

We strongly welcome the invitation to contribute to the draft OER recommendation text. We are generally pleased with the recommendations and the text, but wish to point out one important aspect that we believe is nevertheless missing from the OER recommendations.

The notion of enabling open access to educational material for use by teachers in the classroom is crucial. The issue lies however in the accessibility of these materials. Although teachers may be interested, they will often only use such materials if they are pointed out to them. As such, the recommendations leave out an important group of stakeholders, namely, those conducting educational research in classrooms. The research this group carries out is vital for the improvement of education. Leaving out educational research, sharing methodology and results coming out of research is leaving out the goal of evidence-based education. We hold the view that unless educational research is encouraged and supported, the quality of education will not rise as wished. The exchange of materials that the OER recommendations strongly focuses on, is not enough.

We moreover would like to point out that additional emphasis could be put on the issue of decreasing interest in STEM education in a number of countries (ROSE-report), and the role science education plays in reaching the sustainable development goals. 

Prepared by EuChemS Division of Chemical Education and EuChemS Secretariat.