The UNESCO Chair of the Curriculum Development (UCCD) of University de Québec in Montreal (UQAM) was created in 2009 at UQAM by the General director of UNESCO on recommencation of the Canadian Commission of UNESCO. His work is mainly oriented towards curriculum engineering. Building on the previous works of the Chair (2009-2017), and its former holder Professor Philippe Jonnaert. The Chair was renewed by UNESCO in September of 2017.

Propectively, the CUDC proposes to aligin its research program within the international context summoned by the 2030 Program Agenda of Sustainable Development (UNESCO, 2016). As a result, the work of the CUDC led by the new co-chairholders, professors Patrick Chrland and Stépharie Cyr, are not only in line with previous work, but also focuses on specific contexts. In particular, educational systems in contexts of emergency and reconstruction.

This new orientation is firstly justified by the assessment for all programs of education (UNESCO, 2015a), which highlighted the fact that millions of children still do have access to education because of nature and the scale of crises that have shaken several educational systems in recent years. "Conflicts remain a major obstacle in regards to schooling and a large and growing proportion of unschooled children live in conflict areas" (UNESCO, 2015b). Half of unschooled children would live or have lived in a war-affected country (UNHCR, 2015a). As a result, the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development "recognizes the urgency of responsing to the complex educational needs of crisis-affected populations in the current global context where many countries are in conflict, while others face the serious consequences of natural disasters" (UNESCO, 2017). Moreover, "there is an unprecedented number of forced population displacements, which weighs heavily on education systems, considering that about 50% of refugee children and 75% of young refugees in the world are not in school. Marginalized groups, such as girls and people with disabilities, are the most affected "(UNESCO, 2017).

In this perspective, the research community must study and document the educational contexts in which so many children evolve. The UNESCO Chair in Curriculum Development will be the first research facility in a francophone environment, to focus on the field of education in contexts of emergency, recovery, reconstruction and development. HIs work will strengthen the body of evidence and support institutions and practitoners, while facilitating the production and the sharing of knowledge in this area.

Research objectives

The main objective of the CUDC is to promote an integrated system of research activities, training and information in the field of curriculum development. It facilitates collaboration between researchers in higher Canadian educational institutions and those in other parts of the world.

Its work has three specific objectives:

  1. To develop a theoretical and methodological framework guiding the development of curricula;
  2. To put in place strategies that will strengthen the capacity of ministeral staff and education practitioners in curriculum development and implementation of reforms of educational systems;
  3. The development, in partnership with existing networks, a practice community to allows exchnages between experts in curricular matters from the South and the North.

For his renewed mandate until 2021, the CUDC intends to structure its research activities and intervention surround 4 axes in crisis, recovery, reconstruction and development contexts:

  1. Educational inequalities of marginalized populations and disadvantaged groups
  2. Security and Social cohesion in education;
  3. Development of educational systems;
  4. Teacher training.

The education system across the continuum of the crisis

1. Emergency

State following a sudden and generally unplanned event that calls for immediate action to minimize its adverse consequences. In such a situation, immediate assistance to the victims of a disaster or armed conflict is necessary. The main objective is to meet basic livelihood needs and save lives.

2. Recovery

Restoring the capacity of a government and its communities to rebuild and recover from the crisis, but also to prevent relapses. Recovery does not only seek to catalyze sustainable development activities, but also to lean on previous humanitarian action programs to ensure that their inputs become assets for the development phase.

3. Reconstruction

A set of activities to address components and structures that have been affected by a disaster or conflict.

4. Development

Conjuncture in which a country or region is in the process of global development of its economic, intellectual, social and cultural side.

5. Institutionalization

Process of setting up, formalizing, perpetuating, structuring and accepting a system of social relations within a State.