IBE Milestones (1925-1969)
The IBE Secretariat in 1925, with Pierre Bovet (front row, left), Director, and Marie Butts (front row, center), Secretary-General. Bovet was very involved in the progressive education movement, which defended the principle of individuals participating actively in their own education.
The IBE Secretariat in 1930, with Jean Piaget (front row, center), Director; Pedro Rosselló (front row, center right), Deputy Director; and Marie Butts (front row, center left), Secretary-General. Piaget and Rosselló presided over the IBE during the 40 years of its existence as an independent intergovernmental organization on education.
In July 1937, in a plenary session of the sixth ICPE at the Palais Wilson, delegates deliberated on working conditions in the teaching profession, with an emphasis on the remuneration of primary and secondary teachers. This led to it adopting a charter on the status of teachers – a precursor of UNESCO’s current recommendation on the conditions of the teaching profession.
THE FIRST OF ITS KIND
In 1939, at the start of World War II, the IBE established the Service of Intellectual Aid to Prisoners of War (SIAP). By the end of 1945, more than half a million books, worth more than 2 million Swiss francs, were distributed to prisoners of war across European countries. The service grew exponentially, as if to defy the war itself. By July 1940, 1,000 books had been shipped. A year later, that figure was nearly 50,000, and by July 1942, it had reached 200,000.
For the first time in history, the IBE jointly convened the tenth session of the International Conference on Public Education (ICPE) with UNESCO on July 14 to 19, 1947. This session of the ICPE advocated for the free provision of school supplies, and physical education in secondary schools, which should be compulsory and taught by qualified staff.
Jean Piaget (left), Director of the IBE, in conversation with Agustín Nieto Caballero (right), Founder of the Gimnasio Moderno (Bogotá, Colombia), at the 12th ICPE, July 1949. The conference made recommendations on the teaching of reading; the introduction to natural science in primary schools; and the teaching of geography as a means of developing international understanding.