One of the most evident malfunctions in transmitting intellectual methodologies is the approach of teaching methods in this area. Although much attention has been given to teacher education and training, teachers tend to act out of a fixed self-image as one who dispenses knowledge. Students are neither motivated nor equipped to expand learning beyond rote feedback. The lack of a systematic approach to methods of teaching, study and communicating, results in students using a trial and error approach.
Problem-based, student-directed learning is the key to maintaining high quality education in universities. Students who learn in this fashion are more highly motivated, more satisfied, more likely to learn for understanding than test-passing, have improved study skills and are equal to or better than their traditionally educated colleagues.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.