ETUCE, in partnership with EFEE (EU Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (EU school heads association), is leading an EU-funded project on democratic citizenship and EU common values named ”EU CONVINCE”. In parallel to the online survey, aimed at gathering and analysing main challenges and good practices on how to deal with Citizenship related issues, the project partners have now released a joint statement on Education for Democratic Citizenship; a joint initiative on promoting inclusive education and EU shared values.

The statement advocates, among other issues, for:

  • Promoting sufficient and sustainable investment in teacher initial education and continuous professional development, in order to provide support to teachers on citizenship education-related subjects.
  • Better equipping school leaders, teachers, and other educational staff to be able to promote critical thinking, democratic values and human rights, civic engagement and a responsible use of new technologies.
  • Providing autonomy for teachers and other education personnel to manage diversity. More diverse teachers, school leadership and academic staff should be encouraged to facilitate the promotion of mutual respect and to influence schools and educational institutions’ ethos in valuing differences and diversity with the view to achieving inclusive education.
  • Helping teachers to define the competences that are needed to work in culturally and socially diverse classrooms.
  • A stronger involvement and networking of teachers and educators, school leaders, parents and learners within the school life (‘whole-school approach’) so as to support more democratic learning environments to allow learners to experience democracy and mutual respect (‘democratic school culture’).
  • Promoting teaching by leading by example to create open and safe school environments so that students and school staff can freely discuss and share experiences, including on constructive controversial and sensitive topics.
  • Supporting research as well as sufficient and sustainable investment in quality school leadership and a teaching profession that is based on excellent initial teacher education, teamwork, and continuous professional development when dealing with teaching EU common values and education to citizenship.

The statement is intended to feed into the ET2020 working group of the European Commission on the promotion of Citizenship and EU common values of democracy, equality, tolerance and non-discrimination.

The statement is envisaged to contribute to the implementation of the new Council recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching.

The statement is published in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian and is available for dissemination here.