The 2019’s edition of the LLLweek focused on Lifelong Learning Culture: a partnership for rethinking education, in honour of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

EFIL attended the opening reception which included an interesting debate about how to link culture and citizenship education and the key role of cooperation between formal and non formal education came up multiple times, in particular in relation to schools. This was also the occasion for some LLLPlatform members to share their initiatives, and EFIL gave a small presentation on the pupil exchanges run by AFS and our work on promoting intercultural learning in schools, in particular through the outcomes of the Erasmus+ project ICL for pupils and teachers. The reception concluded with the LLLAwards.

On Tuesday 4th December EFIL’s Head of Advocacy Elisa Briga was among the panelists of the event ‘ Active citizenship and culture in formal education’ , a conference organised in cooperation with OBESSU, ATEE, ESU, the EU-CoE youth partnership, with the support of the EP Youth Intergroup and the European Youth Forum. MEP Julie Ward hosted the conference and addressed the audience with a video-message. The event was the chance to share EFIL’s stand of the new EU key competence framework where intercultural learning is mostly addressed in the citizenship and cultural awareness competence as a need, while its development is rather included in the competence ‘personal, social and learning to learn’. EFIL keeps advocating for a clear definition of intercultural competence to be provided for the implementation of the framework in order to give educators clear directions and avoid a nationalistic approach to culture and citizenship. EFIL underlined how experiential learning is the only possible method for the development of intercultural competence of educators. All the panelists agreed on the need for:

  • clear definitions of transversal competences linked to culture and citizenship;
  • teacher training that enables educators to use the many existing tools for embedding culture and citizenship in curricula, and deal with controversial issues and promote common democratic values;
  • cooperation between formal and non-formal education for training educators, deliver lessons, organise mobility programmes, cooperation between teachers and between any institution in the community;
  • the promotion of a concept of citizenship that should be first of all ’democratic’ rather than active only;
  • the recognition of skills developed through non formal and informal learning;
  • the promotion of lifelong learning of school heads, teachers, parents.

We are glad educators can already refer to the competence framework for democratic culture and intercultural dialogue developed by the Council of Europe, and which the European Commission takes as a reference for the ‘citizenship competence’. We are aware that the European Commission is planning to draft a specific framework for the social, personal and learning to learn competence and EFIL is looking forward to get involved in this process to ensure definition and formative assessment of intercultural competence.

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