The European Commission’s Communication on the role of education and culture in strengthening European identity from November 2017 and the Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching from January 2018 emphasise that education and training systems are at the forefront of working towards active citizenship and common values in Europe. The Council Recommendation points out that including common values in learning environments is paramount in order to reduce intolerance, polarisation and divisive nationalism. As reflected by these documents, tackling the challenge of strengthening common European values is a high priority to all EU Member States. Therefore, the 2018 Conference was focused on the topic of common European values, active citizenship and key competences..
While a lot had already been done to promote common European values, it was acknowledged that there is a need to further strengthen them through education. This conference was oriented towards solutions and practices that demonstrated value and worked well for different levels of education.
The 2017 Conference was focused on the topic of schools and their role in improving education. The main purpose of the Conference was to discuss different measures that directly impact schools and ECEC services, the evidence that both networks have gathered on the issues and to debate possible policies and orientations that can lead to the empowerment of schools and ECEC services to better meet the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s society.
The Conference alternated between the formats of plenary sessions and parallel group discussions to enable dialogue and sufficient opportunities for the audience to actively participate. Both networks presented the key messages they have gathered and analysed from the pertinent literature in recent years. The importance of ECEC and of measures to integrate immigrants and refugees as well as other disadvantaged groups will be central topics of this year’s conference.
The European Commission – DG Education and Culture, the Network of Experts on the Social Dimension of Education and Training (NESET II) and the European Expert Network on Economics of Education (EENEE) held an annual conference titled Socially inclusive education: better connecting research to policy and practice in Brussels, on November 23, 2016.
It was a major event facilitating broader dialogue between policy makers at the EU and national levels and researchers. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss the evidence on effective policies and practices gathered by NESET II and EENEE as well as the implications to policy makers, researchers, practitioners, civil society organisations and other stakeholders at the local, national and international levels.
The Conference alternated between the formats of plenary sessions and parallel group discussions in order to create dialogue and opportunities for the audience to actively participate. It covered topics of early childhood education and care; tackling discrimination, segregation, bullying and violence; integration of migrants and refugees; inclusion of learners with special educational needs, education staff quality and equity; the final plenary session was dedicated to identify and discuss new areas for evidence and research.
The following Conference materials are available: