Main concerns teachers are facing into teaching European values

By Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard, Learn to Change, Change to Learn, August 2022

Our team is working on the Policy Recommendations issued by the Teachers 4 Europe Project.

Policy Recommendations’ aim is to validate the best practices upscaled throughout the Teachers 4 Europe project and propose policy changes and amendments to the educational approaches, towards supporting strategies of promotion of EU values.

The T4E policy recommendations emphasize the adaptation and modification within European educational systems towards more comprehensive approaches to teaching European democratic values.

Three fields have been recognized as crucial to the development of effective policies enhancing and increasing the actual teaching about EU institutions and the promotion of European values in schools.

The policy recommendations aim to promote European values in schools, to improve teacher education towards better teaching democratic values in Europe and incentives at the policy level to encourage more teachers to engage in networks with other teachers.

 

The policy recommendations aim to promote European values in schools, to improve teacher education towards better teaching democratic values in Europe and incentives at the policy level to encourage more teachers to engage in networks with other teachers.

Why is teaching European values so important?

Just think of the many challenges EU countries are facing regarding the formation of stable European identities and trust in European institutions by its citizens.

Research

The Policy Recommendations build on the Impact Assessment of the project implementation.

Thus, it incorporates all the substance of the Teachers 4 Europe project where the primary material on policy proposals was delivered by the teachers participating in the T4E Network.

Establishing a European precedent, it elaborates on how the methods and objectives of the projects can be gradually attached to national and European policy making, stimulating, in this way, a bottom-up policy change.

The project engaged a significant number of policymakers and stakeholders with the objectives of the research: decision-makers, academics, educational practitioners, teachers and importantly the beneficiaries of the education system, students.

Results

Learning about values of living together is right now understood as a cross-cutting task.

This can result in teachers feeling only marginally obliged to teach them, with none taking responsibility.

Also, the school system is inherently authoritarian. This makes it difficult to teach and learn democratic values.

The embodiment of values in everyday school life should be consistently applied (‘whole school’ approaches).

Finally, participation in European projects requires a great deal of preparation, and it is a very time-consuming process for teachers. School itself is demanding in terms of time, especially as a young teacher.

The recommendations address these issues and aim to support a shared responsibility within the school community for teaching about, for and through EU values:

  • Curriculum design and integration
  • Pedagogical change and innovations
  • School development
  • Recognition of work, time allowances

Inoltre, The high value of teacher education for increasing teacher engagement with EU values is recognised by stakeholders and policymakers alike.

The recommendations address both initial and continued education through stronger implementation of European values in teacher education programs.

Also, they demand incentives at the policy level to encourage more teachers to engage in networks with other teachers. This could allow teachers to gain knowledge of the educational reality of each country through mobility projects and motivates teachers to engage more in EU awareness activities with a view to enhancing teacher collaboration and cooperation with teachers in other countries.

This work has been made possible by a grant from the European Commission.

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Author Details

Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard, CEO of Learn to Change, is a social psychologist, researcher in the fields of education, pedagogical design, training and professional development. She specializes in teacher education, citizenship education, experiential learning, online learning, intercultural competence, social justice and the promotion of democratic teaching praxis.