General information:
The framework of the Summer School

Summer school 2017: Competences for a democratic culture: from onlookers to engaged and active citizens

Dates: 25 June – 2 July 2017 (arrival 24 June, departure 3 July)
Venue: Bad Wildbad, Germany
The Pestalozzi Programme of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Academy of Bad Wildbad organises its fifth Summer School in 2017. Education professionals from across Europe are invited to participate in this training opportunity under the overall title of "Competences for a democratic culture". The Summer School lasts full eight days and participants will have the opportunity to choose their own learning curriculum of about 60 hours covering obligatory common activities and a range of thematic courses.

Course book

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Summer School 2016 : "Diversity of learners and diversity of teachers: learning together for a better future".

Dates: 26 June – 3 July 2016
Venue: Bad Wildbad, Germany
“Think globally, act locally”. It is commonplace today that the world has become a global village and that everything is interconnected - economy, environment, resources, politics. The recent dramatic increase of migration and refugees reflects this in all clarity. However, the current situation in Europe puts our inclusive democratic societies at risk. If the fear of newcomers mixed with populist oversimplification of security concerns gains the upper hand this may well lead to an increase of self-centredness, closing-in and eventually to more discrimination, prejudice, stigmatisation of certain groups, and thus to increased exclusion and nationalism. This presents a great educational challenge and day-to-day education practice has a significant and key role to play in countering such developments. [More information]

Course book






Summer School* 2015 “Pedagogy makes the difference”
28 June – 5 July 2015

  1. Presentation
  2. Course book.
  3. General timetable
  4. Youtube overview
  5. #sumsch2015
  6. Final report

Summer School* 2014 “Promoting Participation”
28 June – 6 July 2014


The Summer School will deal with the different aspects of the theme “Promoting participation”. It will look at the diverse issues of participation in social, cultural, political and economic life, etc. and in particular at what school, and teachers and educators, can do to promote the development of the attitudes, skills and knowledge which are necessary to be able to fully participate in life in a democratic society. Pedagogical and methodological issues will also be addressed throughout such as cooperative learning for democratic education, innovation and creativity, fostering motivation and curiosity, education for personal development and the multiple purposes of education, the role of teachers and schools for democratic societies, etc.
Participants will have the possibility to choose their personalised learning curriculum from a range of offers. Common activities throughout the eight days will allow participants to work together as a whole group, to learn together and to exchange ideas and experiences.
A public round table discussion on the topic “Social media as new forms of participation: which role for schools?” will offer an opportunity to address and reflect on an important educational issue and to interact with a wide variety of interested professionals.

The first Summer School 2013 - "Understanding Diversity"
29 June – 8 July 2013

The aim of the Summer School was to support the participating teachers and other education professionals in their professional practice and their professional development. In particular this implies:

  • Promotion a better understanding of diversity in their professional practice
  • Awareness in teachers and learners, in their families and communities of the importance of a positive attitude towards diversity in all its forms
  • Preparedness and ability to take action to counter discriminatory attitudes and actions
  • Inclusion of the development of the transversal attitudes, skills and knowledge necessary for living in diverse and democratic societies in their teaching practice

The participants also joined the online Community of Practice of the Pestalozzi Programme with over 1300 members.

The Summer School dealt with various aspects of the overall theme “Understanding diversity”. Ms Snežana Samardžic-Markovic, Director General for Democracy at the Council of Europe and Mr Siegmut Keller, on behalf of Ms Marion von Wartenberg, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Baden-Württemberg, welcomed the participants. The mayor of Bad Wildbad, Mr Klaus Mack also welcomed the participants.

The programme consisted of about 30 hours of selective courses and about 30 hours of common activities where all the participants were engaged in the same activity at the same time. Participants could choose from 30 courses touching on the various aspects of diversity (f.ex. intercultural competence, discrimination, ethics, history, social justice, inclusion, human rights, etc.) and of pedagogy (cooperative learning, learner-centred approaches, involvement of stakeholders, participation, etc.). More general aspects of education were also addressed such as how to foster motivation and curiosity, the multiple purposes of education, the role of teachers and schools for democratic societies, etc.

* The Summer School replaces the training seminars organised in cooperation with our partners in Baden-Württemberg over the past 30 years. The format of an intensive and multi-facetted training programme of eight full days was chosen to increase the impact of the training which usually was of a duration of three days. Furthermore, the higher number of participants creates better networking opportunities for all.


The Pestalozzi Programme was the Council of Europe's programme for the professional development of teachers until the end of 2017.