Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
 

17th session - Vienna, Austria, 16-17 October 1991

Resolution on "the European dimension of education: teaming and curriculum content" (N1)

Resolution on "the work of the Council for cultural co-operation of the Council of Europe" (N2)

Resolution on "emergency measures on behalf of Albania" (N3)

Resolution on "the European dimension of education: teaming and curriculum content" (N1)  

(adopted during the Seventeenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Vienna, 16-17 October 1991)

Introduction

1 . The European Ministers of Education, meeting for the 17th Session of their Standing Conference in Vienna on 16-17 October 1991 to discuss "The European dimension of education: teaching and curriculum content";

2. RECALLING a number of official political texts relevant to their discussions:

- Recommendation 897 (1980) o f 'he Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly on "Educational visits and pupil exchanges between European countries";

- Recommendation No. R (83) 4 of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers on "The promotion of an awareness of Europe in secondary schools";

- Resolution of the Council and the Ministers of Education meeting within the Council of the European Communities on the "European dimension of education" of 24 May 1988;

- Recommendation 1111 (1989) of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly on the "European dimension of education";

- Resolution 225 (1991) of the Council of Europe's Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe on "The contribution of  local and regional authorities to European education policy";

3. RECALLING also the political goals that underlie the overall of promoting European unity through closer cultural, economic and political ties between European nations, viz.,

- to establish lasting peace, Cooperation and mutual understanding between the peoples of Europe;

- to safeguard what has already been achieved and to develop the common European heritage of political, cultural, moral and spiritual values which lie at the root of civilised society: human rights, pluralist democracy, tolerance, solidarity and the rule of law;

- to promote sustained economic and social progress, while reducing disparities and safeguarding the environment; and 

- to give Europe sufficient weight to fulfil its responsibilities in the whole world;

4.CONSIDERING the changing situation in Europe, notably the accelerating movement towards European unity, the democratisation of countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the prospect of a European economic space and Europe's growing interdependence with the rest of the world;

5. RECOGNISING THAT these changes will greatly accelerate the trend towards a multi-cultural, multi-lingual European society requiring understanding, tolerance and solidarity between diverse national, ethnic and migrant communities and in which work, study and lei-sure are characterised by mobility, interchange and communication; in short, that the daily lives of Europeans will increasingly take on a "living European dimension";

6. AWARE that these developments will not only bring opportunities and challenges but also create difficulties and tensions which education must help to meet and resolve through appropriate policies on school organisation, curriculum content and teaching methods;

7. WELCOMING the work of the international organisations and institutions to promote 'the European dimension of education, and in particular that of the Council for Cultural Co-operation (CDCC) whose new project "A Secondary Education for Europe" covers both Western and Eastern Europe;

8. URGING the international organisations and institutions to work together as far as possible in the design and implementation of their programmes on the European dimension of education;

9. ADOPTED the following guidelines designed to further intensity the European dimension of school education.

Educational objectives

10. Education should increase awareness of the growing unity between European peoples and countries and of the establishment of their relations on a new basis. It should also help make the younger generation conscious of their common European identity without losing sight of their global responsibilities or their national, regional and local roots.. It should foster understanding of the fact that, in many spheres of our lives, the European perspective applies and that European decisions are necessary. Young people should be inspired to take an active part in shaping Europe's future.

11. The basic values of political, social and individual life which underlie the educational process must be viewed in the framework of a wider European community of peoples and states. This involves:

- the willingness to reach understanding, to overcome prejudice and to be able to recognise mutual- interests while at the same time affirming European diversity, 

- receptiveness to different cultures while preserving individual cultural identity, 

-respect for European legal commitments and the administration of justice within the framework of human rights recognised in Europe, 

-the will to co-exist in harmony and to accept compromises in the reconciliation of different interests in Europe, 

- concern for preservation of the European and world ecological balance, 

- support for freedom, democracy, human rights, justice and economic security, 

- the will to maintain peace in Europe and throughout the world.

12. In order to realise this European dimension in education, the school should encourage awareness of:

- the geographical diversity of the European region, with its natural, social and economic features, the political and social structures in Europe,

- the historical forces that shaped Europe, including the development of European thinking on law, the state and freedom,

- the patterns of development and characteristic features of European culture in its unity and diversity,

- the multi-lingual nature of Europe and the cultural wealth this represents,

- the history of the European idea and the movement towards integration since 1945,

- the tasks and working methods of the European institutions,

- the need for joint responses in Europe to economic, ecological, social and political challenges.

Implementation

13. In principle, all areas of the school curriculum can make a contribution to the European dimension in teaching and learning as a part of education for international- understanding. For this purpose they should incorporate, albeit in distinct ways, concrete aims and themes as well as references to suitable material and methods.

14. in the elementary school, the European dimension should be grasped as far as possible through pupils' direct experience. As for secondary education, including vocational training, there are a number of points of contact in the range of compulsory and optional subjects offered which provide opportunities for specialist or multidisciplinary work.

15. The question of Europe and its development should be an integral part of all teaching in geography, history, social studies/civics as well as subjects incorporating elements of economics and law. In geography this primarily involves basic knowledge about the European region with its various types of landscape and its cultural, environmental and economic characteristics shaped by human activity over the centuries. In history it involves studying the origins of the European peoples and states and the social, political, ideological and religious movements, power struggles, ideas, cultural works, mobility and migrations which have shaped their development. In social studies/civics it involves study of political, social and, economic developments and. systems, their values, norms and realities. In subjects dealing with economics and law it involves understanding the economic and legal basis of a uniting Europe and the balancing of economic, ecological and social interests. Enabling people to participate in social and economic and social interest life in Europe is one of the top priority goals in the teaching of social studies/civics and in subjects dealing with economics and law. This subject matter should also allow pupils to appreciate Europe's role in the world activities through participation in such activities as the Council of Europe's "One World" campaigns.

16. As many pupils as possible should be given the opportunity to learn foreign languages, the knowledge of which has a central role to play in opening up Europe's cultural world. In order to develop the ability to conduct a dialogue and communicate, special educational provisions, including bilingual classes at secondary schools and the appointment to schools of native speaker foreign language assistants can be encouraged. Foreign language teachers' initial and in-service training should take account of the communicative approach developed by the Council of Europe. Teaching of the mother tongue should 'demonstrate the links between that language and its literature, on the one hand, and neighbouring European languages and their respective literatures on the other.

17. Mathematics, natural sciences and technology, religion and philosophy, art and music as well as sport cannot be reduced to the level of national cultures, but, on the contrary, represent part of a common European heritage and part of a common educational tradition. These subjects also make a positive contribution to the process of promoting European awareness. The classical languages are also important for a deeper understanding of the common European heritage.

18. Above and beyond such subject teaching, other opportunities are available for the development of the European dimension. Here, projects on European topics and joint pedagogical projects with schools in neighbouring European countries, in which the exchange of pupils and teachers plays an important part, are recommended. These should involve as many European countries as possible, including partners in Central and Eastern Europe. Thus the environmental school network of the European Community has successfully worked towards cooperation in environmental matters and European environmental awareness. The European Schools Day Competition, with its annual activities and seminars for award-winners, is an important instrument for practical school work on European topics and for encounters between participants -from the countries involved in the educational work of the Council of Europe and the European Community. UNESCO's Associated Schools Project, links European schools and those in other regions of the world.

19. The ethnic and cultural heterogeneity of school populations testifies both to Europe's common features and to its diversity. Their presence is an opportunity for intercultural learning in the classroom and for bringing out the wealth of Europe's culture. Learning together with young foreigners and migrants should be designed to strengthen mutual solidarity and the wish to live together peacefully, drawing on the results of the Council of Europe's work on intercultural education.

Recommendations

20. Ministers recommended that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe should consider promoting the further development of the European dimension of education by inviting those responsible to implement the following measures:

20.1 Full implementation of past resolutions on the European dimension of education and on intercultural and human rights education which should be taken into account in curriculum development.

20.2 Pursuit of the work in progress within the Education Committee of the Council for Cultural Co-operation in the areas of modern languages, the European dimension of secondary education, adult education, the Teacher Bursaries Scheme, the European Schools Day, and educational documentation and research.

20.3 Improvement throughout the curriculum of basic information on Europe, on European cooperation and integration and on changing European relationships, and development of educational material intended for both teachers and Pupils.

20.4 Enhancement of teachers' and pupils, motivation 'to deal with European questions through their own first hand  experience of Europe (increased participation in exchanges, encounters, the European Schools Day Competition, European Clubs, European Heritage Classes, the European Local and Regional History Project proposed by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and foreign language practice) and through media education, making full use of the new information and communication technologies. experience of Europe (increased participation in exchanges, encounters, the European Schools Day Competition, European Clubs, European Heritage Classes, the European Local and Regional History Project proposed by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and foreign language practice) and through media education, making full use of the new information and communication technologies. experience of Europe (increased participation in exchanges, encounters, the European Schools Day Competition, European Clubs, European Heritage Classes, the European Local and Regional History Project proposed by the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and foreign language practice) and through media education, making full use of the new information and communication technologies.

20.5 Pilot projects to promote the subject of Europe in the classroom and European awareness in the school.

20.6 Innovative forms of schooling such as bilingual classes, international sections, etc., designed to give pupils greater exposure to the European dimension.

20.7 Development of methods for using school links and exchanges as part of teaching.

20.8 Encouragement of school partnerships, including with Central and Eastern Europe.

20.9 Encouragement of competence in foreign 'Languages, including minority languages.

20.10 Consideration of bilingual teaching.

20.11 Incorporation of the European dimension and foreign language "learning into initial teacher education.

20.12 Organisation of in-service education for teachers on the subject of Europe and the European dimension.

20.13 Mutual acceptance of school leaving examinations and certificates.

20.14 Strengthening the European dimension of educational guidance and counselling services.

20.15 Strengthening contacts between the European region and the other regions of the world, notably the developing countries.

21. Ministers decided examine the results of the CDCC's project "A Secondary Education for Europe" at one of their future sessions.

Resolution on "the work of the Council for cultural co-operation of the Council of Europe" (N2)  

(adopted during the Seventeenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Vienna, 16-17 October 1991)

The European Education meeting in Vienna for the 17th Session of their Standing Conference:

WELCOME the far-reaching political changes which have taken place in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States since their last Session;

REAFFIRM the vital role which education can play in promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in bringing the peoples of Europe closer together;

WELCOME the participation in this Session by many representatives of countries participation in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, either as full member States of the Council of Europe or as parties to the European Cultural Convention or as observers;

NOTE WITH SATISFACTION the development of the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe (the CDCC), which has, thus, become the widest European, forum for co-operation on education;

RECOGNISE that the considerable problems facing a the education systems of the new democracies require an immediate and sustained response by member States and the European Institutions ions in the' of Recommendation 1123/1990 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on "Practical educational assistance to Central and Eastern Europe";

NOTE that a number of bilateral and multilateral programmes are already under way to support the reform Policies of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States;

ASK the CDCC to make available as quickly as possible, to policy-makers and educators in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, the results of its recent work on primary education, modern languages, adult education, education, academic mobility and educational research. The European Teacher Bursaries Scheme should be expanded to allow more teachers from Central and Eastern Europe to attend in-service training courses in other member States;

RECOMMEND that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe should provide the CDCC with the resources needed to implement the action programmes of the CDCC's Education 'Committee and Standing Conference on University Problems to help countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States to reform and democratise their education systems;

WELCOME the proposals presented by the Secretary General of the Council or Europe for:

- the preparation of classroom material and resources for human rights education and civics for both pupils and teachers;

- the recruitment of volunteer language teachers for countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States;

-a programme of school links, twinning and exchanges involving schools in all parts of Europe.

Those proposals should be developed as quickly as possible by the Council of Europe in co-operation with member States, the other European institutions and non-governmental organisations;

EXPRESS their warmest gratitude to the Austrian authorities for their generous hospitality during the present Session;

THANK UNESCO, OECD, the Council of Europe, the Commission of the European Communities, the Nordic Council of Ministers and EFTA for their informative contributions to the Progress Report on "European co-operation on education", as well as Mr. Stephen JONES for his Perceptive introduction to the Report;

WELCOME the has already been established between the Organisations involved in European co-operation on education;

RECOMMEND that this co-operation should be Intensified to ensure mutual information, co-ordination of programmes, and joint activities

ACCEPT with Pleasure the invitation of the Spanish authorities to hold their 18th Session in Madrid in May 1993 on "Building the new Europe: Democratic values, education and mobility".

Resolution on "emergency measures on behalf of Albania" (N3)  

(adopted during the Seventeenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Vienna, 16-17 October 1991)

The European Ministers of Education, meeting in Vienna for the 17th Session of their Standing Conference,

HEARD, with great sympathy, their Albanian colleague describe the dramatic conditions under which pupils have just begun the new school year in his country;

WERE MADE AWARE of Albania's urgent needs in school buildings, equipment and transport;

WISHED concretely to mark their solidarity with this country on its way to democracy;

ASK the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to instruct the Secretary General to draw up immediately emergency measures;

UNDERTOOK, in order to facilitate the implementation ion of these measures: to intervene with their national, regional and local authorities with a view authorities to making the necessary means available for their implementation; and to appoint, or to have appointed, by 1 November 1991, an adviser responsible for monitoring the development of these measures in close co-operation with the Council of Europe;

ASK the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to keep. them informed about the implementation of these measures.