Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
 
Ad Hoc Conference - Strasbourg, France, 12-14 September 1967

Resolution on progress reports, studies and surveys prepared for the Conferences of European Ministers of Education (N1)
Resolution on pupil guidance (N2)
Resolution on the role of pupil guidance in teacher training and further training (N3)
Resolution on the place of examinations in the school system (N4)

Resolution on progress reports, studies and surveys prepared for the Conferences of European Ministers of Education (N1)  

The European Ministers of Education at their ad hoc Conference,

TAKE NOTE of the report prepared by the Secretariat;

EXPRESS their gratitude for the information supplied by national authorities and international organisations;

WELCOME the work of the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe and its committees in following up the resolutions adopted at former Conferences and the work of OECD undertaken in particular in the fields of educational statistics, school construction, and expansion of secondary education;

ACKNOWLEDGE with appreciation the work done by the Secretariat in the preparation of the report and the attractive and arresting form of presentation which has been achieved;

NOTE nevertheless that this very clarity of presentation has served to bring out the inherent difficulties of comparison between the educational achievements of countries whose educational systems are so widely divergent and which may employ the same terms in different senses;

NOTE also that successive reports, in their attempt to cover the subjects discussed by Ministers at past Conferences inevitably become more comprehensive in scope, with the result that the difficulties noted above are accentuated and that there is an increasing danger of duplication with comparative studies and reports produced by other organisations;

CONSIDER that the general progress reports to be presented on future occasions should be confined to a brief account by the Secretariat of action taken or being taken since the last Conference by the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe or by the other international organisations concerned, as a result of decisions reached by Ministers at the last or previous Conferences;

CONSIDER further that it will be valuable for the Ministers in reviewing their past work to ask for detailed studies on a few particular subjects to be prepared either by the Secretariat in consultation with national governments or by the international organisations concerned;

CONSIDER equally, that it may be useful for the Ministers to have special studies or documentary surveys prepared on particular subjects to be discussed at future conferences;

INVITE the Committee of Senior Officials, in the light of the above considerations and in consultation with the Secretariat, to proceed further with the preparation of the reports, studies and surveys to be laid before the next Conference and to consider the possibility of setting up a small group or groups of experts to assist in these tasks.

Resolution on pupil guidance (N2)  

The European Ministers of Education, at their ad hoc Conference,

HAVING CONSIDERED the report on pupil guidance presented by the Italian Minister of Education (Min. Ed/Athens (67) 2);

AWARE that one of the aims of modern school education is democratisation and that continuous guidance is one of the essential conditions for reaching this;

NOTING the universal aspiration towards a higher educational level with a view to social advancement and personal self realisation, and the possibilities opened up by economic and technical progress enabling society to satisfy that aspiration;

OBSERVING that the educational policy of most European countries is to lengthen the compulsory schooling period and delay the age of academic and vocational choice; with the result that the process of progressive guidance throughout school life becomes increasingly important;

CONSIDERING that pupil guidance directly involves in different ways young people, their families, their teachers, guidance specialists, national administrations and those concerned with the mass media;

CONVINCED that school guidance is not a problem susceptible of uniform solutions in the short term but demands continuous study,

RECOMMEND to participating governments to adapt their school systems with the following objectives in view:

- the avoidance of a premature transition from general studies to specialist training;
- the maintenance of sufficient flexibility to enable slow starters to catch up in their studies and to allow for educational and psychological support of pupils changing their subjects and of handicapped children;
- the preparation of pupils, by means of a complete programme of information for a personal choice between the various options open to them on leaving school;
- the arousing of interests and aptitudes by the use of appropriate teaching methods, and
To attain these objectives;

INVITE participating governments to keep each other and the Council of Europe informed of the progress and effects in their respective countries of the reforms referred to above;

REQUEST the international organisations concerned:

to study further in consultation with national governments the means of bringing together the different aspects and functions of guidance including relations between families, teachers and guidance specialists, having regard to the need to reconcile the interests of the individual and the requirements of modern society and to promote the use of leisure for the development of creative powers in the context of permanent education;

CONGRATULATE the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe on the studies which it has carried out in the field of pupil guidance and invite the CCC to keep these studies up-to-date.

Resolution on the role of pupil guidance in teacher training and further training (N3) 

The European Ministers of Education, at their ad hoc Conference,

HAVING CONSIDERED the report on the role of pupil guidance in teacher training and further training presented by Mr. L. LEJEUNE, Conseiller d'Etat, Director of the Education Department for the Canton of Basle - rural (Min. Ed/Athens (67) 4),

HAVING REGARD to the many choices that must be made during the schooling of young people in order to ensure that their capacities are developed to the full,

HAVING REGARD to the rapid and constant development of economic and technical activity, which makes the choice of a career increasingly difficult for parents and for pupils;

CONSIDERING that the essential task of the school is to prepare the pupil for present-day living by instruction and guidance,

CONSIDERING that it is one of the tasks of teachers to contribute to pupil guidance,

AFFIRM that, in view of the complexities of guidance:

(a) it is essential for teachers to receive training and further training for their task in this field. This training should include an introduction to the methods and techniques of guidance psychology;
(b) there is also a need for guidance specialists, with whom teachers should work in close collaboration. It is recognised that sufficient specialists should be available for the whole of school life, but if this is not possible., they should at least cover the so called guidance period;
(c) close collaboration must be practised between the different teachers of each school as well as between the school and institutions specialising in guidance problems. The school should be so organised as to ensure such collaboration;
(d) in-service training is particularly necessary in this field in view of the fact that many young teachers lack experience in economic and social life;
(e) it is important that there should be constant collaboration between teachers and the parents of their pupils.

CONSIDERING the fact that there are some countries with valuable experience in the training and further training of teachers and specialists for guidance, whereas in others the work is as yet only at the experimental stage,

WELCOMING the publication by the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe of two basic studies in this field: "Pupil Guidance" by M. Reuchlin and "The observation and guidance period" by Y. Roger,

RECOMMEND to the Council of Europe that it prepares a comparative study of the aim, contents and methods of training and further training teachers for guidance. This enquiry might supplement the above-mentioned studies and give rise to joint European meetings of all involved in guidance (teachers, guidance specialists, directors of teacher training colleges, etc).

Resolution on the place of examinations in the school system (N4)  

The European Ministers of Education at their ad hoc Conference,

HAVING EXAMINED the report on the place of examinations in the school system presented by the Belgian Secretary of State for Education (Min. Ed/Athens (67) 3),

REALISING, that is is necessary:

(a) to bring each child on as far as his potentialities allow;
(b) to substitute permanent guidance for selection,

NOTE

(a) that the democratisation of studies, the demographic pressure and the spontaneous extension of schooling make it particularly difficult to organise objective and comparable tests leading to diplomas of equal value;
(b) that the frequency of examinations disorganises the school year by imposing a useless loss of time, and that the repetition of courses by pupils entails large supplementary expense;
(c) that traditional examinations as organised in most countries appear as unfair tests for selection, and even elimination, which confront young people as a final denial of the development of their adult career;
(d) that, far from bringing out the constituent elements of homo sapiens, first of all knowledge and culture, the repetition throughout school life of tests on unduly extensive subjects, poorly assimilated and merely memorised, ends up by conditioning the reflexes of young people to the right answer and not to spontaneity, action, responsibility and creativeness, qualities demanded equally by the university, by industry or public ser vices and by social life,

CONSIDER

(a) that is is desirable to reduce the number and frequency of traditional examinations and even to abolish selective examinations with decisive consequences for subsequent studies, particularly during the adolescent's formative period;
(b) that it is necessary to ensure checks on the accomplishments of the pupils, so that teachers can master their pedagogic policy and pupils and their parents see how the studies are progressing;
(c) that national and international research and experimentation on new techniques to replace traditional examinations are necessary;
(d) that overall reviews, designed to assess a pupils's whole performance during the school period, either through his school reports or through a report showing his progress in each subject, and on the advice of the Teachers' Meeting, should be carefully studied;
(e) that an adjustment and lightening of curricula and timetables, based on the results of educational research, should contribute to the application of new processes for checking accomplishments and of more appropriate teaching methods,

RECOMMEND

(a) to promote research and experiments with a view to gradually replacing traditional examinations by other forms of assessment;
(b) to adapt school structures to a rapidly evolving world and to lighten school curricula;
(c) to ensure that teacher training includes an introduction to the theory of assessing pupils' achievements and to new methods of evaluation,

INVITE

(a) Participating governments to keep one another informed of the new techniques of checking applied in their countries and also to notify the Council of Europe regularly;

(b) The Council of Europe:

1. to support all research on examinations undertaken in member countries of the CCC and to arrange for such research to be disseminated and studied by organising courses or study days;
2. to assist national institutes which undertake extensive enquiries into the question of examinations;
3. to continue its consideration of Resolution No. 4 of the Conference of European Ministers of Education (London, 1964) on the problems of the admission of students to university.