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The Pestalozzi Programme


The aim of the Pestalozzi Programme is to carry the message of the Council of Europe and its values – democracy, respect for human rights and dignity and the rule of law – into the practice of education (formal, non-formal and informal) and to support member states in the move from education policy to education practice in line with these values.


The training activities seek to develop the transversal attitudes, skills and knowledge which are necessary for the maintenance and further development of democratic societies; in particular, competences such as:

  • critical observation from different perspectives;
  • actions based on respect for human rights and dignity;
  • the ability to act democratically and to co-operate;
  • understanding of diversity and the ability to live in diversity;
  • understanding of the past and the present, and the ability to project oneself into the future;
  • the ability to communicate across all kinds and types of borders;
  • critical, responsible and beneficial use of the media environment;
  • the ability and readiness to continue to learn throughout one’s life.
Training activities

The Pestalozzi Programme organises different types of training events and can offer targeted training activities for specific purposes and needs.

  • Trainer training courses(ex Modules).
    The train-the-trainer courses are blended learning courses consisting of face-to-face meetings and online development work and coaching. One course lasts between 12 and 18 months. The work of the participating trainers focuses on the development and piloting of training resources for a particular aspect or topic.
  • European workshops.
    International training activities are organised in the member states in co-operation with the national liaison officer of the country. The workshops can be organised as single one-off events or in tandem – in co-operation with another country – thus offering a longer period of training to a group of participants.
  • Summer School.
    The Summer School is organised in co-operation with our long-standing partner, the Academy of Bad Wildbad. It offers eight days of intensive training for between 60 and 80 participants who choose their own learning curriculum from a range of modules and workshops in different languages linked to an overall theme.
  • National training and dissemination events.
    Organised within the framework of the Pestalozzi Programme, these events target education professionals in a given country. Their purpose is to present the work of the Council of Europe on education, to disseminate information on the opportunities offered by the Pestalozzi Programme, to offer training related to previous Pestalozzi Programme training activities and to support national networking.

The teaching and training resources developed in the programme focus on transversal competences for democracy. They cover areas such as:

  • education for the prevention of discrimination and violence;
  • education for democratic citizenship and human rights;
  • education for diversity and mutual understanding;
  • education for the responsible use of the media environment;
  • education for the understanding of history;
  • education for the prevention of crimes against humanity;
  • education for effective communication.
  • These resources and other publications are available on the programme’s web pages here
Community of Practice

The Pestalozzi Programme supports an online com-munity of practice of education professionals around the values and principles of the Council of Europe. It offers a moderated social network for continued exchange, mutual support and development of education professionals across Europe. All education professionals who participate in the training activities of the programme can join and use this space not only before the meeting but also after the training has fi nished. Sharing thoughts, ideas, experience and resources, as well as offering support and developing answers to issues of educational practice are at the heart of this community of practice..

Calendar of activities and how to participate
  • To find out how you can participate in a training activity of the Pestalozzi Programme consult our How to participate? section.


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