Back Council of Europe launches first comprehensive report on democratic culture in education

Council of Europe launches first comprehensive report on democratic culture in education

The Council of Europe Steering Committee for Education, representing the Ministries of Education of the 46 members States and States parties to the European Cultural Convention, has adopted its first review report on the implementation of the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC). This first report was presented during the Committee's 5th plenary session, which is taking place from 20 to 22 March at the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg.

The RFCDC, a groundbreaking framework developed by the Council of Europe, aims to provide educators and policymakers with a detailed set of competences essential for fostering a democratic culture at all levels of education. Since its launch in 2016, the RFCDC has had a significant impact on educational practices and policies in member states, promoting values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The report, compiled after a comprehensive review conducted between March and December 2023, assesses the integration and impact of the RFCDC in formal education systems across Europe. It provides an in-depth analysis of the application of the framework in policy development, the education system and at school level, with a particular focus on addressing contemporary challenges such as violence in schools, extremism, climate change, media literacy and the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

Key findings of the report show a positive trend in the integration of the RFCDC into national education policies and curricula, demonstrating a growing commitment by Member States to embed democratic competences in the learning process. However, the review also highlights significant challenges, in particular with regard to the assessment of democratic competences and the integration of the framework into vocational education and training and higher education.

The report makes key recommendations to Member States to improve the implementation and effectiveness of the RFCDC. These include adapting the framework to different educational contexts, establishing mechanisms to monitor progress, providing professional development opportunities for educators, and encouraging the participation of all educational stakeholders.

The report is also in line with the Council of Europe's Education Strategy 2024-2030, which focuses on revitalising the democratic mission of education, strengthening the social responsibility of educational institutions and promoting a human rights-based approach to the digital transformation of education.

The CDEDU expresses its gratitude to the experts, educators and policy makers who contributed to this comprehensive review. The Council of Europe remains committed to supporting its member states in implementing the RFCDC and fostering environments where democratic values flourish through education.

Strasbourg, France 20 March 2024
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