Published on December 18th, 2015 | by ECSWE1
Report from the Lifelong Learning Week, December 2015
ECSWE actively participated in the Lifelong Learning Week 31st November – 4th Decemeber 2015, which was organised in European Parliament upon invitation of the Lifelong Learning Platform.
Apart from the launch of the new Manifesto ”Building the future of learning in Europe”, this year’s key topics were
- Debate: Education in Promoting Intercultural Dialogue and Citizenship
- Guidance and counselling in taking validation to the next level
- Expert debate: Media literacy: XXI Century challenge
From Tuesday 1st December until Friday 4th December 2015, ECSWE provided an info-table at the Civil Society Meeting Space on the 5th floor of the European Parliament in Brussels to inform on ECSWE’s activities.
Visitors were provided with information on Waldorf education, received invitations to our upcoming Symposium on Pluralism in Assessment on 15th January 2016 in Luxembourg and were offered a personal copy of the Brochure Struwwelpeter 2.0 in English or German.
During the Expert debate on Media Literacy, XXI Century Challenge on 3rd December 2015, chaired by MEP Carlos Zorrinho from Portugal, ECSWE had the opportunity to.
- present the Struwwelpeter 2.0 booklet on Media competency and Waldorf education (cf. http://www.waldorfschule.de/
- explain why “later media competency is rooted in earlier media abstinence”;
- explain what we consider to be a holistic and age-appropriate media curriculum;
- clarify why that implies not using electronic media in classrooms before the age of 12; and finally;
- to raise awareness that the recent Council conclusions on the role of early childhood education and primary education in fostering creativity, innovation and digital competence might endanger the freedom of Steiner Waldorf schools to follow their own media curriculum.
The main elements of the 7 minutes presentation included:
- a brief introduction of the developmental approach of Steiner Waldorf Education as described by Henning Kullack-Ublick on pages 6-9 of the Struwwelpeter 2.0 booklet;
- the distinction of indirect and direct media education as developed and described by Edwin Hübner on pages 10-13 of the booklet;
- and the implications of this distinction for the media curriculum as outlined on pages 14-17 of the booklet.
Our presentation followed a presentation by Prof. Jacqueline A Marsh from the DigiLitEY-project which calls for an early instruction of children in the use of electronic media. This stark contrast provoked many interested questions from participants sympathising with one or the other approach.
Although some critical voices were heard, the overall reaction was either neutral or positive. Our call for freedom to follow our own curriculum was widely supported and even approved by Prof. Jacqueline A Marsh.
After the Expert debate, the Lifelong Learning Platform invited its members to the first session of the new working group on Digital Learning. The following key priorities have so far been identified for the working group:
- Presentation and exchange of best practice and initiatives in the area of digital learning/digital literacy and learning and teaching technology;
- Generating (support for) joint advocacy in the above mentioned areas;
- Develop policy recommendations in the above-mentioned areas.
Participants are now asked to reflect on what they could contribute to such a working group.
Executive & Administrative Officer
European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education