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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



EPALE summary: March-May 2019 focus on citizenship education

by Simon BROEK
Language: EN
Document available also in: EL

/epale/en/file/citizenship-education-epale-0Citizenship Education EPALE

Citizenship Education EPALE


Simon Broek looks back at the articles published during EPALE’s thematic focus on citizenship education.


From March to May the EPALE platform was enriched by a high number of interesting contributions on citizenship education, which was EPALE’s thematic focus. This blog article provides a summary of some of the content published and suggested reading, or listening on the topic.


Citizenship education: empowered individuals

Some contributions showcased people taking initiative to improve their situation. For instance adult education graduate Andrea Kutlikova founded her own civic education NGO, Kalab, together with her family to contribute to the further developing of minority rights in Slovakia (Education activist fights discrimination with a family-run NGO).


Awareness, sustainability and the role of adult educators

As we saw in the blog article above, even one person can make a change. This is the foundation for citizenship education and also the message of Adult Educator Michael Kenny’s blog post The Power of One – A Voice. Sometimes a school girl is enough to make us aware of the changes needed. Michael relates this to the vast challenges ahead of us in environmental change and the role of adult educators.

Adult education clearly has the task to respond to climate change, besides other challenges posed by the dynamic economic, political, social, cultural and ecological changes. In his blog article, Sustainability needs new approaches to adult learning: a role for citizens’ assemblies, Stephen Martin, Fellow of the World Wide Fund for Nature and Policy and Advisor to the UK National Commission for UNESCO, looks at why our changing environment poses new challenges to how we find solutions to problems and how citizens’ assemblies may help us learn the answers.


Who provides citizenship education?

The role of state organisations, political parties and adult education institutions to raise active citizens was also discussed in the EPALE podcast May 2019: Can adult learning create active citizens. The podcast discussed whether citizenship education is a task for the state, adult learning providers or whether there other organisations/platforms involved.


Conditions for participating as European citizens

Language skills are important for integration and participation in European countries. In her blog post Ina Ferbežar from the Centre for Slovene as a Second and Foreign Language looked at how the current language education system in Slovenia can be seen as an obstacle by migrants who want to become citizens in their host country (Paradoxes in a language tester's life).

This is also the topic of English teacher Qasir Shah’s blog article on the importance of language proficiency in migrants’ social integration (Adult citizenship education in the UK: language competence and cultural identity).

For those interested in new tools and tricks for citizenship education, have a look at Timeout! A new method for civic dialogue. The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra has developed a new method for civic dialogue, called the Timeout. A traditional facilitator-led dialogue at heart, the process-like method features innovative tools for trust-building and motivating passive citizens.

Simon Broek has been involved in several European research projects on education, labour market issues and insurance business. He advised the European Commission, the European Parliament and European Agencies on issues related to education policies, lifelong learning, and labour market issues, and is Managing Partner at Ockham Institute of Policy Support.

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