Learning to Live Together: Rethinking Adult Education at the European Parliament

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© UNESCO
11 October 2016

UNESCO’s flagship education publication, Rethinking Education, presented at the Lifelong Learning Week (10-13 October, 2016) organised in Brussels by the European Lifelong Learning Platform.

“Learning to Live Together” is the theme of this year’s annual Lifelong Learning Week, in which the three key issues are: what skills are needed in the 21st century, how do we live together and what learning pathways are best suited to individuals, at different stages of their learning. These are also some of the themes addressed by Rethinking Education, published in 2015, which serve as a reflection on education in our current context.

UNESCO, in partnership with the International Council for Adult Education and the European Association for the Education of Adults, reflected upon these major concerns at the European Parliament on Tuesday 11 October and discussed the issues raised in Rethinking Education with regional civil society organizations and networks, and other actors working in the field of youth and adult education. 

Rethinking Education reaffirms a humanistic and holistic approach to learning. It conceives of education across all ages and all areas of life, not only to equip people with skills for the workplace but take into consideration the individual’s well-being in a complex world.  "In these times when different types of populism are arising in Europe, a humanistic approach to education is very necessary" said David Lopez, President of the LLL Platform, one of the organisers of the event.

The broad scope of the international Education 2030 goal of ensuring “lifelong learning opportunities for all” makes explicit reference to education for human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity. But, how to put this into practice remains a challenge. Speaking at the conference, Sirpa Pietikäinen, European Member of Parliament and champion of lifelong learning explained that, "operationalizing a humanistic approach to education is what we are trying to do along with the LLL Interest group at the European Parliament".

This year’s Lifelong Learning Week, the sixth in a row and one of the milestone in the European education agenda, will cover contemporary challenges ranging from supporting refugee education, recognising study abroad, citizenship education and the validation of volunteers’ skills. It runs from Monday 10th October.

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