Brussels, 4 May 2018
European Commission: ET 2020 Working Group Schools to disseminate results
The ET2020 Working Group Schools was launched to help Member States to address the key challenges of their education systems at European level. It is composed of experts nominated by European member countries and other key stakeholders to exchange information and best practices to set up common priorities and work on policy guidance at European level. It was launched in February 2016 and disseminate its results during a conference on 17th and 18th May 2018 in Brussels. ECSWE has actively contributed to its work over the whole period of its mandate.
The group’s work from 2016 to 2018: The ET2020 Working group on Schools’ aims to share policy-making practices to promote equity and excellence to support school and teacher development. To achieve this, school education systems should strive for a clear vision for quality in education with shared values concerning school, educator and learner development, a learner-centred approach, collaborative decision-making processes fostering a sense of responsibility, the aim of developing schools as learning organisations and, among others, to ensure high quality learning and teaching.
The Working group covered four thematic areas of policy development: 1) Quality assurance for school development, 2) Continuity and transitions in learner development, 3) teachers and school leaders and schools as learning organisations. and 4) networks for learning and development across school education systems.
In its final report, the Working group draws on its previous work in these four fields and derives important overarching principles. Based on that it then addresses five hypothetical challenges in the fields of (1) school development, (2) teacher professional development, (3) support to specific groups of learners, (4) supporting innovation and (5) coherent policy-making and action.
Our contribution to the work: Over the course of two years, ECSWE had many opportunities to present the Waldorf perspective on all the themes covered, to report on our experience, to present case studies, and to engage delegates of national ministries in a dialogue. As a result, the four thematic reports feature many examples from the European Waldorf movement:
- The quality care procedure for Waldorf schools developed by the German Association of Waldorf Schools
- The Integrated provision of primary and secondary education in many Steiner Waldorf schools in Europe.
- The inspection of Flemish Steiner Waldorf schools based on their own educational standards
- Mentoring programmes for beginning teachers in German Waldorf schools
- The collective child study practised at faculty meetings in many Waldorf schools as a method of learner assessment and curriculum development supporting teachers in their reflective practice.
- ECSWE as an example for a cross-border networks of schools conducting advocacy and promoting mutual exchange of best practices and peer learning among its members.
Furthermore, they now contain very concrete demands promoted by ECSWE:
- Involving “schools outside of the mainstream system” into the national debate on quality assurance in order to better reflect “the specific needs of alternative pedagogical approaches”
- Several references to school autonomy and distributed forms of leadership