Brussels, 4 May 2018

European Commission: ET 2020 Working Group Schools to disseminate results
The working group helps Member States to address their key challenges at European level. ECSWE contributes to its work.

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

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Georg Jürgens

Georg Jürgens