Brussels, 16 February 2023

One year into the Commission’s Working Group Schools membership
European Commission
Dr Martyn Rawson represents ECSWE in the European Commission’s Working Group on Pathways to School Success for its mandate period from December 2021 to 2025. In this interview, he shares his experience after the first full year in the group.

How do you see your role in the group?

As one of the very few peo­ple in the group who is actu­al­ly a teacher, I can bring a ped­a­gog­i­cal per­spec­tive to bal­ance pol­i­cy posi­tions. And I can use my wide expe­ri­ence from work­ing in schools to inter­pret the sci­en­tif­ic and pol­i­cy-dri­ven infor­ma­tion we receive to the ped­a­gog­i­cal lan­guage of a class­room. I am also able to bring the views of Stein­er Wal­dorf edu­ca­tion to the Work­ing Group, where these are fre­quent­ly met with understanding.

What motivates you personally to be in the group?

It is very inter­est­ing for me to get up-to-date infor­ma­tion and research about edu­ca­tion in Europe, and to hear about devel­op­ments in nation­al edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy, and the con­tri­bu­tions of NGOs.

What can you highlight as your achievements in the group so far?

My insights helped broad­en the under­stand­ing of blend­ed learn­ing from the nar­row intro­duc­tion of dig­i­tal tools into the class­room to the wider range of ana­log tools, includ­ing sto­ry­telling and the change of learn­ing spaces that are at the core of Stein­er Wal­dorf pedagogy.

In my expe­ri­ence, col­lab­o­rat­ing and net­work­ing in this group is impor­tant for rais­ing the pro­file of Stein­er Wal­dorf edu­ca­tion in the Com­mis­sion, but also among the mem­ber states and the oth­er NGOs. In that sense, I think we are seen as an impor­tant play­er in Euro­pean education.

What exciting future plans of the group can you share?

The Work­ing Group is inter­est­ed in bal­anc­ing aca­d­e­m­ic learn­ing with life skills includ­ing key com­pe­tences. The Group also recog­nis­es that aim­ing for bio­graph­i­cal learn­ing is an effec­tive direc­tion for teach­ers, as this is when the learn­er can recog­nise that what they have to learn is rel­e­vant to them per­son­al­ly and may open doors to fur­ther per­son­al development.

In your view, what is the relevance of this group in the broader EU policy-making process?

The Work­ing Group has a con­sid­er­able influ­ence on the Euro­pean Commission’s pol­i­cy state­ments and thus has an influ­ence in indi­vid­ual mem­ber states. This is due the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the Com­mis­sion team facil­i­tat­ing the Group and the high cal­iber of the Work­ing Group membership.

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Martyn Rawson