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Fähigkeiten für ein demokratisches Leben aufbauen. Die Rolle der Erwachsenenbildung und -erziehung

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Starten Sie die Diskussion, wie die Fähigkeiten des 21. Jahrhunderts aktivere Bürger hervorbringen können!

Am Mittwoch, den 29. März, von 10 bis 16 Uhr MESZ, veranstaltet EPALE die Online-Diskussion Building skills for democratic life. Die Rolle der Erwachsenenbildung und -erziehung.

Die schriftliche Diskussion wird durch einen Live-Stream (10-10.45 Uhr MESZ) eingeleitet, in dem geladene Experten ihre Perspektiven und Erfahrungen teilen. Zu den Experten, die an der Diskussion teilnehmen, gehören: Georg Pirker, Präsident von Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe (DARE), Giulia Meschino, Direktorin der European Vocational Training Association (EVTA), und Elisa Gambardella, Vizepräsidentin der Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP).

Folgen Sie hier dem Streaming:

In dieser Online-Diskussion werden wir erörtern, wie Fähigkeiten, Kompetenzen und Einstellungen die Menschen letztlich in die Lage versetzen, ein erfülltes Leben zu führen und sich an die rasanten Veränderungen anzupassen - über die Beteiligung am Arbeitsmarkt hinaus.

  • Wie kann die Vermittlung von Kompetenzen zu einer aktiveren Bürgerschaft beitragen?

  • Sollten erwachsene Lernende eher auf Schlüsselkompetenzen als auf berufsspezifische Fähigkeiten abzielen?

  • Welchen Nutzen hat das Lernen darüber hinaus?

Wir laden Sie herzlich dazu ein, uns Ihre Erfahrungen und Initiativen mitzuteilen.

Die Kommentare sind bereits geöffnet, so dass Sie Ihre Gedanken, Ressourcen und Vorschläge mitteilen können.

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Anastassia Gorskova
So., 31.03.2024 - 18:52

See oli huvitav arutelu. 

Täiskasvanute koolituses ja hariduses on demokraatlikus elus vajalike oskuste arendamine võtmetähtsusega. See on oluline koolitaja jaoks, nagu ka õppijate arvamuste austamine ja alati avatud olek dialoogidele ja aruteludele. Demokraatia säilitamiseks on tähtis, et täiskasvanud ei õpiks ainult, vaid arendaksid ka oskusi. Täiskasvanute koolituse kaudu aitame õppijatel arendada selliseid olulisi oskusi nagu kodanikuaktiivsus, tolerantsus, kriitiline mõtlemine. On väga oluline muuta õppimine kõigile kättesaadavaks ja ennekõike arusaadavaks kõikidele sihtrühmadele.

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Lauma Celma
Community Contributor (Bronze Member).
Di., 30.01.2024 - 19:40

I believe that skills development plays a vital role in building democracy. Therefore, any type of education can be very useful in promoting skill development. I have observed what an impression was made by an activity seemingly unrelated to training - a visit to the EU museum in Brussels. After which the participants told how their attitude changed, that they better understand the nature of the EU, the importance of democracy, etc. I was convinced of such a training method just now during an experience exchange trip to Cyprus, where the child's history and culture lessons are conducted directly in the museum, in the direct presence of historical and artistic artefacts. And it was possible to observe the children's attitude, rection, with what interest they listened to the teacher's story and studied the museum exhibits. It is similar when working with adults. Because there is no significant difference in the learning process. Only the amount of experience of the trainees is different. But this is an opportunity to make learning complex skills easier and more accessible to all people. Which provides citizens with the transversal skills they need to interact effectively with their environment, make better decisions and take effective action, contributing to a democratic life in which they are an active part.

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Benian Göksu Tural
Di., 05.12.2023 - 16:51

I believe that skill building is key in building a more democratic life and pursuing any type of education can be incredibly helpful in furthering one's competencies in soft skills. This is because the teaching and learning of hard skills always go hand in hand with the teaching and learning of transversal skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, digital literacy and more. Education equips the citizens with the needed transversal skills to communicate more effectively with their surroundings, make better decisions, take more effective steps to further the democratic life that they are a part of.

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Ieva Margeviča-Grinberga
Community Hero (Gold Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 13:35

Democratic living competence in adult education is vital for promoting active citizenship, countering populism  and enhancing social cohesion. In my opinion in all types of adult education we should promote adults with the knowledge and skills necessary for participation in a democratic society, thus we can build a stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient democracy. 

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Ingrida Muraskovska
Community Hero (Gold Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 12:37

Today, the educational conference "The wanting to know" is taking place in Latvia. There was a thought in it: What do you want to be left in the world after you? Think about it and it will motivate you to learn to change the world. In my opinion, this is a very good starting point to stimulate the development of democratic skills.

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Ana Peklenik
Community Collaborator (Silver Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 12:21

I’m very grateful to the speakers for useful and instructive contributions. Critical thinking is tightly linked to active citizenship and democracy. This is the reason they have to be developed life-long and life-wide in all sort and levels of educational systems, especially at primary schools and VET.

Organisations for ALE find the way to vulnerable adult individuals who often doesn't feel supported. Their teachers are great in acquiring them. With support from European institutions and founds they would be able to do even more.

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Kaarel Haav
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 12:07


Adult education needs basic knowledge of democracy and participation. Mainstream school civics textbooks focus on the formal descriptions of main social institutions. They don’t consider these institutions as relations between people with different interests. Such books facilitate the formation of passive people for authoritarian states.

I have experience with the Estonian Ministry of Education. They have ignored the science-based framework for curricula and civic education for 20 years, at least.

In 2011, the National Curriculum rejected the concept of participative democracy from civic and social competence. In 2011, they introduced the 8 European competencies into the NC. The European civic and citizen competence considers the concept of participative democracy as the central one. The Estonian Government rejects this competence.

In 2016, the Estonian round table of the Open Governance and Partnership (OGP) proposed participation and partnership for the Action Plan 2016-2018. The Ministry of Education has rejected it and they still do this.

Who is interested in the promotion of the science-based framework for active citizens, both for general and adult education? Who is willing to cooperate and support this project?

Kaarel Haav, Ph.D. , expert for civic and social science education. 

European Identity and Citizenship in Estonia: Analyses of Textbooks and Theoretical Developments. - Journal for Social Science Education (JSSE), 2018, Vol. 17 (2) 68-79. 

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You make good points, Kaarel! Not sure whether there is direct consequence of the points you highlighted with the "passivity" and disenchantment of today's citizens, but one thing is for sure (and we have been saying it quite a lot): democracy should not only be studied, but practised in education spaces! This is why opening school governance to learners and opening education policies to education stakeholders is so crucial to embed a democratic mindset. 

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Martin Dobeš
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:48

Hello everybody from Prague. When talking about skills for democratic life, I believe we need more motivation from many citizens. More interest in culture, community, life generally, even politics and social life. There are many people who - through de-motivation and inner anger caused by the division of our societies, by what happened during covid times as well as by current war in Ukraine - feel much more isolated from actually any social topics, including democracy values. In order to strenghen their motivation to re-participate, I suppose we need more participation of cultural institutions and community into adult education. 

By culture, I also mean emotions since emotions are part of culture. Emotions are a strong motivator and initiator. Adult learning can operate with emotions as we know. As educators, we can try to motivate people by opening hard topics in coopertion with art - films, photographs, theatre, literature etc.

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Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:33

Today we are speaking a lot about digital transformations,including  digital citizenship,but do our citizens understand the concept "digital citizenship".Digital citizen,digital literacy,citizenship,digital citizenship..... existing ,but challenging concepts. .

Council of Europe.(2016). Competences for Democratic Culture: Living Together as Equals in Culturally Diverse Democratic Societies. Strasbourg: Council of Europe is a very useful document for to day's topic.


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Lifelong Learning Platform
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:50

Antwort auf von Ilze IVANOVA

True, the CoE has very useful resources...but before making digital citizens perhaps we should stick to regular citizens :) Digital instruments are formidable tools but remain,! Here is a paper reimagining education for the digital world and here a short comment on the European Digital Education Action Plan

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The COE competencies (2016) should be science-based. The competencies for culture are not.

The COE 2016 document is useful and interesting, but not sufficient for active and critical citizens.

Kaarel Haav,

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Marco Cecchinato
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:31

Thanks for this inspiring discussion...

We also need to pay attention to some new spaces that are growing almost everywhere in Europe, based on the model of the third places, where the citizens are building small local democratic places and upgrading their skills, on a transversal way. I think it's a little piece of our future, regarding this topic...

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Balázs Németh
Community Hero (Gold Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:17

Building skills for democratic life. The role of adult learning and education - as a key topic of today on-line dialogue, may I hereby propose that development of basic skills ought to involve participatory skills, collaborative skills, problem solving and critical thinking are interrelated and may be pursued through education for active and democratic citizenship in accordance with releted SDGs, CIONFINTEA VII MFA and NEAAL 2030.

I do think ALE providers, together with HEIs, have a strong role in this to enhance this focus on democratic skills connected with lifelong learning, combining employability and Active Citizenship, in association with European Pillar of Social Rights. 

The discouse on basic skills, very much reflected by EBSN, must be broadened up towards community skills for democratic citizenship! 

In this regards, governments and Intergovernmental Organisations (e.g. UNESCO, OECD, ILO, etc.) should collaborate with civil society organisations (e.g. EAEA, ICAE,) for quality development in participation and performance. At the same time, local and regional formations, like learning cities and regions should also be involved to move democratic life to generate equity, inclusion and equality with solidarity towards vulnerable groups of adults.

University networks, like eucen, have a strong responsibility to get integrated into the discourse.

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I agree with everything said by Balazs Nemeth,but at the same time I would like to stress that all educators on different education levels  starting from kindergarden  have to act as role models in developing democratic society. It is too late to start educating adults in this field.The basis for living in democratic society has to be established already earlier. Of course, we can change and transform.....but it is a very difficult and slow process to change the mind and thinking of the people.

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Community Collaborator (Silver Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 12:17

Antwort auf von Ilze IVANOVA

If we are talking about fostering skills for democracy through other skills like participatory skills, collaborative skills, problem solving and critical thinking, then this is also a task for adult or higher education.

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Kaarel Haav
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:56

All citizens should know a system of basic concepts that rely on social science studies. Some of them are the following: citizens and the state, social actors and structures, and main models of decision-making: democratic, autocratic, and partnership. The autocratic model should be complemented by the concept of participative democracy.

The typology of social actors: employers and entrepreneurs;

Managers and administrators;

Workers and employees.

These concepts are not implemented in civic education at Estonian schools.

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Renāte Zīverte
Community Hero (Gold Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:50

I agree that people need support in times of changes. Sometimes it is worrying to read that many people don’t want to return to offices after Covid, and some considering leaving work,  if work at office would be mandatory. Seems that after Covid restrictions more than ever people need support in developing "basic skills" not only of going to office and meeting colleagues, but also for participating in different events including education events. 

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There are plenty of studies done about remote work and the benefits outweigh the downsides for both the employee and the employer. With more free time people are able to socialise outside the work environment, partake in their local community (ideally if volunteering!) and engage in self-learning. All this helps them to improve all the necessary skills (basic, soft, social and competency skills) to participate in a democratic society.

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Community Collaborator (Silver Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 12:22

Antwort auf von Liga Kalnina

People are different and traditions are different. For example, in my case I can work remotely not more than one day per week. And work in office is part of socializing. We should let the space for people to choose to work in the office or remotely. 

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Covid did change a lot, indeed! We noticed that education priorities changed and that there is a renewed attention to mental health (thankfully!) also in education settings. As LLLP we published a statement on covid and its impact on education, and a whole position paper on assessment and wellbeing

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Lifelong Learning Platform
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:49

Do you agree with the main point raised during the live stream, i.e. that transversal skills are the way forward?

Here are some useful links to stir the debate!

Let us know what you think!

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Giulia Meschino
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:47

Co-financed by the EU Commission Erasmus+ programme and led by the Italian network for VET ENAIP NET, the project NERDVET aims at designing, implementing, and testing an educational Toolkit to support VET teachers and trainers in improving critical thinking and media literacy skills in iVET students. By doing so, NERDVET will foster the development of innovative methods and practices to make education more inclusive and able to train more informed and critically aware citizens.

The project partnership includes seven partners from six EU countries: Italy, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and The Netherlands.

Visit the website:

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Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:57

Antwort auf von Sara Saleri

Erasmus + project Digital Citizenship Education and Foreign Language
Learning demonstrates that it is possible to learn democratic values in different subjects at school,where the teacher is a role model.
Project Coordinator
LUDWIG-MAXIMILIANS-UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN  (,5  partner countries,including University of Latvia.

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Marion Fields
Community Contributor (Bronze Member).
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:39

When doing research for our current E+ project Dialogue in Adult Learning, we came across some survey results that dialogue skills, a vital building block for democracy, fall unevenly in the same way as the other basic skills deemed necessary in working life or that preced other dmeocratic behaviours such as voting.

By developing a very low threshold model for everyday dialogue, we are aiming to raise discussion about dialogue as a basic skill for adults, along with literacy, critical thinking etc.

We have so far learned that our target groups need a particularly safe and supportive environment to be encouraged to enter dialogue. That's why the activities we plan are to do with everyday neighbourly relations etc.

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I agree with your view that dialogue is the basic skill for democracy. Not least on this idea, it is worth mentioning that the European Commission has recently put forward an initiative to further strengthen and promote social dialogue. This initiative strengthens social dialogue to adapt to the changing world of work and new labour market trends in the context of the transition to a digital and climate-neutral economy and the emergence of new forms of employment.

I recommend to follow this initiative.

link to the report:



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Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:35

Dont we need to speak more about responsibilities in the democratic society- developing of responsible citizen of Europe. We need to develop balance of rights and responsibilities .

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Nils-Eyk Zimmermann
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 10:24

Yes, a valuable framework, needed for long. But democracy-related? This dimension could be integrated better..

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Lifelong Learning Platform
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 11:07

Antwort auf von Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Well said, Nils! As LLLP we tried to put some things black on white during the EESC Civil Society Days earlier this month. Hopefully the main messages will go through!

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Claudia D'Eramo
Mi., 29.03.2023 - 09:54

Good morning everyone,

just a few minutes left before the start of the live discussion between our experts!

Get ready to interact by sharing your view and asking questions.

The streaming will be followed, as usual, by a written discussion here on EPALE. We look forward to your contributions :)

Claudia (EPALE Moderator)

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Sanita Baranova
Di., 28.03.2023 - 21:20

The importance of developing democratic living skills in adults cannot be overstated. Only by promoting and improving these skills we can foster a culture of mutual respect and effective collaboration in our communities. Democratic living skills are vital for social cohesion and public welfare.

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We agree! Transversal skills for democracy are key in all stages of life and adult education plays a key role in encouraging them to achieve collaboration in communities.

In early March during the EESC Civil Society Days 2023 , we had the opportunity to discuss how transversal skills can help with participation and our role in society. 

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Community Collaborator (Silver Member).
Di., 28.03.2023 - 18:19

We know that social skills are an essential part of life and also work. But employers invest in professional knowledge because social skills can transfer from one company to another. Should employers be involved in improving the social skills of their employees?

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I believe that democratic skills are necessary for every individual to participate in democratic activities and be an active citizen in their environment - workplace, local community, etc. Therefore, it is up to each adult. Building these skills at school is another matter.

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Egija Laganovska
Di., 28.03.2023 - 16:02

In the world where political and social issues are increasingly becoming polarised, it is essential to develop democratic living skills all the life long to engage in constructive and collaborative problem-solving. The development of these skills enables individuals to confront and resolve conflicts in a peaceful and productive manner. 

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You are absolutely right! Transversal skills are key to face polarisation and increase dialogue and they should be encourage in all stages of life.

During the EESC Civil Society Days 2023 we brought this discussion on how can skills, lifelong learning and democracy are intertwinned!

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Olena Lazorenko
Di., 28.03.2023 - 14:59

The crisis of democracy in the modern world, related to complexity and contingency, requires the search for new forms \ models of democracy. This has been is conceptualized in terms such as "deliberative democracy", advisory democracy, and so on. One of the first "good practice" example in deliberative democracy in Ukraine was described in the case 1 in recent published Advocacy Guide (see below). 

In transitioning democracies, an active civil society plays a very important role, helping to create or build strong and independent democratic institutions through participation in advisory services to state bodies and the implementation of its own projects. But such participation requires relevant knowledge and skills, which can also be acquired through civic education & self-learning of adults and youth. 

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@ Dear Olena, I support you and the concept of deliberative democracy. 

I have designed a system of concepts for participative and deliberative democracy. I have used it against mainstream authoritarian civics education. 

Haav, K. (2018) European Identity and Citizenship in Estonia: Analyses of Textbooks and Theoretical Developments. - Journal for Social Science Education (JSSE), 2018, Vol. 17 (2) 68-79.  Found 23. 11. 2022. 

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Dear @Kaarel,

 Thank you for the positive feedback on my conceptual work. I am currently in the process of seeking funding to further research the relationship between ALE and the deliberative model of democracy. I hope to find research funds and partners for this study. You can follow my current and future publications on the platforms - & ResearchGate. See: \

Olena (Kyiv, Ukraine)

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Veiko Värk
Di., 28.03.2023 - 12:30

I believe that adult learning and education can have a big impact to help people to find fulfillment in lives through developing the self management and communication skills of people. 
Taking care of mental health is increasingly important during the time of non-stop crises nowadays and learning how to manage one´s emotions, reduce stress and find inspiring goals to oneself can have a huge impact on self-actualization.
In addition to good self management skills - in democratic participation also good communication skills are important to have a smooth cooperation and teamwork with other people. Developing good listening, self-expression and win-win negotiation skills through adult learning and education can contribute a lot to have reasonable discussions and mutually beneficial agreements that enable to find best possible solutions to most issues.
So we adult educators may have an important role in helping people through practical self management and communication skills trainings to be more succesful during challenging times.          

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We agree that adult learning and education go hand in hand with wellbeing, especially with the current challenges! 

Having learning environments that support learners and foster transversal skills that will be helpful in all areas of life is key to ensure learners find fullfilment and enjoyment but also to become active participants in finding solutions to most issues, as you pointed out.

In 2021, our Position Paper focused on wellbeing in education and training, we would like to hear your thoughts!

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