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Education for Personal Development and Well-Being

Education is a lifelong empowerment process, which should help citizens in their intra and interpersonal understanding, achieving personal development and becoming empathic individuals. The UNESCO has possibly summarised it best as "learning to be"- to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential psycho-socially, affectively as well as physically, for an all-round "complete person".

Personal development, creativity and well-being have the potential of becoming the key outcomes of a learning system that follows the right track. This "right track" involves the use of innovative pedagogical method, enjoyable and inspirational environments, collaborative learning that rests on a competence-based and learner-centred approach. And because we are all different, education needs to take into account the rich diversity of individuals. Only by being open to and accepting our differences will we manage to reach out to disadvantaged groups, will we succeed in keeping learners in the learning pathway and encourage a positive attitude towards learning throughout life.

Nevertheless, personal development and well-being are finding it hard to make their way into policy frameworks, probably because they are perceived as individual outcomes rather than social or economic ones.

The debate has gathered educators, learners, stakeholders and policy-makers on 16 February 2016 aimed to clear the field in order to understand how the concept is perceived at European level, what initiatives exist on the ground and how to channel best practices up to the decision-making level.

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