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The Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) will be holding the 9th edition of its iconic LLLWeek on 2-6 December 2019 in Brussels. The LLLWeek has become a milestone in the European education agenda, thanks to the support of civil society actors, Members of the European Parliament, and other representatives of the European institutions (European Commission, European Council, European Economic and Social Council). The LLLPlatform is proud to announce that the LLLWeek2019 will take place in cooperation with the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Youth intergroup and the Lifelong Learning Interest Group of the European Parliament, as well as partners such as CONCORD Europe and ECAS.
The Lifelong Learning Platform will tackle the topic of “Learning democracy, values and participation”, a theme that has encompassed all year for LLLP. 2019 is a crucial year for Europe, as the political landscape changed with the May elections: through this topic, the LLLPlatform will seek to bring back the discussions around citizenship education, active citizenship, and the values that inform our democracies. Following the many inputs of the Lifelong Learning Interest Group of the European Parliament, the thrust of its membership, and the European momentum, the Lifelong Learning Platform hopes to build an arena where to debate the importance of civic participation in the political life at all levels – local, regional, national, European, and even international – and the role that a lifelong learning approach to citizenship has to play.
Why a lifelong learning week?
Lifelong learning covers education and training across all ages and in all areas of life. It enables citizen’s emancipation and full participation in society in its civic, political, social and economic dimensions. A humanistic and holistic approach of learning, from the cradle to the grave, is of continued relevance in today’s world and a viable foundation for the rethinking of education. The Lifelong Learning Week aims to raise awareness on the fact that lifelong learning answers many challenges of modern societies. Fostering a comprehensive approach to education is especially important when it comes to building learning societies, by making sure that our citizens are fully equipped with the competences they need in the 21st century. The paradigm shift to lifelong learning means recognising that learning is taking place in various contexts – be it formal, non-formal and informal. It implies changing the ways we provide and receive education, the ways we assess learning and the ways we work and live together.
During the LLLWeek, participants will be taken into the topic of choice, starting from the context in which lifelong learning and education operate in Europe to build active citizens. We will subsequently dwell into the policy framework that is supposed to provide the tools useful to read our society and the changes it bears. Different approaches can be deepened, as they all build up to the same overarching objective:
- Global citizenship education
- Learning democracy
- Promoting values
In fact, all of these will contribute to the goal that the Lifelong Learning Platform has always been pursuing: better societies through education and lifelong learning.
Description of themes
Global Citizenship Education
UNESCO defines Global Citizenship Education as aiming to empower learners of all ages to assume active roles, both locally and globally, in building more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure societies. GCE teaches us that some issues (human rights, inequality, poverty, social inclusion) must be tackled in a global dimension.
Under this hat, events will seek a way for GCE and lifelong learning to come together, as well as the best ways to integrate GCE into the EU education agenda. Events proposed under this sub-theme can dwell into intercultural learning, citizenship education, but also address how lifelong learning can contribute to Europe’s way towards the achievement of the SDGs.
The Lifelong Learning Platform preaches that education and a lifelong learning approach would improve our societies (see our Manifesto). This is especially true for democratic systems, albeit national governments often do not see the long-term results of investments in education.
This large sub-theme will tackle the changes we need to transition to learning societies; events can address investment in education, new pedagogies (including digital tools for learning), as well as new innovative and creative ways to enhance the importance of education in our society.
Europe struggles to promote the very founding values of its Union. The Lifelong Learning Platform has always believed in the power of education and lifelong learning to inform our society and overcome division. Inclusion, equity, social cohesion, active citizenship are values we abide by. And we believe that promoting these values will ultimately benefit our society as a whole, ensuring – in the end – that no one is left behind.
The LLLPlatform will open the debate on how to get citizens closer to the institutions through its own prism of principles. Under this sub-theme, suggested events will discuss how our own values are indeed the way forward for our continent, and how the promotion of said values would sparkle citizens participation in democratic processes.