First Education Summit: laying the foundations of the European Education Area for an innovative, inclusive and values-based education

Hosted by Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the First European Education Summit took place in Brussels on 25 January 2018.

Over 400 EU education ministers, education practitioners, stakeholders and business leaders were invited, to explore:

  • how better to address inequality in education systems

  • how citizens can benefit from a future European Education Area

  • how education can help transmit our common values

  • what competences will be needed for the decades to come

Image: EC - Audiovisual Service

“As we look to Europe’s future, we need to equip ourselves with an ambitious, shared agenda for how we can use learning as a driver for unity. Education is key because it is education that equips us with the skills we need to become active members of our increasingly complex societies. It is education that helps us adapt to a rapidly changing world, to develop a European identity, to understand other cultures.”  Tibor Navracsics – European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Among the many panels and workshops was one on the importance of transversal skills and about curiosity, play and discovery in learning.An inspiring keynote was given by European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who described her own learning journey and called for the humanities to be valued as much in education as – and combined with – science and technology.

Professor of Educational Research, Policy and Practice, Kay Livingston (University of Glasgow) led a fascinating masterclass on how to raise quality and equity in school education based on the recent work on Teachers and School Leaders by the ET2020 Working Group on Schools.

We also enjoyed meeting many teachers who are working as pioneers in their specialist area: David Calle – Teacher and Nominee for Global Teacher Prize 2017, who has a popular YouTube channel, unicoos; Jean-Luc Richter – Physics and Chemistry teacher and Vice president of Science on Stage France; and the student ‘co-leaders’ of CATS – Children as Actors for Transforming Society.