On November 7th Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) published a "Citizenship Education at School in Europe" report.

In its 188 pages, it aims to provide a “current and comprehensive picture of national policies in the area of citizenship education in schools across Europe”, which includes all 28 member states, as well as the 8 EFTA/EEA and candidate countries.

The report is organised in 4 chapters each addressing different aspects of citizenship education, “each of which is complemented by a case study (conducted in: Belgium, Estonia, France and Austria) on recent policy initiatives”:

  1. Curriculum organisation and content
  2. Teaching, learning and active participation
  3. Student assessment and school evaluation
  4. Teacher education, professional development and support

Some of the more interesting findings are:

  • Nearly half of the countries still have no regulations or recommendations on the development of prospective teachers' citizenship education competences through initial teacher education.
  • Education authorities have also not systematically issued guidelines for teachers on how to assess students in citizenship education.
  • Education authorities give less attention to citizenship education in school-based initial vocational education and training in comparison with general education.

Also, the document provides the context and conceptual framework, as well as history and philosophy of citizenship education in Europe.

The report is an outstanding, if a bit overwhelming, source of information about citizenship education in Europe.

For example, in Croatia, situation is quite complicated. Conservative government is influenced by radical organisations, and we are seeing many setbacks concerning freedom of speech, tolerance and other progressive democratic values. On the other hand, schools do not have adequate tools, nor are the teachers well versed, or willing to teach the importance of critical thinking and tolerance.

What is your experience with citizenship education in your country? What is needed to better the situation?

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