During the 12th and 13th November, our Board member Lucija Karnelutti participated in the conference “Supporting Key Competence Development: Learning approaches and environments in school education”, organised by European Commission, that took place in Brussels, Belgium.

The conference brought together over 200 policymakers and stakeholders from different fields and backgrounds, all of them involved in the preparation and implementation of school education policies and reforms.

In today’s fast-paced and fast-changing world, school students (more than ever!) need a broad set of skills and competences in order to become independent, critical and active citizens and be fit to seek fulfilling careers in the future. Those competences include (but are not limited to) digital and technological skills, intercultural skills, critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship, citizenship skills, etc. The importance of those was addressed in the opening statement by Sabine Verheyen, the Chair of the CULT committee in the European Parliament: “ Access to lifelong learning alone is not enough; the EU has committed itself to improving the quality of teaching. In addition to strengthening the teaching of basic skills such as reading and calculating, the EU identified other key competences relevant for promotion. The discussions on key competences that have emerged in recent years show the immense importance of a broad concept of education. This concept includes the supplementation of the basic competences previously mentioned by further fields such as multilingual, digital or learning to learn competences as well as democracy education.”

During the two days, the conference opened the floor to a variety of inspiring projects, keynote speakers, panel discussions and parallel activities, all focused on different learning approaches and environments in school education that support the development of key competences. Those approaches were recognizing the importance of non-formal learning and included project-based learning, cross-disciplinary learning and learning through collaboration with different external organizations.

A set of good practices and such approaches was also presented at the exhibition, where different organisation, initiatives, individuals, while also Erasmus+, eTwinning and Horizon 2020, got a chance to show their activities and findings.

The conference also highlighted the importance of learners’ active role in the creation of the learning journey and the need for support in the sense of assessment, reflection and quality feedback.