Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Citizenship and Governance Education in Europe: A critical review of the literature

Project ID: HPSE-CT-1999-00012


This study of the literature on education and training for governance and active citizenship is designed as the foundation for inquiries into how adults learn their attitudes to citizenship and governance in various European countries, and into what methods of educational and training intervention are effective for improving learning of citizenship and governance.
The chapters which follow reflect the thinking which underpins the research project, and it is therefore necessary to restate briefly the principles on which the study is based. Citizenship and governance are increasingly common matters of discussion and concern, across countries and in different areas of society. This is clear within the European Union, for which the aim of a stronger and more inclusive social fabric is often twinned with the importance of achieving greater economic competitiveness and prosperity. For most governments, education is a key policy option; and most (if not all) all governments in Europe are using education to encourage the development of better citizenship and economic achievement.
The design of educational interventions and educational policies has, however, been constrained in several ways. First, educational intervention strategies have focused too strongly on formal structures (i.e., chiefly primary and secondary schooling). The increasing emphasis in European and national policies on �lifelong learning� in the �learning society� raises the question of how strategies for informal and non-formal political education can be elaborated.

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