Education for Democracy: Cooperation, Participation and Civic Engagement in the Classroom

  • Wolfgang Edelstein


In 2007 the EU, according to the understanding laid down in the so-called Lisbon Accord, defined democratic citizenship and human rights, together with social cohesion and sustainable economic progress, as some of its fundamental goals, a cornerstone of its ongoing and future development as one of the most advanced regions of the world. Ten years earlier, in 1997, the Council of Europe, the agency of political and cultural cooperation of more than 40 European nations, launched a programme that was designed to support and evolve democratic citizenship education in schools across Europe. Starting with the study of exemplary projects and schools, it continued from 2002 onwards with a programme of education for democratic citizenship developing local, national and transnational initiatives, curricula and standards, and publishing handbooks and teaching materials (Bîrza et al., 2004). The programme reached a new level of intensity with its European Year of Citizenship Through Education in 2005. In the wake of this programmatic high point, a new phase was launched in 2006 under the heading Learning and Living Democracy for All; a centre for democratic education, the Wergeland Centre, was established in Oslo with the support of the Norwegian government to organize and coordinate European action in the field of democracy education and school-based action for democratic development.


Civic Engagement Social Entrepreneurship Capability Approach Citizenship Education Lisbon Accord 
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© Wolfgang Edelstein 2015

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  • Wolfgang Edelstein

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