This was the motto of the final event of an EU-funded project of the same name in Vienna on 22 March. The 80 participants from all over Europe discussed new ways in which adult education can help people to react and act appropriately to the changes and crises of the present and to identify the options available. The project, in which associations from eleven European countries participated, was inspired by the experiences of both the Nordic “Folkbildning” and the thinkers of the Enlightenment. The focus was on the term “Bildung”, which originated in the German-speaking countries and, in contrast to “Education”, is much broader and includes aspects of ethical and emotional learning.
Six papers were produced which, among other things, establish the relationship of the broader concept of education to topics such as sustainability, digitalisation, democracy and basic education. In a policy document, the significance of Bildung for the further development of adult education is presented along four aspects:
- Conceptualisation of knowledge transfer – which takes into account long-neglected thematic fields such as ethics, aesthetics or orientation knowledge;
- Emphasis on emotional and non-cognitive learning;
- Formation of a sense of responsibility for the future of all humanity and the planet;
- Empowerment for action.
At the event in Vienna, MEP Theresa Bielowski also reminded the participants that adult education has a responsibility to reach out to all people and to enable them to participate rationally in the processes of change.
The results of the project are available at the following link: https://eaea.org/project/bildung/. The two-page summaries on each topic are available in several languages.