Due to COVID-19, every EU Member State was affected by partial or total closures of educational institutions. The report provides a review of the available evidence on the impact of COVID-19-related school disruptions on student learning outcomes at primary and secondary level across the EU, and characterises the various factors identified as having had an impact on student learning. These factors include a reduction in teaching and learning time, in the frequency of individual contact with teachers, and in the capacity of teachers and students to adapt to distance education. The report also analyses the available evidence on the role of the digital education in supporting students’ academic achievement in the context of distance schooling.
This analytical report seeks to address the evident gap in the formative assessment of social and emotional education by providing a framework indicating how social and emotional education may be assessed through a whole-school approach, both at individual (learner) and contextual (classroom climate and whole school system) levels, accompanied by illustrations of how this may be carried out in schools. It presents a framework of guiding principles for the formative assessment of social and emotional education within the EU, and provides various tools that may be used to formatively assess social and emotional education at the levels of the individual learner, classroom climate and whole-school system. The report also identifies a number of areas that need to be addressed in order to advance the effective implementation of the formative assessment of social and emotional education in the EU. This report should serve as a platform for the development of a formative, collaborative, systemic and inclusive European identity for SEE assessment, in contrast with other individualistic, personality- and character-based, and normative modes of assessment. It also provides a more integrated framework for the assessment of SEE in the EU and helps to bring greater consistency to assessment practices for this key competence at regional, national and European levels.
Technology has become a crucial means for learning and education, and its use is widespread in most educational settings. This has brought forward major changes in approaches to learning and the learning environment. However, besides the advancement, there is a raising concern about the effects of its use on children. To respond to this concern, this report explores the effects of the use of digital technology in relation to children’s empathy and attention at school.
Linguistic diversity – including languages from outside Europe – is one of the great strengths of the European Union. To foster the potential of linguistic diversity to support multilingual competences and help overcome its possible challenges, innovative policies and practices in language teaching must be implemented across classrooms, schools, regions and countries. These novel language education practices need to overcome persisting language devaluation and isolation, deconstruct existing language hierarchies and apply an inclusive perspective of all languages both in education and in society. In this context, the main purpose of this report is to explore emerging innovative approaches and strategies of language teaching in Europe supporting learners’ plurilingualism, inspire educators and policy makers to innovate and implement forward-looking policies and practices in language education, and contribute to the implementation of the EU Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages (adopted in May 2019).
While the benefits have been widely evidenced of high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) for young children, especially those from vulnerable groups, it is clear that efforts to improve the holistic development and well-being of children and families must involve a wide range of policies, services and actions. No single intervention, service or sector on its own can hope to achieve sustainable improvements. There is a growing recognition among researchers, policy makers and practitioners that policies and services need to become better integrated if they are to effectively address complex issues such as poverty and promote social inclusion. Only multi-dimensional, aligned and integrated responses and interventions in early years can address the complex and multi-faceted needs of all children and their families, especially those in vulnerable situations, such as families living in poverty, Roma families, or families in the contexts of migration or asylum. As a concept, integrated working covers a multitude of cooperative systems and models. It is context-specific: different models exist, starting from the specific needs of children and families, with different partners and/or sectors involved in distinct policy settings. Integrated working approaches are often seen as a continuum ranging from cooperation, through collaboration and coordination, to full integration, in which different services are united into a single organisation in order to enhance service delivery. A wide range of sectors and services can be involved in integrated working, depending upon the needs of children and their families. These include: early childhood education and care services; preventive health centres; preventive family support services; schools; out-of-school care; as well as services from the cultural sector (such as libraries, community centres). Integrated working can refer to specific types of integration (vertical integration, e.g. linking childcare to early education, with both being part of an integrated ECEC system); or it can go broader, linking ECEC provision to services in other sectors such as health or social services (horizontal integration). In this report, we consider integrated working to be a form of professional cooperation within a network or partnership, which provides a range of support services for families and children, accessible to all, in which families and children can participate and where parents are respected as first educators (Gordon et al., 2016). The main purpose of this report is to examine the added value provided by, and the prerequisites for, integrated working – as well as the crucial role played by ECEC services – in order to better serve all families, but especially vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families. Separate attention is devoted to Roma children and their families as one of the most vulnerable groups in Europe, often trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, exclusion and discrimination. The report is written for policy makers and professionals working in the field of early childhood education and care. It is guided by the following questions: What services or functions should be involved in integrated working, paying specific attention to the role that ECEC can play? What inspiring examples of integrated working already exist in Europe? What is the added value of integrated working (for children and families, for professionals, for policy makers) in general, and specifically for Roma? What are the prerequisites for integrated working in general, and specifically for integrated working aimed at addressing the needs of Roma? The report focuses on different groups of vulnerable children and families – and, in particular, on Roma. It is based on a literature review and six case studies illustrating different ways of integrated working in a variety of contexts. Specifically, the case studies look at the Early Years Children and Family Centre in Newry (the UK); bridging professionals in Ghent pre-schools (Belgium); the Sprungbrettangebote in Berlin, which links centres to childcare (Germany); Sure Start Children’s House in Porcsalma (Hungary); the municipal kindergarten network in Tundzha municipality (Bulgaria); and the ‘Ready Set Go!’ project (Romania). The evidence from the case studies (Part II) frames and supplements the more theoretical part of the report (Part I). It serves as a basis from which to discuss the added value of, and prerequisites for, integrated working (covered respectively in Parts III and IV), and feeds into the report’s policy recommendations.
The spread of disinformation and ‘fake news’ pose acute challenges for Member States’ education systems. Students (and indeed all citizens) need to develop pertinent competences to navigate these fast-changing environments. Research shows that education in media literacy can have positive outcomes on students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes in analysing and critically understanding the media and disinformation. Media literacy competences are required to actively participate in democratic society; they enable citizens to access, understand and deal with the media, and encourages them to become political agents. This report details the latest research in the area of media literacy and media education with regard to primary and secondary education in Europe. The report is aimed at policymakers, practitioners and researchers in the fields of school education, media and digital policies. It reviews relevant European and international research to better understand how teaching and learning practices can support students’ media literacy in primary and secondary education. It also aims to understand how media literacy education in schools can help address the challenges related to the spread of disinformation.
Youth civic engagement and the role of education in developing active citizenship have become increasingly urgent topics of debate throughout the European Union. The growth of nationalist, radical and populist discourses and politics have revealed the need for a better understanding of what factors may encourage young people’s social participation and civic engagement. [...] This scoping report provides an overview of the link between education and active citizenship/civic engagement, and answers the following questions advanced by the EC: ▪ What does active citizenship entail? ▪ What are the different manifestations of active citizenship? ▪ To what extent is education a predictor of social participation and civic engagement? ▪ Is there a pattern between volunteering and education? ▪ What is the role of NGOs?
This NESET research report is focused on how social and emotional education may be strengthened in core curricula across the EU. It includes a review of the most recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies on the effectiveness of social and emotional education and proposes a multilevel framework on how it may be implemented in schools as a whole school approach. Other chapters are related to social and emotional competences, assessment, quality implementation, and case studies from EU countries. It concludes with a set of recommendations for policy makers and school leaders on how schools may strengthen the integration of social and emotional education as a core component of curricula across the EU. The report has been cited in the recent European Commission Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (January 2018). It may be accessed at http://nesetweb.eu/en/network-publishes-report-on-strengthening-social-and-emotional-education-as-a-core-curricular-area-across-the-eu/
This report provides an overview of the status of early childhood education and care (ECEC) quality frameworks — or equivalent strategic policy documents — that govern ECEC quality at national, regional or local level in EU Member States. The review was commissioned by the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) as an ad hoc question for the Network of Experts on Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET II). http://nesetweb.eu/wp-content/uploads/AHQ4.pdf https://www.schooleducationgateway.eu/en/pub/viewpoints/experts/improving-the-quality-of-ecec.htm
Growing ethnic and religious diversity1 in Europe poses both opportunities and challenges to Europe- an policy-makers and societies as a whole. It is expected that this diversity will continue to increase. At the same time, recent studies show that intolerance and social exclusion are increasing, with some mi- grant groups feeling alienated. This is leading to incidences of social tensions and unrest. Education has a key role to play in preparing societies for dealing with these phenomena. It also plays a vital role in the political socialisation of European citizens from cradle to grave. This independent report reviews the most relevant European and international research on these is- sues in order to summarise existing knowledge and to distil policy lessons based on evidence. It ad- dresses questions that include: What main opportunities and challenges do European education systems face in terms of educating for tolerance, respect for diversity and active citizenship? For each of these, what policy insights can we draw from existing European and international re- search and evidence? Which specific education policies and practices appear to work best and under which specific cir- cumstances?
While the implementation of the key competence framework has been on the agenda of all Member States, policies and practices for the assessment of these competences have yet to be fully implemented in EU countries’ efforts to integrate competence-based education into school curricula. Assessing key competences and transversal skills is a challenging task, as they refer to complex constructs that are not easily measurable. Although assessment policies that support the assessment of traditional key competences such as maths, languages and science have largely been implemented, they are often limited to the contexts provided by the subject matters with which they are most closely associated, and rarely assess related attitudes. Cross-curricular competences and transversal skills are harder to associate with individual subjects and to reflect in specific learning outcomes. An innovative approach to assessment practices is needed to grasp the complexity and multiple roles of modern learning. This report reviews international research to demonstrate how European education systems can improve their assessment practices to measure and support students’ acquisition of key competences and transversal skills.
While multilingualism and diversity have always been an integral part of Europe, they have also become important characteristics of many national education systems during the past two decades. The linguistic diversity of modern classrooms is shaped by 1) the presence of historical non-dominant language groups, which are being revitalised; 2) The growing mobility between countries which results in a variety of new languages and skills in the classrooms; and 3) changing educational and labour market demands that fa-vour multilingual and multi-literate citizens. The task of education stakeholders is to create school systems that bridge these various linguistic and cultural realities and support the mobility of the pupils across Europe. In light of the above, this report reviews international research to reveal how national education systems can better support multilingualism in their schools.
Education policy needs to cater for diversity and enable all citizens to succeed in education and to develop their full potential according to their specific needs and irrespective of their backgrounds. However, in reality, educational inequalities are a key challenge to education systems across the EU, often linked to socioeconomic disadvantage, low participation rates in early childhood education, low parental educational level and family support, ethnic or migrant background amongst others. This report highlights concrete policies and practices that work to disrupt or prevent educational disadvantage. The Key Findings are based on a review of 20 research projects funded under the Sixth and Seventh EU Framework Programmes for Research and Development (FP6 and FP7). The review was commissioned by the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and carried out by the Network of Experts on Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET II).
At the European level, the importance of a qualified workforce is acknowledged in the revised priorities for the strategic cooperation in the field of education and training (European Commission, 2015a); it identifies professionalisation of staff as one of the key issues for further work in ECEC. In many countries, part of the workforce is represented by low qualified ECEC assistants. In the CoRe study, assistants are defined as ‘invisible workers’, meaning that their presence is usually not taken into account in policy documents, and that they have far fewer possibilities of qualification and of professional development than core practitioners do. Data from the last Eurydice report shows that ECEC attendance among children under 3 is very low across Europe (European commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Eurostat, 2014). The same report underlines that for about 30 % of parents, the low quality of ECEC services represents a barrier to use them. Improving the competences of all staff (core practitioners and assistants) would improve the services’ quality, which would in turn attract parents to ECEC services. Investing in the professionalization of assistants represents a key element for ECEC quality improvement, especially since in a number of countries the share of assistants in the services is rapidly growing (see 2.1., Table 1). This growth needs to be accompanied by a strong investment in competent systems that value the contributions of all staff, and involve the whole workforce in continuous professional development. Otherwise, in response to budget constraints or if reforms are too hurried, assistants may be hired over their more qualified colleagues and this could lead to a “deprofessionalisation” of ECEC staff. Professionalisation of Childcare Assistants in ECEC Building on the findings of the CoRe study (Urban et al., 2011; Vandenbroeck et al., 2016), we review the profiles of ECEC assistants in 15 European countries1 and their professionalization opportunities. We then make recommendations on how to develop coherent pathways towards qualification and continuous professional development (CPD) for assistants. In addition, we present examples of successful pathways towards qualification and CPD in three selected European countries (Denmark, France, Slovenia).