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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Education Director Bergan+ to EuroFora on Conference for 21st Century Perfect Teacher Manifesto

CoE Education Director Bergan+ to EuroFora on Conference for 21st Century Perfect Teacher Manifesto

Written by ACM
Friday, 25 April 2014
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- European and International Cooperation in Education, as well as Human and Social Values for "the Perfect Teacher", due to be described in a CoE's "Teachers' Manifesto for the 21st Century", figured High, among Students' personal Development and preparation as Democratic Citizens,which were  at the Focus of an Original COE's 2 Days-long PanEuropean Conference in Strasbourg, with the exceptional but vibrant participation not only of Experts, Government Officials and CoE's Officers, but also of many interested, simple but experienced Teachers and/or other Actors of the Educational Community, (Parents or Students' Associations, etc), as it results also from what CoE's Director for Education, Sjur Bergan, and the co-Organizers of this landmark event, prepared by the INGOS and the "Pestalozzi" Programme of the CoE told "EuroFora" :

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- "Why Now ?", "EuroFora" questioned CoE's competent Director on Education, from the start :


 - "Because, there are not only Financial Problems, but also Political Problems", nowadays, while "Education has become certainly more Important than ever", since "Education is the Basis for the Culture and Competences that we need in order to Solve all kinds of Crisis", Bergan pointed out from the outset.


 - This includes both Economic and Political Crisis, as well as "all the Problems that manys European Countries (recently) have in order to find ways to Live "All Together", while also "Immigration is a thorny Issue in many EU Countries", he observed.


 - "But, in the Past, Education was also the Solution, i.e. the factor thanks to which many Immigrants, and/or at least their Children, were succesfully Integrated" in several European Societies, "EuroFora" reminded.  "Why, Today, on the contrary, there are so many Problems on some Immigrants' Education ?", we asked.


- "Because now there is a Combination of Political and Financial Crisis : F.ex. States have a trend to Tighten the Financial means given to Education, while, at the same time, in order to solve problems we have to do it through Public Debates, but, one of the Problems we see in Modern Societies, is also that People tend to Focus more on the Individual, Private Space, so that there is Less Commitment on the Pubic space", CoE's Education Director pointed out. And, "you cant' bring back that Commitment to Public space, unless you Create it on the basis of Education", he concluded.


     - In this regard, "we (CoE) don't pretend, naturally, that such a Conference will Solve all these Problems, but, if they manage to adequately  raise People's awareness of the fact that Societies change Education, but Education is also needed in order to chage Societies,, while, "at the same time, there are some Basic Values, that we need to Conserve", then, this could bring a useful contribution to CoE's work on this field.


- "How ?", went on "EuroFora" to ask Bergan.


- "By looking at the Role that Teachers will play in helping to Change Education",  he pointed out in reply.


- "There are 4 parties in the development of Education : Teachers, Students, Parents and Public Authorities", he explained.  - "This Conference focuses specifically on Teachers", CoE's Director underlined.


- Precisely, conerning that famous CoE's Draft "Manifesto for the Teacher of 1st Century", "what is the main point ?", we asked him.


- "The Main point is that it's an Important Step in Seeking to Re-Define the Role of Teachers for giving that kind of Education that we Need for the kind of Societies that we have Today".


- For that purpose, "one of the Main things is that we Need to find a way to Balance what is called the Subject-specific Competences, with that kind of Transversal Competences that we Need Today, such as, f.ex. : Analytical Ability, ability to Express themselves, to Listen, and to Work Together", COE's competent Director concluded.


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    + "EuroFora" saw that this kind of CoE's PanEuropean Conference apparently succeeded to Attract a particularly Wide and Motivated Audience, as it results also from the fact that there were "more than 1.600 Demands to participate" in the 2 Days-long CoE's relevant meetings in Strasbourg, as its co-ChairWoman, President of International NGOs' (INGOS) Cultural Committee, Ms Sabine Rohmann from Germany, later told us, (including even a Team of Litterature, Philosophy and Physics' Teachers from the Greek city of Thessaloniki, (Salonica), Historic base of the World Famous Philosopher of the Ancient Greek Civilisatsion : Aristotelis, despite the recent Financial Problems provoked in the Country), while the Participants' eagerness to be Actively Involved in that CoE's Conference's Debates, as well as to Stay until the very End of it, (something rather Unusual, since in most other CoE's Conferences, the bulk of participants has already gone away long before it can conclude)....

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    + "EuroFora" asked President Rohmann "what (she) wants to Add more, Today, after the recent CoE's Helsiniki Conference on Education, which has already adopted a Resolution on "Education of Quality".


       - "Now, the discussions are mainly about the Follow-up to that Helsinki Ministerial Conference, because we have to put all that down in the Reality of School-Life's practice", she stressed from the outset in reply. "As you said, we need the Policy Makers to give us a Framework, but afterwards we have to fill that framework", she observed.


    + In this regard, the experienced Chairwoman of CoE's INGOs' Cultural Committee, who is also working at the Direction of the European/International service in Germany's Education Ministry, also replied to another "EuroFora"s question about the present needs for Comparisons between the European and other Areas of the World in Modern Education trends, as f.ex. has recently anounced that will do the French "International Center for Pedagogical Studies" (CIEP), by organizing, on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the "International Education Review of Sevres", (near Paris, where it's Headquartered), an important Global Colloquy focused on "Education in Asia, on 2014 : What Global stakes ?", on June 12-14, with the participation among various other key-note Speakers f.ex. from Japan, India, etc. also of Professor Wei Chen, Deputy Dean in the French Department at the Historic and prestigious "University of International Studies" of Shanghai, which was founded immediately after the 1949 Revolution in China, developing Research and Education on Languages, Litterature (including Education and even Media, Law and Politics, etc), and International Relations vis a vis  almost all Countries and GeoPolitical Regions of the World.


 - "We (CoE's INGOs) are already working on such International comparisons on Educa", f.ex. with the USA, Japan, China, and other Areas of the World, and "we have to look if it's possible" to develop further such a systematic comparison with the pan-European Education system in the forseabe Future, President Rohmann, who has a precious Personal Experience as "Responsible at the German Ministry for European/International Cooperation in Teachers' Training", which "Fits well" with CoE's work, carefuly but positvely, replied to "EuroFora"s question, anouncing her Intention to "have a look on it, and move on" in such a direction, thanking us for mentioning it :


    - "It's really very Important that we can't only look at Europe alone, but in "Europe in the World". So, we have to Cooperate also with Other Regions of the World", as she stressed. "For everybody, this is an Enrichment, it Opens Minds, and enlarges the Horizons that we have, to go further on it". In fact, "we all have the Same Challenges, the same Problems, but, as there is a Cultural Diversity" troughout the World, "the Application and the Implementation is anOther one, because Education has also a Cultural and National dimension", she observed, underlying, therefore, the practical and theoretical interest for such International Cooperations and Comparisons.


    In this regard, f.ex. "EuroFora"s scientific counselor, Dr. Constantin Marcopoulos, a pure product of the French system of Education and Strasbourg's University, has already witnessed the Efficiency also of the German Educational Institutions abroad, as well as the way that some among the best American-oriented International Cooperations in High School and University Education work, f.ex. in Natural Sciences, English or French language, etc, particularly at some thriving and fast-Developing Educational Institutions in China's Metropolitan City of Shanghai, famous for its legendary openness to useful interactions between the Chinese classic and modern Civilisation with the whole World, (mutatis-mutandisn, almost as also in New York, Geneva, Strasbourg, Johanesbourg, Sydney or Saint Petersbourg, and other Internationalized non-Capitals but Strategic Cities at some Key TransNational Crossroads).


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    + The other co-Organizer of this event, Head of CoE's "Pestalozzi" Programme, (named after that famous Swiss Philosopher on Childrens' Education, which inspires a special series of PanEuropean projects), Josef Huber, speaking later to "EuroFora", explained that it all had "Started, some 30 Years ago, mainly as an Exchange, Mobility program, but, in the last 10 or so Years, we have Developed it in more Substance, Pedagogy and Content".


    - "Basically, we Train (Teachers) for all big areas of the CoE activities which deal with Education, such as, f.ex. : Diversity, Mutual Uderstanding, Citizenship, Human Rights, Gender Issues, Media Litteracy, etc., and we promote a Pedagody that actually is Suitable and Effective for that" purpose, Huber told "EuroFora".


    -  Questioned by "EuroFora" about the interest and added value that CoE's "Pestalozzi" Program brings in such a PanEuropean Conference on Teachers, he stressed, in particular, that "what is Important is that, as we are Working with Teachers, we know that Teachers,s over Decades, have been not necessarily well seen and well respected in their profession, while, at the same time, being asked to do more and more. So, many Teachers ask Today :  - "What is my Role in this World ?". Thus, we absolutely Wanted to have an Occasion where they could Express themselves", as during the present, 2 Days-long, PanEuropean CoE's Conference, exceptionaly open to active participation from many Teachers from various European Countries and Horizons.


    + Concerning PanEuropean and partcularly International comparisons on Education issues, CoE's Head of "Pestalozzi" programmes, (whose Inspirator has gone down in History as a personality mainly interested in helping to develop the capacities also of Children who have faced particularly hard Challenges, f.ex. in Poverty, Exclusion, various Conflicts, Wars, etc., through an Original Philosophy of Education, based also on Love and compassion for Human persons, instead of being limited only to Technical competition), observed that "it's a long debate : Because, concerning  particularly Human Rights and respect for Human Dignity, some People say that it's European, while other People say that it's Universal. I'm more convinced that we Need to Reach a Universal Consensus, about the Basic Values that we also work for, in Education".


     - As for "those who go only for Competition to Education, they are profiting from the Status quo, and they are maintaining  the status quo : That's contrary to what we (CoE) want to do", Huber concluded in his replies to "EuroFora"s questions, indirectly but clearly, reminding the Crucial Fact that Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organization for Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law's specific Task here is much more to "Change Education", for a Better World for all Children and for the General Good of the Society as a whole, (Comp. Supra).  

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    In this regard, it was really Interesting to observe the Vibrant Debate which took place Yesterday Afternoon among many Participants at the COE's Conference, (f.ex. from Student Associations, Parents' Associations, Teachers' Trade Unions, Ministries of Education, Experts and/or Theorists, Media, etc), about the reply to give to the Central Question : - "Who is the Perfect Teacher for you ?"...


    Some expressed the view that the Best Teacher is who "really Loves his/her Students and knows how to Motivate them". Other stressed the quality of being "Open minded" and accessible to all Students. Or the fact that, Today, there is No more any reason for Teachers to eventually be afraid of some kind of eventual "Competition" by certain Parents, interested and able to actively contribute to their Chidren's Education, but that, on the Contrary, Modern Education is becoming, more and more, a Common, Collective endeavour, where both Teachers and Parents have to Cooperate Together, and Join all their Forces in order to provide the Best possible Education to Children, (thanks also to the New Potential for Access to Knowledge made possible by Modern Information/Communication Technologies, as well as through efforts for a better "Democratisation" of Societies). Both a Young Teacher having travelled earlier to Brazil and other Countries accross the World, as well as European "Wergeland" Center's Chair of the Governing Board and vice-President of "Education International" from Norway, Ms Haldis Holst, stressed the Value it has for ofTeachers to get also a personal Experience of the World in real practice, i.e. even out of Forman Education Systems, while a French Expert resumed a large part of COE's debate by stressing the fact that almost all participants were "convinced for the Interest of Non-Formal Education for Teachers, in addition to Traditional Training". Points some of which were developed further also by Jean McLiff, professor of Educational Research at York's St John University, (UK), etc.


    Last, but not least, all Participants were invited, at the Concluding Sezssions, to make (both now orally, and/or in the forthcoming Days by e-mail) any Suggestions that they wish, to CoE's Draft "Teacher Manifesto for the 21st Century", which is due to be soon completed and finalized, in order to be presented to PanEuropean Political Decision-makers for further concrete measures in the foreseable Future, as well as to be widely Distributed among as many Teachers, and Teachers' Trainers all over Europe and beyond.

(../..)

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent to "EuroFora"s Donors/Subscribers earlier. A more accurate and Full Final Version, might be pûblished asap).

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Fillon invites EU to invent "New Horizons" behind Oil crisis

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geothermal_plant_400_01Soultz-under-Forests, June 13, 2008

A pioneer Franco-German research project on GeoThermy, near Strasbourg, served as "Symbol" of EU's will to become Independent on Energy by developing innovative Technologies, while imported Oil prices threaten to provoke a World-wide crisis.

It's essential to demonstrate Europe's will to "invent New Horizons", by creating Environment-friendly, Independent and Renewable Energy sources, while price rises continue for Oil, a polluting old ressource with insufficient stocks, stressed French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, anouncing that this will be a focus during the forthcoming French EU Presidency (July - December 2008).

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Fillon symbolically injected a 1st KWh produced by GeoThermy into Strasbourg's Electricity grid, during a special gathering of German and French officials at Soultz-under-Forests ("Soultz-sous-Forêts"), using a geothermal innovation which is "the most advanced in the World" :

The innovation uses Strasbourg's underground water richness to capture Heat, by injecting liquid among Rocks 5 km deep, where temperature is 200 c. Thus, it can be activated at any moment and location, even without natural warm water springs : A big advantage compared to old biothermal tools.

Engineers, Scientists and the Industry will have 2 Years to invent practical ways for this innovation to become productive and cost-efficient in real Economy, said Fillon.

115 Millions of Euros invested, 15 Research Labos, 430 Scientific Publications including 34 Doctoral PhD, and a systematic cooperation between French and German Governments and Public Agencies on Research, succeeded to prove that the new method works.

Already able to serve Electricity to a village with 1.500 inhabitants, the pioneer project intends to reach a capacity to serve 20.000 inhabitants before 2015, as part of a larger Plan to make all Renewable Energy Resources (together with Wind, Solar, etc) able to cover more than 23% of all Electricity needs before 2020.

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- In fact, "behind the challenge" faced with the current Oil crisis, there "is a New Horizon that we can shape all together", by "creating New Tools for the Future", Fillon launched towards EU Member States.

Meanwhile, we should intensify Energy Savings, simplify Transports, and help the Poorest cope with growing Oil prices, until EU joins a World-wide lead into inventing reliable and sufficient Renewable Energy Sources, he added.

Many, technologic and other Challenges exist, but they can be overcome : F. ex. the new GeoThermic method tested at Shoultz since 1987, had provoked an Earthquake at a nearby site, close to Bale, by injecting big volumes of pressurized Water in underground broken Rocks near a Seismic Faultline in 2003. But the move was rectified later-on, by diminishing the amount and pressure of the water injected in underground rocks, so that no Earthquake is provoked.

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More than 1 Billion Euros are invested by France on Scientific and Technologic Research about Sustainable Development until 2012, aiming to take a 10 years advance, there where innovation can become source of Growth, Competitivity and Jobs, which, according to some evaluations could reach more than 220.000 before 2020, Fillon observed.

During the forthcoming French EU Presidency, together with our German friends, we shall do all necessary efforts for Europe's World-wide lead against Global Warming, thanks to Energy tools able to ensure its Independence, Growth, and Citizens' well-being, he concluded.

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The "Enhanced Geothermal System" (EGS) stems from pioneer research initiated by teams from France, Germany and Italy, joined also by Swiss, the U.K., and Sweden, even U.S. and Japan, since the 90ies.

In 1996, a European Economic Interest Group (GEIE) was founded, in order to exploit Electricity-produsing Heat from deep underground Rocks, including France's EDF and Germany's PfalzWerke.

In 2002, a Pilot scientific project started to be tested in Soultz-under-Forests, 50 kms north of Strasbourg.

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