Pedagogical Constitution of Europe


Integration process that unfolds across the Europe requires forming a modern subject of European life – a person able to coexist in a multicultural society in peace and concord in accordance with the principles of humanism, mercy, justice and freedom. At the same time, European community, brought up on democratic traditions of openness and trust, more urgent encounters necessity to preserve and protect them under conditions of modern challenges - economic and financial crises, international terrorism, racial and religious intolerance even more urgent. There is a real threat of moral and spiritual degradation of humanity, having in mind a threat of exhaustion of natural resources, nuclear or ecological disaster and other global issues of modernity.

Every person who is concerned about the future of forthcoming generations has to prevent these complex processes and resist them. There is a fair judgment that says that implementation of this historical mission is impossible without a teacher - one of the key subjects of positive changes. Teacher is called up by society to be a guide of democratic ideas and high morality. Teaching children and youth, forming their outlook and culture, he is able to nurture aspiration to mutual understanding, solidarity, tolerance and effective cooperation under conditions of living in common European house. Pedagogues (school teachers, kindergarten teachers, social pedagogues and teachers of higher educational institutions) are able to assert the authority of spirituality and ideals of the European community in the European educational area.

Undoubtedly, future of any nation, state and concord of nations depend substantially on the quality training of future pedagogues. Today European countries offer models of implementation of such training that vary by content and form as well. Integration educational processes that run in modern Europe encourage the search of common methods of complex architecture of professional training of pedagogues. Pedagogical Constitution of Europe envisages determination of unified value and methodological platform of training a new teacher for the united Europe of the XXI century. Document covers key parameters of pedagogical education - development principles, content, conditions, expected results of its implementation. 

It is necessary to pay the highest honours to the representatives of European countries, outstanding pedagogues, philosophers, devotees of educational work, who during historical development formed a common platform of values, topical for all countries and nations not only of the European continent, but of the whole world: Henry Wallon, Juan Luis Vives, Lev Vyhotskyi, Johann Friedrich Herbart, Dimitris Glynos, Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Jean-Ovide Decroly, Friedrich Adolph Wilhelm Diesterweg, Marc-Antoine Jullien de Paris, Petr Kapterev, Allen Kay, Georg Kerschensteiner, Jan Amos Komensky, Janusz Korczak, Roger Cousinet, John Locke, Anton Makarenko, Maria Montessori, Alexander Sutherland Neill, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Jean Piaget, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Antonio Sergio de Sousa, Bogdan Suchodolski, Vasyl Sukhomlynsky, Hilda Taba, Agoston Trefort, Konstantin Ushynsky, Friedrich Froebel, Celestin Freinet, Torsten Husen, Rudolf Steiner and other.             

Main values among the formulated ones are: anthropocentrism, tolerance, peacefulness, ecological safety, respect for human rights, solidarity. Training of pedagogues in accordance with a single scale of common to all mankind values and taking into consideration national peculiarities is the main pivot, around which modernizing and innovation processes of pedagogical education in the modern European area should be implemented. European teacher is called to find answers to challenges of the epoch and facilitate pupil’s and students’ audience integration in the bosom of the process of scientific knowledge, high culture, socio-practical experience of generations, common to all mankind socio-cultural values, spirit of humanism and humanity.

Normative fundamentals of professional pedagogical training were laid down by the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel (1997), Lisbon Recognition Convention (1997), concerning recognition of qualifications in the sphere of higher education, Bologna declaration concerning creation of European Higher Educational Area, International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-2011).

Topicality of “Pedagogical Constitution of Europe”, developed by professors Viktor Andrushchenko (Ukraine), Moritz Hunzinger (Germany), Algirdas Gaizhutis, lies in supplement of the list of international documents in the sphere of higher education with the document that integrates the ideas of fundamentals of pedagogical training into the European Higher Education Area. 

Chapter 1

General Provisions

Article 1.1. Pedagogical Constitution of Europe (hereinafter – Constitution) defines principles and methodology of philosophy and policy of the process of training a new teacher for the united Europe of XXI century.

Article 1.2. Constitution is adopted by the General Meeting of the Association of Rectors of Pedagogical Universities in Europe.

Article 1.3. Constitution outlines principles of coordinated transnational policy in the sphere of pedagogical education, defines principles of forming, organization and activity of key links of the general mechanism of training pedagogical staff with the purpose of improving its quality, directs pedagogical activity, promotes development of partnership between states in the system of pedagogical education of the European area. 

Article 1.4. Principles of Constitution, having integrative character, may be adapted to the national pedagogical traditions and policy in the sphere of higher pedagogical education of every state concerned. 

Article 1.5. Provisions of Constitution are of non-party nature and are not subjected to identification with ideological principles of any political party. 

Chapter 2

Pedagogical Education in the European Area

Article 2.1. Pedagogical education is a system of transfer of fundamental, applied and actual knowledge in the process of training and educational activities of different types of educational institutions, oriented on training of pedagogues of pre-school, primary and secondary education, teachers of professional educational institutions and pedagogical staff of extracurricular educational institutions, professional activities of which is education of children, pupils and student youth. 

Article 2.2. Forming teacher’s personality – a person with high level of education, general cultural training, high spiritual and moral qualities, able to teach children, youth and students in accordance with requirements of the XXI century is a center of pedagogical education and different forms of training a pedagogue within its framework.

Article 2.3. Fundamentals of pedagogical education of the European area were laid down in the epoch of antiquity. Their universal humanistic content has been polished during the process of historical climbing of European countries up path of progress. Each of the following epochs – Middle Ages and Renaissance, Reformation and Age of Enlightenment, New times and Classical Era, gradually formed the model of pedagogical education as humanistic, creative, human- and cultural creative.

Article 2.4. Modern context of European pedagogical education is defined by humanistic standards that have been established in European area as universal sense-defining principles.

Chapter 3

Philosophical and Methodological Principles of Pedagogical Education 

Article 3.1. Principles of pedagogical education are key provisions which define formation, functioning and development of the system of pedagogical education in European area. 

Article 3.2. Main principles among them are as follows: anthropocentrism, scientificity, accessibility, systemic approach, practice, individual approach, creative work, academic autonomy, creativity and innovation development.

Article 3.3. In their aggregate and interaction, principles form a methodological basis of pedagogical activity of all educational institutions, scientific and methodical institutions, research and production enterprises, public and local educational governing bodies and self-governing in the sphere of education, regardless of the form of ownership and subordination. 

Chapter 4

Value Platform of Pedagogical Education

Article 4.1. Pedagogical education has evaluative nature.

Article 4.2. Value basis of pedagogical education is constituted by standards, developed by European community during its historical evolution. 

Article 4.3. Pedagogical values have a deideologized and non-party nature. 

Article 4.4. Main pedagogical values are: tolerance, democracy, peacefulness, ecological safety, human rights and solidarity, mercy and conscience, responsibility. New teacher, trained on such value basis must be able to “erase” the image of the other as an “enemy”; to form tolerance, balance and peacefulness; to establish ecological outlook; to nurture  respect to human rights, democracy and solidarity; to cooperation with representatives of different religious confessions. 

Article 4.5. Tolerance is an active value of the European community.

Article 4.6. Permeated with the spirit of tolerance, the mentioned values form a spiritual platform in their interaction, on which training of a new teacher in the countries of European area is based. 

Article 4.7. Common spiritual platform of pedagogical education does not restrict spiritual freedom of nations of the European area. It can be supplemented with its own values or by the achievements, borrowed from the cultural area of neighbour nations.

Chapter 5

Content of Pedagogical Education in the Context of Challenges of Globalized World

Article 5.1. Constitution is based on the general philosophy of education, successively absorbs all progressive innovations, approbated by nations and cultures of European area in the process of their historical evolution. However, it is a philosophical and pedagogical echo of the "spirit of the modern era", which is implemented in the current time and space.

Article 5.2. Content of philosophy of pedagogical education is defined by scientific achievements in the comprehension of: nature and essence of a human being, his existence in the world of nature and culture, production and consumption, political and socio-cultural relations, moral and aesthetic dimension, - as well as rationally comprehended results of social practice.

Article 5.3. Questions of survival of humanity, formation of human being as a personality in the context of the threats caused by the global problems of the past in the period of the development of industrialism and scientific and technical progress are in the center of pedagogical educational content. Newest content of pedagogical education is formed by the answers to similar questions, put by such world processes as globalization and information revolution. 

Article 5.4. Core basis of the content of pedagogical education is the response to the necessity of preservation of human civilization.

Article 5.5. Content of pedagogical education subjects to the necessity of forming teacher's ability to teach his students to live together in the modern globalized world, to constantly recreate and improve conditions of human’s worthy existence; providing their free communication in the system of relations of steady human development.

Chapter 6

Basic Competences of the European Teacher

Article 6.1. Main task of training a European teacher is forming the ability for practical educational activity as a dynamic combination of ethic values and cognitive, meta-cognitive, interpersonal and practical abilities and skills, knowledge and understanding. 

Article 6.2. Basic competences, which must be obtained by a teacher of the XXI century are: 1) communicative competency (in particular, modern teacher must freely speak several European languages); 2) self-identity competency; 3) competency of justice; 4) leadership competency; 5) research and analytical competency; 6) ability for life-long learning; 7) empathy - ability to understand pupil's or student's worries and to sympathize in the process of communication.

Article 6.3. The most important competency of a XXI century pedagogue is to provide an educational environment that facilitates prosperity of every child and forms his rich spiritual world.

Article 6.4. High professionalism and competences of a teacher are directed at forming a full-scale subject of the European process – a person of deep knowledge and high culture, bearer of humanistic philosophy, outlook and morality, national and universal values; at training of abilities, necessity and aspiration of their implementation in the European and world living area.

Chapter 7

Leading Pedagogical Strategies

Article 7.1. Society of knowledge requires creativity, global competency and mobility, criticality and non-standard nature from graduates of modern schools as well as teachers, who must obtain a wide spectrum of pedagogical strategies (teaching strategies), providing maximum improvement of student's achievements.

Article 7.2. Pedagogical strategy is the philosophy of pedagogue’s education that stipulates his: 1) plan of long-term results achievement; 2) principles of functioning and implementation of educational models and technologies; 3) position that is revealed in the variety of actions; 4) perspective of professional growth and development of life activity; 5) methods (special "maneuvers") of motivation of teaching pupils and students and forming their competitive advantages.

Article 7.3. Key strategies of teacher’s successful activity are: authenticity, exceptionality, visualization of knowledge, democratic nature, dialogicality, research activity, integrity, constructivism, leadership, personal orientation, consistency, reflectivity, improvement, social orientation, use of appropriate experience, collaboration, purposefulness. 

Article 7.4. Strategy of teaching in the system of pedagogical education,  main direction of actions of all its participants, is directed towards effective pedagogue’s choice of: his own strategies of teaching in class rooms and lecture halls; forming their own strategy of teaching as  processes of comprehension; foreseeing and transformation of own competence. Perspectives of development of pedagogical education are: determination of principles of modelling strategies of teaching; strategic teaching, research communicative teaching strategy, leadership of a teacher as his potentially strong teaching strategy.

Chapter 8

Leading Pedagogical Technologies

Article 8.1. Effectiveness of pedagogue’s activity directly depends on the mastery of mechanisms and methods of delivering educational content to the learners. The latter is associated with so-called pedagogical technologies – a set of procedures, means and methods of solving pedagogical tasks, used in a particular algorithm. 

Article 8.2. Modern pedagogical technologies and technique of their use are determined by the content of the academic discipline, general principles of pedagogical process, cultural achievements and social practice.

Article 8.3. Pedagogical technologies cannot be dogmatized; the right of free choice of a teacher, based on his pedagogical expertise and creativity - constitutes the basis of their application. 

Article 8.4. Pedagogical technologies implemented with the use of pedagogue’s individual research, using modern information tools, language strategies and discourse techniques are defined as “high pedagogical technologies”. 

Article 8.5. High pedagogical technologies provide innovative nature of development of pedagogical education, educational effectiveness of a teacher.

Chapter 9

Practice in the System of Training a New Teacher 

Article 9.1. Basis of efficiency of pedagogical process is pedagogical practice, which is conducted on appropriately equipped bases of educational institutions, as well as modern enterprises and organizations of various sectors of economy, education, health care, culture, trade and government.

Article 9.2. Pedagogical practice has deedful (labour) and objective nature, it is the source (and mechanism) of mastering social and pedagogical experience, acts as a criterion of truth of pedagogical process.

Article 9.3. Practice provides an “immersion” of person into a real production process, its cognition not only from outside, i.e. on the basis of theoretical knowledge, but also from within, in its entirety of production reality, concreteness and vitality. Training of future professionals is impossible without practice. A person becomes a teacher, pre-school teacher, mentor not when he has acquired a certain amount of knowledge that he has to transfer to pupil, and even not when he has mastered the appropriate training and educational methods or technologies, but foremost when he perceives life as it is, felt its genuineness, trained himself to resist and reject falsehood, became sure in his right of a guide of life justice.

Article 9.4. Modernity requires radical modernization of practical training of a future teacher, ensuring its continuity and consistency of implementation of such its types as: a) introduction practical training; b) culturological practical training; c) teaching practice; d) training practice; and e) pre-graduation (subject) practical training. 

Article 9.5. Special weight is laid upon civil practice of future pedagogues; it has consistent nature and is carried out throughout the process of their training; its main purpose is to integrate future specialist into the system of social relations, to form civil qualities, to protect a teacher from “contemplative” attitude towards life, to form his active citizenship.

Chapter 10

Academic Mobility of a Teacher

Article 10.1. Distinctive feature of forming and functioning of a new teacher is a high level of his academic mobility – ability to respond adequately to changes of pedagogical reality, find answers to challenges of the era, to move in the pedagogical area in accordance with the objectives brought into focus by public educational policy, or in response to the change of life circumstances. 

Article 10.2. Academic mobility keeps teacher ready to the changes of public educational policy, requires increase of his adaptive capacity, forms a platform of creative approach to pedagogical activity.

Article 10.3. Academic mobility contributes to the formation of cross-cultural values of a teacher, tolerance, willingness to cooperate.

Final Provisions

European integration processes require accelerated enrichment, revival of humanistic essences, returning them into social area. This must be accomplished by a teacher, trained in accordance with a single scale of basic cross-cultural values, elaborated by the European community in the process of its historical evolution.

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