Rethinking education in the 21st century

The Agency took part in a recent online conference entitled ‘Rethinking Education in the 21st Century’, held by the Italian Ministry of Education.

The conference, which aims to reflect on actions in education, is taking place in three sessions covering different themes in education. In December 2020, the first session of the conference explored pedagogy and didactics in Italy, and over 11,000 teachers and school leaders took part. Later this year, session three will look at the future of education.

The second session, on ‘Educational care (inclusive education)’, took place on 30 January and aimed to explore inclusion in schools. The Italian Minister for Education, Lucia Azzolina, who opened the session, invited Agency Director Cor J. W. Meijer to contribute.

Mr Meijer gave an overview of the Agency and its work, and discussed inclusive education in Europe from the perspective of Agency research and findings. He described some of the progress that has been made in Europe in recent years on the road to inclusive education. However, he also highlighted the challenges that remain, including improving teacher education and implementing article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Finally, he highlighted that what is good for learners with special educational needs is good for all learners, and so every learner benefits from inclusive education systems.

Other speakers in the session included Ministry representative and Agency Representative Board member, Raffaele Ciambrone, alongside teachers and experts in special needs and inclusive education from across Italy. During the day, around 14,000 people followed the session online.

For more information and to view video recordings of the sessions (in Italian), visit the Ministry website.

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