Education for European Citizenship – Reviewing EDC/HRE by Using Habermas’s Theory


The purpose of this presentation is to reveal the necessary education to cultivate European Citizenship qualities by focusing on Jürgen Habermas's opinions on Europe as an integrated body and the theory of Communicative Action. In addition, since 1997, the Council of Europe has been running a citizenship education project throughout Europe called Education for Democratic Citizenship/Human Rights Education. EDC/HRE materials are created based on European principles, democracy, human rights, and rule of raw, and include other European elements. Thus, the presenter analyzes whether the project can cultivate European Citizenship qualities that are necessary to prevent further social fragmentation in Europe by reviewing Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us - Charter for All and Educating for Democracy, teachers' manuals for EDC/HRE. Regarding the current crisis of democracy backsliding and social fragmentation, Habermas is concerned about the current "lack of a European-scale public sphere.” This current situation is problematic for addressing decisions and issues on a European scale. And as a solution, Habermas presents the transnationalization of the already existing national public sphere. He states that to solve the problem, the knowledge of the controversies and political responses in other member states must be expanded, so that appropriate discussion can be held in the public sphere. However, EDC/HRE materials lack those elements. Therefore, EDC/HRE cannot cultivate European Citizenship qualities enough, and it needs to include education that fosters the ability to think about the problems of the member countries as Europe and to engage in communicative action.

Author Information
Momiji Ujii, Sophia University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Primary & Secondary Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon