eTwinning Friend Europa Nostra on the connection between Democratic Participation and Culture

eTwinning Friend Europa Nostra on the connection between Democratic Participation and Culture


What is the vision and mission of Europa Nostra? The mission of Europa Nostra is
to be the voice of cultural heritage in Europe. We were born in 1963 and
we are a very large pan-European movement of heritage associations and foundations
active in the field of cultural heritage. In addition to being a network and
a lobby for cultural heritage, we run with the European Union
the prestigious European Heritage Awards, Europa Nostra Awards that celebrate excellence and the exemplary achievements
in the field of cultural heritage. And we need
many stakeholders to work together to save our cultural heritage and
to transmit it to new generations. Let’s talk about democratic participation.
What is the relation between democracy and culture? There is a crucial relationship between
culture and democracy and democratic participation. Because culture,
cultural heritage is also about values, about cultural values
that are at the basis of our society. We believe that cultural heritage
is in fact a wonderful textbook. It is a textbook of our shared history, of our shared culture,
of our shared values as well. This is the reason why
we believe that in schools in the future, we should be much more including cultural heritage
as a resource for teaching and learning, because it is also a resource for forming
responsible and active European citizens. And the school of course is the place where we very much invest in such type
of citizens that Europe very much needs. What kind of skills
does a democratic citizen have? Democratic participation
is not just going and voting. It is also being aware
of what is the foundation, what is the basis of the entire society
and entire European project. And we deeply believe that
cultural heritage in fact precisely tells that story, the story of us as Europeans. We believe that in the context of teaching
about democracy and democratic participation, it could be very valuable
if the teachers across Europe would tap into
the potential of cultural heritage. What is the role of the school?
How can it become more democratic? I think there is space everywhere
to become more democratic. In schools, that is where basically
you shape the young generation. And that is why there is
a particular responsibility of teachers and schools to sort of raise
the awareness and the understanding among the young generations
about the importance of values. And as we can see it
with the climate action movement, the young generations can act
in extremely responsible and engaged ways. So we should not think that
they are too young to understand some issues. There is no issue that
school children are too young to understand.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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