Civic education

11 May 2018

This article starts by examining the roots of the European Union, the first manifestation of which was the «Europe of Six», conceived by a group of people nowadays known as the «founding fathers of the EU». It then moves on to consider the educational discourses that supported the establishment of democracy in countries where this supranational political agreement was developing. The end of the First World War (1914-1918), one hundred years ago this year, saw the start of a process of peaceful reconstruction in which the foundations of a European federation to maintain internal peace were laid.
From this perspective, Europe has not only been a superlative example of political understanding but also, and predominantly, a pedagogical success story. This is why Europe is, has been, and will always be, a pedagogical project above all. In light of the new challenges we are facing today (break-up as a result of Brexit, citizens’ mistrust of its institutions,
the constant threat in markets from emerging powers, and multicultural societies, to name but a few), the solution must be educational. The pedagogical «founding fathers» of Europe tried to consolidate democracy by putting the citizen at its centre. Returning to and updating its foundational educational discourses could reposition our educational actions for reformulating the European Union.


Cite this article as: Vilafranca Manguán, I., Cercós Raichs, R., & García Farrero, J. (2018). Los «padres» pedagógicos de Europa. Discursos educativos fundacionales para la integración europea, cien años después de la Gran Guerra |  The pedagogical founding fathers of Europe: foundational education discourses for European integration, one hundred years after the First World War. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 76 (270), 335-351.  doi:

8 June 2007

If we try to discover the educational power of Human Rights, attention should be paid to the value and meaning of Human Rights, to the reasons for and against them, to the possibility of their being enacted, and to their foundations. This discussion is the best way to build a plural civic education, viewed as moral education. This latter must necessarily be carried out relaying on social action in addition to school education.

8 June 2007

Postmodern society features demand important changes to current education in view of the effects of some human activities. Since civic education is meant to be the key to changing long-established patterns of social behaviour and since it is this human behaviour responsible for most of the problems caused not only in the social environment but in the natural and technological as well some educational theories such as civic or environmental education, etc, have been studied as measures to solve these problems in the age of the human rights implementation.

The article examines the state of affairs concerning these educational theories by reflective analysis with the purpose of finding out, on the one hand, interelationships between civic, environmental and global education and, on the other, basic implications for curriculum innovation at the beginning of the 21st century.

8 June 2007

Teachers can influence their students moral and civic learning in two broad ways.  The first is through deliberate, planned activities.  These include organizing school-wide assemblies on the importance of voting, escorting students to visit political institutions, and sponsoring debates in the classroom on historical or current political issues.  However, such activities are intermittent and discrete.  They stand out and apart from the everyday business of teaching and learning in schools and classrooms.  This daily business gives rise to the second way in which teachers can influence their students moral and civic learning.  Teachers can do so through what scholars have called their everyday manner, style, or tact of teaching.  Each of these concepts describes a kind of teacher influence that is continous, ongoing, indirect, and often nonselfconscious and unplanned.  The concepts spotlight the importance of the spirit in which the teacher works.

That spirit can be more important, with respect to moral and civic learning, than curricular and instructional approaches considered by themselves. In this article, I examine the spirit of teaching and its importance for civic education by constructing composite images of two different classrooms.  The two teachers I describe share a strong knowledge base in their discipline and are dedicated to their work.  However, the spirit in which they teach differs markedly.  As a result, while their students end the academic year performing comparably on their subject matter examinations, the students take away quite different moral and civic lessons from their classroom experience.  I conclude the discussion by reminding teachers of the value of pondering their manner, style, and tact.  I also urge schools to provide teachers systematic opportunities to discuss together the moral and civic dimensions of their everyday work.

8 June 2007

The present society demands a new type of education if we want to create citizens fully conscious of their rights and duties. In a democratic society the creation of a good citizen involves preparing him or her to take part in the development of the community as well as enhancing the participating structures in which he or she can get involved. Education requires significant changes in focusing the methodological approaches and the achievement of major efforts aimed at the integration of global values in the process of teaching-learning.

In the dawn of a new millennium, we face the challenge of re-measuring the course of education. We must consider that, the strength of market and the successfulness of our democratic way of government depend on the vitality of our civil society, considered as the inexhaustible source of our being humans.

28 February 2006

The article gathers the contributions from theory of education can be done to the discussion about the value of the collective identities that usually is only confronted from the political or philosophical point of view. From education some contributions can be done that help us to identify criteria that favour the personal development offered by concrete forms to live the collective identity as the idea of nation and the idea of culture. The purpose is to find educative criteria to live the membership to a human group so that this one becomes a moral community and an important piece for its development and not in a totalitarian and reducing element.


Key words: National education, Cultural education, Identity, Moral community, Civic education