The freedom of education in Europe is historically based on two pillars, which are not recognized equally in the different European countries.
The most well known is the respect for the fundamental right of minorities to raise and educate their children according to their own cultural and historical heritage.
This is strongly connected to the right of self organization and self-governance as proven concepts of strengthening the civil society.
As an expression of the other aspect of the freedom of education – the right to choose an alternative approach to education – in countries where there is also room for pedagogical entrepreneurship, innovation of education can more easily open doors for new approaches to learning.
The representative associations of independent schools in each European country were working hard to impress on public opinion and the national politicians, the added value of their schools to the national educational system.
This is necessary, not only to guarantee the availability of a fair share of the public funds for private schools but also to make the people aware of important changes which can improve tremendously the outcome of education.
One of these changes in the paradigm, is the shift of focus of the main activity from teaching, to students and pupils’ own learning.
In this seminar we learned how the Bulgarian independent schools are dealing with these changes and how their politicians evaluate the role of private schools in Bulgarian society.
Representatives of associations of independent schools in neighboring countries reflected on the Bulgarian situation and our Norwegian key speaker’s contribution highlighted the ongoing transition process of the shift from teaching to learning.
The seminar lead to a better picture of new approaches to learning as keys to success and gave us concrete examples of how our colleagues within ECNAIS were dealing with political resistance and future challenges in their own situations.