Building up European identity in primary education
Journal of Educational Sciences
Building up the personal identity is a lifelong process, as identity can change, according with the groups of belonging, with new knowledge and changes of beliefs and contexts. There are more stable components of identity, like the values and attitudes, but there are contexts and experiences that sharpen different aspects of the identity. The article argues that education systems in Europe have responsibilities in supporting learners to develop their competences to act as citizens at local,
... onal and European levels and thus have also the legitimacy to contribute to the development of a European identity and of a sense of belonging to Europe. Furthermore, it argues that such a process can and should start already in early ages. Therefore, teachers in primary school need appropriate competences to foster a positive identification of children with Europe and European values. They need to master intercultural competence, appropriate pedagogical and methodological approaches, they need to reflect on how to design teaching and learning contexts meant to stimulate, in a joyful, playful, attractive and consistent manner the building up of a European identity. The article mirrors the training needs of primary school teachers of 3 rd and 4 th grade in Western Romania, to develop these competences and be able to foster such process. The assessment of the training needs of primary school teachers involved covered all aspects of the competence, including values, attitudes, as well as the knowledge about EU, and their reflection on their teaching practices. The conclusions of the analysis can be useful for further training programs and reconceptualization of (initial) teacher education.