In March 2017, the European Parliament Committee for Education and Culture published a study on teaching common values in Europe. The study examines the policy of teaching the common values of democracy and tolerance in secondary schools and how this policy is implemented in practice. In-depth case studies from 12 EU countries are provided. The main findings show that teaching common values is lacking attention and systematic implementation in comparison to other subjects. The report states that separating students based on their learning capacities reduces the possibilities to learn about social and cultural differences.

With regard to school curricula, the focus lies on political participation while the deliberative and consensus-building processes of democracy as well as the creation of just and free societies are neglected. Furthermore, curricula often focus on national perspectives, instead of providing students with an insight into international dimensions.

The report urges the EU and its Member States to take responsibility to support democracy and tolerance as common societal values. Future education policies should contain target aims, guidelines for content and activities. Furthermore, diversity in education should be stimulated. The national experts interviewed in the course of the research highlighted the need for improved teacher training throughout the EU to better equip teachers for teaching common values.

The full report can be accessed here.