Education systems should combine the development of specific knowledge and skills with the development of generic abilities such as curiosity, intuition, critical thinking, problem solving and risk taking. Anticipating and adapting to the changing needs of professional and social life can be made easier through partnerships between education, the working world and civil society. For instance, traineeships, joint projects, peer learning and course instructors from outside education are good ways to introduce teachers and pupils to new ideas. It is, of course, teachers who have the crucial role to play in promoting more learner-centred approaches to education, collaborative working methods and the use of modern learning tools, particularly those based on information and communication technologies. All this calls for teacher-training institutions to provide teaching staff with the knowledge and skills required for change.
The ministers also debated a proposal for a decision designating 2009 as the European year of creativity and innovation. It is to be adopted jointly by the Council and the European Parliament. The aim of the thematic year is to promote creativity for all as the prime source of innovation and as a key factor for the development of personal, entrepreneurial and social skills through lifelong learning.
Council Conclusions (pdf)
Council press release (pdf)
Council webcast of press conference
General Affairs and External Relations Council, 26 and 27 May
Competitiveness Council, 29 and 30 May