Bildung-based adult learning and education has the power to help people navigate increasingly complex environments and an unknown future, as well as stimulate tolerance and curiosity. The new publication “What is Bildung?” provides a thorough yet concise overview of the term and explores what kind of Bildung is needed to be better equipped for the challenges of the 21st Century. It will be followed by the thematic foci of Bildung and digital learning, democracy, sustainability and basic skills learning and their dedicated papers
Promoting holistic learning
The publication series is produced by Erasmus+ project Bildung – “Building inclusive lifelong learning systems by developing a European understanding of Bildung for the next generations”. The project contributes to the innovation of the European adult learning and education (ALE) sector by adopting the holistic concept of ‘Bildung’ and exploring its political and practical potential. With this, the project contributes to innovation in the sector, promotes social inclusion, and addresses key challenges for European society.
The first Bildung publication suggests new approaches implementable within existing adult education. It includes an overview of the history, meaning, and potential of the Bildung concept. Thus, the first issue introduces the term Bildung and distinguishes it from today’s mainstream adult learning and education.
What are the benefits of the Bildung approach?
Bildung envisages an education that targets all aspects of the development of individuals, communities and societies, including e.g. ethical, emotional and scientific dimensions in a holistic manner. With this, Bildung strengthens our democracy, teaches individuals how to be active citizens, and prepares them for the challenges that are, although handled by nation-states, lived by individuals. These challenges include digitalisation, democracy and economy; sustainability, environmental problems, and access to education.
Bildung will contribute to a more wholesome and less instrumentalised approach to education. Consequently, it allows for more active participation in and contribution to democracy by individuals. As broader and wider educated citizens will be better equipped to judge their reality, they will be stronger advocates for themselves and others.
The consortium is proud of the Bildung publication series and excited about what it can bring to the adult learning and education sector. Having faced the Covid-19 crisis and observed its effects during the first year of the project, we are mindful of the hardship the adult education sector has suffered. Developing from this, the Bildung project aims to advocate solution-oriented processing of the pandemic, fighting against inequalities and supporting a more inclusive approach to adult learning.
Download the paper “What is Bildung?” and read the summary of the paper in various languages on the Bildung project page
Text: Christin Cieslak, Bildung project manager
Partners in the project are the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V., Eesti Rahvaülikoolide Liit, AONTAS, Dafni Kek, The Danish Adult Education Association, Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Kansanvalistusseura sr. – The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation, Associació Catalana per a l’Educació, la Formació i la Recerca, as well as ProDidactica and the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning.