2.3.4 The leading role of education in the development of intercultural and democratic competences
In our interconnected world the ability to live and work together with other people who may think differently or have a different background from us is vital for success. Education for living in an interconnected world builds on different models of education such as intercultural education
, global citizenship education, and education for democratic citizenship to develop the required competences. In this context, emotional intelligence is pivotal to such intercultural
and democratic competences, which need to be taught both in theory and in practice from a very early age using an interdisciplinary approach. Thus, teachers, youth workers and other education and training experts have to take a central role in promoting and instilling such competences.
In order to achieve this goal, the Council of Europe
has developed several educational tools and resources, among which the “T-Kit 4: Intercultural Learning
”, “All Different All Equal Education Pack
”, “Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters (AIE)”, “Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters through Visual Media (AIEVM)”.
In the European panorama one attempt to implement the teaching and learning of intercultural and democratic competences has been made thanks to the EUFICCS approach: European Use of Full-Immersion, Culture, Content and Service. The ultimate goal of the EUFICCS educational approach is the development of specific competence, called “Reflective Intercultural Competence” (RIC): the latter is defined as an intercultural competence gained through a structured and guided reflection process (Biagi F., Bracci L., Reflective Intercultural Education for Democratic Culture and Engaged Citizens, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2020). This competence can represent a very important asset in the lifelong learning path of the global citizen in order to foster a culture of democracy. Learning to think critically and reflect is definitely a privileged tool to practice the RFCDC competences. When we come to consider the 20 democratic competences as part of a lifelong learning process that each responsible citizen should undertake, a well-structured practice of reflection could become an everyday educational resource in order to decipher and process intercultural input.