Europa Nostra and eTwinning: bringing cultural heritage to schools

Europa Nostra and eTwinning: bringing cultural heritage into Europe’s classrooms

Europa Nostra is a ‘friend of eTwinning’, the largest online community of schools in Europe, co-funded by Erasmus+, and bringing together over 300.000 teachers and almost 140.000 schools.

The ‘friends of eTwinning’ are organisations and initiatives that share the values and the objectives of this scheme. As a ‘Friend’, Europa Nostra collaborates with eTwinning by sharing cultural heritage expertise with teachers across Europe, disseminating high-quality material and providing inputs for teaching and learning.

In 2018, eTwinning celebrated the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Learners and educators were encouraged to discover Europe’s diverse cultural heritage in the classrooms, with the aim of reinforcing a sense of belonging to a common European family. Throughout this year, Europa Nostra and eTwinning built a strong relationship of cooperation, working on activities and campaigns to protect and celebrate cultural heritage across Europe.

© Herman van Heusden

Moreover, Europa Nostra actively contributed to the Annual Conference 2018: “eTwinning and Our Heritage: Where the Past Meets the Future” that took place in Warsaw. Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary-General of Europa Nostra was the keynote speaker at this important event.

During her speech, she stressed the importance of cultural heritage for Europe’s future: ‘Cultural heritage captures the multiple layers of our identity; it tells us local, regional, national and finally European stories. Through these very stories, we foster diversity and the sense of belonging in a community.’

eTwinning and Democratic Participation

In 2019, eTwinning has chosen as the theme of the year “Democratic Participation”. Europa Nostra, represented by its Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, has contributed to this campaign with a short video that will be used to inspire teachers to come up with project ideas around cultural heritage and democratic participation.

According to a recent Eurobarometer Survey (2017), 9 out of 10 people think that Europe’s cultural heritage should be taught in schools, as it tells us about Europe’s shared history and culture. Europa Nostra fully supports this idea: cultural heritage is a powerful learning tool and support, and plays a key role in preparing responsible and active citizens, contributing to the development of a democratic, sharing and pluralist society.

‘There is a crucial relationship between culture and democratic participation’ said Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović ‘Cultural heritage is also about values: about cultural values that are the basis of our society. We believe that cultural heritage is a textbook – a wonderful textbook that tells us about our shared history, our shared culture and shared values. This is the reason why we believe that schools should, in the future, focus much more on cultural heritage as a resource for teaching and learning, and to form responsible and active European citizens’.

Watch the video:

Link to eTwinning article

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