Explaining the concept of Bildung in relation to SDG 4

By European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA)

“While Lifelong Learning is widely accepted as the main concept, we have to rethink the role and concepts of Adult Learning and Education (ALE). This is essential if we want to equip citizens with the skills to make informed decisions and take transformative action in the world shaped by, e.g. climate change, digitalisation and the social divide. The KA2 Bildung project contributes to this rethinking by using the concept of “Bildung” for conceptualising ALE. The submitted article explains the concept, rooted in the tradition of the enlightenment and the Nordic Folkbildning envisages an education, targeting all aspects of the development of individuals, communities and societies, including, e.g. ethical, emotional and scientific dimensions in a holistic manner.

Supporting Goal #4 of the SDGs, the Bildung concept addresses the way we think about education on a fundamental level. The right-based approach furthers the idea of education as an end in itself, supporting all learners independently of age, gender or employment status. It can be a powerful tool to strengthen “soft skills” and provide low-threshold approaches to education for the most vulnerable groups, instead of instrumentalising education as a mean to upskill, qualify and increase employability.”

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