The European conference "Family Learning: Best Practices Across Europe" was held at the Tramschapp in Luxembourg on 22 and 23 October 2015, within the framework of the European Agenda for Adult Learning, under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. We have set out its conclusions here.
"Conceived as a forum for exchange and learning, the conference brought together officials and stakeholders from adult education, as well as European experts in family learning. At the conference, many promising approaches were identified for placing family learning on the agenda of education and training policies, in order to implement family learning in a sustainable way, and develop practices which meet the needs and diversity of families.
From among these approaches, the most significant are set out below:
- The family learning methods implemented and evaluated in various countries have shown that it is possible to prevent the intergenerational transmission of poor literacy and academic failure by developing a culture of learning within families.
- In order to develop family learning as a key element of a lifelong learning strategy, a European framework must be laid down which encourages countries to act, pool resources and promote best practices.
- To implement family learning in a sustainable way, regional, interministerial and interinstitutional cooperation are needed: "work together to work better".
- To achieve this aim, it is vital to increase awareness among those involved and to provide decision-makers with advice; in addition, family learning must be incorporated into initial and ongoing training courses for those working in education.
- Family learning practices are based on an intergenerational approach; they take a broad view of the family and are founded on respect, tolerance and open-mindedness towards parents: "parents who are partners in education".
- The methods on offer must be flexible and tailored to the capacities and linguistic skills of the families. They are intended to strengthen and harness the skills of parents."