Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Considerations and Reflections by Hatto Fischer

The field of education is highly stimulating and yet deeply perplexing. In it some of the best are engaged, while every parent knows that sometimes the fates of their children can be decided alone by one teacher. A good one brings out the best in the child, a bad one the worst. There seems to be really no solution in a systematic approach for not everyone can be compatible with everyone else. To realise this first point would be already an understanding of differences at the individual level. As part of 'cultural actions' designed to enrich Europe's 'cultural diversity', educational systems in the various member countries must be evaluated in terms of their consistency with that demand. This goes in the direction of what Michael Longley said about the difficulties to maintain 'cultural diversity' within a region being just as great as between regions or member states. There is nothing more valuable for a child facing school, than the individual recognition it gets from teachers and fellow students. Along these lines of creating socially oriented and well-balanced individuals who rest within themselves, European educational systems must be designed and developed. It goes without saying, that culture and education must be brought therefore into much closer contact, and that the response to pressing needs, such as 'life learning processes' due to the ever fast changing technical options have to follow thought through concepts. For without any preparation for the future, European societies will not only continue to prescribe their 'national styles' of learning (Picht), but become retroactive to different speeds of development. Already there is fear within Europe, that 'enterprise cultures' will again press for a hierarchical differentiation with the Northern European countries wanting closer co-operation amongst themselves, than those with quite a different pace of 'cultural adaptability' to the pressures of modernization and technical innovations. Thus, it goes without saying that curricula of the educational systems must incorporate elements of European interests, so as to sustain the integration process and beyond that help to shape forms of co-operation and networking by making, already at an early age, children familiar with these European working forms, i.e. working in groups with 'horizontal' integration requirements, that is, beyond own national and cultural horizons by means of satellite and telecommunication link-ups. Since the time element is most crucial for future development, simultaneous work patterns ought to lay the groundwork for this spirit of learning together; these work patterns can be based on 'integrative' or common themes and ought to be presented in such a way that mutual understanding is reached on the basis of comparative studies. It enhances the willingness to learn from one another, the best guarantee for the future. Europe rests on the mutual recognition of the member states as being equal in all aspects. It must be enhanced by the right for equal educational chances and hence qualification, as much as by preserving cultural uniqueness through upholding the principle of diversity already at individual level. Hence European educational institutes should be created to enhance this process of different groups learning together.

Towards an European Curriculum

While individual recognition ought to be the prime principle, there is, however, also the need to have a pedagogical concept. Systematization in education means really to become consistent in approaching questions of knowledge at a workable level. The predefined concept will undergo changes as students of learning get involved, thus an immediate consequence will be the constant redefinition of the original concept, especially if experiences by others in other cultural settings are to be included. It was already a demand at the Brugge seminar, that terms and concepts are made comparative, while their quality is evaluated on the background whether or not they lead to mutual cultural appreciation and understanding of other cultures in depth. That demand has to be operationalized not only in the direction of how newspapers report about other European countries, but also what concepts, forms of perceptions ('Weltbilder') and 'values' are handed down or else defined and refined by the respective educational systems. In terms of what has been discussed in workshop 1 on "cross-cultural identities, language and values", it becomes clear that connecting elements enhancing European integration must be structurally supported already within the education systems. It goes without saying, that this will be impossible, as long as national stereotypes, prejudices and racial discriminations prevail. Education for cultural diversity is primarily a self-critical evaluation process, in order to open up to other cultures.

The workshop describes these demands in terms of trying to achieve 'inter cultural communication skills', while the range of conflicts within society and between states are no longer that of the cold war, but of increasing 'ethnic and racial tensions' (Yannis Baslis). He states that "a common purpose must bind people together", if atrocities like those incurred in Yugoslavia are to be avoided. Something contributing towards that, and all of that workshop agreed on that point, is the ERASMUS programme "offering young people the opportunity to acquire the experience of Educational systems other than their own." But this programme does not reach all students, nor does this affect immediately the curriculum of the particular school systems. However, if Europe is going to make any progress towards integration - understood here as the 'Europe of Cultures' facilitating the working together - school curricula have to change. Yannis Baslis states two main priorities:

1. to conceive learning as 'unlearning' misconceptions about other people; education must overcome prejudices, racial judgements, hatred ....yet they are difficult to overcome, because they have been transformed already at an early age into 'convictions': belief systems or certainties upon which educational systems base their sets of definitions about the world, i.e. the Greeks are...., the French... so that they do not allow for the 'open questions' (see 'Myth of Europe') and oversee what 'violence' they inflict upon mentalities still open to unlearning hatreds and prejudices by challenging these 'convictions'. Brendan Kennelly in reference to his experiences in Dublin, Ireland, but which is applicable in general, underlines that 'unlearning hate which one has been taught since childhood is most difficult, for it requires honesty, a search for questions in depth and encountering many difficult personal conflicts with those who take these challenges as personal insults'. A curriculum must re-consider among other things the value premises and enable children to live not so much 'in doubt' about their identities, but rather 'with doubt': the key to openness.

2.  "students should recognise that the best way to keep their identities is to understand what differentiates the peoples of Europe, but also their common characteristics", for learning to differentiate is the best guarantee to accept already differences at individual levels.

It follows that the studies of philosophy and the humanities must be emphasised much more, in order to allow the school curriculum to be formed by a) cultural studies of Europe and b) merging Greek and European Studies. Both aspects where touched upon by workshop 8 and workshop 6. In a future step, these two should work together with workshop 7, in order to make a possible outline or framework for such an European oriented curriculum. To bring together various cultures within one and the same curriculum, Yannis Baslis formulates a third principle which ought to guide the making of an educational synthesis throughout Europe, namely that "we should educate the European society towards an understanding, appreciation  and tolerance of the different languages and the really minor differences among 'different European cultures'", so that an end is put to inferior / superior cultural differentiations within Europe resting upon a fictitious hierarchical evaluation system with the powerful nations at the top and the smaller ones at the bottom of the hierarchy. Thus "education for cultural diversity" can be coined already as "educating Europe", leaving, however, the old question open, but who will educate the educators? (see here reference material III: Martin Jay "Educating the Educators")

Educating towards self-motivated learning: the 'autonomous' learner

ARTICULATE, the EU programme within SMILE, has brought about some interesting insights in terms of educational matters not only connected with 'learning technologies', but whether or not teachers, department directors or administrations of educational institutes use at all 'evaluation' theories. With Eliot Stern as project leader of ARTICULATE (he had been asked to join the Fifth Seminar, but was prevented in the last minute from coming due to his place of work, Tavistock Institute moving to new premises in London), these insights are linked to very specific evaluation terms, possibilities and methods. As a matter of fact, as a workshop organised by DIALOGOS in Athens revealed, there are many institutes of learning who still think they can function without any 'conscious' evaluation, or else they would use only the evaluation of 'what is good for business', even though they too would emphasize certain values like wishing to have a curriculum that is new, or does not force students just to memorize everything they have learned. Declarations of intentions are, however, not evaluations. What has really taken place or been implemented and what is the outcome in terms of what children, pupils or students have learned as a matter of fact, that is crucial to know whether education should use the media and learning technologies, and if 'yes', then in what manner. Without wishing to go into details, a rejection of these tools implies some evaluation ('value judgement') has been made, while usage of computers for learning purposes does not necessarily mean automatically an improvement of the teaching and learning situation. Rather they can imply also a continuation of old styles of teaching and hence learning by just reproducing more systematically the same mistakes made in the past. Yet the main difference to traditional pedagogical concepts not reflecting the context of learning is exactly this, that the very existence of technical options has altered the overall cultural context of education.

For instance, Thanos Contargyris (workshop 1) asked in a particular workshop of DIALOGOS this crucial question: can modern educational systems overcome the motivational and thus learning crisis of students by evaluating more carefully why children are interested to watch television and play computer games? He stressed that education related to these new technical means relies finally upon 'autonomous' learners, or those motivated to learn by themselves beyond the 'given'. Presently they do not make up more than 10% of the total student population. It could be already one 'cultural action' directed towards that goal of increasing the percentage of 'autonomous learners', that is, those able to use technical means and to cope with its highly changing, equally stimulating 'innovative' character. Thus it is to be recommended that the experiences made especially in ARTICULATE are incorporated in a 'cultural action' designed to evaluate educational systems in the various member countries. Such an evaluation would begin with comprehending motivation and learning behaviours of the new generations entering schools and growing up in societies whose cultural premises have changed due to the very different technical options.

Motivational and hence learning crisis can be linked directly to 'boredom', an European phenomena, or as Thomas Mann wrote already in 'The Magic Mountain' (Der Zauberberg), the 'reason' for First World War. The German writer who fled with Adorno, Brecht and others to the United States during the national socialist regime in Germany wrote that bureaucrats were bored at their desks; they longed for adventure and the moment the war started, they left eagerly their desks in exchange for 'thrills of life' they had been missing. Needless to say, due to suffering under so much boredom, they reflected very little in advance what they were getting themselves into. In part this point was raised also at the workshop "Culture and Identity" at the Fourth Seminar in Brugge, insofar more and more the participants of that workshop began to reflect upon the difference between "empty" and "rich times", the latter being a memory track drawn by a fulfilled life with a vast variety of experiences.

In other words, an interesting curriculum must not only motivate both teachers and learners throughout the day, but prevail and structure 'learning behaviour' also during an entire week, if not for years. Self sustained learning patterns have suffered exactly there the biggest set-backs, since business times demand forever shorter and shorter learning processes (to get the 'image' across in one flash of a second or else, the working rhythm having been speeded up, so that flow charts, flip cards, fast and easy presented information sheets dominate as communication forms, in order not to be overflooded by information flows), while actually the entire life has become a learning field due to constant changes not only technically speaking, but also in the environment and finally also in geopolitical historical terms.

In coming back to the question Thanos Contargyris raised, it seems that children prefer the video games due to a strict hierarchical structure giving them immediately a feed-back whether they have learned something successfully or not; levels of skills are indicated by the points or scale of complexity reached. The same cannot be said for the entire education system. Most curriculum oversee simply the fact, that after having repeated the materials over and again, the motivation derived from the newness is lost and both teachers and learners worn down. Neither a systematic build-up is given to children so that they are learning something in a consistent manner, nor a new time rhythm for teaching and learning has been adopted by the educational systems. Often both sides are negatively involved, that is, they are even forced to stay another month together, despite the fact that final exams have been completed and neither side wanting really to go to school; yet the educational ministry, in order to have time quotas complete, forces both sides to face each other day after day with boring faces (description of an Irish school teacher) - an example of a quantitative criteria over-ruling all other qualitative considerations such as how much time children really need to learn something. Nowadays, it is even less true that by staying in school, that this will mean automatically learning something, an assumption easily refuted if it does not lead to the autonomous learner nor to the freedom to decide how and when to learn what?

Sometimes teachers have to compete with the fictitious entertainer called television while there is no alternative to good teaching than good preparation. At the same time, teachers loose increasingly the motivation and the ability to provide students with the all-important feedback. The best curriculum in the world cannot do without that practical pedagogical skill. How crucial this is, was pointed out, for instance, by the Austrian writer Robert Musil when examining in his novel 'The Man without attributes' the reason for the widespread European illness called 'Nihilism'; he remarked that the youth develops this attitude because of a lack of response by the adult world to their ideas: 'the worst for a young man is to send ideas out into the world and not to get any answer back - that is worse than getting criticism for his ideas'. The ability to give feed-back is derived exactly from the need to know where one stands in reality; that includes knowing, for example, why one has failed to get the job, for if no reasons are given, nothing can be learned from that experience.

Learning to overcome disappointments and 'failures' is crucial for maturing as a human being. It is a step towards becoming also more tolerant of others who are equally not perfect, but 'incomplete'. That is why it is important to reflect at all times the linkage between education and culture. If the latter stresses values such as 'perfection' and 'completion', even though relative terms, their ratios to the human imperfection and 'in-' as much 'uncompleteness' (terms used by Michel Angelo to describe art in terms of the more complete as given to man by nature) have to discovered by the generation growing up in such a context, for otherwise they will not only keep repeating the same mistakes of their forefathers, but also over- as much as underestimate themselves in terms of what they can do.

The stress upon culture is crucial. In reference alone to what Andre Loeckx described as the cultural setting in European cities, there is a need to overcome 'the culture of ambivalence'. Reference to a kind of not knowing, hence being ambivalent or not sure not only what to say, but more so how to judge and to decide, all of this is already inherent in a statement made by the German philosopher Gadamer who once said that 'it is difficult to judge when one has in front of oneself an highly activated young man at the age of eighteen, whether he is a genius or a mentally-sick man'. This ambivalence is perhaps the only indication of uncertainty within the older generations on how to recognise future potentials of the generations coming after them. It marks as much prevailing 'concepts of man', as attempts by the newer generations to break through the mesh of old assumptions and clichιs by coming to terms with the world on their own. That implies changes in the concept of 'man', but it is something which is often not recognised, so that 'the new is forced to flee back into the structures of the old', especially if changes in business and the world are compensated in European societies by holding onto unchanging, that is traditionally cultivated 'cultural identities'. Here the gap between tradition and modernity is hardly bridgeable anymore, and yet 'irrational tendencies' within Europe are gripped by this desire to obtain and to retain a non-changing identity which can be passed on to future generations without any modification whatsoever. Examples of that can be found in Baveria, but also at the opening of the world soccer competition when boys and girls clad in traditional customes dance what has become identified with that particular country, when in fact the realities outdistance daily more and more these traditional linkages to the past. The European Union has given the right to preserve the cultural heritage of Europe not only the highest priority, but left the 'sovereignty' to decide in this matter to the claimers of traditional concepts of 'cultural identity' or to those supporting the thesis that identity in cultural terms is 'tradition'. Yet if they are used to sustain tourism, they become quickly void and empty of any true value of life; they become even more so doubtful tools in the hands of those who preach traditional values on the one hand, while using that position to exploit possibilities to seize upon opportunities of change merely to their own financial benefit, that is, without any regard as to where a newer airport, a bigger highway network system, indeed even larger 'information highways' will lead to. That leads again back to the relationship between culture and education. Cultural actions in this regard must allow for the onfolding of identity processes that can work openly with this double need for change (innovation) and continuity, without thereby giving in to sole traditional nor merely modernistic answers of the sixties or seventies. There is an indication that presently European programmes are conveyed by a language and by a usage of special terms which suggest that this deeper problem has either been overlooked or comes back again, because it remained unresolved. Solutions offered by 'cultural studies' may be helpful.

To return to the question of not only ambivalence, but also how to recognise abilities in the other as to where and how that individual can make a contribution, cultural studies must deal first with learning patterns and forms in different contexts. It seems at first that curriculum and pedagogical concepts are sufficient. However, recognition and motivating abilities are linked to philosophical concepts derived from 'political' forms resting on assumptions about survival possibilities of the individual within a society having made already certain choices and decisions affecting the overall survival strategy. Hence once European societies have decided to unify, that must be reflected in the recognition patterns, otherwise it belies the European claim of having outgrown national interests and centuries of repeating over and again the same mistakes. This new level of abstraction must be made reflective and communicated as a point of reference. It does not help if Brussels is only talked about in stereotypical ways; i.e. the faceless bureaucrats of Europe. If forms of unification are to be filled with life, matters of cultural contents must give students the ability to develop ideas of unification over and beyond present forms. In that sense, the infrastructural requirements of a truly Europe oriented school system are hardly existing, while lack of substantial materials leaves students without a chance to reflect upon things deeply affecting their future lives. The instrumentalisation of education for only specific, that is non-cultural purposes explains partly why this is so and why until now there have been forthcoming but a few and insignificant changes. Thus at a theoretical level, the ideas of education in Europe have to be reflected upon as part of the cultural studies. At a practical level, this requires foremostly that institutes of learning do not downgrade teachers to mere teaching machines. It is still the teacher as a human being who adds to the value of education. Experiences here help, but also enjoyment in what teachers communicate: love for the subject matter.

Recognised qualities as the European self-understanding

Prototypes of education have always maintained, that every human being has all potentialities inherent. Recognition, motivation and selections have, therefore, an impact upon the first interaction between learner and educational system. Its outcome determines to a large degree both qualification strategy and adaptability to real needs. The latter cannot be said to be defined solely by economies, the illusion of the Western Civilisation or what Prof. Baeck has coined as the 'Atlantic way of thinking'. That would mean one segment of the entire complexity of human reality claims to be able to judge for all others what is best. This cannot be the case. Even if educational policies want to follow crude quantitative goals such as so many doctors, so many graduates from technical high schools, etc., European promoted education must suspend the final deterministic decision as to what man is, in order to give each individual the potential to unfold. For what may not be considered as useful in one particular setting or economic situation of one member country, might be very useful in quite a different context. European mobility makes the examination of these other alternatives possible. Nothing is here static.

On the contrary, once people get truly involved in a learning process by addressing problems from a critical distance, they learn that different options prevail and hence very different attitudes can be adopted while trying to resolve the problem in question. That is crucial for an understanding of the cultural self-understanding as determined through the European educational systems. They have been so far nationally oriented and made since the European integration process got under way only minor adjustments to the new need to integrate their societies into a larger context. Yet, learning to redefine concepts as much as to examine different approaches is a way of becoming more objective by learning to accommodate other ideas: the first sign of a culture truly open to influences from outside.

To develop that attitude, the psychologist Piaget found two important components making such an openness possible: ability to accommodate in one's own perception of the world other, even contradictory materials to one's view of the world, and the possibility to 'extrapolate' from oneself to the other world, or the world of the others. The latter is already inherent when we say to someone standing vis-a-vis: 'give me your left arm', since mentally we have put ourselves into the position of the other by saying really 'left arm', even though from our position it would be the right arm. Piaget and others have always found that children growing up in a world with more than one set of parents, that is, by having a stable parent background, hence security and love, while able to run in and out of other children's homes, so that they learn equally from other parents, that they develop not only richer models of the world by which they can find their way, but open up more easily due to their extrapolation abilities. On the contrary, children with just two parents or even only one parent - the single family model - face difficulties when trying to relate their privately experienced world to that of others? Clearly, the single parents cannot give a powerful enough co-ordinate system, so that the ratio 'self image / concept of man' cannot be reflected upon in terms of a manifoldedness of cultural possibilities. This is why 'cultural actions' at the level of primary school children ought to enhance such extrapolation possibilities by enriching the child's life with new experiences of models, co-ordinates and ratios not available at home, but a part of the real world. To grow up with acknowledging these substantial differences without being afraid of them, that would already be an educational success.

What are then some of the already recognised European qualities aside from the ability to speak and to comprehend different European and other languages? The answer may lie not only in concrete alternatives or additional enrichment programmes of current educational courses, but rather in a kind of educational vision as expressed in the past by philosophers like Bertrand Russell, Karl Jaspars or educators like Pestalozzi or Janusz Korczak who were all inspired by a search of truth and an European idea of how to live consciously with ideas still requiring time to mature. They all do not like 'holistic' ideas, something which needs stressing now that Karl Popper has died and can no longer challenge such tendencies towards totalitarian dreams (i.e. a recent tender for research actions directed towards new urban policies to be executed by the European Union speaks about 'holistic concepts' for the European cities - a discussion point reflecting a fall-back into the sixties and seventies), but rather embraced universal ideas of true love for understanding and individual engagement throughout the various fields of activities man is engaged in, whether this is his or her professional job or else just in helping children cross a street beset by traffic problems. In other words, European educational programmes must be redirected towards inspiring ideas which have been developed as a result of humanistic, scientific, philosophical and political reconsiderations. Even the German Trade Union formulated for its major programme declaration the guideline "Learning from the past, in order to shape the future". Thus these ideas which exist nowadays at an almost disgraceful sub-subsistence level must be re-invigorated, by being recognised as something different from just mere 'politics'. As stated recently by the historian Reinhard Koselleck in the newspaper 'Frankfurter Allgemeine', 23. September 1994, 'politics and science must be kept distinguishable', in order to secure the independence of knowledge. That means in clear terms, 'the policy of knowledge' cannot nor should be tailored to the needs of states for what they want their people only to know. It is much more important, indeed crucial for life and survival, that people retain both independence and courage to persue questions, even if not immediately resolvable, but which makes possible the pointing out where policies are wrong and where politicians are making 'mistakes' in adapting only some elements of a theoretical complexity. As Adorno pointed out to his students who later revolted against him without heeding his advice, that leads in the majority of cases to a reactionary politics, for once things are taken out of context, they can lead to contradictory results.

There are theories of education and theories in the various subject matters that allow accessibility or not to the degree of something becoming self-understood as part of the culture and the civilisation children, pupils and students are growing up in. They are beset nowadays by many other hardships which are not immediately short-comings of the school systems, but beset them with countless social problems. Aside from the homeless children who never make it to school, but reside already at the age of ten in cardboard boxes as experienced by Brendan Kennelly daily when he leaves Trinity College, there are those who have no concentration because the family background is extremely unstable. As Joris Duytschaever expressed it, 'adequate otherness' or 'adequate mothering' or as a matter of fact, 'adequate fathering' is not enough to cover up the fact how children are neglected by parents. Instead of guiding principles for learning in mind, many children's heads are filled with screaming voices. They have, therefore, naturally one motivation in mind, namely to get away as fast as possible or to turn towards 'violence', in order to overcome their fear of the world. The education system usually punishes these children. Yet as Korczak stated very explicitly, children have not only a right to be recognised, but they have also a right to be loved.

What has been said so far within this overall framework of 'considerations and reflections' is not sufficient to formulate a clear-cut policy, but it points out two maxims which Adorno stressed: for one, education must be oriented towards making the person become articulatable in his or her potentialities, while on the other hand, culturally speaking, this implies that the only thing which is self-understood is that nothing is self-understood. Adorno said this in reflections of what had happened in Auschwitz and which made him say, that there would be no more poetry possible thereafter. That critical threshold has often been misunderstood, or interpreted in a fruitful, far reaching way as by Guenter Grass who under the advice of Paul Celan did start to write poetry again, but related it to the colour 'grey' as a sign of his relationship to Auschwitz.

Given 'a self-understanding' which is not self-understood, this means for educational purpose, nothing is absolute and everything requires a constant re-examination of what can be combined with the new and the presupposed alternatives to the suggested new. Education reflects thus both culture and the 'policy of knowledge': the final adaptation being defined by the principles and concepts people choose to live by. Unfortunately, in the hands of administrators, school authorities and individual departments, education becomes a system that stresses only certain values (especially if under the influence of powerful interest groups including that of various churches or religious groups). They can also be philosophical orientations upholding egalitarian principles (see here the article by Martin Jay and the examination of how an Arnoldian policy stand failed in California) or else elitist dogmas with emphasis upon sharp selections of different abilities, creating thereby a highly hierarchical orientation with 'gifted children' just one key term that has appeared since learning disabilities, special schools and advanced study centres started to co-exist side by side with normal schools. That alone bespeaks of countless pains which parents of children have gone through and which continues to be covered up by conservative policies wishing to preserve special places of privileges, including institutes of higher learning and hence possibilities for recruitment of future elites.

Selection differs, however, from active recognition and promotion; only in the latter case, it can be said that personal development is brought into liaison with the needs of society by giving the individual strength and abilities to go beyond the interests of a particular organization. Human freedom and the ability to link with others is intracately connected to the 'binding forces' someone has. Reason for staying alone, isolated and not able to enjoy life, that is within 'field forces' shaping life, starts with this lack of 'binding forces', that is, by being held back and down by something that the individual can no longer control by him- or herself. The loss of autonomy is incurred when the individual is merely socially determined, thus no longer able to reflect him- or herself on an individual, differentiated basis. This, in turn, reflects what kind of philosophical concept underlines that society. If that means only 'intelligent consumers', this reduces the demand knowledge about the 'self' otherwise poses when it comes to questions of truth in relationships with others. These are key topics by which ways into the future are found or not. The process of learning is stopped, when self knowledge is reduced into a mere survival without any further going interest beyond the limits of specialization. Horkheimer coined here the crucial term of 'resistance against truth'. This has to be kept in mind at all times, for political openness depends upon the existence of an independent body of knowledge which is not founded on prejudice and hence blind convictions, but on a belief in the future of mankind. Forward looking educational policies can mediate between the different, conflicting parties of interest, while not falling victim to the usual politics of 'laziness' wishing to reduce demands of knowledge to a cynical level where apparently nothing more has to be learned because one knows everything. Rather objectivity is to be found by entering the 'intersubjective' community of learning (Popper) and reflected upon in terms of the structures determining societies (from Adorno to Foucault).

In the most negative cases, educational systems cater finally exactly to a reductionist policy by reducing individual recognition to formal categories defined solely by societal needs. Resistance against that is punished immediately. Resignation in dignity has become 'the' criteria of maturity as imposed upon human beings by European societies. It serves the interest of the educated elites to be able to govern by themselves, that is without interference from 'below', while those punished and after having learned their lessons well by not asking anymore too many questions, they express their resignation in the form of a wish to be able to just live 'in peace', that is without having to be bothered by any further questions or political problems. That has led in the meantime to scary situations in which an injured person from a car accident can be bleeding to death at the roadside, while countless drive past out of fear to get involved. And that attitude is still the old illusion of educational systems resting on the belief that they can release their pupils and students to 'real life'. It played often enough a distorting role between generations when parents having to work for a living would silence the questions of their children at school with 'wait until you get out into the real world'. These parents forgot that worlds are shaped according to theoretical ideas which have been conceived by man and finally ending up to be so convincing as to enact binding elements in society over and beyond what individuals would ever manage to do with their limited, often romanticised 'binding forces'. The older generations also wanted to silence really criticism of what is going on and taking place, out of fear to appear as failures. Certainly that was one reason for the established world to hit back at the student protest movement of the 68's. That movement changed, however, many cultural premises, including the notion who can consider him- or herself as a beautiful person and thus subject to a better treatment than a scum of society - aesthetical reflections turned politically. Self-respect at a human, that is autonomous level was always the beginning of political freedom. Therefore, it will be interesting to see in which direction future cultural actions will take the European cultural movement and to what extend the challenge of those who started to unite Europe in the way they did until Maastricht will be appreciated rather than beaten back once again, leaving the old to dominate over the new. That this is an old source of conflict is not new. Already Rembrandt when describing in his art work David's challenge of King Saul, he decided to side with the old, the king in power, that is with the already known, for familiarity is the breeding ground for illusions as to knowing what to expect. No one wants life to be turned into a wild adventure. Yet things are no longer as they used to be nor will they remain to be the same forever - such a poetic and philosophical wisdom everybody has, but not many want to abide by the rules of that knowledge, namely to be open to the 'challenges of life' without ressorting to old formulas and without giving the youth any chance of proving itself worthy of trust that they will run the world as well and perhaps even better as the old guard. A golden rule of the middle would be in such a case that neither side should become a victim of change, a change towards the past or to an unknown future. Culture defines itself by coming to terms with both sides; education helps one to understand the deeper nature of those conflicts between different generations and different outlooks. That would include more failures, especially in understanding one another, than possible success stories who are very few indeed.

In other words, educational systems have transmitted in the majority of cases the wrong types of success stories and did not make explicit enough 'failures' as part of true human experiences, including that of Vincent van Gogh. Yet if the latter is judged nowadays as a failure because he never managed to sell a painting by people living in a world that trade his 'Sunflowers' at a record price of 32 Million $ to a Japanese Life Insurance Company, then there are really lost points of true resistance against fake imitations of success stories portrayed by Hollywood films or by the 'cultural industry' (Adorno and Horkheimer). True resistance working with demands for truth openly, means not giving up a deeper self-understanding of man, no matter what forces want to shape the system at the moment. Children learn that already in the schoolyard when they do not give in to group demands, but stand up to their own viewpoint and remain thus just and social over a long time by not giving in to short term attempts by one or a few to manipulate the group into doing something which everybody really knows is 'wrong'. Moral judgements in the making are most difficult to gauge; Piaget gave an important access to them by looking already at how children devise rules and forms of punishment in a game of marbles.

Education is here at a contradictory junction. There is more or less a kind of political dexterity prevailing with regards to all kinds of possible forces wishing to shape education in a certain direction. Already Gorki described effectively in 'Artomov's Works', that the future elite of Russia required a certain type of administration and hence an educational system that prepared administrators in a certain way. This would include the fact that these administrators are predisposed to favour the landed aristocrats, who wished to co-exist with the freed slaves after 1861 once the latter had set up their own enterprises with the knowledge they had gained from their masters while still slaves. Paulo Freire coined this as the need to educate the formerly suppressed from not copying blindly the models of their masters, by implementing themselves the worst cases of such master oriented models - as it is still the case not only in former European colonies in Africa, but also in Europe itself. Modern terms would call that 'co-existence' of the old and new elite on the land.

In this example what can be made explicit is the implicit reason why forces wish to influence educational systems. While they wish to take over the media in immediate terms, they know that their power rests finally upon the educational system influencing the 'mentalities' of people in such a way, that in the long run they reproduce the system the new power holders wish to install. That is, education becomes a political tool, so that the people remain favourable in their opinion of the power holders. In the long run, that is the only effective way to retain power and control the system through the very spontaneous, but equally implicit value judgement by everyone, namely that the ones in power are the ones who know better than anyone else to run the system. In the United States that made the defence minister under the presidency of J.F. Kennedy, namely the highly intelligent McNamara, change his recognition of who should really govern the world. For he acknowledged that 'multi-national concerns' are in a much better position to respond to crisis in the world because of their organizational potentials being far better than which state administrations could ever manage. That is important to keep in mind, because 'the morality of the system' has undergone tremendous changes and with it legitimization of power. While it appears that it is no longer fashionable to criticize the system, hence the 'silence of intellectuals' (Eugene van Itterbeek) and the lack of an independent body of knowledge by which political decisions can be criticized and the mistakes societies make pointed out, this 'morality' question has not been sufficiently reflected upon in terms of what it means to live in a post-cold war period of time. The inroads business interests have made into formal education are considerable. It has helped to silence many crucial questions and made many structure accordingly their behaviour to that silence. But that is only one side of the coin; the other is what Prof. Baeck has described in his essay "The Revival of the Moral Base in the Soviet Union" as the new types of responses to "westernization", including a "retraditionalisation", a kind of cultural assertiveness presently fermenting in Eastern and Western Europe and whose "synergies...will greatly influence developments in the 90s".

Given the fact that political-philosophical concepts have always shaped concrete periods, systems and finally structures, it must be the purpose of education to remind, that freedom rests upon the ability to question at any time the entire system, while not accepting political illiteracy as the prime goal for everyone. That includes claims to be not responsible as based on specialization, the clearest yet indication of 'irresponsibility'. At the same time, immediate feedback as to the degree of understanding something can be obtained from everyone, or as Kant would say, if the other does not understand what you trying to say, then surely it is because you have not understood yourself the subject matter. This is a critical, equally self reflective interpretation of mankind since the enlightenment became political, in the sense of wishing to know how one's life is ruled and shaped by what forces. Nowadays there is a tendency to undermine this critical, self reflective process. It indicates much more the interest of a self sustainable system by which it can apparently stabilize itself, than by making things possible for others. Such egocentric or even Euro-centric measures would want to leave the so-called educated running the administration unchallenged, while the education system would cater to the regular needs to have 'intelligent consumers' as part of the overall conformity reinforced by a lack of self-knowledge.

Thus it would be important to return to the philosophical concept of education as a means to recognise the abilities of each individual and to encourage the possibilities to unfold his or her personality. The realities lived and the world in which individuals are engaged in, is then determined by the overall projects in sight, may that be to fly to the moon or else to save the earth from ecological disasters. Educational systems themselves must adapt to such structural needs by creating interesting linkages between learning and abilities to live in reality. Here are many possibilities at all age and qualification levels, for given possibilities to secure an income through an interesting work, people can go on and try to learn at a more complex level other things which will alter their degree of involvement with the world. There are many intertwines between imagined and practically conceived realities, even though this does not become at all apparent at first in many educational forms. Unfortunately they have their predetermined character or set of definitions representing apparently the know-how of a particular society. Yet that can be overcome especially by introducing more intertwining connections between traditional forms of learning and experiences to be gained through European networks. By opening up the world of education, changes will come almost naturally, provided this is done on the basis of individual recognition, feed-back and well structured learning configurations. Already it can be anticipated as advanced by workshop 4 dealing with 'vocational training', that participation in 'learning organizations' will be crucial for being able to recognise how to shape the world of the future. A 'rational communication' linkage between institutes of learning and such 'learning organizations' could releave societies of some of the pressures to adapt to innovational changes and recognise much more individual needs so as to enhance the overall potential to adapt to change. It is a truth of European cultural history that individuals marked the beginnings of change by standing for values which proved to be the basic foundations of future societies.

Strains in Education due to Convergence Plans

The integration of individuals into societies shaping themselves according to their own 'taste', but also in reaction to convergence laws of the European Union marks thereby the educational situation in the member states. Between learning foreign languages and adapting to challenges due to technology and new organizational forms in business, while being beset by environmental and urban problems, there is a need to re-orientate in a fast changing international world. Unfortunately, educational priorities in Europe have been set in favour of many things, but not in Humanities. This is the most important finding of the workshop.

In response to that gap in 'cultural' reflections of educational policies, the workshop surprisingly came after a discussion about exchange programmes favoured presently by the EU, to the strong recommendation that poetry should be included in all curricula. That is in need of further reflection, for  what kind of knowledge does this mean? Furthermore, does it mean any kind of educational system can pass on to future generations the knowledge it needs to survive? And how should efforts look with the aim to introduce poetry as core element of Humanities in all European educational systems?

On the last day of a recent exchange programme of Italian teachers coming for two weeks to Greece, as organized among other people by Anastasia A. Ioannidis from the General Assembly and created to facilitate exchange between Greek and Italian teachers, this topic was discussed. There was immediately agreement reached that a first step must be the removal of a fear not being able to understand 'poetry', for that would mean overlooking one's own peculiar logic used for entering the world. Like a special key, every human being has inherent such a logic. The fact that it is a part of the 'logos', as Ancient Greek philosophers say, this indicates already that poetry is not merely subjective nor arbitrary. Parmenides gives in his 'fragments' a clear discription of 'friction' as the wheels turn of the chariot: knowledge about traffic and transport reflected already at an early age and yet capable of comparing urban situations from those when being 'in nature', that is, under the immediate influence of the senses. Furthermore, poetry is at the forefront of translations. By making different European and other languages become comparative, there is all of a sudden an appreciative element of differences experiencable, whether now in a Seasmus Heaney in Translation workshop in Dublin, Ireland or as experienced effectively at the XVIth European Poetry Festival, when Greek poets contributed to the poetry reading in the Cretian village Kamilari by translating within one afternoon the poem every visiting poet from another European country wanted to be read both in his language and in Greek. The people of that village felt honoured by the presence of those poets, while the translations reflected once again on how much closer poets are to the culturally defined frontiers of European, the forefront of all languages.

The overcoming of differences in terms of language and meanings is a prerequisite for the ability to live together. Space within language is the distance to that difference. More can be said, but poetry is above all a 'simple truth' giving people the ability to recognise their human substance (Bruno Kartheuser of workshop 1 about the Greek poet Ritsos): the very beginning of cultural understanding in depth and in terms of normal absurdities. Ritsos could describe in a poem the plight a person undergoes when just looking from his window across the street into the window of the neighbour, only to realise that despite all  movements like turning on the television set or else putting a book back in the shelves being familiar, that there was no knowledge about the other available. Urban incomprehension as a huge gap in man's knowledge about himself has become an empty void which only poets dare to transgress.

The dimension of projection without understanding the other on how he or she intends to live is clearly an indication that 'distances' in Europe have broken down, while being at the same time 'unbridgeable'. There is agony at the sight of such closeness and yet unbridgeable distance. Europe was always in the past recognisable by virtue of this 'passion for agony'. It was a source for literature and poetry, and hence for some of the most crucial forms of culturally determined ways to understand things in this life better, that is with the kind of subtle understanding that nothing is really fully explainable. Nonetheless, the American way of life and its way to look at things meant that Europe started to import countless success stories developed in that big, new world. Most of these stories were conveyed by people having dreamy eyes, but not illusions about reality: romantic softness and hardness combined by virture of being American. It meant being able to bridge all distances, provided a cheap kind of romance and some 'luck' based on the fact that one started on the right foot, got up on the right side of the bed, did not complain about work, but tried to outdo everyone else in more than a competitive sense. Much is involved, that is, all the ingredients it takes to be a self-made man in America. The truth of the matter is that such success stories abnegated virtually any kind of educational effort. Self taught, the autodidactic was the one who made it first in business, then in life, by having a lovely wife and kids. Usually these success stories ended just there, and they still continue nowadays, even though with quite a different spirit, as indicated by such a movie as 'The Player'. Education reduced to such autonomous levels is not only involved negatively in the sense of being  entertaining, for underneath the surface quite a different morality of 'hard' business reigns. The European response to the American way has been slow and confused. In the past, the cultural notion of being romantic was correlated with individualism, loneliness, failure in love and usually tragic endings. Sadness became Munch's scream. Thus, it should be expected that given such a different cultural background, including the tragic romantic spirits of a Schubert or even more so of a Nietzsche, that Europe would have to emancipate itself from its past through education quite differently from that of the United States or Russia. It should be expected that this leads to another kind of questioning the major principles by which the European Union and, in particular, the European Commission has structured its behaviour so far on certain 'cultural premises'. Yet truly critical questions making way for new creative impulses have been very rare as 'Europe' remains very much in the hands of obstructionist with a strong dislike for democracy and public participation.

As Alecos Alavanos criticized rightly in his speech during the final Plenary session, it is absurd that Europe knows more about the length of a cucumber to be accepted for import-export deals, than what educational norms are to be set as being in time with European developments. This problem should, however, be of no surprise, since the very selection process by which certain people have come into power within the European Commission has been influenced to a great extent by the various member states. Thus, many are really in a no-man's land once they have emancipated themselves successfully from the very background by which they were selected. It still takes quite another and lots of efforts to make explicit clear positions in favour of European integration, in particular when it comes to educational matters. The neglect of the Humanities and Poetry is but a reflection of the ever dominating 'technocratic vision' which has shaped European integration until now and has led precisely to the short-comings to be faced right now by all European countries, namely the inability to have answers to rising racist and neo-fascistic attitudes threatening to undermine the democratic governability of Europe.

Possible relationships to the other workshops of the Fifth Seminar:

There are many possible linkages, some of which have been mentioned already, but this reflection ought to lead to a more systematic interaction; for instance, there is

- workshop 5: 'culture driven economy' in which sustainability was defined among other things as a "development (which) meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". (Prof. Moser quoting the BRUBDTLAND-Report); then,

- workshop 4: interregional programmes to combat unemployment - 'vocational training' - insofar learning in future will take place through special organizational forms linking interdisciplinary approaches to needs of companies while changing the status of cultural institutes, so as to give them a financial base; or

- workshop 2: how exchange programmes, in particular to enhance 'mobility' of students, can be made compatible with the European goal of off-setting discrepancies between a rich North and a poor South, itself expressed in the fact that many students from Greece, Portugal, even Italy attend especially post-graduate courses in Northern European universities or even more so in the United States (see report by Ms. Baumgratz-Gangl); furthermore, it is impossible to leave out,

- workshop 8: literature, discourse and identity in which poets like Jean Michel Maulpoix, Maja Panajotova and Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke could contribute to this argumentation, why poetry as subject matter par excellance for cultural differences, along deeply humanistic lines from Homer to James Joyce, should be included in future policies of the European Union by promoting not only poetry through further going networks, but also by relating educational fields to the cultural expressions within cities and villages, regions and member states. Cultural diversity within these 'force fields' (see article by Martin Jay as part of the reference materials to this workshop 8) ought to be maintained as expressed by Michael Longley in his report about his work at the Arts Council in Belfast - reference material to workshop 10. Furthermore, workshop 8 has a strong emphasis on 'cultural studies' (Joris Duytschaever), while indicating as well how important it is for students to have experiences of studying abroad, in order that they cannot only appreciate the literature and hence culture of another member state, but also through a broadening of their horizon learn to live in a multicultural society. This aspect relates to the issue of languages being endangered or not. Different interpretations exist here with regards to the position of the Flemish/Dutch language as a case in point, while cultural developments, impulses therefore, do not come necessarily from overall cultural projects, but from a special combing through reality with relevant themes such as 'poetry and violence', in order to comprehend the interrelationship between myth and historical concepts prevailing in the respective member countries;

- This is to say, interaction with workshop 6: Western Civilisation and the Arts and Media, could provide in a dialogue with members of workshop 7 an opportunity to evaluate whether or not 'cultural studies' would be a suitable term of reference, in order to start synthesising Greek with European studies, the core of which would be an enlarged definition of Humanities studies, as recommended by Ms. Reydams-Schils. Above all,

- crucial would also be a discussion with workshop 1 which focused on the new structures emerging out of European networks in support of an European identity with implications for both usage of 'languages' (i.e. Euro-English), cross-cultural identities and values. While much attention is given to the first issue, namely what working languages and translation abilities prevail within the European Union, the latter two do not receive nearly as much attention as they ought to deserve. For example, European schools could have at its base the language of the respective country where located, but relate to all other European languages, in order to give that school a European network within which exchange of students can take place already at primary and secondary level. That could be started by Youth orchestras or European writing workshops, in which at least two members from each European country must be represented. Especially the focus on poetry could facilitate the acquiring of translation skills as much as enhance abilities to work at a comparative level while remaining differentiated, that is, free from prejudicial, stereotypical thinking.

The findings of workshop 7 with its stress upon the Humanities, in particular Poetry, remind of the most important value premise that good education can offer and stimulate, namely 'learning to ask questions'. Around this theme it would be possible to relate to the numerous topics touched upon in various other workshops at the Fifth Seminar and therefore, to contemplate in an imaginary manner how they could be brought together by what kind of 'logic of questions', in order to discuss education within such a culturally reflective context. That has been attempted in the final evaluation plenary session Sunday morning when all chair persons of the different workshops reported their respective findings, while a dialogue form allowed for the structuring of questions. This gives already an indication on how to structure future seminars, or what is to be expected as a follow-up to the Fifth Seminar.

In brief, European education requires a re-definition of 'Humanities' as a field of studies making explicit personal orientation as a 'quest for values' beyond fields of specialization. This subject matter can keep on  reminding other disciplines what has been neglected in special studies while focusing upon 'value' in the sense of being 'human'. The outlook of such a special course relates to common European themes making up finally the 'humanistic perspective', i.e. from Homer to James Joyce, in order to discover and re-discover the 'humanistic values'. For literature and poetry, this means not 'interpretation' (Ricoeur), but primarily the ability to observe and to recognise people in a process of constant self-reflection. Culturally speaking, it is here that abilities are developed to describe what has become of people subject to change. In acknowledging wrong ideas, false adaptations and yet seeing signs of good developments, human problems can be circumscribed by even understanding the jokes of others. Understanding the human quest for knowledge should underline the importance of maintaining a friendly attitude towards the world (Cassirer), so as to avoid self-fulfilling negativities inherent in discriminatory, aggressive outlooks upon the world. It would mean picking up again the theme of the great European narratives dealing not only with life in general, but with some very particular circumstances related to events too often beyond the scope of description and hence understanding. Kafka did try that, and he ended up anticipating terrible events, while he himself could not overcome some deeper hesitation about love to a woman and hence marriage, that is, the life inside a family. There are others who want to break up the holy glance cast over the family, yet in the end there is this Joycian theme of affirmation, 'yes, yes, I want to marry and to live with you' - the upkeep of a morality needed to secure that life continues.

Education for cultural diversity

One important facet of the workshop was to emphasize 'education for cultural diversity', but how does this appear in practice when an inherent characteristic of many educational systems is 'violence, hatred, lack of tolerance, etc.', so that important steps in terms of cultural understanding are repeatedly curtailed by a return to stereo-typical, traditional ways of thinking rather than openness? Each new generation poses that problem, for as Ernst Bloch would say, 'young people catch easily right wing fires'.

In this regard, it is important what the poet Brendan Kennelly writes in the introduction of his epic poem 'JUDAS' (which includes also the betrayal of our and others' dreams): "The imagination provides the most effective means of confronting and expressing the prejudices and inherited hatreds buried in the self until they exist before our eyes like so many lucid accusations confirming Ibsen's belief that poetry is a court of judgement on the soul. I tried to open my mind....(because) I was from childhood taught, quite simply, to hate. A learned hate is hard to unlearn. It would be easy enough to go through life hoarding and nourishing such hate, feeding it dutifully with endless 'proofs', thus keeping alive the explosive frenzies that fuel political situations such as Northern Ireland. But when one tries to substitute the uncertainties of altruistic exploration for the certainties of inherited hate, one is immediately disrupting and challenging one's 'cultural legacy', spitting in the faces of the authoritative fathers and their revered, unimpeachable wisdom. The process of unlearning hate is a genuine insult to some, particularly those whose prejudices are called convictions." (Brendan Kennelly, Judas, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1992)

Artificial protections of one's own culture start by ignoring the pain that lack of understanding by others causes and by turning it into an 'insult', even before the reasons why this lack of understanding could be discussed. In other words, the absence of culture in education would mean, that there is nothing to be worked on and set within a reasonable time horizon, so as to moderate expectations. In that case, the 'lost causes' as stressed by James Joyce puts a finger upon the countless, equally senseless 'engagements' within Europe. Its history is filled with so many stupid feuds and battles based upon motives which irrespective of whether or not that will cost human lives, wanted above all prestige, reputation and respect from the other, that all the cultural assertiveness of Europe becomes a futile enterprise of 'vanity' with little left for true aspirations. Cervantes gave that a decisive picture, as did Goya later on. Today the Cervantes or Goya institutes claim something out of that cultural heritage without being really present, for they have not as of yet understood that cultural dilemma of futility. But it will be apparent to everyone, that Cervantes cultural institutes outside of Spain are really no guarantee that the deeper roots of Spanish culture are understood within Europe. Rather that culture tends to lead a life of almost non-existence, even though it has as rich and diverse background as any other European nation which joined the Common Market. Why this is so, that is in need of an explanation and a re-evaluation of the cultural and educational policies followed sofar by the European Commission.

Above was mentioned the theme 'poetry and violence'. This refers especially to Brendan Kennelly who interprets the poetry of Yeats as avoiding the question of 'violence' and hence as ending up transforming his poetry - a kind of cultural action - into symbolic actions like flag waving ceremonies to declare alligiance to the nation. That is most significant for the understanding of 'cultural actions' and which ought to be taught at school, namely that human misunderstanding is the result of communication processes turning into symbolic presentations, rather than becoming true in their substance. The Irish poet speaks about real situations such as in 'Northern Ireland' where 'the frenzy' is directly connected to a kind of non-forgiving hatred for everything that would want to break out of that deadlock of violence and revenge.

At the same time, it is interesting to remark that the reflective framework in Europe has always been the equivalent of the law concept of European civilisations, including the lawfulness by which progress is secured over time. Various ideologies always claim first there were the Greeks, then the Romans and finally their own culture - a progress by law overseeing nevertheless the many barbaric eruptions that really defined until now European history. There is furthermore no justified claim that European culture is superior to others, i.e. the Islamic one with its claim that revenge is a means to regain balance. For if one takes a closer look at Hegel's philosophy of law, he states that revenge is merely suspended in the concept of law, so that a third party, the state, does the punishment rather than the one who had suffered the pain. The danger of that concept became explicit when the state started to revenge itself against all Jewish people in Nazi Germany and despite all atrocities judges could claim that they were acting legally. That is precisely the main dilemma of 'cultural awareness': to find a human answer to this permanent 'rationalization' of inhuman decisions, policies and subsequent actions. For education that becomes crucial to understand and to pass on as knowledge, since identity can no longer be gained through the fact that the Dutch are good, and the Germans are the bad guys. Historical reconstructions of Europe have to be placed altogether on quite a different reflective basis. That was already a concern at the Fourth Seminar in Brugge, when for the workshop 'culture and identity' historical ideas were expressed which repeated this apparently three-staged lawful development of European civilisations through the times.

This situation of  'frenzy' can be found 'potentially' in many other European conflict areas, i.e. Greece and Turkey, or even in the Flemish community versus the French one of Belgium, for the challenge to one's 'cultural legacy' is rarely answered with 'good' diplomacy. Instead more hatred and violent measures, rather than a learning process to undo the hatred is in the offering. In short, the stress upon poetry is very important for it brings into the open the full problems of educational systems which are still beset by an absolute set of definitions and thus try to impose 'violent' solutions (in defence of that cultural legacy), rather than undoing the many painful knots caused by a rather 'bloody' European history.

In that sense it would be most crucial to propose such 'cultural actions' which bring the most vital value issues into such a safe distance, that they can be discussed without fuelling further prejudices or even provoking violent reactions. Such cultural actions could, as tried at the Fifth Seminar, be an interaction of scholars with artists (or poets), so as to include cultural dimensions into systematic approaches to the most crucial issues affecting the future of European integration. This means also instead of confrontation with new cultural paradigm (Prof. Bekemans), new cultural value premises must be carefully 'created' (i.e. within 'force fields'), in order to avoid artificial constructions or situations blocking the learning process: a difficult, but not impossible task. As did Michael Longley (see reference materials to workshop 10) in Belfast, ways can be found to undertake educational cultural actions, provided simple beauty and truth makes possible coming to terms with the complexity of life in a honest manner, that is, by not pretending to know the answers. In that sense, the best cultural action is the one which creates new cultural dimensions and allows for the participation of many in terms of both learning new things and understanding deeper issues usually not perceived at the level of the media or static interrelationships.

Only once the cultural conflicts and therefore issues behind educational policies are known, can they be decided upon. Future generations will then be able to understand better why that particular path was taken and not another. In the end, it is a matter of cultural adaptability to the newest developments. The latter term refers to not only advancement in the sciences and technologies, but also such developments as increased or decreased participation in knowledgeable processes. Indeed, a concept like 'life-long learning' cannot be implemented, if it does not include those who wish to participate in the formulation and reformulation of ideas even though they left universities a long time ago. 'Cultural actions' must help in that direction and relate especially to those with feelings of being unimportant or not worthy to be asked for their opinion, that is, as if someone even less decisive than a paying spectator at a football match. Such developments towards social alienation lead generally towards violence. It can be felt also in the hardening of the educational structures (i.e. rigid selection) and in an overall decline of the cultural horizon under which learning takes place. In the end, it accounts to the difference between learning with enjoyment and hating an educational process because it reduces people to a mechanistic reproduction of old prejudices and unchallenged value premises which are not only politically naive, but dangerous as well.

'Policy of knowledge' in a period of 'culture of wars' turned into a 'war of cultures'

Already at the Fourth Seminar in Brugge, there was expressed in the workshop on 'culture and identity' the interesting thesis that the war in Yugoslavia is not one of civilisation, but of culture. Yet the conflicts within culture are little understood nor rarely clearly named as a different kind of 'war, but war nevertheless. It is this unresolved dispute about who 'educates the educators' or else, who administers the learning process at the cost of 'academic freedom', that leads in the end to more incomprehensibility or lack of 'self-understanding', then what was assumed to be possible, given a shareable logic or 'rational communication' linkage based on the recognition of mutual interests. That lack of understanding can be felt immediately with regards to what is going on in former Yugoslavia, but also what decisions are taken within various educational settings.

Martin Jay who was asked to come to the Fifth Seminar, but could not due to the fear of a further Jet-lag since he was to attend two other international conferences in Europe both before and after the Fifth Seminar in Athens, speaks more directly of a 'culture of wars' in his article about 'Educating the Educators' (see reference material). This metaphorical usage of war and culture pinpoints some of the failed hopes in culture. If the latter meant reaching understanding through the arts, through differentiation and a refinement of taste, then societies or states using merely 'culture' to secure their identities (see here the speech by Liana Sakelliou-Schultz during the Second Plenary Session of the Fifth Seminar) would disappoint such an expectation. As a matter of fact, this state of affairs has led systematically to wrong decisions within the educational systems. Given their tendency to expel, rather than to make explicit the nature of the 'conflicts' to be faced by altogether, they tend in the end to still result to symbolic declarations of identity rather than studies in depth of how to overcome, for instance, the tension between Turkey and Greece. Instead of facing openly 'uncertainties of the future' by making conscious the value of human life, educational institutions tend to throw out its most creative people and teachers for the sake of an illusionary 'certainty' of how to make money within the framework as set by their particular 'cultural identity'. Human lifes are reduced thereby to cultural products made in Germany, in Italy or in Greece. Danish or Irish butter lends itself to that image creation process, as much as national airlines are upheld for prestigious reasons, even if extremely uneconomical. State or rather European subsidization complicates only the clarification process of what can truly survive on its own, for the levels of artificiality and interdependencies have reached the ceilings of being still justifiable in the sense of wishing to appease all interests. More or less that concerns primarily the more than proportionate subsidies given by the European Union to the agricultural sector, as if educational needs for the future lie in that direction. One reason for not giving up these false priorities is the kind of war farmers can start by providing the news covering media with colourful pictures of protesting farmers blocking with their tractors highways or else dumping tons of tomatoes in front of city halls all because of price policies decided upon in Brussels.

The self-sustainable linkage between culture and war is proscribed by certain styles according to which forms of assertion (more than mere protest) are as decisive as the taste of 'kitsch'. The latter enters decision making processes due to a lack of aesthetical reflections: the abnegation of culture. Both apply the simple rule - anything goes, as long as it sells - to decide what is right, what is wrong. It is not a response to a value issue; rather it sidelines the concern for human values, by becoming self-centred to the extreme. This leaves many conflicts and hence forms of decision-taking unnamed. As a matter of fact, war can be called the unnamed culture of mere existence driven by the sheer want to survive, irrespective of all other considerations, costs and 'human lifes'. The end justifies the means even if it is apparent that this end is a 'lost cause' right from the beginning. Although the ancient polis of Athens was warned that entering a war against Sparta would be deadly, there was no one there to recognise and to listen to that 'voice of reason' (Foucault). No education has really taught that lesson well, namely to listen to those opinions even though spoken by someone not important in the hierarchy of status and values. The reason for making decisions within an 'unnamed' culture is that no one can discover within such a void a personal value for life and hence would be able to challenge effectively the decision making process. Everything then becomes possible, equally justifiable. This but repeats a point of reference contemplated upon by Dostoevsky and really expressed for the first time by Nietzsche, namely what can happen once God is dead: everything. It touches upon the full potentiality of mankind now that technology has made even possible the destruction of the entire world. The neutrality of terms used in the scientific-technological world ensure that no evaluation of consequences will bear upon the final decision. In the last resort, no one has to take any responsibility.

Martin Jay points out the terms of references in such a situation have disappeared and hence decisions can be made without having to be really justified in terms of an overall conception. When it comes to education, decisions taken there are governed by hierarchical feelings and instinctive reflections conditioned by survival needs within such 'wars of cultures'. The redundant old has been conserved the most in educational institutions ensuring that value premises linked to 'cultural' and finally national identity are not easily changed. In general that has led to a structural preference to keep conflicts out rather than upset prospects for a safe job. Yet this traditional preference is no longer easily readable, because there is no longer the established elite with a firm grasp on culture by which it can cultivate both its identity and tastes, while being opposed by either an avant garde or protesters against the establishment, such as the 68' student movement. Thus it is crucial to state that not only the most creative people are repeatedly forced to leave educational institutions because they come into conflict with the administration of such institutions, but also that a kind of negative aesthetical reflection seems to rule nowadays in almost all institutions. This community of sceptics or cynics, as Martin Jay would name them according to a thesis by Sloterdijk, reaches consensus by means of only negative value judgements, such as 'no one is honest, hence it does not pay for oneself to be honest'. Not the wish to improve education, to link intellectual debates with pragmatic programmes without giving up the difference between the two, governs anymore educational policy, but a reductionist viewpoint of anything goes, as long as conflicts can be externalized. The automatic reflex will be thereby to find a scape-goat for all problems or even worse to externalize the unresolved conflicts by cultivating 'enemy pictures' such as the Turks in Greece or the French in Flanders. Habermas, in a discussion of the German army prior to unification, pointed out that this was a unique experiment since soldiers had to be trained without such an 'enemy picture' since both the Americans and Russians belonged to the allied powers that stipulated the terms by which that army could function. But the discussion has not to be taken so far, although it does link up with the concept of 'rational communication' that European educational systems ought to facilitate, if there is to be achieved a common ground upon which the European Union can be constructed.

There is, however, in the more immediate sense a dangerous stream of thought developing due to that unnamed culture prevailing in education. It is a kind of exclusiveness demanded by those who want to be in power, but not take any personal responsibilities for what is decided and done in the name of that power. In Yugoslavia it is the exclusiveness along 'ethnic' rallying points leading to 'ethnic cleansing' for the sake of facilitating state administration; in many other situations, it is repeated by causing loss of friendships and human relationships, as if these do not matter or are not losses worthy to be spoken about. The dangerous component is a thin veiled lip-service to democratic principles, when in fact losses are rationalised in terms of wishing to have just power without being bothered by questions of values, concepts and contents. As if pent-up feelings of frustration in such an unclear situation want to have a kind of anonymous group-power (hence the subject 'we') installed for the sole purpose, that any member of that group is capable of having his or her way, in order to explode or 'unload' all the hatred that has been created by an unlived or unfulfilled life. Its very concept is based on anti-difference tastes, for everything must be the same, in order to be treated as being equal with everyone else: the modern neo-fascistic ideology unearthing again Hitler's preference for 'sameness', that is, soldiers clad in the same uniforms marching past and no individuality to be detected in rank and file, thus ensured that only the fullest allegiance is given to the leader. In the contemporary context, that is the reflex of a loss of personal identity in an uniformed world based upon consumption and products no longer distinguishable, but rather all of the same quality: cheap plastic. This 'kitsch' has become the cement of societies holding them together where little else seems to be in sight as real 'binding' force. This backlash to a loss of aesthetical reflections in the world of consumption has led already in Italy to a kind of government which has brought people into power with but this veiled lip service to democracy. It is to be feared that this will influence future political developments in Europe to a much greater extent than can be anticipated right now. Already such developments indicate that the lessons of the past, and especially the cultural linkage to a loss of democracy have not been learned very well: a sign of failure on the part of the educational systems.

Its core philosophy came to the foreground when post-modernistic attitudes revived Paul de Man's ways of not only reading texts by decomposing structures, but by avoiding contradictions in lowering the demand to be historically just. At an exhibition opening in Holland during the Second World War, Paul de Man stated flatly the fact that in having no Jewish artist participating was of no great loss, since these artists were only of mediocre quality. The reduction of true artistic demands while aesthetical reflections turned into self-styled declarations of 'taste' was always prevailing in moments of war. It is the slim coverage of mere survival strategies no longer caring about the truth of the matter, but in having just 'success'. That leads not only to dishonesty, but equates art as being only then art, if it sells. Thus it is not surprising that students question nowadays motives of Vincent Van Gogh when continuing to paint although he did not sell but one painting in his entire, equally short life. As if the world would be richer without Van Gogh's paintings or vice versa, such a loss not worth mentioning.

In reality, it is more than dangerous that conflicts within the educational sector are decided by such negative attitudes of exclusion. Given the fact that survival and furthermore 'money' is linked to the advancement of technology, it is quite clear that such attitudes preferring kitsch, gadgets and gimmicks will not give any high priority to studies of humanities nor to studies upholding principles of 'rational communication' as prerequisite for resolving conflicts openly and peacefully. Thus less and less many of the educated in the recent past can respond to the above mentioned needs in a differentiated manner, culturally speaking. Rather they respond to conflicts and difficult decision making processes in a cynical manner. If they do get involved at all, then merely in a functional way with the sole aim to ensure that the conflict does not potentially threaten in any way their chances to survive. Freedom is perverted into freedom from any responsibility. This negative concern overrules everything else. It decides not only over the manner in which foreign languages are learned, but also how the own language is used. As Joris Duytschaever pointed out in workshop 8, the extreme right wing Flemish bloc claims to wish to safeguard the Flemish identity and thus also language, but their usage of the Flemish language is anything but good by any standards of grammar, literary forms of expression, usage of idioms and meanings in a proper sense. Such linguistic perversions or contortions are the clearest indications yet, on how the fictious truth of an ideology gains more and more weight. Added to such claims of being culturally threatened and therefore justified to become exclusive, that is mono-culturally defined, is the abnegation of any 'cultural identity' in the belief of the fact that only 'money makes people' (Brendan Kennelly). The group assertion can be explained by the wish to have some coercive power when it comes to attain that what matters only, namely money linked to a predefined manifestation of unnamed cultural survival: the best way not to have to justify anything in terms of real contents. That will set the stage for desired images being passed on by 'top-down' structures to the obedient followers.

Martin Jay's article points out still further difficulties besetting nowadays educational systems. As the case of Mr. Honig, superintendent of the Californian educational system until charges of felony were brought up against him, exemplifies, oppositions to those who try to get away from educational policies of exclusiveness can be found everywhere. Honig tried to link intellectual awareness with practical programmes, in order to raise the standard of the entire school system. He was ousted on a pretext, so that the real reasons had not to be named in public. That takes place not only in California. Recently the association of the German school in Athens decided not to extend the contract to its present director, even though he spoke Greek, engaged himself fully on behalf of the school and had only four years more to go until retirement, all factors really speaking in favour of extending his contract. The ousting of him was itself the doing of a group of people in the association supervising the school, who always believed things could be done in a much better way. In their permanent dissatisfaction they can be no longer 'just' in terms of what is possible in reality. Rather they wanted to retain an illusion along the 'if...when...' lines of arguments, such as if consultation had taken place, people informed in time, clear policy statements made, etc., then all of this dissatisfaction would not have jeopardized the normal functioning of the school. They never bothered to verify their claims. Negative opinions are taken as proof, although people had not been informed. This contradiction is, however, not accepted within such an immanent rationalization of 'dissatisfaction'; rather only the one solution seemed possible, namely to exclude the director as 'the' source of contradiction. The thesis about a community of cynics making nowadays more and more the decisions, was confirmed when people of that group admitted privately that the departing director was really too honest and hence not a subject to be dealt with easily, because he did not everything nor allowed everything to be done. In short, they had really no grounds to object his way of handling school affairs, especially since he remained open minded in a competitive school system within a difficult situation as described by both Friedrich Spoerl and yet differently by Irene Vasos.

The 'noble' lie

Since Plato, the 'noble' lie is based on the assumption, people do not want to hear the truth, but rather continue to play an illusionary game without ever being able to evaluate themselves the correspondence between form and content (the cave analogy). Even parents and more so skilled grandparents lie to the children consciously, in order to prevent them from crying or being upset. The measure of truth someone can take, before breaking down, is limited. As the doctor of Sigmund Freud, Max Schurr said, 'everybody demands to hear the truth (about their sickness), but very few can take it really'. This is connected to the statement made by the philosopher Husserl towards the end of his life, that he had left out the question of honesty in his philosophical work and only now could he realise that this is the most difficult one. Yet without truth and honesty leading to openness (and not dogmatic absolute value statements), there will be no human substance connecting form and content. The overall denial of philosophy and the leaving out of humanistic studies in the educational system underlines this misleading notion, that only such subject matters worthy to be learned are those that lead somewhere, i.e. a well paying job. Rationalization subject to that prime interest begins, therefore, with the 'noble' lie: explanations which belie the fact that things are not really so bad after all and hence no immediate, that is personal actions have to be taken.

The American notion of making a 'career' as dominating notion is strengthened by the fact that costly and prestigious universities like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc. fulfil expectations of their students, especially when they are prepared to pay the high tuition fees, that this will provide them with such high paying jobs as to compensate all earlier sacrifices. That is education as a service industry in the best of interests for industry, in order to continue with 'big industry'. The chain of commands seems never to end nor to break here, even though it has become by now an obvious tautology of interest not defined culturally, but by business wishing to do business everywhere, anytime, that is with no frontiers nor value constraints.

The results are quite apparent: reality and practical living is defined solely by corporate and business interest wishing only to recruit such students that are tailored by universities in a ready-made style for the 'harsh world of reality' - the scores of Hollywood films and soap operas underline that notion. As if it is not important that people remain at all times independent of the tools, concepts and systems offered to them by being able to judge where all of this leads to? However, this 'practical judgement' or 'wisdom' cannot be easily taught. In leaving out this dimension, the educational systems are increasingly failing to offset the one-sided business orientations. The entire society loses a sense for balance and proportions as to which interests should prevail, because everything is driven by business interests. The discussion by the conservatives in Germany after the student revolution indicated that clearly; rather than wishing to make education available to all, they wanted to return to the business oriented American style of universities capable of providing business with future managers and leaders. This turn in educational priority towards exclusiveness has taken most heavily its toll in institutes of the 'humanities'. As the workshop points out, it is hardly a sign of encouragement that the European Union plays a similar game of favouritism to business and economic interests when it comes to shape its programmes.

The biggest European lie is exactly this, namely to stress competitiveness, while business wants to be catered for before everyone else. The fiction of being primarily in need is upheld by the value premise, without money, no cultural projects are possible. By claiming to be the sole provider of 'money', this value premise can be elongated to the schools and educational systems. Thus it comes to no surprise, that they continue to preserve outdated linkages, internally speaking, while externally European universities are used among other things to keep up relationships with the former 'colonies'. Education becomes here another means of foreign policy or how to retain control by creating long-term dependencies upon know-how, technical skills, forms of business and other administration set-ups, etc.. This kind of educational policy reveals itself in hierarchical preference systems according to terms of qualification and recognition. The latter goes along with a special kind of socialization as in the case of the London School of Economics (see the paper by Ms. Baumgratz on student mobility in the reference materials of this workshop), in order to prepare the future leadership with important linkages to the business and political community.

Businesses have adopted already this long-term interest of influencing the 'mentalities' of people to prefer their products over those of other companies. It shows that a conscious lie is the most betelling factor linking European educational systems to business interests. The same goes for the strategy of recruitment of les grandes ιcoles in France. A 'privileged' class is being recreated by such means, so as to ensure distribution of power remains but in a few hands. As a philosophical concept, all these artificial notions of being apparently better than others contradicts the very notion of European integration and the substantial need to learn how to work together. Artificial hierarchies repeat even within business forms the classical mistakes of overredundancy of the chief executive who ends up signing things which he no longer understands. However, his high salary has to be paid somehow; the system of privilege is the counter force to the economic one attempting apparently to make the distribution of wealth possible to everyone. But privilege comes about only through an intentional production of scarcity: the artificial prolongation of not real needs, but highly costly ones for the entire system. An education system which caters only to these artificial needs comes precisely to a point of crisis, because the high costs are no longer justifiable in the eyes of the public. The reactions that set in, are predictable. A scapegoat is found in the social sciences, in particular in sociology and studies of literature or ethnology because these fields are identified as the greatest source of discontent with the present system. No wonder that the reactionary advice of Niklos Luhmann in his dispute with Habermas has always been that the extension of the state has to go in that direction where spontaneous protest, but also creative activities threaten the systematically applied controlling mechanism of the state in favour of business. The repressive nature of 'law' in that sense was stated already by Kant who said philosophy deduces only from the sciences findings which can be passed on by philosophy in the form of recommendations to the state as which laws to adopt because they are 'good' for business. If this is done without any political consciousness of what decision making policy this requires, education will succumb to a mere reproductive element of state ideology. Immediately that can be linked to the critical notion Picht described already at the Brugge seminar, insofar such educational systems continue proscribing 'nationalistic styles'. He did not add, however, the fact that this happens in the interest of retaining business in support of the national identity; the reciprocal relationship between state and business Freud described effectively as the system of the negation, at the end of which products 'Made in Germany' can be sold by businesses, but not by the people who made them. Thus, education veils the vast discrepancy between actual knowledge and the rhetorics of salesmanship, and fools are those who give all their knowledge to the state and business in exchange for the 'privilege' of belonging to the exclusive class. In the end, the worst situation is when no one has anymore the civil courage to speak up before it is too late and people no longer have free access to knowledge independent of these mutually reinforcing interests. The newest proposal in Poland to punish journalists with jail terms up to ten years, if they publish material classified as 'secret', is but one indication of what direction things can take if populist ideologies and hence marketing strategies dominate in a coalition with interest groups wishing to have all the money free from the need of any kind of accountability.

In other words, education is misused as a marketing strategy; the encroachment of business into the domain of education shows the conflict whether students are educated with Macintosh or else IBM compatible tools. Dependencies are created at an early stage. People end up buying usually those products they have grown accustomed to during years of education within a certain system. In short, any attempt to improve the educational system will experience many counter-forces hidden underneath the normal surface of day to day functioning of schools and universities. The real threat comes from groups within the 'force fields' defining education as means to lock people into certain systems depending upon these products. These groups can advance in terms of power within educational institutes as more and more a 'policy of knowledge' is replaced by all sorts of off-tangent studies designed to counterbalance the highly pressurized students by high-tech, fast computer 'invisible' infrastructures of Silicon valley like dispositions to take pills to be more clever in handling the sophisticated soft- and hardware. That goes along with efforts to discover again holistic concepts, in order to be able to unify everything, while powers of creativity are deemed to be necessary, if one is to survive in the asphalt jungle. However, they are persued in merely psychological, equally highly irrational terms, while historical debates seem to lead more in the direction of dreams about great statesmen like Hitler or Mussolini, than in learning to study history from a humanistic viewpoint. Privately, that goes hand in hand with revival of mysticism, or interests in mythical scientistic thinking basing human knowledge on the constellations of stars or 'magic', all in the wish to get away from a 'boring', equally threatening world. Much of the conflicts within education belie this contradiction between lack of interest and apocalyptical-like scenarios painted on the wall. By excluding theoretical and philosophically reflective positions, these conflicts are resolved by the wish to silence simply those other voices wanting to find true solutions through knowledge, etc..

As Conlin Wagner pointed out in his introductory paper to workshop 8, even qualification does not count, if someone else competing for the job can show he or she belongs to a suppressed minority, for it is sure that the latter will obtain the job even though really less qualified. Thus Habermas would say, systems suffering under structural discrimination should be careful to induce change by new structural correction principles such as quotas for hiring women, for if already some signs are there, that discrimination is being suspended by these new measures, they must be given up immediately, in order to avoid that new discriminatory structures are created as bad as the old ones. Thus, education must be concerned with how discrimination and injustices are dealt with in a progressive, far into the future reaching manner, while theories and concepts behind decision making processes for hiring teaching staff must again be made explicit, rather than being left to decide by forces acting in the background and yet never having to be held accountable for the decisions they took (here in reference to Martin Jay's excellent analysis as mentioned above of the case with superintendent Honig from the Californian educational system and why he was disposed from his position despite his Arnoldian vision of education, a phenomena which exposes 'the new irrationality of the Right').

These kinds of forces would like to 'irrationalize' true educational possibilities even further, while making educational institutes into money-making machines. Many institutes of learning are beset by the same kinds of problems, namely that behind an one-sided business oriented make-up of the institution, there is a war going on between leaders of certain fractions within the institute trying to dominate and to control the inner most core of those loyal to the institution. Outwardly this conflict is raging merely in aesthetical terms, even though a second look would allow one to see that the conflict is much more about identity conflicts transformed into claims of being more truer American or Greek than the others. The conflict breeds on a kind of extremity in both a nationalistic, equally cynical manner for the claim rests on the belief that all values are being destroyed through politics, while there is no one else that could do a better job than the group claiming such beliefs about the world. In the case of Mr. Honig in California, it is interesting to note that he was opposed precisely by religious groups wishing to link science with irrational notions of creativity, in order that they could link education to their particular interests. That business and religion go together was already pointed out by Max Weber; especially in the United States that has been taken to a cynical extreme. Religion, or rather a well organised or structured belief-system is the means by which business secures the loyalty of those working for the company. That force is more subversive, because it is apparently 'personal', when in fact it is used for merely impersonal business reasons.

Education has always to be safeguarded from special interest groups trying to dominate, for it is through learning and knowledge that societies find and regain their balances in the long run. That cannot be achieved, if 'cultural actions' complementing the educational system fail to counter-balance one-sided socialization processes. It matters a great deal whether or not mixed classes and multi-cultural societies determine the social structure of a school or a single bondage of those who can afford to give their children an exclusive path through the education system. The notion that the latter are something special, leaves everyone within such an one-sided socialization process without cultural sensitivity for the needs of others, nor equipped with such cultural tools as 'opening up doors' for everyone and being able to accept differences in values and adjustments to them. Today even the most prestigious universities are but slightly better than normal institutions working under public condition. As a matter of fact, private ownership of universities does not guarantee that they respond to social and cultural needs, when compared to those who stand constantly under the pressure and the need to have to legitimize their activities publically.

There is still a further problem when it comes to recognizing compatible forms of qualification, since things become distorted in education the moment knowledge and 'ownership' claims are linked by the interest to make business in education. States have always looked upon education as an investment in the future, hence money from the tax payer has been used to finance these institutions. In the meantime, they have become often too large, too costly and almost impossible to administer. Especially in Greece, this has led to the co-existence of many private colleges and universities aside from the public ones to which entry for students is limited. The possibility to 'buy' yourself through education and into some qualification raises not only doubts on how trustworthy are these qualifications, but most of these students having gone through such private institutes end up working finally at the vanity fair: knowledge as demonstration projects with claim to individual ownership.

Vincent Van Gogh criticized his fellow impressionist painters as being arrogant when they claimed to be really the pioneers of something new, due to trying to forget on whose shoulders they were standing when achieving what they did. Heisenberg would always raise his eyebrows, when someone would say 'my knowledge'. No one can proceed in knowledge without acknowledging the many known and unknown contributors to his or her wisdom. Education is very much about this learning to recognise the various sources of knowledge and to acknowledge those who have contributed. That leads directly to the ability of learning from others by not only asking 'good' questions, but by being able to listen and to accommodate the information given by the other(s).

Such publically orientated body of knowledge should be accessible to anyone interested in learning more about this specific subject matter. There would be no room for claims of ownership whether made by individuals or even by nations. This is where the problematic term of the European Union sets in when giving recognition to the 'cultural heritage' of the member states, that is the rights of ownership of a particular dimension of culture connected with language, ancient customs, special styles of music and dance and even more so archaeological findings. The issue connected with the return of the Parthenon marbles from the British Museum to the Acropolis illuminates this issue quite sharply, for all of a sudden different claims of ownership of 'cultural heritage' are made on the basis of not specific ownership, but on the claim, as does the British Museum, to be better in administrating and safegurding a cultural good having to to with the 'common heritage' principle. The knowledge to be gained out of the fact that here the Acropolis in Athens, there the pieces in London, England underlines that ownership, education and culture can only be distinguished and differentiated on the basis of what common knowledge facilitates the balance in Europe and its 'cultural identity'. This includes respect for the cultural interests of another member state, while historical injustices must be corrected in time, if this sense of balance leads to substantiating the 'social cohesion' within Europe.

Yet the new irrational tendency in education and cultural policy is to do away with such conflicts that underline not only values of Western Civilisation, but also what knowledge is not to be gained, if handled merely in terms of the one kind of ownership against another. The disputes around education can again reveal very quickly what violent dimensions hover in the background and what arguments serve intricate business interests under a cover of veiled humanistic and cultural interests which are in political terms nothing but reactionary outlooks. They lead to negating all possibilities of even modest possibilities to be creative in an artistic manner. The language these reactionary forces speak, belies the fact that they do things in the name of not keeping up a high standard of cultural awareness, but because of 'ownership' promising another source of income. Furthermore, these forces wish to remain unchallenged in their self- privileging assumption of what is not culture, but being cultivated according to their exclusive taste. By all the knowledge they have, they fall short of respecting the other. Anyone not going conform to their subjective and often whimsical wishes is immediately labelled in a negative manner; the only truth which they manage to produce is the half-truth about the other: an abnegation of him or her as a human being. In reality their cynicism and scepticism breeds on the ground that they know that they could have sold to a curious, equally uniformed audience anything that they wanted, but by refraining to do so, they conceive of themselves as being better than the masses of people they have learned to despise, in order to abuse culture in the name of more important matters than people. They do not, however, admit that this self-constraint is egoistically motivated, for they are as eager as the by then negatively perceived modern, 'uneducated' masses to obtain some magical insights into how to become successful, i.e. obtain money in the fastest possible manner. That is not education, but intentional fraud: a business with the future of culture by sticking to their strategy to disqualify all others. James Joyce was quick to pick up that point by repeating, for instance, the anti-semitical arguments of a school master concerned with the 'hygienic conditions for cows', glad that Jewish people cannot undermine Irish business because 'they have never been let in'. Such disqualifying strategists steer automatically away from responsible positions and towards a pseudo-political reason justifying why they stick only to their own business interests.

Cynical reasoning is not interested in education, but merely in making a system work. These fake institutional set-ups are machines which link up with international networks increasing the anonymity of decision-making processes. At the same time, labour relationships are below normal standards. The debasement of the human spirit in such relationships stipulates the terms of trade, and forever a teacher has to show gratefulness that he or she can teach at all within such a privileged institution. That is naturally passed onto the student. In the workshop this is reflected merely as the difference between German and French students, the latter looking upon their educational institutions very much like American ones as 'service industries', provided they belong to the elected future elite. Finally, this kind of system of negative exchange, contrary to what education involves, is governed very much by an decree of   a system which will never change. Its unchanging nature reminds one of how the Communistic party used to exist, mentally speaking, in the minds of even the most critically minded party members. Nowadays it is the system which never fails: a pre-emptive coup over reason, reflection and continual learning. Thus it has a power of its own as long as obedient followers uphold such a system, but that hardly qualifies them as 'good teachers'. The latter are those who in acknowledging the humanistic dimension never forget that the best kind of education is the 'learning to ask questions' - the prime conclusion of workshop 7 and very much in need of being emphasized.

Europe is not a kind of networking with some hidden power. Although 'invisible networks' have been critically discussed by Andrι Loeckx in reference to a philosophical assessment by the philosopher Bart Verschaffel, including the fact that these networks can be characterized by the logic of 'take it or leave it', real power has not entered them. Despite of being well-paid, they are at the crucial stage of mediating ongoing research possibilities with prospects of being innovative as an activity. Power will not want to enter such self-reflective networks. Many find themselves anyhow in the critical phase of evaluation connected with the fact that they terminate soon. Indeed, the Fifth Seminar with its emphasis upon 'cultural actions' cannot be understood without linking it to the ideas of networking and the need to evaluate EU programmes, in order to be able to propose new 'actions'. A continuation in terms of networking would mean, however, not to assume to be in control of everything. Rather stress and importance would be given to partnership and horizontal co-operation, that is, to a form of working together within institutions yet to be created. Europe finds itself exactly at a crucial point, for everything seems to be in a flux pending whether these networking activities are to be continued or if they should enter into a different phase, that is linked to power and political decision-making processes. It seems as if educational institutions and subsequently policies directed towards learning are lagging far behind these activities. There is a definite need for a stronger connection.

Priority shifts in European educational programmes: a conformity to new 'irrational' tendencies

What is crucial about this workshop is that it reflects an overall political tendency within Europe by analysing and criticizing the transition from the ERASMUS to the SOCRATES programme. This shift is directly connected with consequences of the Maastricht Treaty which gives in to national interests by means of the subsidiarity principle leading to nowhere. As a matter of fact, it means national tastes can prevail over and beyond autonomous forms of networking by universities with other institutes and thus undermine effectively authentic European integration efforts. In that sense, the question has to be raised whether regional governments such as that of the Flemish community in Belgium was well advised to support the subsidiarity principle, if it really means a fall-back to more nationally acclaimed interests in all cultural areas, including education, and hence override once again cultural interests of communities like that of Flanders?

Education towards 'rational communication' (Picht)

All in all, the fact that many decisions are made within education on the background of 'unnamed' deeper cultural conflicts than what national stereotypical descriptions of reality lead to believe, this means in the final analysis that 'war' remains still the stirring element of European cultures and educational systems (see history lessons). Consequently 'enemy pictures' will be created continuously by whatever means, including distortions of truths, if the person or group of people is said to go against the definitions of power as imposed by power itself.

It is a strange feeling to be in such places when someone is being treated unjustly and everyone else watches, as in the case of a mother trying to rescue her drowning child and no one of the onlookers willing to help, but rather more interested in making a video of this death struggle. That is in itself a reflection of an image fulfilling society controlled by the media with everyone knowing the biggest amount of money to be gained is from authentic stories, even if at the expense of the other. What used to be questioned as the neutrality of the scientist or the journalist reporting about war atrocities, has passed on in the meantime to the passive onlooker. He, however, can justify his inactivity by claims to become exactly active in a direction the system claims to be in favour of: active people with a position of neutrality from which to make their respective observations and comments. Pictures are thus created that speak for themselves: the apparent power of the 'image' over the reflective use of words, including a search for deeper truths than what can be apparent at one glance. Here re-enters the meaning of poetry as a 'logos' of the imagination which Brendan Kennelly stresses as being so important to question oneself.

The real problem of education has become, therefore, the submission of so many educators to the coercive rules of power. They have unlearned to question injustices within their own context of work, that is teaching, research, passing on of information and giving recognition to future generations. Their lives have been reduced to the scale of half-truths and a system of 'labelling' that pretends to have certainty, when everyone can be put into a category such as 'the Northerners, the Southerners, the Fundamentalists, the Yuppies, etc. (Brendan Kennelly). These labels provide only some with such energy as to go on believing they are doing something good, namely to reform society in their own way. In reality they circumvent by such means their ownselves and bury within themselves a simple hatred of their own cowardice. They go on nevertheless to strengthen the very system that defeats them day in, day out, because of the fear of their own social exclusion. (For instance, Manes Sperber confessed that he too hesitated for a long time to leave the Communist party out of fear of social isolation). Although living in a secularized society, they are really governed by a dubious awareness that the real control is not the overt administration, but powers behind the administration. As in the case of many educational institutes determined by a 'mission', they are really of a dubious religious nature. Like members of a secret sect, those who belong to the 'missionaries' tend to confuse questions of education with matters of survival within the system. That leads generally to a behaviour that over demonstrates their loyalty to the system by being over-punitive in their behaviour towards the learners. Little they reflect that they reproduce thereby their own weakness resting upon being despised by both the administration which can use them as blind tools and by the students whom dislike their authoritarian styles of teaching, communicating little or nothing at all of the humanistic dimension mentioned above. In repeating blindly stereotypical thinking patterns as demanded of them by those in power, they give in to the belief that education is a system of certain definitions and absolute truths. That is a subtle way to avoid the nature of real conflicts faced by everyone in real life and lets these educators react blindly, that is without understanding the nature of conflicts. It is in their interest to prolong the illusion that things can be resolved through 'science' of an authoritarian order, while overlooking that the other side of that coin is the cultivation of resentment or even worse prejudices of which they pride themselves to be standing above.

As Brendan Kennelly said these are not longer just prejudices, but rather fictitious convictions. They raise the demand of how they wish to be treated, or, if anyone challenges this kind of benevolent power, they can easily transform that into 'insults', hence subject to be punished. That is the beginning of war; the final outcome of cynical reasoning. In such a system of fake convictions, resting upon the belief oneself is good while others may be good or bad according to the stand they take with regards to those proclaimed values, the self-assumed role of wishing to be in power takes over and negates everything else: feelings, human compassion, search for truth, openness and trust. They are truly without friends once dependent upon the system like drug addicts from heroin. They fear to rock the boat, while making sure that they are always on the right side, that is, on the side of those in power. What helps in such cases of human deprivation are oversimplifying ideologies adjustable to the degree it takes to overcome social isolation.

If cultural actions in the field of education are to have any meaning, they must address these issues while dealing with life-long tensions unique to each culture, but also with doubtful expressions, politically speaking. Certain cases can underline the reason why this is important to consider, if any progress is to be made by various European educational systems towards creating a context facilitating 'rational communication' linkages between all members:

Case 1:

Reactionary viewpoints can be expressed in the most sincere manner, like a young Greek woman saying, that she objects two Muslims or Turkish affiliated representatives and one Jewish person sitting in the Greek parliament. She implies that strangers have different, not Greek interests in mind, and hence they would really undermine the interests of her country. She says something that relates to the kind of life tensions within a particular set of values and language making up altogether the culture of a country. Hence to hear such a statement in 1994, this is equally astonishing and yet not unusual, because identification and political interests still relate to what preserves or not vital life interests. Once disturbed, certain political developments will follow immanently and make themselves be felt primarily in the educational sector, the tool of the state to secure its own identity via future generations and their identification possibilities with the state. That is like saying a certain set of mentalities make-up the various levels of competence and abilities. They decide upon what educational path into the future is finally taken. One vision was in the past the 'learning society'; this differs from the 'doer' society, or the one striving towards self sustainable independence, as if this is the solution in a materialistic world caring little about individual lives and their human destiny.

A cultural action must clearly demonstrate how people from different cultural backgrounds can govern together within 'life tensions' that do not lead to war, that is, unresolvable disputes, but to a form of existence in which mutual co-operation allows for solutions of the pressing needs. Educational policy ought to be affiliated with attempts to bring about such competencies and skills that allow for political solutions within multi-cultural situations. After all, the European Union and the United Nations are such models of interregional and international co-operations. Without preparing future generations with the necessary trust in such multi-functional, multi-cultural decision making processes, there will be permanently a regression back to oversimplified statements of interests (mostly nationalistic ones, or more recently regionalist value patterns trying to predetermine self-sustainability according to exclusive patterns). Hence education must include participation possibilities in United Nations debating clubs and give students opportunities to identify reasons for conflicts, so that while naming them according to new terms of references, they can learn to resolve them. It is clear that in a time of 'lessons of violence' being taught everywhere, that the peaceful way has much more the problem and the burden of convincing others as a worthwhile path of development.

Case 2:

In post-war Germany schools were filled with teachers who had more or less a clearance from the authorities that they had not belonged to the worst stream of Hitler Nazism. That did not prevent these teachers from being highly frustrated and equally violent. Countless times school children would get a taste of the bamboo stick across the knuckles for something trivial, but due to the wish of the teacher to retain authority, it was necessary to make exemplary statures. That is why teaching became a test of non-conviction in what the teacher believed to be doing. Whether or not the films 'Krieg der Knoepfe' (The War of the Buttons) or Kenneth Loach's 'KES' meant anything, they showed the classroom as being a boring space. The children preferred looking out of the window for they had a hunger which was hardly satisfied, namely the hunger for true and authentic stories about life. Such 'materials' children need, in order to make learning really possible. They show how mistakes can be undone, a rather difficult, yet important undertaking in a world that tries to create the illusion of being perfect, that is, without mistakes. These kind of stories which take children out of boredom, and that means also away from television as form of mere distraction, covering up the 'lack of knowledge' what to do with the time given, are authentic because they did not predetermine solutions, but let them have insights into human reality.

'Rational communication' must link ability to govern out of a perspective of mutual interests defined by 'culturally diverse' elements to interests in the lives of human beings already at the individual, biographical level. This is a most crucial contribution of Prof. Robert Picht, when stressing the fact that 'disturbed identities' due to many changes going on can only be off-set by looking and following more closely at the 'mutations' individuals go through in their biographies making life into 'personal maps' by which they find and orientate themselves. It goes without saying, as in the case of all other European policies, this is impossible to be implemented without a vision for the future of Europe. Children growing up must be brought into such positions, that they can already familiarize themselves at an early age with the future tasks of an united Europe.

Education for a 'good' life: the self-sustainable European citizenship through personalities

Education touches upon so many aspects and facets of human life, that its very complexity requires time, in order to comprehend the 'times'. The latter can be defined as present, or the past, but also as history or as a specific constellation of events which signify something of importance. Thus, while children, pupils and later students undertake to grasp all these materials, it seems important not to forget what education is about: forming personalities who develop a compassion for what they are doing. A good doctor or a good biologist involves already more given the emphasis upon 'good', for it is a philosophical approach to life.

Since learning means knowing where one stands and how much further one has to go, in order to be able to claim that one is a good doctor, this aims basically towards retaining a modest scale in the overall self-assumptions. That can be extended to do doing things out of love, hence a person willing to improve and to continue learning in what he or she is doing. Such outstanding personalities can be found in all branches of human life. Even a shoemaker priding himself to repair very well the shoes at an honest price contributes in turn to this 'good' life which is such an essential mark of quality or atmosphere of societies still retaining such a spirit thanks to the fact that these individuals continue to exist. Phil Cooke talks in workshop 2 very much about such qualities existing within regions or districts, when there is an  'industrial excellence' contributing to an overall constant improvement in a 'good life'. In other words, norms are already set within a diverse class room whereby the phenomena of not only good teacher - good results of students has to be looked at, but also what group norms for learning are set by individuals in that group. Good students can elevate the levels of achievements, but bad ones can equally lower standards to such an extent, that they can easily off-set all efforts by a good teacher. Transferred to Europe altogether, it is to be recommended that 'policies of knowledge' should be looked at again more closely in terms whether they contribute to achieving a cohesive whole or else reduce demands in terms of workloads. Since there are many myths abounding within Europe, i.e. the Germans as being highly efficient and hard working people, the norms to be set for educational policy must be re-evaluated in terms of their specific cultural contexts and to what extent they contribute towards creating an atmosphere of excellence compatible with notions and concepts of a 'good life'. In turn, elite-oriented educational systems are very much like transportation and urban policies giving access only to the privileged at the risk of throwing back Europe into eras of barbarism, whereas raising the overall level of education of everybody would be in its core a very democratic policy. That would mean a change in allocation of resources and evaluation procedures. It would have to include contextual analysis of educational systems and an analysis in terms of their specific cultural dispositions, so as to evaluate education not only according to contribution to the economic output, but also to what degree it contributes or not to a decrease in racial tensions, prejudices, etc.. It would furthermore have to include contributions towards the 'rational communication linkages' in a manner that facilitates comparative terms between the educational approach towards working with 'concepts' to be implemented in future and cultural adaptation processes as still to be specified mediations between European, national, regional and local needs. Education at all levels is not possible with the same value orientation; how all levels are linked and made compatible has to be translated into more specific programme terms before 'cultural actions' in this direction can be called for by the European Union.

Consequently, it seems that the influence of education upon such personality developments has to be evaluated in terms of which education systems have been producing or rather allowing so far to develop within the scope of teaching and learning, exchange and cultural adaptation. For there seems to be a delicate balance between modesty, indeed gratefulness for what one obtains through the education system and the demand that one receives the services for the price one pays. In the latter case, human behaviour can quickly deteriorate to the paying guest snapping his fingers, in order to get the attention of the waiter. Indeed, it seems that the way educational systems are looked upon, determines to a great extent not only the kind of behaviour or 'attitudes' they produce, but also what kind of demands to hear the truth or to gain what kind of knowledge are placed upon them. Structural dispositions can contradict the humanistic intention, while one discovers that many students are so non-constructive, if education does not give them a chance to become responsible in their own, personal way. If looked upon merely as a service, appreciation of goodness in and through education seems to be lost.

In other words, the appreciativeness of greatness, or that what can inspire a child to learn, means there are 'measures' which to live up gives orientation and the knowledge that life is not completely arbitrary, a random chance or the result of good connections. To achieve something oneself through the knowledge attained after many steps is after all the outcome of honesty, itself the best guarantee that this something will be good.

Why then such an appeal to approach cautiously this delicate balance between doing and 'getting' something in return? Can this kind of open exchange between questions and answers, input and output as a model be applied to educational systems often confounded with diachronic time structures? If beset by more difficulties than what the combination of parents and teachers can offer as a community of learning to the children growing up at the end of this century, then a much greater European orientation than ever before is needed!

The reason for mentioning this relates to the evaluation criteria of 'self-confidence' used by Ms. Baumgratz-Gangl when it comes to assessing educational systems in respective countries such as France and Germany and the quality of exchange programmes initiated by the European Union, i.e. ERASMUS, LINGUA, TEMPUS etc.. Self-confidence as a criteria is slightly different from what other possibilities exist for educational systems, in order to bring about great personalities and 'fair' attitudes resting on modesty and appreciation of life. Ms. Baumgratz-Gangl attributes this to the special system in France connected with the les grandes ιcoles serving a particular system of administration, government and business with the future leaders. This 'elite' differs from the understanding this concept invokes in Germany, for it does not mean 'moral' leadership, but a practical open-mindedness to what has to be done in a society based on hierarchical working relationships and hence the need for leadership. This 'self confidence' stems from the fact that students are selected under competitive conditions and have already job security by the time they graduate. As an attribute, self-confidence makes people look forward, willing to tackle problems and do not flee situations even if difficulties arise. All that has further going consequences for exchange programmes initiated by the EU.

Both Ms. Baumgratz-Gangl and Mr. Heinz Wewer point out specific, alternative conditions for exchange programmes. In the case of les grandes ιcoles they refused finally to collaborate with their equivalent despite of both being compatible in terms of content and direction of education, namely the Fachhochschulen in Germany, because of the lack of status by the latter. They are considered inferior to German universities. That underlines the need for compatible conditions, in order to realign one education system with another, and then continue modifying locally given conditions, by becoming sensitive to different needs and expectations. Thus German students have not this outlook that universities are basically there to serve them, hence their demand upon the presence of professors is limited to the scope and time given to them. Instead of self confidence, they have to cope much more with uncertainties along all stages of their studies. This means also not really a restricted time during which studies must be completed, thus the eagerness of French students to enter the labour market at the latest when 23 years old can hardly be matched. Elongation of studies with difficulties adjusting once university has been left behind marks in many cases the plights of German students when starting to work. On the other hand, the early departure from their parents' home, in order to live alone and to work very soon for a personal income, leaves many without social support systems and at the risk of being stranded at the permanent level of improvisation. For instance, students who started to drive Taxis with the original intention of that being the practical way of obtaining money for studies (universities in Germany are free, but living expenses, books, etc. are quite high) often end up making Taxi driving their permanent job while neglecting their studies. Crisis in learning motivation is, of course, directly linked to a lack of a proper job security after studies have been completed. That in itself explains why many students are reluctant to go abroad, especially if this means loosing permanently the job that they do have, in order to earn a living. This was pointed out in the papers given in this workshop, including the fact that the Hochschule der Kuenste in Berlin does provide financial assistance in addition to the grants given by the ERASMUS programme, in order to face at least the financial difficulties when studying abroad.


One main reason for the success of the ERASMUS programme Mr. Heinz Wewer pointed out, was namely that the programme has been administered by a highly efficient unit created specifically for that purpose in Brussels, but outside of the Commission itself. The workshop expresses a great concern that this programme is now jeopardised by a programme that includes the improvement of including primary and secondary school children in the European exchange programme, but which does not guarantee the continuation of success the ERASMUS programme enjoys at university level.

There is even greater concern about the loss of the 'humanistic dimension' in European educational programmes, because really a contradiction to the 'cultural heritage' of Europe. Ownership of 'cultural heritage' is being confused at the same time with sources of knowledge through which 'cultural identity' can be attained. 'Cultural actions' bringing educational fields into closer contact with the basic assumptions of Europe as being culturally united, have, therefore, to resolve conflicts inherent in cultural claims linked to the heritage issues.

More has to be done in the direction of 'rational communication' linkages based on cultural understanding for the diversity of Europe and therefore upon tolerance for the other. This means promoting effective programmes that diminish intolerance to foreigners and help resolve racial and ethnical tensions. Especially with regards to conflict areas like Yugoslavia, Europe must find a more constructive role in how the European Commission can become more active in foreign policy matters (a new component in the Maastricht Treaty). In turn, this presupposes that already at an early age children and later on students, must be educated in matters of interest for foreign countries and in international peace-keeping efforts of the United Nations. With its many languages and cultural ties, i.e. Spain and Portugal to Latin America, France to Africa and especially Algiers, etc., Europe can contribute a great deal at international level, if it learns out of its own experiences on how to mediate between conflicting interests. Prof. Louis Baeck spoke about this priority in the final plenary session when preferring cultural actions to soldiers going into the Third World, for peace begins with respecting the cultural differences and other socio-political dimensions entailed in formulating laws, educational paths, etc..

The unifying element of the Fifth Seminar was in this respect the proposal made by Ms. Peonides of creating a European text book for all children, insofar the book contains 'mythologies of Europe' told by poets, writers and others from all parts of Europe. It would mean looking more closely into identity building processes especially where the 'imagination' of children begins to take on form. How to prevent that these forms are those of prejudice, that is a major concern of Yannis Baslis.

The more critical aspects remain to be named, such as the hidden 'cultural conflicts' or 'wars of cultures' being raged especially in the fields of education. To name them means also to overcome the general aesthetical orientation of 'kitsch' and media gimmicks which are beginning to affect negatively to a great extent educational processes, but even more so political directions, i.e. entrance of Neo-Fascists into the Italian government or the rise of right wing ideologies across Europe.

There is something deeply 'disturbing' the educational process in Europe. 'Cultural actions' bringing about evaluations of existing educational programmes could lead to newer and better educational policies for the future. That begins with creating consistent evaluation methods and does not end with leaving the motivational crisis in learning and education undealt with. There is furthermore the 'war of cultures' to be dealt with, or with disturbances able to develop beyond all proportions due to conflicts remaining unnamed and hence unchallenged. Education deriving its goals, contents and value orientation from an unnamed culture is really no education, but rather a hidden disqualification strategy to bring about 'intelligent consumers', nothing else. The motor of that negativity is a permanent dissatisfaction of the 'self' from which business promises to gain, if that force is transformed into consumptive acts. Since EU programmes are often directed towards exactly that, evaluation criterion or what receives funding miss exactly the substance especially when it comes to education and learning how to live together in Europe, including small and larger cultures without feelings of superiority or inferiority in-between them.

In an effort to locate possible sources of friction or disturbances, it is noted that present programmes mean only exchange of students at university level, whereby the workshop seems to agree, that in future the exchange of primary and secondary school children should also be promoted, something which the present design of the new programme called SOCRATES recognises as a need. Yet this should not mean sacrificing the ERASMUS programme.

What then are the true frictional elements? It appears not all institutional, social and financial conditions are met in a compatible way, so as to facilitate European integration through direct enhancement of exchange programmes. Three shortcomings were mentioned by the workshop:

a. institutions remain incompatible when it comes to international co-operation;

b. societies seem not willing to re-integrate students which have been abroad, except those with safe connections, leading to either belonging to the European elite or else being burdened aside from cultural shocks by a discrepancy between knowing things ('broader horizon') and curtailments to be experienced at every step of daily life once back home again;

c. aside from financial burdens, it is really not sufficient to have just exchanges going on, since understanding another culture and willingness to work together with people of that other culture requires more than what can be achieved within a period of three months or even three years. The real root of the matter is the negligence of promoting education for purposes of European integration; indeed elitist schools like the College of Europe follow a similar selection pattern as appointments by various governments of the Commissioners of Europe, so that in the end the divorce from people's needs and a language not understandable by everyone becomes an institutional fact of Europe: there Brussels, here the specific educational situation with its own given options and alternatives. The burden of promoting a Europe oriented educational policy throughout all member countries has been avoided by everyone.

At this point, it might be useful to sum up some specific points for such an educational policy that promotes integration while enhancing a respect between member countries for the respective cultural and educational policies of the others. After all, there is a greater wisdom when all are taken together by not melting them into one policy tool, but by developing further insights in how to promote the cultural values as expressed in the various European countries. A rich diversity must be lived and hence be brought across in the schoolroom to children facing in their future lives a united Europe - if that is so desired. As a matter of fact, if all evaluations and criticism of present state of affairs are correct in their assumptions, then educational policy is neither clearly structured nor self-critically aware of important educational issues to be addressed by all member states. Again, the term 'social cohesion' for justifying activities by the Commission over claims on account of the subsidiarity principle must be used to promote 'cultural actions' for education. As in workshop 2 when it comes to drafting an overall urban policy, the same must be done to develop some common elements of educational interests. The political form by which these common elements are dissiminated through the various ministries of education and other institutions involved with education is still another matter. However, the main issue is to find some clarity in the approach to cultural, educational and socio-economic matters. It is not only a structural difference to give financial priority to,

a) vocational training,

b) life-long learning principles,

c) learning of foreign languages and,

d) promoting exchange programmes so that educational and cultural activities come together -

but also a matter of 'qualitative adjustments' if education is going to adapt to a changing cultural context. For example, it is very different for the Kaleidoscope programme to promote that artists work together or if exhibitions of one member's culture is shown in another and quite something else, if 'cultural actions' are to intensify learning and teaching experiences in different countries and their respective cultures over time. The workshop states that by working together in a common project new energies are realised that facilitate greatly exchange programmes and networking at university levels. However, cultural differences must include various qualities of interactions and of levels of exchange, while not forgetting that the prime goal of education is to respect individual differences.

To the workshop and furthermore to the participants of the Fifth Seminar, it appears that the overall strategy followed so far by the European Union lacks a number of crucial insights into what it takes to integrate truly Europe in an interesting and enriching manner for all. The 'good life' cannot be defined solely in economic, technical terms without taking culture into consideration. Educational systems must lead rather to the open willingness to learn from one another even after having left schools and universities, while participation in the shaping and discussing of new ideas must be a life-long learning possibility for everyone. It is recommended that special European institutes of continual learning are created to allow for becoming acquainted with how ideas for European integration can be reshaped according to ongoing changes and real needs.

Special integration priorities must be given to merging Greek and European studies, in order to come close to the possibility of realigning European educational systems with the 'common heritage' of Europe in terms of both past and present. After the many years of integration efforts, information and experiences thereof must be dissimated more systematically through all school systems, in order to ensure that a strong vision of a united Europe governs the behaviour of all actors at various levels.

Given Europe's future involvement in foreign policy matters, needs in terms of integration matters have to be redefined accordingly. So far much was governed only by what the European Commission deemed necessary in terms of administrating the various programmes. That has to change in a conscious manner towards not bypassing European citizens, but rather to ensure that discussions do not remain in their specific 'localities' or glued only to the media spectacle unfolding in front of their eyes, but with no chance of participation. Germany's breaking-out of the European consensus seeking effort in foreign policy matters when it came to recognise or not Croatia is a case in point, for the German population had been kept away from discussions about foreign policy matters by not only a elitist educational system making believe that some are the sole 'moral leaders' of the nation, but the long division of Germany had made foreign policy become primarily 'internal' policy, i.e. as long as Germany is not reunited, it cannot play a responsible role at international level. These arguments left the population unprepared to reflect and to respond to the need for shaping foreign policies. Thus, European foreign studies must not repeat the same mistake as did the United States with their 'European Studies' programme, namely to keep it so much underfunded, that they were not only ill prepared for the dramatic changes especially since 1989 with the fall of the Berlin wall, but also that it cannot keep up with changes in Europe. As a first hand consequence this is reflected in the awkward foreign policy the American administration has now towards Europe. And Clinton continues to refer to nations, rather than to an entity like the European Union. By the same token, clarification should be obtained about the role educational institutes play on behalf of political parties in Europe, i.e. Konrad Adenauer foundation. If minority rights in Romania are favoured by such German institutes, because linked to the German speaking minority in Romania, cultural and educational policies become foreign policy matters for the European Union in terms of both discrimination and fuelling unnecessary racial and ethnical tensions. It should be, therefore, a constraint upon all cultural, political educational and foreign policy oriented institutions of members of the European Union, that they must include the European dimension in their programmes. A further evaluation of that European dimension will have to be made due to the skills of adapting merely European terminology's for exclusive purposes (see discussion on this matter in workshop 1 of the Fifth Seminar).

Education for 'cultural diversity' must stress equal rights and accessibility to the different cultures of Europe. For instance, if learning foreign languages means only a functional, that is, superficial manner, then no grammar in depth is learned and hence really no true understanding promoted. As long as only working languages are needed by the Commission, little will change in that direction, hence the introduction of specific 'cultural actions' are needed.

Attention must be given more to the 'Humanities'. The same goes for many other aspects of a particular culture, i.e. its poetic expressions. That is why is was so important that the workshop came first of all to the strong recommendation, that the European Poetry and also world literature (see workshop 8) should be included in all educational programmes. This point of including poetry in the school's and university mandatory curriculum will have to be taken up later on. Right now it suffices to say that the 'logos of the imagination', the mediation of word and images, the sounds of a mother and the organization of imaginary materials in a poetic sense means really to make language understandable. It was the practical intention of the Fifth Seminar to link poets through a 'cultural action' like the XVIth European Poetry Festival around the specific theme 'myth and poetry' with those participating in the seminar. Not only did the poets enter  with all the others various workshops, in order to stress the poetic language as the one able to understand subtle differences between the various cultures. Rather by all the immediacy of translation making possible a comparison between the various cultures, it was by itself important to gain in a poetic manner access to the 'untranslateability' of each culture. Poetry and culture brought together in educational terms is itself a mark of uniqueness, distinctiveness and, of course, 'aura': the spell it casts upon the people living in that culture. Latin Americans sing much about the 'aura', or the images we give to if not money, then the Gods. Aura is a veil or a mystery, but equally something enchanting and an indication of not knowing fully the distance to the object of one's desires. It is not vagueness, but the proximity to creative minds which can differ a flat surface from one being interesting, alive, filled with many happy and striving people for the 'good' life.

Enrichment of the soul through poetry is what the richness of cultural diversity is about. It is a continual learning process. That has to be taken into account when it comes to designing future educational programmes of the European Union.






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