CULTURAL HERITAGE is widely recognised across Europe as a vehicle of cultural identity. The protection of our common heritage and the promotion of cultural diversity are also very important instruments for bringing different communities closer and enhancing dialogue between different cultures.
How many people know about cultural heritage depends both on what is done to promote it and also on the capacity of Europeans to become familiar with and appreciate their own culture and those of the other communities.
This is why one of the main objectives of the EDUCLAB project is to increase the awareness of children aged 3-5 with regard to the importance of cultural heritage as a common good, independent from any ethnic or religious considerations. The pupils of today are the grown-up population of Europe tomorrow, and we want this population to value cultural diversity as an opportunity for dialogue, to perceive cultural heritage as a common patrimony which requires protection, and as a vehicle to reconcile and prevent conflict rather than cause it.
It is often said that young children learn the quickest. As they grow they bring with them the skills, knowledge and ideas that they absorbed at an early age. They transmit these to others they meet and, later, to their own children. Investing in early education is therefore one of the most powerful tools to make a positive change for the future and the Council of Europe has long been committed to the idea that education is a fundamental mean to help ensure positive social, cultural and economic development.
That’s why ECEC needs to adopt a pedagogical approach which intentionally promotes socio-cultural diversity in society in improving a HIGH QUALITY IN PRESCHOOL SERVICES as it is recommended in the “Proposal for key principles of a Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care” Report of the Working Group on ECEC under the auspices of the EU Commission (October, 2014).
In times when DIGITAL MEDIA are ubiquitous and more children use an increasing variety of digital media at an earlier age than before, such media are still new phenomena in preschool practice. Preschool teachers don’t have the confidence to support children’s learning in this field as they themselves have difficulties in relating to the technology and its content to everyday situation. Preschool teachers need a reasonably high level of digital competence, meaning the ability to use digital media in a wise and solid way (Hardersen and Sando, 2012). One of the challenges for the EDUCLAB consortium is therefore to train preschool teachers in implementing the four phases of a workshop: preparation phase, the critique phase, the visionary phase, and the implementation phase in using digital tools.