A response to fading support for democratic values in countries around the world. The initiative is a response to the deterioration in democracy in many countries as manifested in assaults on the free press, the impoverishment of public services, growing inequalities and elitism, restriction on human rights and professional freedoms, as well as the rise of populism and the resurgence of racism and xenophobia. The lessons serve as a reminder to all educators of the crucial role they play in enabling students to experience, promote, protect and achieve the values which constitute the basis of democracy and to help them to become active citizens able to make wise choices and influence the direction of their societies.
National public school systems are the best safeguard of democracy, however, the ability of schools and universities to fulfill that role will depend on a strong and self-confident teaching profession. We know that educators around the world, whether they work in democratic, non-democratic, or authoritarian environments are ready to play their part, said EI General Secretary David Edwards. Edward urged member organizations to continue to place a priority on democratic values and to take a stand when and where democracy is under attack, to initiate debates, take action and consider contributions schools, universities, and education unions can make to achieve a sustainable democratic future for all.
As of December 2018, EI will publish a book on education and democracy, written by its President Susan Hopgood and General Secretary Emeritus, Fred van Leeuwen, exploring key democracy issues in education and joining together views, information, and experiences that inspire the "25 Lessons". However, the poster has already begun the discussion of the 25 lessons in some organizations.