Thursday, 4 June 2015

ENGAGE - Building together European learning material on Education for Citizenship.

DARE network is happy to introduce you all to its latest project as a dissemination partner.

ENGAGE - Building together European learning material on Education for Citizenship.

The project ENGAGE ambitions to create a European interactive, innovative, pedagogical and multilingual module on education for citizenship for pupils aged 8-12 and their teachers. Our partnership brings together eight organizations, three of them DARE members, in seven EU member States:

– Austria: Zentrum Polis, DARE member.
– Belgium: DARE Network, in charge of the dissemination of the project at the European level.
– Germany: AdB, DARE member.
– France: CIDEM, ENGAGE Coordinator.
– France: Union Régionale de la Ligue de l'Enseignement de Bourgogne.
– Poland: Center for Citizenship Education.
– Spain: Fundacion CIVES, DARE member.
– United Kingdom: Volunteer Matters, formerly CSV.

All project partners were selected because of their direct expertise in the issue of education of citizenship and youth work and of their experience in European project management.

Our project is taking place both at the EU and the national levels. In each participating country, the partner association have set up a national consortium, or "working group", which brings together several representatives of the education sector as: primary and/ lowersecondary school; one or two teachers; one academic researcher expert on the issue of education for citizenship; one representative of a State or public-body in charge of education policies.
The main task of this working group has been to conduct a national theoretical and empirical need analysis in the beginning of the project in order to assess the national needs and expectations regarding education for citizenship curricula, both in terms of content and methodological approaches.

The results of the analysis are currently being put in common between all partners to identify the common needs of the participating countries. From this point we are starting to produce content useful for all of them, adjustable according to specific national needs.
The intellectual deliverables composing the module will all be translated in each of the six languages of the partners.

The rationae of the project is the following: the issue of education for citizenship is dealt with in distinct ways within the EU, notably because of the cultural and historical specifics of each Member State. However, this diversity of approach does not necessarily impede common reflection.

Everywhere in the EU, education for citizenship, understood in both aspects of living together in harmony and democratic participation, is undergoing similar evolutions. On the one hand, the growing decline in interest of young people for national and European politics is a trend shared by all. On the other hand, education for citizenship must be adjusted everywhere, in link with several factors such as European integration, migratory flows or even ageing population. When considering education for citizenship specifically as education for living together in harmony, we must underline that it is not an issue shared by Member States only: it is intrinsic to the European project itself. The political and human horizon of the EU is to have 28 distinct peoples living together in harmony and to nurture the feeling of belonging to the same common destiny. Setting up a European and cross-sectoral platform for cooperation and the exchange of good practices is a
highly relevant means to face these common challenges. The resulting learning material would not be purely national, but enriched by other European perspectives.

The results of our project will then be disseminated throughout the EU thanks to DARE Network, with 46 members in 28 States, and the European Civic Forum, with 100 members. We will reach directly 105 teachers and 2,100 pupils, and indirectly 7,750 organizations.

In a nutshell, this project aims at giving educational staff (both formal and informal) a useful and appropriate tool to tackle the issue of a European education for citizenship with young pupils.Thanks to relevant learning supports, the module will be able to foster living together in harmony and the spirit of citizenship at the local, regional, national and European levels.

So far, no such tool has been created, and this is why we would contribute to improving the educational offer at all levels.