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EPALE

Plateforme électronique pour l'éducation et la formation des adultes en Europe

 
 

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EPALE Community: Share your good practice examples and successful projects on citizenship education

20/05/2019
par EPALE Moderator

/en/file/citizenship-education-best-practiceCitizenship Education Best Practice

Citizenship Education Best Practice

 

As part of our thematic focus on citizenship education, we want to hear from you – the EPALE community – about any good practice examples and successful projects related to citizenship education for adults.

Have you come across or created an innovative methodology for teaching adults civic skills? Perhaps you have been involved in or heard of a successful project that aimed to improve adults’ civic engagement or awareness of their democratic rights? Share your stories, tips, case studies and good practice examples in the comments below between 20-24 May and help to inspire adult learning professionals across Europe.

Don't forget to include links to the resources, projects and project outcomes mentioned, and explain briefly why you consider this resource/project to be a good practice example.

All the stories shared here will be included in our monthly newsletter!

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Portrait de Andrea Fenz
Museum visits and guided city tours enable adult learners to take active part in their local enviroment and enhance citizenship education. MUSEUM EDUCATION – How Museums are changing their approach for an adult audience is an Erasmus+ KA1 project between Austria and the UK. The project looked at museum education for German and integration courses, English trainings as well as for people interested in Europe and European Union. Here is the project website which includes now the updated Adult Literacy Trainer's Toolkit for Joyful Learning: http://www.skills-int.com/projects/museum-education/
Portrait de Andrea Fenz
In our Museum Education Erasmus+ KA1 project we were looking also at citizenship education for adults. The British Museum has good online learning resources that can be searched by culture, by subject and by age group. Classroom resources comprise for example the subject IDENTITY with a downloadable word document and powerpoint presentation:

Kind regards, Andrea

Portrait de Ilze Onzule

Parents is one of the target audiences interested in acquiring civic education. The highest demand comes from the first-time parents as they are eager to understand their new role, to solve a problem or implement a good idea in their municipality. For example, the parents assembled and decided to write a letter requesting that a “sleeping policeman” should be installed on the streets near the municipality schools to provide for the pupils’ safety.

Portrait de Ilze Onzule
 Balvi boasts regular resident forums In Balvi, the association "Ritindeitis" managed by Maruta Castrova regularly organizes population forums to identify the topical needs and present the ways in which the municipality could improve the living standard of its residents. 
Portrait de Ingrida Muraskovska
When thinking about education providers, we tend to forget about NGOs. However, namely they are the pioneers of civic education. The build-up of civic competences is one of the strategic directions of Kurzeme Regional NGO Centre. The Centre has established several objectives: To FACILITATE the shift of society development in the direction of civic education. To CREATE favourable conditions/provide environment for civil society to run its activities and develop. To ENCOURAGE and DEVELOP the already active civil society individuals in achieving their aims (consult, mentor, educate, network, coordinate etc.) in the forms which are most efficient and user-friendly for them for demonstrating their civic activity. To PROMOTE the creation of favourable environment/conditions for the existence of civil society on the level of local community, municipality and the state. To IMPROVE the professionalism and raise competences of associations and foundations. To RAISE the professional competences and mutual collaboration potential of NGOs as well as the skills for cooperating with the government institutions. To STUDY and SUMMARIZE the information about the civil society sector and the factors influencing their activities. To introduce the sector representatives with it. To REPRESENT and DEFEND the interests of the sector. The objectives are implemented through various projects and activities. Unfortunately, the activities of the Centre are insufficiently covered by mass media and those interested in the events should search by themselves. For more detailed information about Kurzeme Regional NGO Centre, please follow the link: https://www.kurzemesnvo.lv/(link is external)  
Portrait de Tino BOUBARIS
In February  2019,  the Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated in a conference with the German Federal State Centres for Civic Education: 
"Political education must set off, must go to the people, specifically also to those who have not been reached by such offers so far or who do not want to be reached: because they feel "distant from politics", alienated or dependent, because they are socially disadvantaged or because they simply do not know political participation from their countries of origin or a contact person who sees himself as non-partisan. These groups are therefore not the same despisers of democracy, but they lack democracy. Democracy needs everyone!"
I take this as a guidance to continue working in civic education despite all difficulties and challenges!

Portrait de Martin Dobeš
In Central and Eastern Europe every year, more and more people tend to shift their opinion against European Union. General trust in politicians, be it European or local ones, government institutions and state offices is on all-time minimum levels. People, especially the elderly and on the edge of our societies, receive regular emails about various conspiracies, and many of them will believe. 

The huge influx of disinformation and information of our era has caused a general suffocation among many people. Civic and media education, which can be one of the few instruments to measure this, do not reach the target audience - as the target audience - frankly said - is not interested. And even if it reaches the group, many of those would not trust it - they trust the "alternative" sources more. Because “they” care about them - or at least they have the feeling. Because they are more comprehensive than the truth. Because finally, someone is offering a relief for their frustration. The whole process is much more irrational than rational. 

 I am from the Czech Republic, a member of EPALE team, and I meet these people quite often. My mother is one of them. There is no easy and quick way out. People are very sensitive as to how and in what form an information is given to them. They don´t like to be forced to think in a way… they prefer to be silently manipulated.

 I believe most of you know someone like that. The question is: what can we do to ease the frustration (which is the ultimate cause for the state of mind) and how to make the ratio work again? There are plenty of small initiatives and some of them have been described here by you. 

As for the Central and Eastern Europe, I would point out one way which I think works well. Countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, or Hungary have a very dense network of libraries. They can be used also for activities related to civic education for all citizens, especially in smaller towns and even villages. People living in rural areas have limited chance to meet and get information so a library can be a good place. 

Civic education alone? No, these people would not grab it. They have other priorities in their lives, or interests. Well, if it is a cultural event, or a course how to buy air tickets, or how to produce digital photos, or a community gathering, it might make a difference. Civic education can be connected – and to my opinion, must be – to other fields which are more interesting for the audience that needs it the most. Culture, IT, community living, even cooking etc. Civic education is actually bringing people to critical thinking and to assessing information sources – and this can be exercised in many ways and on many subjects.

Civic education needs simply a good PR. 

And this one example from rural Poland can give you an idea of what I mean. It tells the whole story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yEhfqajq8I&feature=youtu.be 
Portrait de Erika Kiss
The Erasmus+ project “Nauru Game for Active Citizenship of Youth”, which aims to stimulate citizenship mindset and develop citizenship competencies of young people by the development of an innovative educational tool called “Nauru Game”, ended in 31st January 2019. The project is in direct correlation with the EU policy in the youth learning field, taking that the proposed method is expected to contribute towards increased empowerment, open to cross-sectorial cooperation, active citizenship and improve their relevant and high-level basic and transversal competences in a life learning perspective.

You can read more about it at:
Portrait de Anita Apine
From November, 2018 to April, 2019 people of all ages and occupations could once a month attend a free-of-charge lifelong learning course “Balanced Life: Environment, Man, Society” organized by Valmiera City Municipality and Valmiera Public Library. Over the course of five sessions, the participants could learn more about the global topicalities about environment and society development, understand the links among various processes involved there and how they affect their lives. The aim of the course was to encourage lifestyle changes in order to introduce a more balanced routine and follow one’s own needs as well as those of the community, nature and environment. The speakers in the course were professionals of their own fields who provided an insight in the topicality of the issues in the course and engaged participants in empirical tasks. The course urged the participants to revise their individual lifestyle in the terms of each particular topic. The empirical tasks provided user-friendly solutions for changing daily habits. The course covered a wide range of topics: “Environment and Health”; “What kind of spirituality do we need?”; “Nature and Technologies”. The main conclusions were as follows: the course came at the right time and place because there were around 30 participants in each of the sessions and more than a third of them were present in all sessions. The audience actively participated in the sessions, there was genuine interest in the topics. At the conclusion of the course, we received suggestions of topics for the next season. There was a unanimous decision that the course must be continued. We appreciate the horizontal cooperation opportunity in designing the course – among the participants of the course there were also representatives of Valmiera City Council. Link to my emuar: /lv/blog/muzizglitibas-kurss-lidzsvarota-dzivevide-cilveks-sabiedriba
Portrait de Tino BOUBARIS
Dear Anita 

Thanks for sharing this interesting approach. Did this lead as well to increased voluntary commitment among participants in the respective thematic areas?