Welcome to the first newsletter of the ACT Project – an Erasmus+ funded project looking at the impact of active citizenship projects on pupils’ social and civic competences.
At the beginning of this year, 12 organisations from four EU countries (France, Greece, England and Spain) were successful in bidding for this Erasmus project with the objective of promoting fundamental values of citizenship through education. The partners involved in the project are CIEP; four ministries of education; British Council; Ecole d’économie de Paris; London School of Economic and Political Science; Fundacion Europea, Sociedad y Educacion; Université de Cergy-Pontoise; University of Athens; and Institute of Educational Policy.
Over the summer, as well as setting up the experimental protocol and preparing for the qualitative evaluation, partners have been working on developing the 2-day teacher training package, which is central to our active citizenship intervention.
On 18 and 19 September, England was the first country to put this training to the test. Four pilot teachers came together at the British Council offices in London to take part in the training session, facilitated by the Citizenship Foundation. This was followed by training in Spain on 9 and 10 of October, in France on 12 and 13 October, and in Greece, where the teacher training took place on 18 and 19 of October.
- The House of Lords Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement is taking evidence from witnesses who have previously worked for, or currently work for organisations which seek to encourage cohesion and civic engagement in the UK. The committee is due to produce its recommendations early next year.
- Civic and Moral Education was started in 2015 for all pupils from the beginning of primary to the end of upper secondary school. This education curriculum, included in the timetable, is based on the principles and values enshrined in the major Human Rights Declarations, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the French Constitution of the Fifth Republic. Pupils are invited to explore four interrelated dimensions (sensitive, normative, cognitive and practical) through active and participative practice to become progressively aware of their responsibilities in their personal and social lives.
- The Ministry of Education Culture and Sport of Spain (MECD) through the Centro Nacional de Innovación e Investigación Educativa (CNIIE) has elaborated the Plan for Co-existence at School, as well as, the School Health Plan which will be implemented up to 2020. These Plans are designed to contribute to the acquisition of the social and civic competence, to promote respect, active citizenship to fight discrimination and to achieve healthy living habits. We work with the Regional Governments through a working group and through the online platform CCONECTAA, to vertebrate these plans nationwide.
- For the school year 2017-2018, alongside with Reception School Annexes for Refugee Education (R.S.A.R.E), main priority of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs is to integrate school-age children into morning classes of the mainstream Greek public schools close to their residence (if residing in apartments, hostels, etc) or -where possible- close to the Refugee Accommodation Centers, in schools within Educational Priority Zones, thus attending special Reception Classes parallel to their main programme.
- The Government intends to proceed with an e-consultation about the forthcoming Reform of Upper-secondary Education. Issues of Active Citizenship will be addressed by enhancing democratic values and processes through the transformation of the role of the Student Councils along with the introduction of creative activities at school level.
Differential Effects of School Experiences on Active Citizenship among German and Turkish-Origin Students (Jugert, Eckstein and Noack, 2016)
- This research looked at the association between different experiences at school and four indicators of youth active citizenship controlling for various socio-demographic characteristics. It found that the effects of school experiences on active citizenship differ among native German and Turkish-origin students. The researchers inferred from their findings that if schools wish to strengthen active citizenship in all of their students, they may need to tailor their efforts to the different needs of ethnic majority and minority youth.
- This research compared the effect of two modes of active learning strategies on school age children’s civic competences in Nigeria. It found that the puzzle-based games strategy enhanced civic competence more than the case study strategy.
National study on citizenship Education in France
- The National Council for School System Evaluation (Cnesco) is responsible for conducting an independent, scientific evaluation of the French school system. It has joined forces with Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Nice-Sophia Antipolis University to carry out a major national study on citizenship education in France. Ther quantitative component consists of a set of questionnaires that will be administered at the beginning of 2018 to a nationally representative sample of public and private middle and high schools, reaching approximately 30 000 students, their citizenship education teachers and their school principals. There will also be qualitative investigation carried out in a subset of these schools in order to inform the construction of the quantitative instruments and clarify their results. Additional information regarding Cnesco’s work on citizenship.
Scientific Committee in Support of Refugee Children, Refugee Education Project Α. Assessment Report on the Integration Project of Refugee Children in Education (March, 2016-April, 2017) and Β. Proposals for the Education of Refugee Children during the 2017-2018 School Year Athens, April 2017
- This highly demanding project was designed under time pressure conditions and is being implemented on a refugee population which is heterogenous as well as unstable in terms of refugee population numbers. The assessment report handles administrative and institutional issues and engages cooperation with Other Bodies (Ministries, Municipalities, Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, International Organizations, NGOs). The second part proposes scenarios in formal and non-formal education for the integration of refugee children into education contributing to their wider social integration.
If you are interested in the ACT Project you may also be interested in the following projects:
- Start the Change: Partners in England, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy will be working with teachers and school students to understand young people’s views on extremism and their ideas for developing and promoting a more cohesive society.
- CoCoRa project: A two year project involving partner organisations from England, Italy, Denmark, France and Germany that aims to contribute to a new community-based collaborative prevention strategy against radicalisation towards violent and militant extremism among young people
- CitizenSchool: A project that aims to contribute to the creation of a European society, which is more inclusive and respectful of all, by educating and empowering young people and their teachers about inter-culturalism. The project includes the creation of ‘serious games’, training of teachers and developing networks of teachers and students. Partner organisations are from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and Portugal.
- U.C.RE: A project involving partners from Greece, Germany and the Netherlands focusing on the response of Universities to the academic needs of refugee/migrant students and scholars and to the formation of Manuals of Field Testing (Handbook of Good Practices), through the development of training modules addressed to voluntary sector working in the field with the specific population.
- European Qualifications Passport for Refugeess: Based on the Council of Europe Lisbon Recognition Convention, the partners for this pilot project include the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairsand Qualification recognition centres in Greece, Italy, Norway and the UK. The UNHCR Office in Greece also supports the project. The relevant certificate will help refugees, who had to flee their countries, to continue their studies or work. In Athens, nineteen candidate refugees went through individual interviews with experienced evaluators to assess their qualifications in absence of supporting documentation.
Get in touch
If you are a teacher who would be interested in taking part in the project in England, or know someone who would, please get in touch directly with Stephen Hull (Stephen.Hull@britishcouncil.org) who can provide further information.
If you are an academic or third-party organisation who would be interested in hearing more about the project, including if you have suggestions for projects or research to include in our next newsletter, please contact Elyanne Hatton (Elyanne.email@example.com).
Many thanks for your interest in our project.