EU CONVINCE project – EU Common Values Inclusive Education (2018-2020)

 

Description

convinceIn recent years, terrorist attacks, violent radicalisation, extremism and xenophobia have surged across Europe and are posing a threat not only to the safety of its citizens but also the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, tolerance, equality, non-discrimination, respect for the rule of law, human rights and solidarity. Within this context, the role of education, and in particular, of teachers, school leaders and educational staff reveals to be crucial so as to promote democratic citizenship and social inclusion in diverse educational contexts and learning environments.

EU CONVINCE is a joint project of ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education), EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (European School Heads Association) which seeks to provide teachers, other education personnel, school leaders, as well as the education institution community as a whole with tools and methods to deliver inclusive quality education to all and better deal with citizenship related issues both in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities. The project is a direct answer to the current challenges, but also opportunities, of multiculturalism, diversity and social inclusion.

Topics to be addressed

'Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education’ adopted by EU Education National Ministers in Paris in March 2015 aims to enhance the acquisition of social, civic and intercultural competences, as well as critical-thinking and mutual understanding, foster respect and intercultural dialogue through all forms of learning, understanding and ownership of fundamental values, and combat discrimination on all grounds, in particular, as regards students at risk of marginalisation or social exclusion.

Built on the Paris Declaration and ETUCE resolution on ‘Education for Democracy’ adopted in the multiannual conference of Belgrade in December 2016, the project covers the following topics:

  • Civic education and democratic-school culture;
  • Teaching in multicultural learning contexts for intercultural dialogue;
  • Teaching controversial and sensitive issues;
  • E-safety issues: Misinformation, digital responsibility and ICT critical-thinking;
  • School-leadership and ‘the whole school approach’;
  • Inclusive education as a tool to prevent violent radicalisation and extremism.

 

Activities

Research

In the context of the CONVINCE project, an online questionnaire has been developed to collect the views of ETUCE, EFEE and ESHA members on the challenges and good practices related to civic and citizenship education. Combined with a desk research, it also aims acknowledge and pair-up challenges and good practices related to promoting citizenship and values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education, with a particular focus on secondary education, both within school-curricula (formal learning) and in extra-curricular activities (non-formal learning).

The survey consists of multiple-choice questions with open boxes for additional information on national experiences and views. The research survey is divided into 6 chapters:

  • Civic education and democratic-school culture;
  • Teaching in multicultural learning contexts for intercultural dialogue in formal and non-formal education;
  • Teaching controversial and sensitive issues;
  • E-safety issues: Misinformation, digital responsibility and ICT critical-thinking;
  • School-leadership and ‘the whole school approach’;
  • Inclusive education to prevent radicalisation and extremism

The report in English and its summary in English, French, Russian, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish are published here

Training workshops

Three training workshops are planned in cooperation with local partners in Italy, Germany and France:

  • Provide ETUCE, EFEE and ESHA member organisations with the opportunity to present, disseminate and scale-up good practises in other different contexts and educational settings as well as to discuss possible solutions to tackle challenges encountered by education stakeholders when teaching democratic citizenship education;
  • Give participants the opportunity to exchange and showcase good practices and help resolve challenges through learning about other countries’ good practices, e.g. by match-making challenges in one country with good practises of another;
  • Teacher training support and guidance on successful and innovative approaches and methods on citizenship and human rights education in general.

Training workshop in Rome

rome2019A training workshop on ‘Successful good practices on democratic citizenship education and the teaching of EU common values’ took place on 31 January 2019 in Rome, Italy, and gave the opportunity to ETUCE, EFEE and ESHA members from Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal Romania, Slovenia and the Netherlands, to discuss their role in promoting democratic citizenship and social inclusion in diverse educational contexts and learning environments. In smaller working groups participants shared their national examples of challenges encountered by education stakeholders when teaching democratic citizenship, human rights and fundamental values, as well as proposed successful and innovative approaches and solutions on citizenship and human rights education. Furthermore, Calin Rus, an expert of the Council of Europe and Director of the Intercultural Institute of Timisoara, Romania, presented competences of teacher training on intercultural education introduced by the recently published Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (Council of Europe). To stir up the discussions, Dr. Catherine Lowry-O’Neill from the project’s partner, School for Lifelong Learning of ‘Waterford Institute of Technology’ (Ireland) presented School leadership and governmental-led educational strategies in the EU on the promotion of citizenship education and EU common values.

Report - Background document – Presentations (General presentation - D Danau - C Rus - A Melchiorre - Lowry O'neill) - Pictures

Training workshop in Paris

33417477668 188741bb61 mA training workshop on ‘The whole-school approach as a tool to prevent radicalisation and extremism’ took place on 5 March 2019  in Paris, France, and gave the opportunity to ETUCE, EFEE and ESHA members from Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Poland,  Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, to discuss their role in promoting democratic citizenship and social inclusion in diverse educational contexts and learning environments. In the smaller working groups, participants shared their national examples of challenges encountered by education stakeholders when implementing the whole-school approach, including the lack of time and space due to the workload and restrictive curriculum which focuses only on the preparations for the exams. Participants also proposed good practices and innovative solutions on encouraging a democratic culture in education, such as promoting unique critical thinking skills, preparing children to fully respect different views, cultures, traditions from the very early age, collaborating with the local community, and ensuring the cooperation of all stakeholders in education from support personnel to school leaders and education authorities. Furthermore, Milica Popovic, a consultant and Council of Europe expert, explained the competences for democratic culture proposed by the recently published Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (Council of Europe). To stir up the discussions, Dr. Catherine Lowry-O’Neill from the project’s partner, School for Lifelong Learning of ‘Waterford Institute of Technology’ (Ireland) reflected on the reasons for which people become extremist and presented key elements of the whole-school approach as a tool to prevent the radicalisation through education.

Report - Background document – Presentations (General Presentation - Research Presentation - Lowry O'neill - Popovic - MEDE - MUT - OBESSU - MBO-Raad) - Pictures

Training workshop in Berlin

33664821658 f6a230a68e mA training workshop on ‘Education for digital democratic citizenship in the Internet era: Challenges and Opportunities’ which took place on 2 April 2019 in Berlin, Germany and gave the opportunity for ETUCE, EFEE and ESHA members from Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey to discuss their role in promoting digital democratic citizenship in diverse educational contexts and learning environments. In smaller working groups participants shared their national examples of challenges encountered by education stakeholders when promoting digital democratic citizenship education and online safety on the Internet as well as, proposed successful and innovative approaches and solutions on digital citizenship education. Moreover, Elizabeth Milovidov, an expert of the Council of Europe offered her insight on the responsible use of ICT and social networks in school.  To complement this discussion, Dr. Catherine Lowry-O’Neill from the project’s partner, School for Lifelong Learning of ‘Waterford Institute of Technology’(Ireland) highlighted the importance of strengthening media literacy and ICT critical thinking to promote social inclusion and prevent indoctrination and radicalisation.

Report - Background document – Presentations (General Presentation - Research Presentation - MilovidovWaterford InstituteHitrec-ZugajAaltonen - COFACEDebroey) - Pictures

 

Closing conference

Two day closing conference for representatives from education trade unions, education employers, school leaders and other European stakeholders in education. The main activities of the conference include:

  • discussion on the results of the project activities, including the final research report of best practices identified in the survey and workshops;
  • validation on project outputs with the partners (e.g. a joint statement and a concept note), in particular, as regards implementation through their respective affiliates at the grassroot level towards a platform for exchange of good practices and knowledge for social inclusion.
The Joint Statement on Citizenship Education and EU Common Values

The Joint Statement on Education for Democratic Citizenship & EU Common Values, is written by ETUCE in partnership with EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (European School Heads Association). The statement advocates, among other issues, for:

  • Equipping school teachers and other educational personnel’s to promote critical thinking, democratic values, civic engagement and new innovative technologies.
  • Providing autonomy for teachers and other education personnel to manage diversity. More diverse teachers, school leadership and academic staff should be encouraged to facilitate the promotion of mutual respect and to influence schools and educational institutions’ ethos in valuing differences and diversity with the view to achieving inclusive education.
  • A stronger involvement and networking of teachers and educators, school leaders, parents and learners within the school life (‘whole-school approach’) so as to support more democratic learning environments to allow learners to experience democracy and mutual respect (‘democratic school culture’).

The statement is published in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian and is available for dissemination here.

The Joint Statement on Inclusive Schools Within the Context of Diverse Societies

The Joint Statement on Inclusive Schools Within the Context of Diverse Societies, is written by ETUCE in partnership with EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (European School Heads Association). The statement underlines that a carefully built inclusive learning environment is the basis of education which meets the needs and interests of all learners and education personnel regardless of their background. Therefore, the Statement outlines the five key elements of the inclusive schools within the context of diverse societies:

  1. Safe physical, social and emotional learning environments where the freedoms of opinion and expression are respected.
  2. Teachers and other education personnel who are prepared and supported in managing the diversity in the school and intercultural dialogue, including the teaching of controversial and sensitive issues.
  3. School leadership committed to creating an enabling, supportive learning and teaching environment and democratic school governance.
  4. Education authorities with a holistic perspective on education systems which entails the integration of every person in society and preparing learners to be active and responsible citizens in a socially and economically diverse world.
  5. The involvement and full commitment of all relevant stakeholders, including school partners and social partners, to maintain inclusive schools and promote diversity, mutual respect and intercultural dialogue in education.

The statement is published in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian and is available for dissemination here.

 

MOOC

In the framework of the project, an online course in English/French is created to help teachers, educators, school leaders, education trade unions and education employers to better deal with citizenship-related topics in a broad sense. The e-learning course is built on the successful and innovative tips, advice and good practices exchanged and discussed during the project. The course includes three modules: on Definitions and Frameworks, Specific Contexts and Issues, and The Whole School and a Rights-Based Approach To Education, and covers such issues as teaching in multicultural learning environments, teaching controversial and sensitive issues, inclusion and ICT, etc.

The MOOC took place between 29 April and 9 June 2019:

  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Working languages: English/French
  • Commitment: 4-5 hours per week
  • Requirements: participation in 2 weekly discussions and completion of 5 quizzes
  • Credentials: certificate of participation

All the materials of the course (except weekly discussions) are available to the public here:

https://edx.gchumanrights.org/courses/course-v1:gchumanrights+euconvince+2019/about

 

We encourage you to promote the MOOC among your affiliates through the media and dissemination channels of your organisation. You  find various materials  (flyer, video teaser, Tweets, and others) at your disposal on the MOOC webpage. Please note that there is an option of French subtitles for the video teaser.

Please find the teaser here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygJ4uu4XNM8&t=12s

 

Facebook group ‘Schools for Inclusion’
 
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Advisory Group

The project is led by an Advisory Group who will supervise and manage the project activities with their expertise and knowledge under the coordination of ETUCE. Members of this Advisory Group are:

  • Ms Dorota Obidniak, ZNP, Poland
  • Ms Odile Cordelier, SNES, France
  • Mr Claudio Franchi, FLC-CGiL, Italy
  • Dr Janina Glaeser, GEW, Germany
  • Ms Laura Widger, School of Lifelong Learning and Education of Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • Mr Daniel Wisniewski, European Federation of Education Employers, UE/Belgium
  • Mr Fred Verboon, European School Heads Association, UE/The Netherlands

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Two Associate Partners: ‘COFACE – Families Europe’ and ‘OBESSU – The Organising Bureau of European School Students Unions’ are invited to contribute to the wider implementation of the project, e.g. in disseminating the project outcomes and material.

ObessuCoface

Poster

Download the project Poster:

EUCONVINCE Poster

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