OBESSU was an associate partner of EU CONVINCE project which provides 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 was a direct answer to the challenges, but also opportunities, of multiculturalism, diversity and social inclusion.
EU CONVINCE was a joint project of ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education), EFEE (European Federation of Education Employers) and ESHA (European School Heads Association).
- 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.
In the context of the CONVINCE project, an online questionnaire was 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 aimed to 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 report in English and its summary in English, French, Russian, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish are available here.
Three training workshops were held in Italy, Germany and France:
Training workshop in Rome
A 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.
Training workshop in Paris
A 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.
Training workshop in Berlin
A 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.
On 14-15 November 2019 in Warsaw, around 100 participants representing ETUCE, EFEE and ESHA member organisations, and other stakeholders in education (including parents and students associations), took part in the closing conference of EU CONVINCE project ‘EU CONVINCE: Democratic citizenship, common values and inclusive education’. Participants had the opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities of implementing democratic citizenship and inclusive education in their national contexts, as well as match these challenges with good practices from different educational institutions and different countries. Interactive working group sessions took place with a view to discuss the practical implementation of project’s Partners Joint Statements on Citizenship Education & EU Common Values and on Inclusive Schools Within the Context of Diverse Societies, on the European, national and local level. Furthermore, a training session on teaching controversial issues was showcased live from the MOOC ‘Citizenship and Human Rights Education for Change’.