Croatian Islands as Places of Civic Education and Democratic Culture
Mali Lošinj Highschool (Cres is included here)
Town Mali Lošinj, Island of Lošinj
Town Cres, Island of Cres
Mali Lošinj (local library) knjiznica-losinj.hr Cres Moise Palace (educational center) uniri.hr/en/university-and-community/palace-moise SALTO salto-youth.net
Youth in Action 3 + 1 Module workshop aims to implement civic education on the islands Cres and Lošinj (northern Adriatic, Croatia). It encourages youth as future civils to actively participate and empowers them to contribute to democratic development of their local communities.
It also brings the notion of importance of civic (youth) education to local town authorities, proposing town-supported and on-going civic education, minding the European perspective.
Northern Adriatic islands: Cres and Lošinj
Towns: Cres and Mali Lošinj
(see the map)
Islands of Cres and Lošinj are well known European tourist destinations, and a lot has been done in that sector (i.e.former major of Mali Lošinj is currently appointed Minister of tourism). However, civic education and democratic participation are scarcely present and there are no initiatives whatsoever. The idea is not to criticize local authorities for what they have not done, but to suggest what could be done.
Since formal education cannot bear all the burden, the idea is to offer some good quality education as an extension of national curriculum and create places of democratic culture where the youth of these two politically diverse towns/islands may express themselves, identify their needs and local challenges and work together towards practical solutions.
Schools are generally known as ‘micro-societies’ and students (as active learners) have the capacity of active future citizens. In that view, setting up an on-going civic (youth) education in accordance to already developed curriculum (see living-democracy.com), which provides student handbooks in Croatian language, means to teach and empower Croatian youth as future citizens to act in a democratic way and thus contribute to the development of democratic communities.
Schools can also be seen as places of union and connection, especially in case of these two islands which share one and the same secondary school. The idea is to use that capacity to inspire lifelong cooperation among youth of these two politically diverse islands.
My target group is youth of Cres and Lošinj (high school age: 15-18 years old, less than 300 students altogether). Besides school and sports,there is very little engaging activity. With the help of Ministry of Science and Education and the local high school, I would like to gather the number of students, both in Cres and Lošinj, for this 4 module workshop.
First three modules will be done separately with the youth of Cres and Lošinj, after which they will all join together in last (fourth) module to work on the same project.
Special attention will be given to the participants from the smaller villages of Cres and Lošinj, as well as participants from smaller islands of Lošinj county: Susak, Ilovik, Unije (see the map).
3+1 Module Workshop
1. Individuals and local community: 4 lessons (x 45 min)
General concepts: identity, equality, diversity and pluralism, agreement/disagreement ('conflicts') examined through local community examples
2. Taking responsibility (for individual actions in the local community) : 3-4 lessons (x 45 min)
Key concepts: rights, liberties (freedom) and responsibilities
3. Preparation for participation in the activities of the local community-
(through communication and contribution)
3-4 lessons (x 45 min)
Key concepts: liberal, social-democrat, conservative, green standpoint
4. 'Youth-in-Action' Final Project
Youth of Cres and Lošinj coming together in a joint module
Strengthen bonds, exchange ideas, identify challenges/propose solutions
Module 1- understanding basic concepts related to democracy applied to the local community: identity, equality, diversity and pluralism, agreement/disagreement ('conflicts')
- also expressing views and interests with confidence and self-esteem, treat each other with mutual respect (listening, empathy, negotiation, compromise)
Module 2-expressing individual choices and decisions, giving reasons and taking responsibility for them
- politics as a process of decision making
Understanding relation between freedom and responsibility.
Module 3- Developing trust in political processes, formulating own political standpoints
learn how to participate in the local community for interests of common good (democratic values and practices)
Module 4- joint project, practical application
Croatia in relatively new to EU (2013.) and there is still lot to do to. To educate and empower Croatian youth is the best investment for the future.
Islands are very isolated places and besides established political parties with their particular agendas there is very little civic activity. The attitude of islanders who are not partaking in the dominant political party is somewhat passive, if not helpless. Youth that comes from non-politically engaged families also inherits such attitude. We believe that can be changed by means of civic education that boosts young individuals to express themselves, form their own political views, identify local challenges, think towards solutions, get locally engaged, etc.
This idea is extremely important to me as in 1990-ties I was a young islander who left the island of Lošinj at the age of 15 to receive better quality education and gain more life experience. Besides prospects in tourism, there was nothing more the island could offer then. Situation is little better now, although the local activities are still dominantly tourism-driven:
For those like us, Cres and Lošinj islands are not only tourist places. We envision them as potentially vibrant places whose youth may play a key role in the development of local democratic culture. Capacity is there and through education of youth a lot can be done!
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs (management, administration, execution, communication) 9600 EUR
guest accommodation and travel costs, catering 4000 EUR
website and social media (building and maintenance) 1400 EUR
materials, handbooks, flip-chart boards+ projector, rewards and certificates, 1000 EUR
contingency reserve (classroom rentals if needed, etc.) 1000 EUR
Thank you for the first feedback!
Since this is an updated version, we would like to receive additional feedback that will increase our chances to get further guidance and support for this project! :)
Many thanks in advance!
Ivana and Dragana