Democracy and participation, Civic education

Democratic education for active citizens

Educating young citizens in political and media literacy for an active role in democratic societies

Creators

Who is behind this?

Klemen Balanč

IPM Academy

http://www.ipm-akademija.si/en

Slovenia

Who is joining forces?

IPM Academy

https://ipm-akademija.si/en/

Slovenia


Časoris

https://casoris.si/

Slovenia


Idea

Idea pitch

High schools play a pivotal role in fostering active citizenship. Objective of the project is to develop a civic education programme based on blended learning and learning-by-doing methodologies for high school teachers. After designing the programme modules, materials and handbook we will work on competencies of 40 teachers to deliver the programme in their schools, resulting in 40 local youth initiatives annualy and a systemic impact on quality of civic education in Slovenia.

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Where will your project idea take place?

40 high schools from all regions of Slovenia.

What is the local challenge?

The main issue addressed is low levels of democratic engagement and participation among young people. The negative trend in the level of active citizenship in Slovenia was researched by Boljka and Narat (2016), who noted that two factors for low democratic activity of young people are low level of politically relevant knowledge and a sense of gap between adolescents and political decision-makers. In the collection of five recommendations for enhancing democratic participation in Slovenia, an introduction of the subject of civic education was also proposed (ibid.). The problem arises from the fact that civic education in Slovenian high schools is carried out as extra-curricular activities, and the lack of teaching materials and tools for teachers for carrying out quality civic education.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

The formal education system plays a central role in the democratic socialization of youth and fostering active citizenship. In an analysis of various scientific studies, Cordon (Voting Behavior, 2015) found a strong correlation between politically relevant knowledge and verbal skills acquired by youth during formal education and the level of their democratic engagement later in life. Increasing the quality of civic education in high schools and organizing local youth initiatives anually will lead to greater democratic and media literacy and participation of young people, now and in their adult life. The project has potential to strengthen democracy by educating and activating young citiznes through and impacting the quality of civic education in Slovenia on a systemic level.

Who are you doing it for?

The project directly meets the needs of secondary school teachers in terms of providing innovative teaching resources and capacity-building seminars for strengthening teachers' competencies for delivering high quality civic education within the compulsory extra-curricular activities. The secondary target group are secondary school students who will receive quality civic education in high schools, together with practical opportunities for democratic participation, and thus obtain the relevant knowledge, skills and competencies for active citizenship in adult life. Because teacher will, once they master the programme, be able to deliver the programme in their schools for years to come, we are addressing several upcoming generations of young people with the project.

How do you plan to get there?

We will reach out teachers and headmasters and sign cooperation agreements with 40 schools who will participate in the project. We will then develop a digital teaching platform with digitized teaching material and design handbook for delivering 4 modules using blended learning and learning-by-doing methodology. We will then carry out 4 seminars for altogether 40 teachers. We plan to cover 2 modules per seminar with 2 groups of 20 teachers each. This will be followed by 40 school workshops done by teachers at their schools, and followed by 40 local community actions designed and carried out by school students and mentored by project partners. Lastly we will prepare an evaluation report and a final project report.

What are the expected results?

Main result of the project is 40 high schools from all over Slovenia providing high quality civic education for their students, which will result in 40 local youth initiatives and 40 teachers using our product with newly developed competencies. With the new innovative modules and teaching resources each teacher will reach from 80 to 160 students each year. With such a multiplier effect the project has potential for sustained impact on the levels of democratic participation of young people, contributing to better health of Slovenian and European democracy.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

The project has a potential for being a subject of benchmarking by other European countries struggling with the quality of their civic education, as well as creating democratic participation opportunities for young people. The educational product envisioned is scalable and easily transferable to other countries who could benefit from implementing a good practice. This would enable a wider European impact that would be beneficial to strenghtening democracy in Europe, because the modules' content advocates for EU values and focuses also on EU citizneship as an integral part of our democratic identity and ethos.

What is your story?

Both partners have been commited for years to impoving the world and our democracy through education. Our passion is using our theoretical knowledge and practical experiences to provide high quality educational content for empowering young people for actively playing their critical democratic role in society. We do this not only to support and empower new generations of active citizens, but see this as impacting our future to help creating and sustaining a society worth living in.

€ 45500,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Desktop & mobile app 12500 EUR
Labour expensses for modules' handbook and digitized teaching materials 9000 EUR
Labour expensses for project management, PR and administration 6000 EUR
Labour expensses for conducting 4 seminars 6500 EUR
Labour expensses for mentoring local initiatives 9000 EUR
Cost of organization of 4 seminars 2000 EUR
Office supplies 500 EUR
Indirect costs 4500 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

If they think such a project would benefit the educational system in their country as well.

Team

IPM Academy

TjasaBozic

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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