Online International Conference "Skills Development for the Promotion of a Democratic Culture" - 29 October 2021
The International Conference “Skills Development for the Promotion of a Democratic Culture” was organized in the framework of the European Program STEP UP – DC.
The conference took place online on October 29, 2021 from 16:00 to 19:00 and admission was free.
16:00 – 16:30 Introduction to the STEP UP-DC program Teaching democratic culture – Panagiotis Angelidis, Professor, University of Nicosia
16:30 -17:00 Democratic citizenship and intercultural literacy – Christina Chatzisotiriou, Associate Professor, University of Nicosia
17:00 – 17:30 Teaching social issues in a democratic state – Emilios Solomou, Director of the Unesco Chair, University of Nicosia
17:30 – 18:00 The role of inclusive education in strengthening citizenship and democratic culture – George Sorkos, Department of Linguistic and Intercultural Studies, University of Thessaly
18:00 – 19:00 Discussion
STEP UP-DC C2 meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus on 19-23 September 2021
The C2 meeting was held in Nicosia, Cyprus for 19-23 September 2021 by the University of Nicosia.
Agora from Denmark and NKUA were responsible for the programme of the meeting. Some of the partners were in physical presence and some others were in the meetings virtually.
Main aims of the meeting:
1) Decision making concerning assessment and quality assurance practices during the coming year
2) Experíence-based advice-giving to AGORA concerning finalization of IO3
3) Getting clearer concerning interface between evaluation and certification
4) Experiencing the Training Platform and its use
5) Decision making concerning communication/promotion (dissemination) issues
New resources on Teaching Controversial Issues: the materials created for the project used for new developments in the communication of a partner organization
A partner of the “Student Teachers Practice for Democratic Culture – STEP UP-DC” project, the European Wergeland Centre (EWC), has developed session materials on „Teaching Controversial Issues“ for incorporating this topic in the initial teacher education. The EWC has a long experience of working with this topic in terms of capacity-building and awareness-raising activities for educators both face-to-face and online. Many of these experiences were integrated into the developed materials.
Using these materials, as well as some other EWC and Council of Europe resources, the EWC has created a thematic page on teaching controversial issues on the organization’s website: https://theewc.org/resources/teaching-controversial-issues/
A set of four videos on the page supports educators to learn more about controversial issues and ways of managing them in educational settings. The videos provide an introduction to teaching controversial issues for teachers, teacher students, and other educators by explaining what controversial issues are, why it is important to work with them and how they can be addressed through practical teaching methods and approaches.
Controversial issues play an important role in education for democratic citizenship and human rights. These are the issues that arouse strong feelings and divide opinion in communities and society and they are an integral part of the democratic society. The ability to work with controversial issues in education settings is essential for teacher students. They need to develop their own competences and competences of their students at school to safely discuss and formulate an independent opinion on the issues that directly affect their lives.
A joint-staff training activity (C1) finally was held in June 2021
Due to COVID-19, a three-day virtual training program with 3/4 of a month preperation was held. The training was conducted by European Wergeland Centre’s experts in Competences for Democratic Culture and the leaders of the partnership on the implementation of the training on CDC. It is crucial for the staff of the project to learn meticulously how the CDC developed and to reflect on the indicators of CDC in relation to the results of the first pilot implementation.
The three-day activity contributes to reaching the project’s objectives. The university lecturers shared their experience on the development of CDC-based materials with the support of the evaluation partner and got feedback from colleagues and experts.
For that, the training program focused on the teaching methodology and the assessment of the pilot implementation that EWC has vast experience on. At the same time, the other partners contributed by providing their experience. Greece/Athens (Secondary student teachers group/Humanities subjects), Greece/Thessaly (pre-school student teachers group), Cyprus/Nicosia (Primary student teachers group) and UK/Leeds Beckett (Secondary student teachers group/ Citizenship) focused on Practice Training Programs and experiences in teaching Democracy.
It is very important that the partners built a common ground at this stage not only by exchanging experience but also-and most importantly – by having a new transformative experience that will lead to effective and collaborative action that results in the project development.
Participants of the meeting:
Every partner is responsible for presenting developments regarding the IOs according to the area of their expertise:
– University of Nicosia – primary education;
– Leeds Beckett University – STEM, secondary education and certification;
– University of Thessaly – childhood education;
– National and Kapodistrian University of Athens – secondary education and Humanities;
– “Agora” is responsible for the evaluation of the project.
During the first day the members of the Advisory Board met the partners and got information while they gave some useful advices.
– Bojana Dujkovic (EWC)
– Emilios Solomou (Unive rsity of Nicosia)
– Despina Karakatsani (University of the Peloponnese)
– David Kerr (University of Reading)
The next training meeting about evaluation and assessment will be held in September-October in Cyprus/Nicosia.
Athens 12.06.2021 Event of STEP UP-DC and Workshop on Competences for Democratic Culture and Teaching Methodology
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens did the first open event-presentation of STEP UP-DC project which is co-funded by the European Union (erasmus+, KA2) and IKY- Hellenic National Αgency on the 12th of June 2021.
The event involved partners’ representatives from Norway, UK, and Cyprus, and many stakeholders, professors who are responsible for the Student Teacher’s Practice Training and Initial Teacher Training, headteachers, teachers, and student teachers participated.
The main goal of the event-workshop was a) to present the Competences for Democratic Culture and share, with a large number of participants, the Student teachers’ Training Program and the Tools for teaching Competences for Democratic Culture (pre-school, primary, and secondary education), and to gather feedback/comments from a large number stakeholders about the outputs.
The workshop focused on the educational methodology and practices of the Program presenting at the same time the plans of the Certification procedure and the relevant website. By experiential techniques, the participants reflected on how students, education, and society can be benefitted from the Program. The participants took part in activities that used video and live performances developed to present actively the methodology.
More than 600 participants took part and they all know now more about STEP UP-DC expecting the implementation in autumn.
The programme of the event
13:00 – 14:30 e-round table
Democratic Citizenship and Competence for Democratic Culture: Teaching, Governance, Intervention”
Moderator: Michalis Kakos, Reader in Education, LBU, Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Childhood, Education and Society (CIRCLES)
Participants: George Papakonstadinou, Prof. of Administration, and Economics of Education, NKUA : “Democracy and socio-economic inequalities in education”
Despina Karakatsani, Prof. of Education Sciences, Un. of Peloponnese: “Democratic Pedagogies and active Citizenship. The role of collaborative learning practices”
Panayiotis Angelides, Dean and Prof. of Intercultural Education, Un. of Nicosia
Christina Hajisoteriou, Associate Prof. of Intercultural Education, Un. of Nicosia
“Teaching Democratic Culture in Primary Education”
Marios Koukounaras Liagkis, Associate Prof. of Pedagogy and Religious Education, NKUA “ Teacher Education and Democratic Citizenship : practices and perspectives from the experience STEP UP-DC project”
15:00-18:00 Workshop on Competences for Democratic Culture and teaching methodology
Marios Koukounaras Liagkis, Ass.Professor NKUA, Iro Potamousi, Trainer and Expert of EWC, Gelly Aroni, Trainer and Expert of EWC and Angelos Vallianatos, Trainer and Expert of EWC
Participants will be briefed on the “Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture” and will investigate how students, education and society can benefit from applying the framework to the teaching practice at school. The workshop will focus on the teaching methodology and practices of the STEP UP-DC project, which provides for open educational materials and a certification process for teachers’ competence to teach democratic culture.
The STEP UP-DC project launches an E-learning training course for student teachers and mentors: Pedagogies, Teaching and Assessment Methods for a Democratic Education
Α three- month and 100-hours asynchronous E-learning training accredited by the Center of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Provides a Certificate of Continuing Education and a Europass Certificate Supplement to participants and is delivered by experienced and innovative Democratic Citizenship trainers from consortium’s institutions with rich experience in training and expertise in Democratic Citizenship (EDC), Human Rights Education (HRE) and Intercultural Education (IE).
2-days Online project meeting and staff training
Partners got together at STEP UP’s 3rd Project Meeting on the 22nd and 23rd of June, which was held online and they had the chance to meet the members of the Advisory Board in their first meeting.
It was a fruitful occasion for partners to have a discussion with the Advisory Board members, review the Output’s implementation progress , revise deadlines and activity leaders, as well review some administrative and financial issues.
Above all, the training that EWC organized for the 21 staff participants, gave to all of us information and experience very much needed for the development and implementation of the projects’ products.
Presentation of historical background data by Angelos Vallianatos on the RFCDC opened up the training.
Jennie Holck-Clausen & Bojana Dujkovic and Khrystyna Chushak presentations of EWC projects in Western Balkans and Ukraine and their workshops gave to all partners the opportunity to get experience from other projects which provide useful basis of the development of the STEP UP-DC’ outputs.
STEP UP-DC kick-off meeting at the Leeds Beckett University University - Leeds, UK
November 20th – 22th 2019 marked the official beginning of the Student Teachers’ Practices for Democratic Culture (STEP UP-DC) project with the kick-off meeting held at the Leeds Beckett University, in Leeds, UK. This project is coordinated by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and it is developed together with an international consortium consisting of Leeds Beckett University (UK), University of Thessaly (Greece), University of Nicosia (Cyprus), European Wergeland Centre (Norway) and Agora (Denmark)