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Welcome to the course

Lead academics introduce the course, its aims, and its structure.
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We would like to welcome you to our course. The course is designed to help you reflect on how you can promote a democratic culture in the classroom. Some of you might be teachers yourself. Some of you might be training to be teachers. Some of you might be considering to become a teacher. And some of you might have just an interest in how education can promote democracy. In any case, we are sure that all of you have an interest in promoting democracy and thinking that the school classrooms are a good place to begin. Indeed, education can open possibilities for building new, more democratic futures.
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As teachers, we have a unique opportunity and a responsibility to facilitate that new generations embrace democratic ways of life. The course aims to get you thinking about education and democracy in different ways to how you have perhaps done it in the past. This course has been developed by experts in the Faculty of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University in the context of the research project. The project is named Embedding a Democratic Culture Dimension in Teacher Education Programmes. And it is funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union in the context of their Democratic and Inclusive School Culture in Operation, or DISCO programme.
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The course has been designed with support of secondary and primary school teachers and in collaboration with teacher educators from Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, in Spain, and Instituto Politecnico de Lisboa, in Portugal. Essentially, this course brings together academic and practical expertise across Europe to respond to the challenge, how can teachers prepare new generations to embrace a democratic culture? The course will provide opportunities to know more about the theory, research, and practice that can facilitate the promotion of democracy in classrooms. Over the three weeks of study, you will reflect on a range of political perspective.
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You will meet teachers from different countries, get to know further resources to use in the classroom, and consider different teaching approaches and strategies. In the first week, we will explore what democracy is and why it matters to education. In the second week, we’ll reflect on ways to democratise or classrooms and schools, including teaching and assessment methods. In the third week, we will explore some of the practical challenges that teachers might encounter when promoting democracy. The course is designed as a guided space for self-reflection and collaborative learning. Many of you might already have a lot of experience and we’re convinced that some of these experiences resonate with democratic or not democratic principles.
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Also, most of you probably know what is to be a citizen of a democratic country. In this course there are plenty of opportunities for discussion and sharing your views. We believe this can be a very valuable exercise of democratic teaching and learning. So please join the conversation. We are looking forward to working with you. Together, we can think about how we can prepare new generations for more than democratic futures.

Welcome to the course ‘’Promoting Democracy in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Teachers’. Our course gives you an opportunity to think about the relationship between democracy and education and to gain access to key resources and practical ideas to promote democracy through your teaching practice.

Our course aims to facilitate and provide you with time and resources to reflect on your teaching practices and better tailor your learning to your contextual needs. It is important to use the 4h per week allocated to the course to engage with the activities, reflect on your own experiences and discuss perspectives with your peers. In weeks 1 and 3, we would expect you to dedicate at least 1h per week to reflection and discussion.

In this step, Edda Sant, one of our lead educators, explain the purpose of the course and introduces the main ideas that will be discussed each week.

Watch this video and have a think about the course ahead. Why did you join the course ‘Promoting Democracy in the Classroom’? What would you like to gain from it?

The course will run in the English language but translations of the different activities in Spanish and Portuguese are available for learners.

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Promoting Democracy in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Teachers

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