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Democracy in Education

There are numerous people and organisations that, possibly like yourself, are committed to promoting democracy through education. In many schools, specialist teachers are often in charge of education about democracy, but they also contribute to integrating the education for/through democracy across the whole school curriculum.
Students sitting on the floor around the teachers who are holding an open book

There are numerous people and organisations that, possibly like yourself, are committed to promoting democracy through education.

Democracy in Schools

 

In many schools, specialist teachers are often in charge of education about democracy, but they also contribute to integrating the education for/through democracy across the whole school curriculum. If your school has citizenship education, political education or civics, it is always a good idea to talk with the specialist teacher to consider what is already happening and how you can more appropriately promote democracy in the context of your school.

Democracy in Government

 

Several governmental organisations have funded research projects that relate to the promotion of democracy. Alongside funding the project leading to this course, the Council of Europe and the European Union have funded many other projects that lead to some of the resources that we have used. Many more lesson plans, activities for professional development and related publications can be found in the COE, (Council of Europe Catalogue and European Union

It is likely that there are also governmental or public organisations in your country that are committed to the promotion of democracy and that have generated valuable educational resources. For instance, in the Netherlands, the Anne Frank House provides a range of resources and workshops for teachers. The website of the Spanish ministry for Ecological transition and Demographic challenge gathers educational resources related to sustainability. (In Spanish)

Democratic Studies

 

Simultaneously, many teacher education and education departments in universities have academic experts who have developed teaching materials that might be helpful for you to consider in your practice. For instance, a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University’s Karen Pashby and Mälardalen and Örebro University’s Louise Sund led to the development of resources in sustainable development. (In English, Swedish and Finish). Others have developed courses that can provide you with further opportunities for continuous development. For instance, academics from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have developed another course on teaching critical thinking in the digital era. (In Spanish) Many research projects in other areas of study also developed suitable teaching resources. Examples are the European Union funded projects UNREST and COURAGE

There are also associations of teachers or networks of schools, teachers, policymakers and academics that share similar values and challenges. Organisations such as the Network of Education Policy Centres, the Jean Monnet funded Network Children’s Identity and Citizenship European Association, the UK-based Association for Citizenship Teaching or the Council of Europe’s Democratic Schools network offer a range of resources including lesson plans, details in school practice, research-informed practices, and continuous development activities. They also offer an excellent opportunity to network and work with others who share similar interests.

Third Sector Democracy

 

A range of NGOs and charities are also committed to democratising our societies via education. For instance, the organisation OXFAM has developed a range of teaching resources that can be used to promote democracy in school classrooms.

There are also professional journals that are particularly suited for teachers wishing to promote democracy in their classrooms. For instance, the journal Teaching Citizenship offers a range of articles and resources directed at practitioners that can be extremely helpful.

Take some time to appropriately examine all these resources. Which of them are helpful in your case? Also, think about other possibilities. Do you know any other organisations that offer resources and opportunities that can be helpful for teachers wishing to promote a democratic culture?

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Promoting Democracy in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Teachers

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