Video Students' Voices - School Gornya Ragdona in Slovenia

Primary school Osnovna Šola Gornja Radgona

Address: Prežihova 1, 9250 Gornja Radgona

Country: Slovenia

 School website


Project: "Students writing their own school constitution"

 Working language during the project:

  • Slovenian
     

 Themes of the Council of Europe campaign “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Improving well-being at school

 Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world: politics, law, human rights
    • Through the process of writing their class or school constitution, students learn about the content of a constitution, its meaning for citizens, and its role in a democracy.
  • Valuing democracy
    • Through the process of writing their class or school constitution, students learn about valuing democracy and put into action those key principles of democracy that establish rules for life in a democratic society. By doing so, they develop a better understanding of the role of the Constitution for creating and sustaining democracy, increase their competences in democratic decision-making.

 Target group age range:

  • 11 - 15

 Level of education:

  • Primary education
  • Lower secondary education

Short description of the project:

Citizens do not always fully understand the meaning and role of the state’s constitution -- one of the key elements of democracy -- because they don’t recognize it as a summary of founding principles, rules and values of democracy, which regulates the functioning of a democratic state and the life of its citizens. It is a founding document in which citizens can learn about their rights, the state structure and functioning, constitutionality and laws, etc. To address this problem, we motivated the students and teachers of our primary school to write a constitution for their class or school.

In order to present and simplify more complex articles in the constitution, we used an illustrated version of a constitution: Constitution in Comics. The main characters, Miha and Maja, present selected articles of the state constitution in a clear and simple way, through examples using everyday situations. During this stage, students learn about the structure and functioning of the government, human rights, basic principles of the democratic decision-making process… They gain an insight into the content, complexity and importance of the document for a democratic State.

In the next step, students compared elements of the State Constitution with procedures used in the school. In this activity, the teacher used questions to direct students to compare and contrast State structure and school structure, State symbols and school symbols, the national anthem and school anthem, the official language of the State and of the school, children's (students') rights and responsibilities, laws in the State and rules in the school, and procedures to change the State Constitution and school Constitution. This activity helped students identify the key elements that should be included in their own class or school Constitution.

During the next activity, students studied documents about Slovenian laws that regulate the Constitution, as well as articles on education that were discussed in the previous activity. Teachers guided students and, when needed, helped them search for corresponding documents (acts and rules on education, school rules, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Act on Founding the School Institution, rules on students' rights and obligations in primary school, a syllabus for the subject of citizen and homeland education and ethics, etc.).

For the next activity, students were divided into working groups. During this time, the working groups narrowed their study to just one field or one clause of the constitution, choosing from general articles, human rights, state structure, constitutionality and lawfulness, or constitutional changes. They read once more the selected articles from the State Constitution and studied the documents that regulate these topics in the school process. They suggested and prepared articles for their class or school constitution. In this activity, the teacher reminded students to bear in mind that their articles had to be based on democratic principles, that they should be aligned with human and children's rights, and that they should be applied equally to all students. Working groups drafted the articles and sent them to the whole project group for adoption.

The draft articles were then revised by all project participants, who had the opportunity to suggest and discuss possible changes. Finally, they voted on the articles. If the majority of the present students voted for the article, it was adopted. The article could be rejected with the possibility to amend it by sending it back to the working group, after which it could be resubmitted for approval. At this stage, the objective was for students to learn and put into practice the key principles of democracy by setting up democratic rules or articles for the group, while modelling democracy during the exercise. They also realized the need to establish the rules one needs for life in a democratic society.

Next, the group wrote the preamble to the Constitution. The students read the preamble as a group, discussed it with the teacher, and learned about the meaning of its content. On the basis of what they read and the discussion, the group prepared a draft of the preamble, in which they stated reasons for writing the school or class constitution and listed its authors.

During the final step, students made decisions about the articles that were previously rejected, rewritten by the group and then sent back for approval. At that point, the class Constitution came into force as an internal document valid for all participants of the school process.
 

 Aims/objectives

  • Through the process of writing their class or school Constitution, students learn about the content of a Constitution, its meaning for citizens, and its role in a democracy.
  • They also learn about and put into action those key principles of democracy that establish rules for life in a democratic society.
     

 Expected results/outcomes

  • Students develop a better understanding of the importance of a State Constitution in creating and sustaining democracy, increase their competences in democratic decision-making, and realise the importance of including human rights in the document.
     

 Changes

  • The final school Constitution was the result of a project through which students, teachers, parents and representatives of the local community could search for information about general provisions of the school, school rules, students' rights and obligations, rights and obligations of other participants in school processes, and the school structure. The impact of the project and the school Constitution was positive. All participants of the school process accepted the Constitution.

  • The evaluation of the project was carried out in a survey. Project participants and users of the constitution evaluated the content’s appropriateness, everyday usage and role in developing education for democratic citizenship and human rights. The evaluation of the survey showed that the important articles – which were included in the school constitution – are easier to use when they can be found in just one document, as opposed to many different documents. 82% of the student respondents consider the school constitution as very useful in everyday school life. The evaluation can be further carried out on a daily basis by observing the students' behaviour in relation to their promotion of democratic values and human rights, insofar as they live by the articles and values they included in the school Constitution.
     

 Challenges you face(d)

  • At the time of writing the constitution, we faced several challenges and barriers. One of the challenges was to present the complex content of the State Constitution, its meaning, and its role to students of this age group. Fortunately, not long before the project, an illustrated State Constitution was published, which made it much easier for students to relate to the document. Students explored the role and meaning of the State Constitution through the process of writing their own Constitution and by accepting and promoting the rules and principles upon which the documents are founded.

  • Another challenge was the need to focus only on the most important documents, among the many that regulate school processes, and to search for possible connections with the State Constitution. At this stage, students needed to be motivated to tackle the large number of documents and information. It was a challenge to incorporate a variety of ways to write and approve articles on democratic principles, since through the very process of writing the constitution, the students developed and internalized the principles and values.

  • Composing the text of the constitution regarding children's (students') rights was also a challenge because the students did not fully understand the importance of ensuring equal rights for all. By focusing on their rights, the students often forgot the imminent connection of their rights to their duties. It was necessary to explain and present the history and content of the most important international documents in relation to human and children’s rights. The aim is to learn the importance of the documents and enable subsequent acceptance of human and children's rights, not only for their own benefit but the benefit of the whole group.
     

 Time-frame of the project:

  • One school year
     

 Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:

  • Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
  • Democratic governance of schools
  • Compass
  • Compasito
  • Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us – Charter for All

Technical School, Center for Adult Education - Additional material 1

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It just takes 10 minutes! UNESCO & Council of Europe online survey: Student voice during the pandemic

Share your experiences and participate to the joint conference on 23-25 November
Open until 13 September 2020
Strasbourg 7 July 2020
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It just takes 10 minutes! UNESCO & Council of Europe online survey: Student voice during the pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic placed great strain on students, teachers and the education system. Part of identifying the impact of the Pandemic is to understand how student participation, or 'student voice', has been affected. Student voice can vary from simple self-expression to taking on a leading role in aspects of school life.


With this in mind, UNESCO and the Council of Europe have developed a survey, as part of a broader cooperation, to better understand some of the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on student voice.

The survey is aimed at secondary school teachers from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The on-line survey, available in English, French and Arabic, will only take around 10 minutes to complete. So, if you are a teacher in a secondary school in the above-mentioned regions, this is your opportunity to give your opinions and share your experiences by clicking here

The outcomes of this survey will feed into the content of a joint conference to be organised in cooperation between UNESCO and the Council of Europe on 23-25 November 2020 under the title: ‘From making student voice heard to active civic participation: The role of schools in the digital age’ .

Teachers who participate in this survey will also be invited to participate in the conference online. Some school projects may be selected to be presented during the conference.


Past events

Conference discusses Education for Democracy under the German CM Presidency

Online 15-16 April 2021
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Credits: iStock

Credits: iStock

On 15 and 16 April 2021, educators from across Europe met online to discuss ‘Education for Democracy in Schools: Applying the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture’. The Council of Europe and the Pädagogisches Landesinstitut Rheinland-Pfalz organized the conference within the framework of the German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

For the first time since its launching in 2018, senior officials from Ministries of Education and related institutions in the 50 States Parties to the European Cultural Convention met to discuss the implementation of the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC). On the morning of 15 April, senior officials took stock of the implementation of the RFCDC and exchanged information about the work their institutions are undertaking to strengthen democratic culture at school level.

In the expert part of the conference, the EPAN and other education experts and practitioners discussed the dynamics, challenges and emerging needs related to strengthening democratic culture in and through education. Schools from the Democratic Schools Network contributed to the discussions by sharing their experiences. The meeting also considered the role of initial and in-service teacher education at national and regional level in the implementation of the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC).

 

For more information, please refer to the documents of the conference:

 Background note

 Programme

 List of participants


Join the Democratic Schools Network

Schools that wish to join the Council of Europe’s Democratic Schools Network need to fulfil the following requirements:

 

  • To commit to the Council of Europe Democratic Schools Pledge;
  • To provide to the Council of Europe information about their activities that are connected to any of the six themes of the project “Free to Speak, Safe to Learn”, any materials they use developed by the Council of Europe (available online) and RFCDC competences targeted by their activities by filling in the form.
  • To continuously aim at forming their School Rules and Regulations, including a commitment to respect and promote democratic values and principles, such as active participation of their school community members (in particular teachers, students and parents), and by ensuring that decisions taken in daily practice consider and respect the views of the persons affected by them.
  • To systematically use the Democratic Schools Network Checklist provided by the Council of Europe, appropriately adjusted to the priorities of the school applying it, sharing it with the school community members and organising occasionally awareness and communication activities.
  • To share information and exchange experiences with other schools on practices and activities linked with the DSN checklist.

Guide - Online activities at school level

Online activities at school level

 

“What do you think about our school?”

An online questionnaire can be created, using the DSN checklist, adjusted to every school’s aims and priorities. A small group of volunteer teachers and students will be assigned to design the questionnaire, and all students of the school will be asked to answer it online anonymously. The questions should be formulated in a student-friendly manner, corresponding to their age, and referring to particular issues and challenges faced by the school. A separate questionnaire could be addressed to parents. The results should be compiled and analysed by the group that has undertaken to form the questionnaire and shared in the whole school community.
 

“Can we do it?” or “How well are we doing it?”

This is a proposal for the organisation of online debates on crucial challenges faced by a school or a part of it. Every school can design their own way of organising the debate. The debate can take place with the participation either of students and teachers of particular classes or of the whole school, depending on its size. The debate may focus on challenges already faced by the school (so it will aim at the evaluation of existing efforts) or on new challenges (so it will aim at planning reactions and interventions).

The procedure includes:

  • a) a preparation phase (following assigning responsibilities to a group of students and teachers who are going to design the content and methodology of the debate),
  • b) an implementation phase, and
  • c) an evaluation phase.

The implementation phase will include introduction of the debate by the coordinators, presentation of themes, division in small discussion groups, presentation of proposals from the groups and possible electronic voting procedures at the end. In secondary schools, it is suggested that organisational responsibilities are shared among students, including moderator, timekeeper and secretary.
 

“We have an idea!”

This is a proposal for preparation of ideas by groups of students on particular issues dealt with or faced by the school. The school authorities in collaboration with students’ representatives choose an issue (for example connected with teaching and learning methodologies, creative workshops, development of particular skills and competences, organisation of a celebration or solidarity activities, etc) and then groups of students are formed voluntarily to prepare and present their ideas in a small video or ppt presentation or any other way they choose. The length of the presentations (e.g. 3 minutes) will be defined as well as the time of possible questions asked and discussion on the proposed idea (for example 10 minutes). Then the ideas will be presented online and teachers and students from particular classes or from the whole school will be invited to attend and participate in the discussion. The coordinating committee of the activity (including also a number of students) will be responsible to summarise the proposals and reactions and disseminate their report in the whole school.


Guide - Online activities at class level

Online activities at class level

“Class assembly”

Prior to the assembly/meeting, the teacher makes sure that the platform to be used allows students to work in groups (in breakout rooms) and to conduct polls/voting. He/she communicates with the students’ council or the whole class and they agree on the topics to be discussed, that should be as simple and concise as possible. The whole class needs to agree and commit themselves on rules of mutual respect during discussions taking place in the assembly. Also, they should agree that they keep confidential what is being said during the assembly, apart from decisions that need to be implemented, and that there are no other persons attending the meeting unless they are invited for a specific purpose.

At the beginning of the assembly, the teacher announces the start of the process and the attendees, introducing a short "warm-up" game, that allows the voices of all participants to be heard. Then, the teacher invites 3 volunteer students to coordinate the assembly, one moderator of the discussion, one timekeeper and one secretary. The topics are presented, and the class is divided in random groups of 4 or 5, where they will hold the initial discussion and elaboration of the topics for 10-15 minutes. When time is over, one person from every group undertakes to present in brief their ideas and possible proposals. The moderator with the help of the timekeeper assists the representatives from the groups to present their summaries and gives the floor to students who may wish to ask clarification questions which will be answered by the presenters. An exchange of opinions follows where interested participants can express their views.

When discussion time is over, according to the original plan, the secretary of the assembly summarises the opinions and proposals that have been presented. If the class needs to take a decision, a voting follows either with hand-raising or using the secret poll tool. Following the voting, the class decides about the responsibilities that may need to be undertaken, so that decisions are implemented and followed up. The last few minutes of the assembly are dedicated to evaluation, with a few words being said orally or written in chat space. Students are encouraged to express positive thoughts and congratulate others for specific achievements. The assembly closes with planning of its next meeting.
 

“Treasure game”

Teachers can agree with their students to organise a set of online activities in the form of a “treasure game”. The class is divided in small groups (of 4 or 5 students) and every group takes a name. The class discusses and agrees about some issues of common interest that they want to approach together and a number of activities that are going to take place. The issues that the treasure game will touch upon and deal with could be chosen following a class discussion. They could be linked with students’ rights, challenges, skills and competences, as well as with procedures, functions and practices of the school that are connected with its democratic character.

Every activity/task could use different means, such as:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Quizzes
  • Recordings
  • Social media posts and reactions
  • Memes
  • Creative compositions
  • Videos
  • Songs
  • Photos
  • Drawings/paintings
  • Short stories

The class can agree on a reward system for every task, through which the groups will collect points. They will also agree about the “prize” of the winner, which should be modest so that the teams do not become competitive but rather complementary. On a specific agreed time, the teacher can announce every new activity/task and the points awarded for the previous activity. The treasure game should end up with a discussion about the gains of the class that went through this experience and a celebration, so that every student who participated in it is satisfied and feels to be a winner.


Khabume N 1 Public School

Address: Chkhorotsku, village Khabume

Country: Georgia

 School website


Project: Big problems in little comics

 

Working language during the project:

  • Georgian
  • English
     

Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Preventing violence and bullying
  • Tackling discrimination
  • Improving well-being at school
     

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
    Students gained information on mobbing and developing a democratic culture framework package, students gained experience in respecting human dignity and rights.
  • Respect
    In the process of sharing and reviewing videos created as part of the anti-bullying campaign, students showed respect for the people who became victims of mobbing.
  • Empathy
    Students created comics whose main purpose was to express the negative consequences caused by mobbing. While working on the comics, the students expressed sympathy for the oppressed characters.
     

Target group age range:

  • 5 - 11
  • 11 - 15
  • 15 -19 
     

Level of education:

  • Primary education
  • Lower secondary education
  • Upper secondary education

Short description of the project:

Mobbing is a very serious problem and it is one of the most common forms of violence in the school environment that interferes with the democratic development of the school.

According to the law on general education, the school space must be non-discriminatory.

In this regard a short-term educational project was planned and implemented in Khabume 1 Public school. It aimed at prevention of violence and development of democratic values. In the school project 50 primary school and middle school students who were involved in the project developed the democratic framework package and prepared a presentation on how mobbing hinders a democratic society. The project involved the departments of Elementary, Georgian Language and Literature, social sciences in the following disciplines: Georgian literature, civics, history, IT and art.

Elementary students prepared an informative presentation on mobbing and they were given an interactive lesson on mobbing.

The art teacher gave a workshop to the students on how to make an interesting comic.

In the next stage, the elementary school students planned to show a short animation about mobbing.

After watching it students marked the main idea which they saw on the video.

They evaluated how and in what form the author of the project expressed his/her anti-mobbing action. Elementary and high school students distributed and created anti-mobbing slogans and created simple and colourful comics in which they conveyed their vocation –No mobbing.

On the final day, the students held an online conference where they invited representatives of the school self-government, school departments and presented the comic they created. They mentioned which human rights are violated during bullying and how to behave in a similar situation. As part of the project, students organised a comic book exhibition displayed in the school corridor.

Electronic versions of the works were prepared and uploaded on the social network and on the school page.
 

Aims/objectives

  • Informing the school community about mobbing.
  • Create anti-discrimination descriptors
  • Collaboration of middle school students and primary school students.
     

Expected results/outcomes

  • Middle-school and primary school students jointly created presentation products.
  • The students involved in the project as a team created a recommendation framework package.
     

Changes

  • The school has gained experience in collaboration between levels.
  • Several departments and interdisciplinary teams with no experience of the school participated in the project.
     

Challenges you faced

  • Low motivation of students against the background of pandemic-induced regulations
  • Comic book creation competences
     

Time-frame of the project:

The school project for the development of democratic culture was short-term, lasting one month
 

Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:

  • Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
  • Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
  • Addressing violence in schools through EDC/HRE
  • Mirrors

France - Schools involved in the campaign

Georgia

Schools involved in the project

Akhuti Public School of Chkhorotsku Municipality
Project: Democracy in my glasses


Balda Public School
Project: Internet space is not created for cyberbullying


Khabume N 1 Public School
Project: Big problems in little comics


Khoni Public School N 3
Project: We Break stereotypes


LEPL Borjomi Municipality Akhaldaba Public School
Project: “Fake News Fighters-FNF"


LEPL Gurjaani Municipality Village Gurjaani Public School
Project: “The Creation of School Life”


LEPL Jurkha Nadiradze Sachkhere Municipality Village Sairkhe Public School
Project: “Effective collaboration of school departments”


LEPL Jurkha Nadiradze Sachkhere Municipality Village Sairkhe Public School
Project: We Choose Democracy


LEPL Khashuri Public School N1
Project: From here to future success


LEPL Tbilisi Public School N105
Project: Developing democracy competences at school


LEPL Public School of village Khevasheni of Adigeni Municipality
Project: “Search, Check, Share"


LEPL Tbilisi Public School N105
Project: Developing democracy competences at school


LEPL Tsalenjikha Public School N2
Project: Democracy in the children’s hands


Martvili Municipality Village Nakhunao Public School
Project: Democracy and Human Rights Expressed in Comics


Martvili Municipality. Inchkhuri Public School
Project: Twelve jurors


Poti N 1 Public School
Project: School gender audit


Poti Public school # 3
Project: I, YOU, HE, SHE-WE


Poti Public School #12
Project: I – For Better Future


Poti Public School N 2
Project: Freedom is in diversity


Sachkhere Public School #3
Project Summer camp ,, Education for Democracy”


Additional material - Balda Public School

Balda Public School

Address: Martvili municipality, village Balda

Country: Georgia

 School website


Project: Internet space is not created for cyberbullying

 

Working language during the project:

  • Georgia
  • English
     

Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Preventing violence and bullying
  • Dealing with propaganda, misinformation and fake news
     

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Valuing human dignity and human rights
    The students involved in the project found information on cyberbullying. Then they independently prepared a presentation, outlining what rights are violated in cyberbullying. The students watched a video on cyberbullying and held a discussion. They highlighted the principle of human dignity and the need to protect it online.
  • Responsibility
    Students conducted an online survey on social networks. Users of different ages were interviewed. The survey found that people have more responsibility when communicating online. Cyberbullying has been found to violate human rights and has been brought to justice. Students created a presentation, outlining the laws that punish cyberbullying.
  • Co-operation skills
    The students collaborated with each other while working. After discussion and sharing their thoughts, they jointly developed descriptors on cyberbullying and when a person’s rights are violated. Together they developed recommendations on how to protect themselves from cyberbullying. They jointly prepared a short video.
     

Target group age range:

  • 11-15
  • 15-19
     

Level of education:

  • Lower secondary education
  • Upper secondary education

Short description of the project:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the usage of digital platforms increased rapidly for personal or educational purposes, which led to a concurrent increase in cyberbullying. The problem of cyberbullying was felt particularly acutely at school. This short-term school project, which was planned and implemented in Balda public school, was dedicated to this issue.

The following National Curriculum topics were developed through the project: democracy, human rights and anti-discrimination. Various school departments were involved in the project, including the Georgian language and literature Department, the Art Department, Social Sciences Department and the IT Department. Ten secondary school students and fourteen lower secondary school students took part in the project. Firstly, they developed thematic materials on competences for democratic culture. They searched for information on cyberbullying. They also prepared presentation materials which were presented to the learning community, tutors of different classes and representatives of departments. After a meeting, class teachers conducted a tutorial on cyberbullying and human rights. The students involved in the project translated it into Georgian and made a short video on cyberbullying. The film was shown and reviewed at the school. After reviewing the film, the students wrote down the descriptors and features that characterise cyberbullying.

The students involved in the project conducted a Facebook survey. They also compiled a special questionnaire for Internet users. The purpose of the study was to determine whether they had become victims of cyberbullying and identify what is cyberbullying for a social network user, what recommendations against cyberbullying could be offered by a user to a wider audience and how we can detect hidden accounts and protect ourselves from cyberbullying.

The students involved in the project studied the data they had collected and collated and created a set of recommendations. These recommendations were prepared for school children to help them protect themselves from cyberbullying. They made posters, invented special slogans and created electronic versions that were posted on social media, privately and on the school page. The purpose of the posters was to help students learn about cyberbullying and obtain specific information on how to protect themselves from it. The students involved in the project made a short video on cyberbullying and highlighted its negative side and the consequences it can have.

At the project’s final stage, the short video clip was presented and was attended by representatives of the school council, board of trustees and management. After showing and reviewing the film, the students drafted a common memorandum with which all signatories undertook never to resort to cyberbullying. After receiving the memorandum’s text, the students ceremoniously signed it.

At the initiative of the school council, it was planned to introduce the project to other schools of the region, as well as to implement a similar project throughout the district.
 

Aims/objectives

  • Introducing information about cyberbullying.
  • Implementation of preventive activities against cyberbullying in the school community.
  • Collaboration between secondary school students and lower secondary school students.
     

Expected results/outcomes

  • A student cooperation memorandum against cyberbullying;
  • A student-based reference framework on how to understand that we are dealing with cyberbullying.
     

Changes

  • Through remote learning, the school community, students, parents, and teachers became aware of the dangers of cyberbullying;
  • Collaboration between students.
     

Challenges you faced

  • Lack of IT skills in the first stage of pandemic regulation;
  • Developing a clear framework for indicating competencies.
     

Time-frame of the project:

The project took one month to complete
 

Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:

  • Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
  • Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
  • We CAN!

Additional material - Poti Public School #12

Poti Public School #12

Address: Kratasiuki Street, Poti

Country: Georgia

 School website


Project: I – For Better Future

 

Working language during the project:

  • Georgian
  • English
     

Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard
  • Improving well-being at school
     

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Valuing cultural diversity
    A website was created for the schools from three countries. The students could interact with the teachers and students with different cultural traditions and experience via online conferences and distance workshops.
  • Autonomous learning skills
    The students worked independently and had to communicate with students from different countries. They independently conducted surveys in their schools, made notes, analysed and expressed their opinions, and shared them with the students of the partner school. Presentations were made in English, which helped to strengthen the students' knowledge.
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
    Project participants communicated with each other in English. This strengthened their linguistic knowledge. Research materials were shared with each other through information and communications technology. They critically studied the society of their own country and analysed their habits. Students had the opportunity to improve their communication and writing skills in English.
     

Target group age range:

  • 5-11
  • 11-15
     

Level of education:

  • Primary education
  • Lower secondary education

Short description of the project:

Understanding civic responsibility is one of the main topics that the school should support.

The initiators of the project contacted Poti Public School No. 11, Kramatorsk Lyceum, Stus No. 8, Ukraine, BP-Hasdeu Theoretical Lucium of the Public Institute, Drochia, Moldova, Jurmala State Gymnasium (Latvia), Al Hadi Women's School , Egypt. They were presented with the project idea and offered the possibility of joining the project to discuss the issue, to share their views and to present their country, speak about social issues and work together on recommendations.

Twenty-five students from the school organising the project (Poti Public School # 12) were involved in the project.

As part of the project, students observed the behaviour of citizens as regards civic engagement and then shared their observations with partner schools online.

Firstly, an online meeting was held between the schoolteachers and students and a plan was drawn up. The meeting was interactive and conducted in English. The schools subsequently worked individually on the following topics: civic responsibility in a democratic society, protection of the environment, human rights and citizens’ responsibilities. The students prepared materials for presentation and at the online meeting exchanged on how the citizens of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia see the above issues.

The following activities were planned and implemented within the project: students participating in the project observed the school yard, street, corridor, classroom, playgrounds and rest areas. They noted how citizens behave, and whether people show civil indifference? What is the reason for their indifference? Students later compared their notes with the other groups. In an online workshop, the students shared their data, facts, descriptions and outlined a common picture and common features. It was interesting for the students that they all drew a very similar general picture.

At a later stage, the students prepared a set of recommendations - the aim of which was described as "I - for a better future" and was to give students a sense of personal responsibility for civic indifference. Students created posters and slogans on what is the role of raising civic self-awareness. At the third online meeting, students shared their descriptions and recommendations, agreed on positions and set out common indicators, recommendations and clear characteristics. A final meeting was planned where school representatives presented their product. At the final stage of the project, an exhibition of the work was organised in the Poti 12th Public School. Students displayed their posters and slogans. Online discussions were held on raising civic self-awareness. As a result of the project, a school club called "I - for a better future" will be created, which will unite the primary and secondary classes of the Poti 12th Public School. The task of the club will be to work together to raise civic self-awareness with the participation of students.
 

Aims/objectives

  • Involve partner schools in the project and create a school network for promoting a democratic culture
  • Sharing the experience of different countries and creating a framework for a package of joint recommendations
     

Expected results/outcomes

  • Students participate in the project and gain experience of students from different school cultures.
  • The project creates a unified framework of recommendations to be distributed to all participating schools
     

Changes

  • The project created a school network with the participation of schools from different countries.
  • Students gained experience in making their own presentation material using international languages.
     

Challenges you faced

  • Different cultures and traditions of the partner schools involved in the project.
  • IT skills on online platforms.
     

Time-frame of the project:

The project lasted for two months
 

Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:

  • Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
  • Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
  • Democratic governance of schools
  • We CAN!