On Friday 26 August 2016, a workshop for teachers in the field of citizenship education and other practitioners was held at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. The workshop was organized in order to allow for the acquisition of competences for teaching citizenship education in Moodle educational environment.
Dr. Tomaž Deželan was one of the speakers at the opening of the avenue on Thursday 18 June 2015 in Škofja Loka.
Developing Active Citizens of Europe through School (dACES)
DACES aims to test, validate and promote a blended learning toolkit for teaching and learning (EU) citizenship that we constructed under the ACES JM EU@School project. This toolkit that tackles growing alienation, lack of knowledge and distrust of (young) EU citizens from European institutions and EU at large (see EC, 2010; Hoskins et al., 2012) is aimed at fostering reflective learning process (Wales and Clarke, 2005) resting on a circular mode (Radovan, 2014) constructivist pedagogical paradigm (Williams, 2010) and on a freely accessible open educational platform (Moodle). The tool focuses on learning about the rights of EU citizenship, the role of the EU and EU instititions and citizenship in general and aims to foster knowledge on EU citizenship in content dimension (subject matter), affective-behavioral dimension (student perceptions and activities) and cognitive dimension (thinking processes) (see Shulz et al., 2008).
The project therefore addresses the need for a more structured and holistic citizenship education within secondary education institutions as well as youth organizations. Civic education in Slovenian secondary schools is normally organised in frame of so-called obligatory content of choice (OIV content). Though OIV is part of curriculum, it is usually carried out in less formal way. The OIV content is usually organised at the end of school year or just before Christmas holidays and are perceived as a ‘lighter’ learning content, when attention of students to education process is poorer. Content that is taught in OIV frame thus has to apply attractive, innovative and interesting didactic approaches in order to make the citizenship education more appealing for students. Due to a small number of hours directly intended for citizenship education, teachers usually introduce civic education as a cross-curricular subject (Karba, 2013). In congruence, youth organizations, though being active in the field, struggle with the absence of a structured approach to citizenship education (Skrinar, 2014). Both educational environments suffer from the lack of European dimension, primarily in terms of citizenship as students and youth overall is not aware of their rights granted from the citizenship of the Union.
The aim of this project is therefore to fully test, validate, revise and finalize and promote an EU citizenship toolkit that will consist of variety of teaching strategies to promote content dimension (subject matter), affective-behavioral dimension (student perceptions and activities) and cognitive dimension (thinking processes) of citizenship education of high school students and youth within youth organizations. It shall provide the youth the opportunity to participate as well as the knowledge and skills needed to act as a citizen of the Union (see Wales and Clarke 2005).