Archive of European Projects

Democracy for children in preschool
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The societies of today impose high demands on people`s ability to live with and understand values inherent in cultural diversity. Preschool is a social and cultural meeting place that reflects society at large and prepares children for life in increasingly diversified contexts. Awareness of cultural heritage and participation in the culture of others contribute to help children develop an ability to understand and empathize with others' circumstances and values thus providing a common background for this project . Adults' attitudes influence children's understanding and respect of the rights and obligations that apply in democratic societies and for this reason, adults play an important role as role models. Attitudinal behaviour, from which fundamental democratic values are derived, is therefore the main ingredient for upholding democratic processes and building a foundation for participation and active citizenship. By making children's voices heard, we lay the ground for democratic processes to take place. Respect for children's values and power of initiative requires knowledge and indepth discussions about the challenges that the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key competences for lifelong learning related to the objectives of the curriculum represent. The objectives of this project can be summarized as an attempt to finding a common understanding and consensus of the concepts of democracy, participation and influence. They also relate to democratic approaches to work, both as regards organizational settings and working environment. Last but not least, they refer to participatory methods for children and to the acquisition of skills for life. As regards staffs and parents, those who in fact imprint attitudes, behaviour and values, we hope to be able to influence and develop their sense of participation and ownership of processes. Six preschools from five different countries, Sweden, Lithuania, Spain, Turkey and Croatia, representing different cultures, religions and socio-economic and educational backgrounds and circumstances have joined this partnership and identified a common interest in the thematic of the project. They all have agreed on a number of joint activities, both as regards processes and methodology, guidance and training of staffs and to creating e-learning platforms, open blog and a website for networking and dissemination activities that aim at creating longlasting sustainable processes inside the partnerschools. Through a continuous follow-up and evaluation of the project processes, we hope to be able to make a small-scale contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy, to national priorities and objectives of the curriculum and finally to create learning environments inside our own organisations that grant consecutive sustainability and comprise awareness, knowledge and key competences.
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