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Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship+
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe and its participating countries need a strong democracy, an inclusive society, and active citizens. Intercultural and democratic competences are crucial for the future of Europe, its countries and its citizens. Education can play a central role in developing the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes among young people. Universities have a double role in this: they have to educate academics who can and want to contribute to such an inclusive and democratic society; and university-educated teachers, educational researchers and curriculum developers who will work in schools and other educational institutions on empowering young people for active citizenship participation.The pedagogical role of teachers in contributing to a more inclusive and democratic society is very important in this period of European history in which growing globalisation challenges traditional values. Strengthening the international cooperation in all parts of Europe is very relevant to broaden the horizon of students, teachers, and academic researchers. A more inclusive and democratic society is as relevant for the future of Europe as economic growth. Education, and in particular teachers, can contribute to this moral enterprise. As research shows, attention towards democratic and intercultural issues are at the moment not very strongly embedded in the curricula of teacher education and educational science. This proposed strategic partnership aims to support democratic intercultural citizenship education in different ways, such as by developing a joint curriculum, and through the professional development of academic staff. The project will have a direct influence on students, in the different modules and in intensive programmes. Strategic work will be done in own universities, within the cooperation between our universities, and with partners in civil society. The outcomes of this project will also be transferred to other universities and ultimately to the society in each country. The project will result in an increase in social responsibility of universities and other institutes for higher education, and will contribute to active and engaged citizenship in Europe.The project will contribute through cooperation and the development of joint curricula to a direct increase in social inclusion in partner countries and the promotion of intercultural and civic competences among students. The quality and relevance of higher education will be improved, as the partner universities will have the opportunity to learn from each other's best practices and in this way strengthen the field of education for democratic intercultural citizenship. The interdisciplinary nature of cooperation is addressed by including a broad range of partners representing social sciences, humanities, as well as teacher education. By offering holistic education for democratic intercultural citizenship, the curricula developed during this project will support the future education of teachers and educational professionals, training them in how to promote European values, such as (see Erasmus+ Guide 2016): preventing violent radicalisation, fostering social integration, and enhancing intercultural understanding. The teaching/learning activities envisaged by this project (as well as educational activities continuing after the end of this project) will help participants in building a sense of belonging to a European community. Further, it will develop social capital among future teachers and educational professionals, and empower them to participate actively in European society by including a variety of international as well as local students and teachers.The seven participating universities are: Humanistic Studies Utrecht, Barcelona, Bath Spa, Helsinki, Prague, Tallinn, and Thessaloniki.The concrete objectives of the project are:To develop a curriculum for Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship (EDIC), formally recognised and supported by seven universities in different parts of Europe.2. To stimulate student exchange in this area and gather collective experiences in intensive programmes.3. To promote the professional development of teachers in this field (and a professional development programme).4. To stimulate a more complex, critical and engaged concept of citizenship that combines social, political, intercultural and entrepreneurial components.5. To strengthen the cooperation between universities and civil society.6. To develop a partnership between European universities that stimulates cooperation of researchers, teachers and students in this field.7. To develop curriculum materials and student products with open access on the EDIC website and in an e-journal.8. To educate a new generation of teachers, curriculum designers, and researchers in the field of democratic intercultural citizenship.
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