Youth work as a school of democracy - Democracy ed..
Youth work as a school of democracy - Democracy education revisited
Start date: Jan 1, 2016,
End date: Jul 31, 2016
One of the ongoing challenges and tasks for a democracy is to develop a democratic culture among its citizens. Democratic institutions certainly form an important base but without the development of corresponding attitudes among the people, they are running the risk to remain an empty shelf.For the field of youth work the question therefore appears to what extend it can contribute to the development of democratic competences among their target group. This is of special importance as adolescence is a phase where basic features of personality are formed and intensive reflections on one’s own position in society are taking place. Apart from the question of how youth work can contribute to the development of a democratic culture, an important interrelated question is, to what extend youth work itself can be democratic. This question is of crucial importance for the task of democracy education as an inconsistency between the desired learning outcomes and the youth work framework can harm its good intentions. The possible ideal of youth work as a 'school of democracy' therefore needs to go beyond the question of the right methodology and needs to critically discuss the traditional power relation between educators and young people. Taking into consideration the described context the proposed project "Youth Work as a school for democracy ? - Democracy education revisited " therefore wants to give youth workers and youth leaders from program and EECA + Russia partner countries the chance to gain new competences in facilitating experience based democracy education activities, while at the same time reflecting about the challenges and chances of a further democratization of youth work approaches. The specific objectives of the project are:• To explore the contributions of youth work for the development of a democratic culture on different levels• To equip youth workers and youth leaders with new and innovative methods of democracy education, which they can use with their target group • To reflect about the chances and challenges of a further democratization of youth work approaches and the concrete consequences for the future activities of the participating youth workers• To develop follow up projects for young people, which will take the outcomes of the project into considerationIt will gather 26 youth workers from program and EECA partner countries , who have the potential to make use of the learning outcomes for the benefit of their target groups. The working methods will be based on the ideal and principles of non-formal education .The methods of democracy education used during the course of the training itself will mainly be based on the work with dilemma situations.As a result of the project, participants will have gained a more wide self-understanding of their role as youth workers in regard of the applications of democratic principles in youth work. On a long term the project will contribute to a further democratization of youth work frameworks on different levels, from group decision makings to youth work structures.
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