An important part of EWC’s mission is to disseminate and make available teaching and learning resources in education for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding. This can be done by translation and adaptation of existing materials, such as the many resources available from the Council of Europe. But importantly, it can also be done by developing new teaching and learning resources.
“This is an increasingly important part of what EWC offers to practitioners in all CoE member states”, says Executive Director Ana Perona-Fjeldstad. “Through our programmes, and in partnerships with local experts and partners, we develop resources in local languages for specific target groups, such as teachers and teacher students which are relevant for the particular context and education system they are working or studying in.”
In the EWC programme “Practicing Citizenship” several resources are developed by participants, tells programme manager Elizaveta Bagrintseva. “They include 13 training modules, to a large degree based on CoE materials, but also elaborated by the programme experts and adapted to the national context. The modules are offered in teacher training institutions and by non-formal education actors. Additionally, online resources on childrens’ rights, migration and a manual on civic education have been published through regional ombudsmen in the Russian Federation.”
In Norway, EWC in partnership with the Norwegian University of Technology and Science are commissioned by the Norwegian education authorities to develop new teaching and learning resources for teachers and teacher students on the terror attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011. “This is an acknowledgement of the valuable experience EWC has gained through the programme on 22 July and Democratic Citizenship since 2016”, says programme manager Ingrid Aspelund. “How to teach about 22 July, what pupils shall learn about it and from it – these are still difficult questions in Norway. By working closely with practitioners from across Norway, we aim to develop resources that are practical to apply in the classroom and offer the chance for reflection and professional development for both current and future teachers in Norwegian schools.”
EWC supports the ongoing education reforms in Ukraine in a number of ways through our programmes and cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukraine and other key education actors. “We work on two major new teaching resources in Ukrainian”, says programme manager Marina Dyshlovska. “One is Democratic School, a school guide on the development of democratic competences and a democratic school environment through a whole school approach that is currently being adapted to an interactive e-manual.”
Another important resource is Civic Responsibility, a manual for teachers for the development of civic and social competences for 5-9th grades which is being transformed into online toolbox for teachers. The manual consists of 80 exercises which can be applied in 12 different subjects, such as Mathematics, Ukrainian language, Physics, Crafts, and more. “The manual is recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science for use in all Ukrainian schools and we plan to gradually supplement this manual with new exercises developed by teachers. In addition, we are working on digitalization of the Self-assessment Tool for Democratic School Development used for planning, monitoring of changes and evaluation of situation at schools.”
EWC continues its efforts to develop and disseminate teaching and learning resources in education for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding. Next in line is the launch of a training module based on the CoE publication “Signposts”, aiming to turn the theory of the publication into a practice-oriented tool for teachers.