UK CYPRUS POLAND
University of Hull
Stewart Martin is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Hull and led this Erasmus+ project.
Inspiring European Citizenship through Educational Technology
Erasmus+ Key Action II Strategic Partnership for School Education
Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices
University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull, UK
The EUCiTec Project
One effect of increased international connectedness is that global tensions are increasingly reflected within local communities. Particular anxieties exist about the social disengagement of those with differing cultural, social and religious backgrounds and the difficulties in addressing this through education by traditional means. These concerns have been heightened by international terrorism and high-profile extremist events. Many young people from communities with different religious or cultural identities can find it difficult to identify, engage with or feel they are included as a full citizen in their host society.
This project developed educational practices and innovative digital resources to allow young people in secondary, further and higher education to explore, develop and practice citizenship in a safe environment representing real-world contexts that deal with issues of direct relevance to them, their lives and their growth as citizens in a pluralistic democracy.
The project also developed new and emerging digital technologies (including a ) popular with and attractive to young people and motivated them to participate and therefore sustain their involvement. Research has shown that the imaginative use of ICT can, if used appropriately, change long-held and culturally deep-rooted views and that the use of immersive virtual environments is effective in developing self-perception and a renewed sense of identity and this project demonstrated that this remains the case.
Experts in citizenship, digital technology and educational from nine educational institutions including primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and organisations involved in training and teacher education from across Europe were involved in this project, together with their students, to create a toolkit of innovative digital resources and a library of guidelines, manuals and training packages for educators. These provided teachers, lecturers and trainers with the skills and resources to better engage their students to develop a stronger sense of citizenship and understand and embrace the shared values underpinning modern democratic societies.
The resources also included scenarios, responses and reflections on these by young people and their authenticity enhanced the project's impact on citizenship education and created high credibility for its outcomes. The resources were extensively tested and widely distributed and enabled educators to acquire the necessary skills to develop further resources using the training and guidelines the project provided.
The project enhanced the skills, knowledge and resources of educators to help them teach citizenship in a more effective and engaging way that motivated and inspired them and their students to create a deeper sense of citizenship that identified and embraced common democratic values to promote social inclusion and harmony. The project also increased the acquisition of the digital skills, literacies and competencies of educators and students that are essential for the 21st century.
The project is also explored what motivates young people and individuals with differing cultural, religious, political and social backgrounds and heritages to engage with citizenship education; promoted greater engagement with public and political life; encouraged informed debate to facilitate a deeper understanding of the concerns and values of other social, cultural and ethnic groups; developed greater social inclusion, harmony and individual well-being; and enhanced the digital skills and competencies of citizens.
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union
was a three-year Erasmus+ project based at the University of Hull and was supported by researchers and classroom-based partners from acros the EU. The project created educational practices and resources to allow young people to explore, develop and practice citizenship in safe environments representing real-world contexts and issues of direct relevance to them, their lives and their growth as European citizens. It enabled this through the use of new and emerging digital technologies, including virtual reality popular with and attractive to young people and by creating associated resources and training for educators in schools, colleges and universities.