Stewart Martin is Professor of Education in the Faculty of
Arts Cultures and Education at the University of Hull and leads
the 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 University of Hull was founded in 1927 through the support of local benefactors and the city council. The Duke of York (George VI) laid the institute's foundation stone in 1928. The University has an illustrious history which includes pioneering developments in science and engineering, health, business, humanities and social sciences as well as performing arts. Today the University is a vibrant and future-oriented institution, recognised for excellence in learning and teaching as well as a commitment to research, enterprise and engagement and is known for its friendliness and high student satisfaction as well as the employability of its graduates.
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 is developing 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 is developing new and emerging digital technologies (including a virtual world) that are popular with and attractive to young people and motivate 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.
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 are 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 will provide 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 will also include scenarios, responses and reflections on these by young people and their authenticity enhances their impact on citizenship education and has created high credibility for the project outcomes. The resources will be extensively tested and widely distributed and enable educators to acquire the necessary skills to develop further resources using the training and guidelines the project will provide.
The project enhances the skills, knowledge and resources of educators to help them teach citizenship in a more effective and engaging way that motivates and inspires them and their students to create a deeper sense of citizenship that identifies and embraces common democratic values to promote social inclusion and harmony. The project also increases the acquisition of the digital skills, literacies and competencies of educators and students that are essential for the 21st century.
The project is also identifying what motivates young people and individuals with differing cultural, religious, political and social backgrounds and heritages to engage with citizenship education; promotes greater engagement with public and political life; encourages informed debate to facilitate a deeper understanding of the concerns and values of other social, cultural and ethnic groups; promotes greater social inclusion, harmony and individual well-being; and enhances the digital skills and competencies of citizens.
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union
is a three-year Erasmus+ project based at the University of Hull and is supported by researchers and classroom-based partners from acros the EU. The project is creating 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 is enabling this through the use of new and emerging digital technologies, including virtual reality, that are popular with and attractive to young people and by creating associated resources and training for educators in schools, colleges and universities.