In times of crisis as a result of current socio-economic and political turbulence, students need to become active citizens who enact on decisions about their everyday lives. Dialogue and argumentation skills enable students to actively take part in productive discussions by sharing their views without hesitation, building on others’ ideas, challenging ideas, examining alternative ideas and, being able to provide good justifications that support their ideas. Nevertheless, teachers find it difficult to coordinate discussions around the social aspects of a subject which brings uncertainty into the discussions as well as challenging to guide student learning which encompasses moral and ethical aspects. Moreover, constraints such as the inadequacy of teachers’ professional development courses to address the pedagogical challenges of active citizenship, the restricted teaching time, and the lack of adequate support measures make it difficult for schools to really put an emphasis on citizenship education. ACT-DI-V aims to fill this gap by supporting teachers in their efforts to promote active and responsible citizenship in their classrooms while helping them transform their pedagogical practices to ones that will allow them to coordinate discussions around issues related to responsible citizenship.
The project’s specific objectives are to:
1.raise awareness about the importance of promoting active and responsible citizenship education through dialogue and argumjentation
2.build the pedagogic competences of teachers on active and responsible citizenship education
3.develop hands-on resources on promoting active and responsible citizenship education to improve the students’ critical thinking and decision making skills in order to be able to participate in democratic discussions.
ACT-DI-V supports a participatory methodology by establishing a Committee of key stakeholders including school leaders, teachers, learning designers, teacher educators, researchers and policy makers. The tools and methodologies that are developed through the project support and respond to the target groups’ needs. Based on the research methodology, the early needs assessment involving key stakeholders indicates existing challenges and needs to be addressed throughout the project. This enables the development of innovative and tailor-made resources, including a Toolkit comprising practical guidelines and good practices to be adopted by the target groups. In addition, training opportunities through scenarios, based on authentic learning, and a full suite of eLearning resources including a MOOC as well as the development of Virtual Communities of practice, will help teachers to reflect on their practices and transform their pedagogical practices in order to be able to coordinate discussions around issues related to responsible citizenship. ACT-DIV offers the opportunity to teachers to engage with others in authentic learning situations, develop a ‘sense of community’, critically reflect on their own learning and share best practices for cultivating dialogical active citizenship in order to enhance students’ learning and enable them to express their ideas freely, evaluate ideas critically, engage in meaningful discussions, negotiate meaning, resolve misconceptions and co-construct knowledge.