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Project description

Our project arises from observing the societies of our countries, which lack social cohesion and suffer from polarization, radicalization of attitudes and inability for dialogue. People tend not to understand political systems, follow populist opinions, and lack criticism and knowledge about the systemic consequences of political decisions. Furthermore, as societies, we are losing the ability to communicate effectively with others, becoming trapped in our own opinions due to the mechanisms of public discourse, also triggered by the media and other factors. This results in misunderstandings, the hardening of minds and the radicalization of opinions, even leading to extremism and the destruction of community. To address this problem, it is crucial to restore basic democratic skills, as well as civic and social competencies among adults, based on common values and civic engagement. Therefore, we have selected common values, civic engagement and participation as a top priority. Until now, our organization has worked on prevention and with young people to achieve this goal. However, to achieve this at a societal level and most effectively, we must also reach out to our most significant adults and partners: parents, teachers, and community members, including adult students. It is imperative to offer adults opportunities to update their knowledge of public affairs and develop basic skills of effective communication and dialogue. This approach is especially relevant for those who are no longer in the educational system and have limited opportunities to access such resources. Therefore, we will address this issue from a community level, working with adult educators who offer educational opportunities to exchange best practices from other countries and target groups that can be used in civic education at our local levels.

Project objectives

The goal of the project is to prepare staff and organizations to offer innovative and tailored civic education opportunities for adult learners. This is done in order to raise the civic competencies of adult learners in our communities and, in this way, contribute to the creation of more cohesive democratic societies. We seek to empower adult educators with new approaches, methods and tools to work at a grassroots level with our target groups. Furthermore, we aim to raise awareness about common values and the political system to contribute to the improvement of our societies and European society in general. Expanding the competencies of adult educators in the use and design of adapted methods of civic education is essential to achieving the broader goal of a more harmonious, democratic and supportive society. Furthermore, we want to strengthen the competencies of adult educators both inside and outside our organizations, providing them with the necessary inspiration to undertake new activities using the acquired methods and tools. An essential component of the project is to increase the number of adult educators in our cities. Tests of different tools and methods from other countries will be carried out, adapting them to different contexts and target groups of each partner organization. In addition, critical reflection on civic education for adult students will be encouraged, addressing methods, tools, accessible opportunities, as well as the results and their essence. This reflection will be shared with the adult education sector to contribute to progress and continuous improvement in this area.

Project results

The publication resulting from this project will include adaptations of previously shared methods, adjusted to various contexts, and tested and observed in practice. In addition, it will contain deeper reflection articles on the usefulness, effectiveness and essence of civic education for adults, presented in the form of critical comments and reflective essays with a follow-up narrative. To expand the dissemination of this content, a series of podcasts will be developed for adult educators and organizations. These podcasts will be based on the texts and essays mentioned above, multiplying the dissemination channels and sharing the results of the project more widely. The exchange of best practices, tools and methods of civic education and adult education from our countries will take place, highlighting how they have been used in different contexts and conditions. The aim is to explore the potential of these practices for adult groups in our organizations and beyond, encouraging a collaborative and nurturing approach.

Dr. Michael Brown

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