Innovative and participatory approaches for citizenship education and social inclusion

Is widely acknowledge that growing diversity in Europe poses both opportunities and challenges to European policy-makers and societies. While is expected that this diversity will continue to grow, evidences show that intolerance and social exclusion are increasing and alert to the relevant role played by Education in preparing societies for dealing with these phenomena and transmitting values and attitudes that honour openness and learning from difference. Although many investment and efforts are being made by European partners and their systems of education and training much more must to be done.

SOCI@LL is one of the most recent initiatives co-funded by the European Commission under the ERASMUS+ programme actions aimed at supporting policy reforms that foster social inclusion through education and training. SOCI@LL is an innovative and comprehensive platform that will address key challenges and inter alia will contribute to:

  • Creating meaningful and fruitful opportunities to involve the school communities in the reflection and discussion about common values and inclusion, allowing their members to be more aware and informed citizens, better equipped to advocate tolerance and inclusiveness, acting as guardians of democratic values and anti-discrimination, and/or to promote equality in the school community and in society in general
  • Providing up-to-date, useful and innovative resources to educational professionals, allowing them to be more prepared to positively manage context challenges related to diversity and to introduce new approaches can therefore become ‘genuine laboratories of pedagogical innovation’
  • Equipping schools with strategies and materials to promote a safe and positive environment and to foster the active involvement of main actors in the reflection and discussion about relevant themes for the whole development, crucial for their role as citizens of a global and multicultural world
  • Creating effective bridges for cross-policy/sectorial synergies, experimentation and mutual understanding among different systems and actors to disrupt intergenerational cycles of deprivation and ensure more effective intervention against educational disadvantage

The project will contribute to the development, validation and scaling-up of an array of useful resources and tools such as:

  • A SOCI@LL roadmap, which (based on an exhaustive process of literature review, end-users’ consultation and evidence on the effectiveness of existing practices) will support, leverage and accelerate systemic changes towards more inclusive systems inside and around schools
  • A methodological approach that will foster engagement, commitment and sense of ownership in all the different stakeholders involved in the local open partnerships and in the European alliance.
  • A toolkit for school leaders that will support the creation and sustainability of culturally-sensitive and inclusive systems inside and around schools
  • A toolkit for teachers that will support these key agents to drive and put into practice curricular and pedagogical innovation and foster multicultural learning in and out classrooms
  • A toolkit for local authorities that will support them into the creation and maintenance of cross-sectorial platforms for social inclusion
  • A Virtual Social Lab which will foster and nurture cross-sectorial relations at local and European level as well as create real inclusive and participatory learning opportunities, supported by the innovative resources developed within the project.
    SOCI@LL is an initiative build by, with and for schools/school communities, local authorities, other relevant stakeholders and scientific/technical experts in which partners represent end-users’ interests, needs and expectations. Led by INOVA+, partners and associate partners (15 organisations in total, from Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Poland) will contribute to the success of the project, assuming specific roles depending on their organisational nature and their know-how/experience.

 

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