Annual Review 2002/03
The international dimension
A growing, and crucial, part of the Foundation's work involves sharing best practice with other countries across the globe, through training, welcoming visitors at our offices and attending conferences with other citizenship educators to learn from each other's diverse experiences.
Building on work the previous year, which included a policy seminar and a national conference, in October 2002 a Citizenship Foundation team delivered a week-long training programme in Bahrain to over 100 primary and secondary teachers. The course covered discussion-based pedagogical approaches, whole school citizenship and examples of effective resources, and was designed to enable attendees in turn to train further teachers in their locality.
We have had a particularly strong relationship with the Council of Europe this year through conferences and training. We joined an international team of citizenship educators working in Bosnia for the Council of Europe, delivering eight training seminars to teachers of a new course for 11th graders (16+) called Education for Democracy and Human Rights. Citizenship Foundation staff delivered four of these sessions, working alongside partners from Belgium and the Czech Republic.
The Council of Europe has committed to funding the programme for at least two more years, extending to 8th Grade teachers (pupils aged 13+). It is also embarking on a series of policy, curriculum and teacher training seminars in Serbia and Montenegro, in which the Citizenship Foundation will be involved. Alongside this, we have provided expert advice to the Council of Europe on a draft course and the development of localised teaching materials for Education for Democracy and Human Rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In December 2002, the Citizenship Foundation hosted the team responsible for the democratisation of education in Serbia, which included psychologists, teachers, teacher trainers and officials. Their 3-day study trip included participation in a number of seminars, meetings with the DfES and QCA, and a visit to a London primary school. As a follow-up, the Foundation contributed to a two-day seminar in Belgrade in January 2003. With funding from the Webb Memorial Trust, we will be able to build on this relationship with a further exchange in 2003/4.
This year also saw the completion of work in Russia, in partnership with the Moscow Academy of Education and Krasnoyarsk State University, to establish citizenship education programmes for teachers in tertiary education. The project's final dissemination conference took place in March in Krasnoyarsk, providing a clear indication of what the Russian team had achieved over the past six years. This has included putting in place a significant in-service teaching programme in the city and the region, establishing a resources centre and developing a series of citizenship modules for initial teacher training, which have been published and are already in use in universities.
The Citizenship Foundation recruited 10 volunteers (including some of our own staff) to take part in a citizenship project with 8-12 year olds in Poland: 'Schools Closer to the World'. Based in remote rural villages, the 10-day visit aimed to help combat the participants' isolation, improve their English and promote youth engagement. The programme was organised by the Centre for Citizenship Education in Warsaw and funded by the Council of Europe.
In addition to all this, the Citizenship Foundation has played a leading role in the wider Council of Europe 'Education for Democratic Citizenship' programme, representing the UK at meetings of the co-ordinators from 44 countries and acting as General Rapporteur at a seminar in Strasbourg. We presented at a policy seminar at the Ministry of Education in Azerbaijan and contributed to a conference in Malta. The Foundation has also become part of DARE, a new network of NGOs in Europe concerned with Human Rights and Human Rights Education.