Open forum - impressions from the dark green, yellow, and lila room

As a post-Communistcountry,  the Czech Republic is facing problems in the field of citizenship education different from Western Europe. What we are trying to do is to adapt the Western idea for citizenship education into our context. Yet the main challenge is to find financial resources and to convince the Ministry of Education that our work does matter - Ondrej Matejka explained.

The problem of citizenship education is that people still classify it as a “soft skill”. We constantly have to convince society, and governments above all, that it is a real subject that should be part of the young people'a education - added Tony Bresling from United Kingdom.

Just across the corridor an other group was trying to define educational disadvantaged groups. Who are they? How do they come to be disadvantaged? What role can citizenship education play in their lifes? Participants argued that even within one group there can be those who are privileged and those who are disadvantaged, so the perspective must be broadened. In the field of citizenship education we have to take into account mixed groups, we also have to consider the whole system- not only the individuals but also all aspects of their social background. However, attention must be paid to the fact that we cannot take responsibility for somebody’s life.  

Concerning the yellow theme room, diversity in classroom, the participants agreed that United Kingdom may be the role model of educational solutions to problems of cultural diversity. The key to success is to approach each pupil as an individual, not as part of any minority group.

In the meantime, in 3 different spots in Fabryka Trzciny discussions were taking place. Open Forum was an effective warm up before parallel workshop sessions.

Citizenship Education
Conference Day: