Building Democratic Communities Together is the theme of a research report launched today by the Community Relations Council and aimed at encouraging the training of young people in democratic civic practice.
2 May 2007
Training Youth for Citizenship
Building Democratic Communities Together is the theme of a research report launched today by the Community Relations Council and aimed at encouraging the training of young people in democratic civic practice. The research has been carried out by Public Achievement, a youth-based organization, and funded through Measure 2.1 of the European Union’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace II), which has been administered by the Community Relations Council.
The report entitled Democratic Civic Practice: Building Democratic Communities Together – A Training Curriculum stems from an action research project which sought to discover how best to carry out civic action projects with young people. Civic action projects support young people to respond to public issues that they care about, thus enhancing citizenship education.
The authors talk about the difficulty of influencing teacher and youth worker training institutions, and stress the importance of ensuring that changes to the schools and youth work curricula are reflected in changes to the ways in which teachers and youth workers are trained. Paul Smyth, Director of Public Achievement said today, ‘Education is the key place for changing this society and moving it away from sectarianism. If our educators don’t have the civic and political skills to transform schools and youth organizations, it is unlikely that the young people they work with can effectsignificant change themselves.’
The report’s findings include a theoretical and practice based curriculum for carrying out civic action projects, as well as recommendations on how to work with groups of young people to facilitate democratic engagement, how to respond to conflict, how to report project progress, how to evaluate work undertaken and how to celebrate the work of the group.
Further discussion of the research findings would be beneficial to those involved in education, youth work, community and voluntary work, and for statutory organisations with a youth work remit.
Copies of the report are available from Public Achievement at 90-666948
For further information contact Ray Mullan or Libby Smit at CRC 90 227500