DEMOKLEOS Erasmus+ Project (2015 - 2018)

The purpose of DEMOKLEOS (2015-2018) is, after its lifetime to have empowered and inspired, as a beautiful flower, educational community about a Culture for Democracy and Political Literacy, both fundamental to a quality European school. Mainly to be a weapon against misguided trends of democratic deficit affecting the prosperity of European Democracy: hate crimes, racism, discriminations, political and social extremism. All of these threats social well-being as well as respect the European values. It is important to identify the causes of these threats in social discourses in order to implement effective practices in European schools. The partnership offers a multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach to EU citizenship, taking the heterogeneous rather than homogeneous character of DEMOCRATIC AWARENESS as point of departure. It brings together a wide spectrum of international professional expertise on its topics and goals together with engaged teachers, even from less or more disadvantaged areas of secondary education, wishing to build an active democratic citizenry and be critical partners of European and national institutions.

We cover a wide area of Europe and our work has provided pertinence beyond national boundaries.

DEMOKLEOS underlines the urgent need of prevention and early reaction, at grass-roots level in schools and the implementation of a critical understanding of European democratic traditions, a Learning to Learn democracy practice and a Conflict and Consensus communication-based training concept, in the curriculum through formal and non-formal learning activities.

In terms of pedagogical approach, the project consists a piloting educational innovation combining Political Literacy, E-Democracy and Democratic Citizenship.

Developing the democratic engagement and competences of young people, DEMOKLEOS focuses on teacher professional development, puts theory into practice in education, by using innovative and student-centered pedagogical approach, from the content of the deliverables to the training of teachers and school students. Basic and transversal skills, such as flexibility and adaptability, e-democracy skills, learning to learn democracy, how to explore even the most controversial points of view, dealing with propaganda, misinformation and fake news, tackling discrimination, have been largely developed.

To handle project management, and generate learning about its main purposes, DEMOKLEOS works at two levels: local innovation and experimentation in the involved pilot schools.

The Network of DEMOKLEOS consisted of associated school partners (not funded) was essential in developing meaningful, effective, practicable, and enjoyable activities to promote human rights, citizens’ participation and political literacy thinking.

DEMOKLEOS has traversed several stages, such as the underpinning research, piloting of training materials, 50 workshops and various implemented activities inside the schools along with the launch of the resource based website and Moodle platform with an introductory material as basis of some new concepts learning. It has included a number of international meetings in Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Finland, Portugal and Turkey. These incorporated a range of academic and practical activities, including International dissemination activities. DEMOKLEOS planning and learning outcomes have been reinforced by:

  1. The Paris Declaration (March 2015) in which European Union education ministers made a commitment to promoting citizenship education and to shared values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination. DEMOKLEOS was submitted 14 days after the Declaration and included it from the beginning to first Output (IO4) and several workshops.
  2. Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC). Despite the great value of the CDC there is a lack of application in real school settings. DEMOKLEOS address this gap through a methodological implementation of CDC based on an innovative use of empirical evidence drawn from the ground, deployed during project's work life in Greek, Portuguese and Turkish secondary schools, as it considers significant schools to learn from schools.
Some key themes:
  • Understanding of the importance of public sphere for the historical development of modern liberal democracies;
  • The relationship between democracy and general theories of government in theory and practice;
  • The Fragility of Democracy in the past and nowadays.
  • Current issues related to democracy in a globalised world;
  • Feminist Critical Pedagogy
  • Education for change, Change for education;
  • Promote a culture of Discussion about Democratic Awareness and Controversial Issues;
  • Media literacy;
  • E-democracy, an Emerging force for change in education;
  • Prevention of Extremism particularly Political Extremism;
  • Deconstruction of Hate Speech, hate speech and gender as well as hate speech online.

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IKY