Teaching Controversial Issues in the Nordic Countries

School leaders and teachers from 13 schools in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden took part in a 3-day training at Utøya as part of the Nordic pilot programme on ‘Teaching Controversial Issues and Managing Controversy in the Nordic countries’, organized by EWC in partnership with the ministries of education in all countries. Participants worked with concrete tools and recommendations on how to engage young people in democratic dialogue about controversial issues through a whole school approach. For the programme, Council of Europe manuals have been translated to the Nordic languages. 

Teaching Controversial Issues

What: As part of the Nordic Council of Ministries programme on “Democracy, Inclusion and Security“, the European Wergeland Centre (EWC) will pilot a Nordic training programme for school leaders and teachers based on the Council of Europe manuals “Teaching Controversial Issues” and “Managing Controversy”. The manuals came out of a call from policy-makers and practitioners in a number of European countries for more effective training for teachers in the teaching of controversial issues, such as violent extremism and radicalization. 

Why: The aim is to help school leaders and teachers to recognize the value of engaging young people in democratic dialogue about controversial issues, to strengthen school leaders and teachers’ confidence and competences to make democratic dialogue about controversial issues a part of their everyday practice in schools.

For: Teams of school leader and teachers from schools in the Nordic countries, including Greenland, Faeroe Island and Åland. 

How: A three-day workshop at Utøya, Norway 22-24 May 2017, followed by activities carried out by the school teams at their schools. As part of the pilot programme there will also be an opportunity to participate in a one-day evaluation forum at the end of the year with the aim to provide input for future programmes. 

Organized by: The European Wergeland Centre

Working language: The workshop at Utøya will be conducted in English, while all other activities will be conducted in a Nordic language. 

Financed by: The Nordic Council of Ministers as part of the Norwegian Chairmanship for 2017.