Teachers for Democracy: Role of Higher Education

On 12 December 2022, EWC conducted a webinar “Teachers for Democracy: Role of Higher Education” and brought together 54 higher education experts, teacher trainers and teacher students from 21 countries. They shared their experiences and discussed how democracy can be promoted through initial teacher education across Europe.

Deputy member of the EWC board, assistant professor Nanna Paaske, gave an inspiring keynote lecture on democratic citizenship in initial teacher education. She asked an important question: “Are higher education institutions ready for transformative approaches”? Looking at the engagement and interest of the webinar’s participants, we confidently say “Yes, they are!”.

Later, lecturers and a teacher student from three EWC projects, “Student Teachers Practice for Democratic Culture – STEP UP-DC”, “Preparing Future Teachers in the Western Balkans” and “22 July and Democratic Citizenship” shared interesting reflections and tips on promoting democracy and human rights education

Among them were:

• Kostas Magos and Magda Vitsou from the Department of Early Childhood Education at the University of Thessaly, Greece,
• Maya Raunik Kirkov from the faculty of Pedagogy “St. Clment Ohridski”, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje, North Macedonia,
• Vincent Mainardi from the University of Oslo, Norway,
• Michalis Kakos from the Leeds Beckett University, UK.

The webinar was conducted in terms of the «Student Teachers Practice for Democratic Culture – STEP UP-DC» project aimed at enabling teacher students to strengthen their capacity to sustain democratic culture at schools and develop their own democratic competences.

The project partners are four universities from Greece, Cyprus, and the UK and two NGOs from Denmark and Norway. EWC strengthens the capacity of project partners to work with CDC through trainings and materials development. While the project is to be finalized in December 2022, the EWC work in the area of initial teacher education will continue. More events are to come!

Here you can find materials on democracy education developed for lecturers, mentors, and teacher students: