ReImagining Creative Democracy (ReCreaDe)

Main funder

Funder's project number: 2018-1-SE01-KA203-039115

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 36 232,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2018

Project end date: 31/08/2021


ERASMUS+ project ReImagining Creative Democracy in Teacher Education 1st Sept 2018-31st Aug 2021

Partners: University of Linköping (SW), University of Jyväskylä (FIN), Europa-University of Flensburg (GER), University of Teacher Education Vienna (AUS), University of Malaga (SP), Eötvös Loránd University (HUN), University of Chester (GB), University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy (EST)

Context/background of project
Democracy is a key pillar of the European project, yet this long-standing ideal faces an unprecedented threat in the form of apathy, disinterest and increasing diversity as a result of societal change. This situation challenges educators to critically consider what kind of education is offered and how education prepares pupils and young people to participate in the democratic life of society.

The aim of this project is to highlight democracy as a ‘living’ ideal by reconsidering what democracy means today and the implications this has for life in schools and teacher education. This project recognizes that democracy is never ‘complete’ or finished, but has to be redefined and renegotiated by each generation in response to the conditions of today. This stance recognizes citizens as policy makers and emphasizes the responsibilities of educational providers to support democratic engagement.

The objectives are to:
1. increase student teacher awareness and understanding of democracy and the necessary conditions to enable democratic participation,
2. involve student teachers in critically appraising the relationship between education, democracy and diversity,
3. prepare student teachers to build connections between formal, nonformal and informal education specifically listening to and drawing on different voices to co-create democratic educational communities,
4. implement innovative, cross-disciplinary teaching and research methodologies at partner institutions to support democratic education,
5. design resources, materials and activities to be implemented in teacher education programmes widening the provision of democratic education in pre- and in-service contexts.

Number and profile of participants
The eight project partners represent expertise in drama and arts-based education, the history of education, adventure and language education, cultural geography, teacher development, action research, intercultural education and democracy education providing a broad base for the project.

Participants directly involved in the project will include at least 3-5 members of staff and 12 students from each institution, as well as a total of 150 participants in local focus group discussions and dissemination activities and approximately 150 in the international multiplier events. The number of participants directly involved in the project is thus over 400 with a further 4000 to be reached as a result of project activities.

Description of activities and methodology used in the project
Key project activities include intensive programmes and multiplier events that draw on cross-disciplinary methodologies to promote critical reflections, pedagogical action and democratic engagement. Experience with earlier projects (InOut, TIAC, Proteus, SisCatylst) suggests that by broadening teachers’ pedagogic repertoires, awareness and understanding of democracy and diversity, young people can more readily respond to and take responsibility for the conditions of education as one aspect of society. Our approach focuses on social interactions between formal education inside school spaces as well as nonformal and informal education often outside the school and the way in which social interactions create the conditions for democracy. Participant input and feedback will be evaluated to develop the course, materials and activities throughout the project.

Short description of results and envisaged impact
Central project outputs include:
1. cross-disciplinary resources to support the practical implementation of democracy in teacher education using innovative, interdisciplinary research and practice-based models of teaching.
2. concrete tools and materials for teacher development that can be implemented into existing courses or used as a standalone course at the participating universities or other teacher training institutions across Europe.
3. an online environment as a repository for student work, study materials and teaching resources and meeting point for project participants from different institutions.
4. awareness-raising tools including evocative reports and research-based publications on democracy education targeting relevant academic and professional journals, and informative articles in the national languages represented by the project partners

The envisaged impact includes:
1. instigating new working approaches in teacher education through (i) the cross-disciplinary design of the project, (ii) the purposeful development of relationships between teacher education providers and local communities to support democratic participation (iii) experiential approaches to teacher development.
2. strengthening the development of research and pedagogical expertise at partner institutions in the field of democracy education with regard to different forms of learning
3. establishing a stable cross-disciplinary network in the field of teacher education among the partner institutions, to enhance further cooperation
4. enriched understanding and broader pedagogical repertoires among participating student teachers and other educational stakeholders.

Longer term benefits include:
1. preparing a minimum of 12 student teachers from each partner country (96 total) to work as competent democratic professionals and key members of educational communities;
2. preparing common ground for greater transnational European teacher education,
3. facilitating the integration of neglected groups, including migrants and refugees, as members of a democratic society
4. engaging pupils in the development of democratic educational communities as student teachers become teacher practitioners
4. embedding democracy within European identity,
5. the development of cross-disciplinary educational innovations and methodologies in pre- and in-service teacher education.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Primary responsible unit

Last updated on 2021-17-03 at 12:08