That is why you certainly will wonder why we decided to publish
another directory of EDC sources.
No EDC teaching
material for direct use in the classroom
Well, delving into
the details of the results just mentioned shows why. It is because you
can find an abundance of recommendations, declarations, of studies
about the Council of Europe's EDC project and its
implementation, about what EDC is or should be, what it should
include, etc. What, however, is almost totally missing, is teaching
material for EDC for direct use in the classroom.
You don't believe me? Then just make an attempt by youself and enter
"education for democratic citizenship" "teaching material" into the
search box of one of the prominent search engines as for example
or one of the meta-search engines like
click "search" and explore the results.
But what are the reasons for this lack of EDC teaching material?
EDC - still a vague concept
The reasons certainly
are manifold. One has to keep in mind that a new concept attracts
special attention and therefore many
scholars of EDC are primarily interested in discussing the concept as
such. The most decisive reason responsible for the lack of teaching
material from my point of view however is that - in spite of long
lasting discussions - the concept has remained vague and that the
questions what EDC is and what it should include still remain to be
Writing that I'm aware that many of you will heavily object. You will
possibly - to take only one example - refer to the Council of Europe's
website on EDC where on the
homepage it is stated what EDC is
"The Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) includes all practices
and activities designed to help young people and adults participate
actively in democratic life by accepting and exercising their rights
and responsibilities in society."
... and what it does include:
"EDC encompasses various means of learning Democratic Citizenship. It
includes in particular Human Rights Education, Civic Education, Peace
Education, Global Education and Intercultural Education. As one cannot
“learn” democratic citizenship without practicing it, EDC also
includes various activities in which participation in society can be
learned, exercised and encouraged."
What is EDC? -
ambiguities and inconsistencies
Taking these two
quotations as a starting point, one must come to the conclusion that
EDC mainly is a kind of generic term comprising all the various
"educations" (human rights education, civic education, intercultural
education etc.) we already know. This is true - though only partly. In
reality EDC is intended to be more than the sum of these parts,
something specific, meeting the special requirements for citizenship
at the beginning of the 21. century.
If so, however, it has to be considered absolutely
where the intersections between EDC and the other "educations" are
and what they comprise (green arrows in the graph below) and
clarify what is specific to EDC and to what extent and in what
respect it differs from the other "educations" (blue arrow in the
as I can see, this has not been done in a
satifsfactory way. And this is why it's so
tedious to search and to find teaching material for EDC.
Is there a way out
of the dilemma?
On the other hand
there can be no doubt that teachers and educators are keen on, want to
and must teach EDC now, even though major conceptual questions still
remain to be answered. So what is to
Is there a way out of this dilemma?
Having a closer look at the definition of
EDC by the Council of Europe as the basis for the graph above might
help us to find one. What about searching für teaching material
covering the intersections between EDC and peace education, global
education etc., i.e. the parts of the square and the circles shown
above where the green arrows point to? This of course doesn't solve
the conceptual problems just discussed; it however may enable us to
discover at least what is offered in the Web
Due to the already mentioned lack of clear definitions this has to be
done in a pragmatic way by very carefully
exploring the contents offered on the relevant websites. Moreover, one
has to ensure that all areas constituting EDC are really included in
our model. This, however, is definitely not the case. The concept
rather remains inclompete insofar as it doesn't explicitly include
media education. This is all the more surprising as numerous
publications, reports, studies etc. agree that media education is an
undispensable part, a prerequisite for modern citizenship (see for
report of the Committee on Culture and Education
of the Council of Europe from June 2000 concerning media education).
When adding this to the graph above, our model will look as follows:
this completed model has been used as a starting point for searching
the internet and compiling the directory you'll find on the following
Search engines used
When searching the
web for teaching material for EDC - in the sense explained above - the
advanced search of following search engines has been used:
additionally used some of the most popular meta search engines,
Vivisimo with its outstanding
The websites selected
for this directory first and foremost should
contain high quality teaching material covering one or more
intersections between EDC on the one, Human Rights Education, Civic
Education, Peace Education, Global Education, Intercultural Education
and Media Education on the other hand. And it turned out that only
very, very few internet sources complied with these requirements.
Those selected, however, really deserve visiting and intensive
exploring by teachers and educators of EDC. You'll get a lot of
suggestions and models for your seminars and
you'll discover teaching units, teaching material,
methods etc. for direct use in your classroom!
Arrangement of the directory
Some of the websites
chosen for the directory - as for example the
Database on Human Rights Education
- have a clear focus, whereas others - as for example the
D@dalos Education Server - cover
a considerable spectrum of topics and
aspects. That is why it would have made no sense to arrange the
websites of the directory concerning the contents.
I decided to simply arrange them in alphabetical
Nevertheless there is a division in two main sections:
the first and more comprehensive one comprises
the websites reviewed, the second one contains
some single PDF documents with valuable
background information for teachers and educators of EDC.
For your convenience the reviews of all websites are organised in the
same way, containing information about the authors/editors of the
site, a description of its contents and clues how to navigate and most
effectively use the contents of the site.
[Author: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schumann]