VAST project coordinator NCSR Demokritos presented a paper at the International Annual Conference 2022 “Citizenship Education in Divided Times: Building Connections Through Values”, which took place between 26-28 May 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications (IIT), Dora Katsamori, of VAST partner NCSR Demokritos, presented a paper with the title: “Citizenship Education and Hard To Reach Learners: How to promote values through education” on Friday 27 May. The paper aims to provide a theoretical contribution in the field of citizenship education and the role of education in the fight against social exclusion, using a case study of a Second-chance School. Second-chance Schools in Greece have been established as a tool for dealing with social exclusion, which is attributed to various reasons, however it is often a decision that people make on their own. These schools are addressed to adults who have not completed compulsory secondary education, providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary for their social integration. They also strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Furthermore, the paper presents the students’ approach and perception regarding core European values ​​such as Freedom, Participation, and Democracy addressing the question: “How do students perceive values and what should be the role of education in terms of values communication, taking into consideration the feelings of inclusion and active participation that education should promote?” The research focuses on the field of citizenship education, given that schools are the first small society someone joins. In this small society, young people learn to interact as active members and exercise their rights. However, some students who are characterised as “hard to learn” leave earlier the society of school, a fact that leads them to social exclusion.

A few words about the conference

The conference is jointly organised by the Jean Monnet Network which consists of the Citizenship Education in the Context Of European Values (CitEdEV) and the Children’s Identity & Citizenship European Association (CiCea). This year the Conference focuses on European values and how they are communicated through Education.