CCD Best Practices

Published on March 2017 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 46 | Comments: 0 | Views: 872
of 153
Download PDF   Embed   Report



Best Practices Manual

on Democracy Education

Best Practices Manual
on Democracy Education

Whether in South Africa, Chile, Poland, Korea, or Tunisia, the struggle to establish democracy has been a noble and heroic one, fraught with great sacrifice. We have come to realize that the great democratic transformations that have swept the globe, if they are to endure and fulfill the aspirations of a people, require more than the ouster of a dictator and more even than free and fair elections. If democracy is truly to take root, an extensive institutional framework and, perhaps more importantly, the active participation of a population are needed if a government of the people — democracy — is to survive and thrive. That participation can only be generated if the people of the new democracy are educated, informed, and encouraged to exercise their rights. Our premise is that education for democracy is the glue that sustains and holds a democratic system together. This Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education is the culmination of more than a decade during which the Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD) has made democracy education a priority for the Community of Democracies (CD) and the democracy community at large. From the three Pocantico Conferences, which resulted in the creation of the Global Strategic Plan for Democracy Education, the adoption of democracy education as the top priority of the Mongolian Chairmanship of the CD, and the Charlottesville Declaration, to the United Nations resolution on education for democracy, CCD’s efforts have brought democracy education to the forefront for policymakers. This manual brings together writings from experts and practitioners to provide a guide for those educators, policymakers, and others interested in democracy education. With the generous support of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), this project includes case studies from around the world that provide examples of successful and imaginative democracy education programs at every level. Highlighting cases from nondemocratic and transitioning countries, this manual shows that the work to build an effective citizenry takes many forms and has already begun. It is never, however, completed, even in the cases of the most advanced democracies. We wish especially to acknowledge the guidance of our principle author, David McQuoid-Mason, whose work on democracy education in South Africa contributed to the struggle for freedom in that country. This work also owes a debt to Matthew Hiebert of Canada and to those who have provided us with case studies. Also critical to this project have been Christopher Brandt and Rebecca Aaberg of CCD, who have worked tirelessly on countless aspects of the project.

Robert R. LaGamma, President Council for a Community of Democracies

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


A Decade Promoting Democratic Consolidation through Education for Democracy
The Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD) has prioritized democracy education since its inception in 2000 through policy advocacy; partnerships among governments, civil society, and academia; and curriculum ideas. From 2003 to 2008, CCD organized a series of consultations with international experts on education, representatives of Ministries of Education, and civil society leaders to develop the Global Strategic Plan for Democracy Education, which presents a framework for expanding democracy education at the international, national, and local levels. The Pocantico Conferences provided a strong foundation from which CCD has built its democracy education initiative. Democracy education was announced as the priority theme of the Mongolian Chairmanship of the Community of Democracies from 2011–13. This decision came after years of advocacy for democracy education by CCD, which has consistently emphasized democracy education as an essential element of successful long-term consolidation of democratic transition. CCD was asked by the Mongolian Chair to be an active participant in its emphasis on democracy education, which included its engagement in the Working Group on Democracy Education co-chaired by Mongolia and Poland and promoting the United Nations General Assembly resolution on education for democracy passed in November 2012. CCD also worked with the Mongolian government to develop the agenda for the May 2012 Ulaanbaatar International Seminar on Education for Democracy. Operating under a grant from the United Nations Democracy Fund, CCD has continued its efforts to promote democracy education as a crucial component of democratic governance. In October 2012, CCD brought experts and practitioners together for a panel discussion on democracy education for the biennial World Movement for Democracy conference in Lima, Peru. In March 2013, CCD organized “Creating a Culture of Democracy through Education: A Strategy for Policymakers,” a conference held in Charlottesville, Virginia. The academics, practitioners, and policymakers who gathered at the Charlottesville Conference produced the Charlottesville Declaration, which provides recommendations for implementing democracy education. The Declaration was successfully adopted by the Community of Democracies during the Ulaanbaatar CD Ministerial conference in April. CCD participated in the Ulaanbaatar Ministerial, chairing a civil society panel on democracy education and contributing to the Ministerial panel on the subject. The publication of this Manual will provide a practical overview of innovative techniques and ideas to build citizens’ knowledge of democracy and the role that they play within it. To learn more about CCD and our work on democracy education, please visit our website: To read the Charlottesville Declaration, please visit: conference/Charlottesville_Report.pdf


Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Table of Contents
Foreword – CCD President Robert LaGamma iii A Decade Promoting Democratic Consolidation through Education for Democracy iv Part I Chapter One - David McQuoid-Mason 1 Chapter Two - Matthew Hiebert 37

Part II: Case Studies Introduction – David McQuoid-Mason 53 Bosnia and Herzegovina – Rolf Gollob 54 Burundi – Marie-Louise Ström 58 Colombia – Susana Restrepo 64 Greece – Angeliki Aroni 68 Ghana – Harrison Belley 74 Hungary – Atilla Farkas 78 Kenya – Carla Chianese 82 Lebanon – Hoda El Khatib Chalak 88 Mongolia – Damba Ganbat Philippines – Jules Maaten 92 100 Nepal – Mukti Rijal 96 Russia – Arkady Gutnikov 104 Senegal – Boubacar Tall 109 Slovenia – Dejan Kokol 112 South Sudan – Nancy Flowers 115 Thailand (Dream Country) – Rainer Adam, Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul, and Ben Fourniotis Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul, and Ben Fourniotis 120 125 Thailand (SIM Democracy) – Rainer Adam, United Kingdom – Ted Huddlestone 128 United States – Lee Arbetman 131 United States – Lee Arbetman and Xinia Bermudez 135

Acronym Guide 138 Organizations Working on Democracy Education 139 UN Resolution on Education for Democracy 146

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education



Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

PART I: Chapter One: Introduction to Democracy Education — by David McQuoid-Mason
Learning outcomes:
At the end of this chapter you will be able to: 1. Explain the purpose of the Best Practices on Democracy Education and the rationale for using interactive teaching and learning methods when conducting democracy education. 2. Demonstrate how to construct lesson plans for a democracy education lesson and how to use a variety of interactive teaching and learning methods when conducting democracy education. 3. Appreciate the value of using interactive teaching and learning methods when conducting democracy education.

designed to be a practical teaching and learning tool for democracy educators — particularly in developing countries. For this reason, it will not deal with academic arguments about whether democracy education should be “about” or “for” democracy. Many of the lessons in the Manual are aimed at both — particularly those dealing with citizen participation in democratic societies. Therefore, for the purposes of the Manual, the term “democracy education” includes both education “about” democracy and education “for” democracy. In order to make the Manual easily accessible to democracy educators in both the formal and informal sectors — particularly in developing countries and those undergoing transitions to democracy — technical, educational, and other jargon has been avoided as far as possible. However, when suggesting how lesson plans for democracy education should be designed, the pedagogical concepts of knowledge, skills, and values have been retained and will be explained. The Manual draws on best practices regarding democracy education lessons from a number of countries, many of which have fairly recently undergone the transition to democracy and are members of the Community of Democracies.1 Where countries have given actual examples of democracy lessons using interactive teaching and learning
The Community of Democracies (CD) is an intergovernmental organization that consists of a 24-member Governing Council (GC), an Executive Committee (EC), and a Permanent Secretariat (PSCD). The GC is responsible for issuing invitations to governments either to participate in or to observe the biennial ministerial conference. For more information on the CD, please visit the PSCD website:

1.1  Introduction to the Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 1.2  USAID Survey on Effective Civic Education 1.3  Democracy education curricula 1.4  Rationale for using interactive teaching methods 1.5  Lesson plans for an effective democracy education program 1.6  Interactive methods of democracy education 1.7 Conclusion

1.1  Introduction to the Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education
This Best Practices on Democracy Education is

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


techniques, these have been incorporated under the relevant methods referred to in Part I of the Manual. Where no examples for a particular teaching and learning technique have been submitted from other countries, the editor has either incorporated lessons from the very successful South African Democracy for All and Street Law learner and educator manuals or created a new relevant example. The Democracy for All manuals were developed during the country’s transition to democracy by Street Law South Africa and Street Law, Inc. in the United States and have been translated into a number of languages, including Arabic, French, Mongolian, and Romanian. Part II gives descriptions of democracy education in a number of countries that have undergone or are undergoing the transition to democracy. Although a standard format was suggested to the authors from the different countries, some have engaged in their own approach, and these have been retained to reflect the socio-political situations in the countries concerned. While in many countries the term “civic education” is preferred to “democracy education,” particularly in the formal school system, in many transitional countries the term “democracy education” is used, particularly for informal educational programs. For the purposes of this Manual, the terms are used interchangeably.

measure how adult and school-based civic education programs impacted the democratic behavior and attitudes of participants in the programs. USAID’s Center for Democracy and Governance (now the Office of Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance) managed the study, which looked at adult and school-based civic education programs in the Dominican Republic, Poland, and South Africa and used both quantitative and qualitative methods to obtain the results. The result was the first comprehensive study of the impact of civic and democracy education programs on transitional societies.

1.2.1 Results of the Study
The results of the study indicated that civic education programs for adults can have a significant, positive impact on certain key aspects of democratic behavior and attitudes. Such education seemed to contribute to decidedly greater political participation by those exposed to the program, particularly at the local level. The study showed that civic education can moderately but significantly improve the participants’ knowledge about their political systems and democratic institutions and led to a “greater sense of political efficacy.” However, the study also showed that civic education programs appear to have little effect on changing democratic values, such as political tolerance, and even tended to have a negative impact on the trust participants had in political institutions. It also found that men tended to benefit more from civic education than women, and while women made some gains, the programs tended to reinforce gender disparities in the role that women play in politics. There was little difference between the findings for school-based civic education programs and those for adult programs, although the impact of civics training “was generally weaker and more inconsistent for participants than for adults.” Understandably, the school and family environments were powerful forces affecting the behavior and attitude of participants

1.2  USAID Survey on Effective Civic Education
In the early 1990s, when a number of countries were undergoing transitions to democracy, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) spent almost $30 million a year on civic and democracy education and by the end of the decade had spent about $232 million. USAID commissioned a major study to


Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

and must be taken into account in designing civic education programs for participants. The major finding of the study that applied to both adult and school-based programs was that the design of the curriculum and the quality of instruction are essential for the success of civic education programs.

program to deal with them. (b) Use as many participatory methods as possible – such as “role-plays, dramatizations, small group exercises, and group discussions” all of which are far more effective than passive methods to teach about democratic practices and values. (c) Build opportunities for political participation – through NGOs or meetings with local government officials to achieve direct political engagement. (d) Focus on issues that are relevant to people’s daily lives – identify the daily concerns of participants and show how democracy deals with them. (e) Train the trainers – trainers should be able to use a range of participatory teaching methods and be able to adapt their methods and the content of the curriculum to the immediate needs of participants. (f) T  arget groups – people with extensive social networks seem to benefit more from civic education than people who do not belong to social, economic, or political groups — and it is suggested that “group membership may be a useful screening device for recruiting participants into civic education programs.” (g) Deal with gender issues – women, particularly in the developing world, often face greater obstacles (e.g. a lack of resources and cultural barriers) than men and may need support programs in addition to civic education.

1.2.2 Effective Civic Education Programs
The study found that in addition to curriculum design and quality of instruction, the following were indicators of effective programs: (a) Frequent sessions – one or two sessions had little or no impact, but three or more seemed to lead to a significant impact. (b) Participatory teaching methods – such as “breakout groups, dramatizations, roleplays, problem solving activities, simulations, and mock political or judicial activities” because they have a much better impact than passive teaching methods such as lectures or the distribution of materials. (c) Knowledgeable and inspiring teachers – “teachers who fail to engage their participants have little success in transmitting information about democratic knowledge, values, or ways to participate effectively in the democratic political process.”

1.2.3 Lessons Learned for Designing more Effective Civic Education Programs
The following factors were found to be important when designing an effective civic education program — some of which have been previously mentioned: (a) Identify and address obstacles to frequent participation – design the civic education

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


(h) Avoid inflating expectations – civic education appears to reduce participants’ trust in institutions, so the standards about what democracies can deliver should not be set so high that they create unrealistic expectations — it may be better to “focus on specific shortterm goals, in addition to broader issues of political or constitutional reform.” (i)  Involve parents, teachers, and school administrators in school-based programs – schools and family beliefs and practices have a powerful influence on the lives of children and young adults.

cation curriculum for that country’s first democratic elections.

1.3.1 USAID Democracy Education Survey Findings
The USAID Democracy Education Survey found that for effective democracy education programs, the following should be included in civic education curricula: (a)  A focus on issues relevant to the everyday lives of participants. (b)  A consideration of gender issues — particularly the role of women in democratic societies. (c)  An indication that democracy is not the panacea for all the ills in society — by not setting the expectations of democracy so high that they become unrealistic. (d)  Opportunities for direct engagement in political activities involving meetings with government officials and NGOs. (e)  The involvement of parents, teachers, and school administrators in democracy education programs in schools.

1.3  Democracy Education Curricula
Numerous suggestions have been made as to what should be included in democracy education curricula, but it is beyond the scope of this Manual to debate these. Instead, reference will be made to the following suggested frameworks and practical steps taken to develop curricula that have worked in practice — each of which teaches a different lesson: (a)  The findings of the USAID Democracy Education Survey concerning what worked and did not work for democracy education in the Dominican Republic, Poland, and South Africa during their transitional stages. (b)  Some of the suggestions in the Education for Democracy Curriculum Framework presented by Mongolia during its Chairmanship of the Community of Democracies. (c)  The South African Street Law experience when engaging with NGOs and communities to develop a Democracy for All edu-

1.3.2 The Education for Democracy Framework Recommendations
The Education for Democracy Framework recommended that the following holistic knowledge, skills, and values outcomes should be included in education for democracy curricula: (a)  Knowledge about political systems and government; culture and society; rights and responsibilities; important social, political, economic, environmental, international, and other issues; and current affairs.


Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

(b)  Skills involving critical thinking; systems thinking (e.g. understanding the complexities of democracy and that it can be messy); critical literacy and communication (e.g. being able to detect bias and distortion in the media); how to work through ambiguity; and conflict resolution. (c)  Values that reflect autonomy; justice and care (i.e. fairness and the need for empathy and understanding); integrity; reciprocity (i.e. the need to balance our individual interests with the interests of others); local and global citizenship; reasonableness; mutual civic respect (i.e. not just tolerating others views but also respecting them); and civic engagement. The Education for Democracy Framework also recommends that school-level education for democracy outcomes should involve developing a sense of connectedness amongst students, teachers, administrators, parents and society; democratically engaged teachers; school and community partnerships; parental and community involvement in schools; and democratic school governance. Some of these recommendations are similar to the findings of the USAID Survey regarding school programs. The Education for Democracy Framework recommends the following content and themes in education for democracy programs: (a) what democracy is (b) how democracy works (c) arguments for and against democracy (d) cultivating and enhancing democracy

(e) t he global context of democracy. In addition, it recommends that relevant themes should include the environment; human rights; gender; minorities, marginalization and discrimination; poverty; war, conflict and violence; globalization; migration and immigration; and corruption and abuse of power.

1.3.3 The South African Street Law Experience
In 1990 after the release of Nelson Mandela, Street Law South Africa (Street Law SA), with assistance from Street Law, Inc. produced learner’s and instructor’s manuals, entitled Human Rights for All (1990), designed to introduce South Africans of all races to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Subsequently, in 1993 once it became clear that South Africa was about to get a new democratic constitution, Street Law SA and Street Law, Inc. produced similar learner’s and instructor’s manuals, entitled Democracy for All (1994), to be used in a nationwide Democracy for All program funded by USAID. The program was introduced to support the efforts of NGOs involved in voter education for the country’s first democratic election on April 27, 1994. The manner in which the Democracy for All curriculum was constructed after extensive consultations with, and field-testing in, civil society provides a useful lesson for countries transitioning to democracy. The steps followed in the consultations and for the development of the curriculum were as follows: (a) S  treet Law SA called a meeting of 26 NGOs conducting voter education in KwaZuluNatal and offered to work with them to develop a curriculum on democracy. (b) T  he NGOs mentioned that they would cooperate with the Democracy for All project

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


but were too involved in voter education to become involved in writing the materials; they were happy for Street Law SA to develop a curriculum in workshops and to fieldtest any materials developed. (c) S  treet Law SA approached Street Law, Inc. for technical assistance and put together a rainbow coalition of South African and Street Law, Inc. authors with Street Law SA as the project leader. (d) T  he 26 NGOs were invited to a workshop where they were asked to brainstorm a practical and relevant curriculum for a democracy education program in South Africa that would supplement their voter education efforts. (e) D  uring the workshop the suggestions of the participants were reduced to six broad topics that would form the basis of the six chapters of the manual. (f) T  he suggested topics were: (i) what democracy is; (ii) how government works in a democracy; (iii) checking the abuse of power; (iv) human rights and democracy; (v) elections; and (vi) citizen participation. (g) T  he authors were allocated different chapters and required to produce their chapter outlines to report back at a meeting with the NGOs in a month’s time. (h) A  t the follow-up meeting, the outlines were presented, critiqued, and refined and the authors instructed to complete their chapters within three months and to submit them to the Street Law SA editor.

(i)  The completed drafts were edited, returned to the authors for amendments, and then returned to the editor who sent them out to the 26 NGOs and the 21 Street Law coordinators throughout the country for two months of field-testing. (j) A  fter the field-testing period, expired representatives of the 26 NGOs and the 21 Street Law coordinators attended a feed-back workshop with the authors to discuss the materials. (k) A  t the workshop, the materials were discussed chapter-by-chapter and page-bypage and the comments recorded by the authors and the editor. (l) A  t the end of the workshop, the authors were requested to incorporate the comments into their chapters and to return the amended text to the editor within one month. (m) T  he editor incorporated the completed chapters into the consolidated text and consulted with a team of cartoonists to illustrate the different chapters with a request that they send their drawings to the editor within one month. (n) D  raft cartoons were submitted and approved by the editor and finalized within two weeks. (o) T  he complete illustrated Democracy for All Manual was sent to the printers and printed within six weeks. The Democracy for All approach shows how a curriculum and published materials can be developed in less than a year, despite engaging in widespread consultation.


Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

1.4  Rationale for Using Interactive Teaching Methods
As mentioned in the USAID Survey, participatory, interactive teaching and learning methods should be used in civic and democracy education, rather than the traditional passive lecture method. That this is the most effective way of teaching and learning has been confirmed in the research that is summarized in the so-called “learning pyramid.” The origins of the “learning pyramid” are obscure,

but the “learning pyramid” provides a valuable tool for demonstrating that interactive learning is one of the most effective ways for people to learn. The “learning pyramid” indicates that the rate of memory retention increases as more earner-centered interactive teaching methods are used. For example, if lectures are used, learners remember 5 percent. If learners read for themselves, they remember 10 percent. If audio-visual methods are used (e.g. an






Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


overhead projector or PowerPoint), learners remember 20 percent. If learners see a demonstration, they will remember 30 percent. If they discuss issues in small groups, they will remember 50 percent. If they practice by doing, they will remember 75 percent. And finally, if the learners teach others or immediately use the information they have been given, they will remember 90 percent. As mentioned in the USAID Survey, it is essential for trainers to be trained in a wide variety of interactive teaching and learning methods if civic and democracy education programs are going to be effective. To give effect to this suggestion, a selection of participatory teaching methods have been compiled — where appropriate with examples from different countries.

Values outcomes refer to what learners will appreciate by the end of the lesson (e.g. “At the end of this lesson students will appreciate the importance of …”). The learning outcomes regarding the knowledge, skills, and values to be learned should be explained to the students at the beginning of each lesson so they know what to expect. The inclusion of the expected outcomes in the lesson plans ensures that the educator has the necessary guidelines as to what he or she is trying to achieve in the lesson. Each activity during a lesson should be directly linked to achieving the particular outcomes for the lesson. Thus, the outcomes enable the educators to check whether or not they have achieved the objectives of their lessons.

1.5  Lesson Plans for an Effective Democracy Education Program
This section defines learning outcomes and then describes the requirement for an effective lesson.

1.5.2 Effective Lessons
Democracy educators should not rely on the traditional lecture approach to teaching because it is the least effective method of imparting knowledge to students — see 1.4 above. In order to use interactive teaching methods, it is necessary to consider the elements of an effective lesson and what should be included in a lesson plan that uses interactive strategies. As has been pointed out, an effective lesson is not merely a lecture. An effective lesson goes beyond using the lecture technique in order to stimulate cognitive learning by learners. It is recommended that for an effective lesson, the following elements should be included: 1. Substance: relevant aspects of democracy or a bill of rights, the relevant law or practice. 2. Policy considerations: why the bill of rights was introduced, how it works in practice, etc.

1.5.1 Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Skills, and Values
Learning outcomes describe the material learners will have learned by the end of the lesson. When developing a lesson plan, democracy educators should bear in mind that the ideal lesson should include knowledge, skills, and values. Knowledge outcomes refer to what learners will be able to explain by the end of the lesson about the relevant democracy law or principles, the skills and/ or the values being taught (e.g. “At the end of the lesson learners will be able to explain …”). Skills outcomes refer to what learners will be able to do by the end of the lesson (e.g. “At the end of this lesson learners will be able to conduct …”).


Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

3. Conflicting values: a lesson will be more lively and motivating if learners are exposed to different competing values (e.g. the need for a multi-party political environment weighed against the dangers of undemocratic political parties being allowed to stand for election). 4. An interactive teaching strategy: see 1.6 below. 5. Practical advice (when possible): educators need to know what can be done in practice if their democratic rights are infringed.

allocate questions (5 minutes). 4.3 S  mall group discussions of questions (10 minutes). 4.4 R  eport back from small groups (20 minutes). 4.5 G  eneral discussion and checking questions (10 minutes). Total: 50 minutes Step 5: Set out the resources needed for the lesson (e.g. case study handouts, flip chart, overhead projector, PowerPoint projector, etc.). Step 6: Make a list of questions for the concluding session to check that the outcomes for the lesson have been achieved. Example of a General Lesson Plan The following is an example a case study and general lesson plan for how to conduct the lesson.
Debate: Should privately owned mines in a country be nationalized? Learners should be divided into opposing teams to debate the above topic.

1.5.3 Structure of Lesson Plans
Unlike lectures, where time management is relatively easy, interactive learning methods require very careful time management. The following outline for lesson plans involving interactive learning methods can be used: Step 1: Set out the topic of the lesson. Step 2: Set out the learning outcomes for the lesson — state what learners will be able to do at the end of the lesson in respect of knowledge, skills and values. Step 3: Set out the content of the lesson in respect of the areas that have to be covered in respect of knowledge, skills and values (i.e. what has to be taught in respect of each). Step 4: Set out the interactive strategies that will be used together with their time frames in respect of each outcome, for example: 4.1  Focuser: brainstorm (5 minutes). 4.2  Divide learners into small groups and

Lesson Plan: Debate: Should privately owned mines in a country be nationalized? 1. Topic: Nationalization of mines 2. Outcomes: At the end of this lesson you will be able to: 2.1 Explain the arguments for and against the nationalization of mines.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


2.3 Appreciate that in a democracy there are conflicting views about the ownership of property when it comes to mineral wealth. 3. Procedure: 3.1  Focuser: Ask learners what is meant by “nationalization” and what it involves (5 minutes). 3.2  Allocate the debate topic to two large groups of participants and choose which groups will argue for and against the proposition (1 minute). 3.3  Subdivide the large groups into small groups of not more than five persons each (1 minute). 3.4  Get the small groups to prepare their arguments and to choose two debaters to present their arguments (one, the main debater, to present the group’s arguments, and the other, a replying debater, to reply to the opposing group’s arguments) (15 minutes). 3.5  Allow the main debater from one small group that prepared arguments in favor of the proposition to present their arguments first within the designated time frame (5 minutes). 3.6  Allow the main debater from another small group that prepared arguments against the proposition to present their arguments within the designated time frame (5 minutes). 3.7  Allow the replying debaters who are in favor or against the proposition to brief-

ly reply to their opponents within the designated time frames of 1 minute for each side (2 minutes). 3.8  Repeat the steps 3.5-3.7 and allow two other groups to argue in favor and against nationalization of the mines (12 minutes). 3.8 A  sk all the participants to vote on which side presented the best arguments and deserved to win the debate (2 minutes) 3.9 C  onclude and ask checking questions (2 minutes) Total: 50 minutes. 4.  Resources: Hand-out on section in Bill of Rights dealing with property rights. 5.  Checking questions: Question and answer on nationalization of mines, for example: 5.1 What does nationalization mean? 5.2  Why do bills of rights in democratic countries provide for private ownership of land? 5.3 W  hat are the arguments in favor of nationalizing the mines? 5.4 W  hat are the arguments against nationalizing the mines?

1.6  Interactive Methods of Democracy Education
The following interactive teaching methods will be discussed: (i) brainstorming, (ii) ranking exercises, (iii) small group discussions, (iv) triads, (v) case studies, (vi) role-plays, (vii) question and answer,

10 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

(viii) simulations, (ix) debates, (x) games, (xi) hypothetical problems, (xii) moots, (xiii) mock trials, (xiv) open-ended stimulus, (xv) snow ball, (xvi) opinion polls, (xvii) participant presentations, (xviii) storytelling, (xix) taking a stand, (xx) thinking on your feet – PRES formula, (xxi) problem solving – FIRAC formula, (xxii) values clarification, (xxiii) fishbowl, (xxiv) jigsaw, (xxv) “each one, teach one,” (xxvi) visual aids, (xxvii) the use of experts, (xxviii) field trips, (xxix) direct participation, and (xxx) “dream country.” The discussion of each teaching and learning method includes a brief explanation of the method and how it is used.

chart without judging whether they are right or wrong, good or bad. Step 3:  Clarify but do not judge answers as and when required. Step 4:  Go through the brainstormed list, acknowledging the contribution by each participant. Step 5: R  elate the brainstormed list of ideas or solutions to the purpose of the lesson and if necessary move on to the next part of the lesson, which may include ranking the items in the brainstormed list — see 1.6.2 below.
Example: Listing the signposts of democracy 1.  T he educator asks the learners: What are the signposts of democracy? 2.  T he educator lists all the answers on a blackboard or flipchart. 3.  Each signpost is then explained and discussed with the educator leading the discussion.

1.6.1 Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a means of encouraging a free flow of ideas from participants. It is an important learning technique because it encourages participants to generate creative ideas without fear of criticism. During brainstorming, the trainer invites participants to think of as many different ideas as possible and records all the suggestions on a blackboard or flip chart, even if some of them might appear to be incorrect. If the answers seem to indicate that the question is not clear, it should be rephrased. Instructors should postpone any criticism of the suggestions made until all the ideas have been written down. Thereafter, the suggestions may be criticized and if necessary ranked in order of priority — see 1.6.2 below. The instructor should use the following steps when conducting a brainstorming exercise: Step 1: I  nvite participants to think of as many different ideas or solutions as they can. Step 2:  Record all answers on a board or flip-

1.6.2 Ranking Exercises
Ranking exercises involve making choices between competing alternatives. The trainer can either use a list brainstormed and developed by the participants or give the participants a list of items to rank, for example, 5 to 10 different items. Participants should then be required to rank the items from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with 1 being the most important and 5 or 10 the least. Participants can be asked to: (a) justify their ranking, (b) listen to people who disagree, and (c) re-evaluate their ranking in the light of views of the other participants. When conducting a ranking exercise, the instructor should do the following:

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Step 1:  Give the participants a list of competing alternatives or use a brainstormed list — see 1.6.1 above. Step 2: D  ivide the participants into small groups and ask them to rank the items on the list handed out or the brainstormed list. Step 3: A  sk each group to give their first ranked signpost one at a time. Step 4: W  hen group 1 gives its first signpost, the educator writes it down and checks to see how many other groups listed it as number 1 or at some other level and records the figure next to the signpost on the board or chart. Step 5:  The educator then asks the second group what their number 1 was if it was not the same as the first group’s, and the process is repeated with the educator checking how many other groups had it as their number 1 or ranked at some other level. Step 6: T  he educator then asks the third group what their number 1 was if it was not the same as the other groups’, and the process is repeated with the educator checking how many other groups had it as their number 1 or ranked at some other level.

Step 7: T  he process is repeated group by group until all the signposts have been listed with their ranking and the numbers of groups that identified each signpost as important. Step 8:  At the end, a comprehensive ranking list can be drawn up indicating which signposts the group as a whole thought were most important, in descending order of importance. A variation of ranking is to ask participants to place themselves on a continuum based on their feelings about some statement or concept. For example, participants may be asked to indicate whether particular conduct was democratic by standing in a line and placing themselves on a scale from “strongly agree” at one end and “strongly disagree” at the other. Participants should then have an opportunity to justify their ranking, to listen to participants who disagree with their viewpoints, and to re-evaluate their position based on the discussions they have heard. They could indicate this by moving their position on the line.
Example: Ranking the signposts of democracy Use the above eight steps to get small groups of participants to rank what they consider to be the signposts of democracy.

12 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

1.6.3 Small Group Discussions
Small group discussions should be carefully planned with clear guidelines regarding the procedure to be followed and the time allocated. The groups should usually not exceed five people to ensure that everyone has a chance to speak. The groups should be numbered off by the educator (e.g. 1 to 5) or formed by taking every five people in a row or group and designating them as teams for group discussions. The groups should be given instructions concerning their task — including how long they will have to discuss a topic or prepare for a debate or role play and how the group should be run (e.g. elect a facilitator and a rapporteur who will report back to all the other participants). Groups should be told to conduct their proceedings in such a way as to ensure that stronger participants do not dominate and everyone has a fair opportunity to express themselves. A simple way of achieving this is to use “token talk,” whereby group facilitators give each participant five matches or other tokens and require the participants to surrender a token each time they speak. Any person who speaks on five occasions will have no tokens left and can no longer speak.

In triads, the following steps can be used, for instance in a dispute between political parties that is being mediated: Step 1:  Explain the steps in mediation to the participants. Step 2:  Introduce the facts of the case to be mediated by the parties. Step 3:  Number the participants off in triads — one, two, and three. Step 4: A  llocate a role to each number, e.g., number ones will be Political Party A, number twos will be the Mediator and number threes will be Political Party B. Step 5:  Get the number ones (Political Party A) to sit together and the number threes (Political Party B) to sit together to familiarize themselves with their respective roles. Step 6:  Take the number twos (Mediators) outside the venue to walk them through the mediation process so they know what to do. Step 7:  Get the participants to return to their original seats and to reconstitute themselves into triads of ones, twos, and threes. Step 8:  Get the number twos to introduce themselves as mediators and to conduct the mediation. Step 9:  Get feedback from the mediators on the results of their mediation.

Example: Discussing the signposts of democracy See the example in 1.6.2 above for how small groups can be used to discuss the ranking of the signposts of democracy.

1.6.4 Triads
Triads (working in groups of three) can be used to get everyone involved in a particular exercise. They are very useful for conducting mini-moots and mediation and arbitration exercises.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Step 10:  Conduct a general discussion and summary of the lesson.
Example: A dispute between political parties Members of Political Party A wish to hold a public meeting in a town area controlled by Party B. Party A manages to get permission from a priest to hold the meeting in a church hall. Members of Party B who are very opposed to Party A’s policies threaten to break up the meeting. Party A believes that the local people should be free to choose whether or not they wish to attend the meeting. The leader of Party B says he or she knows that none of the local people will want to attend the meeting as they will support his or her party. Eventually the leaders of Parties A and B agree to allow a mediator to help them resolve the dispute. Use the above 10 steps to get the participants to conduct the mediation. [Street Law South Africa 2004, p. 34]

Step 1: S  elect the case study. Step 2:  Get the participants to review the facts (ensure that they understand them — in plenary). Step 3: G  et the participants to identify the legal issues involved (identify the legal questions to be answered — in plenary). Step 4:  Allocate the case study to the participants (in small groups). Step 5: G  et the participants to discuss the relevant law and prepare arguments or judgments (in small groups). Step 6: G  et the participants to present their arguments (arguments on behalf of the prosecution or plaintiff and defendant should be presented within the allocated time — in plenary or in small groups). Step 7:  Get the participants to whom the arguments were presented to make a decision (participants allocated the role of judges or the participants as a whole — in plenary or in small groups). Step 8: C  onduct a general discussion and summarize (in plenary). Case studies can be based on real incidents or cases involving aspects of democracy such as criminal prosecutions for intimidation or destruction of political posters or civil cases involving challenges to elections or interference with political meetings. At the end, after the participants have made their decisions, the teacher can tell them what happened

1.6.5 Case Studies
Case studies are usually conducted by dividing participants into three large groups of lawyers for plaintiffs or defendants (or prosecutors and accused persons) and judges, and then further sub-dividing the large groups into small groups to consider suitable arguments or solutions. Individuals from each group can be selected to present arguments or to give judgments on behalf of the group. A variation might be for one group or set of groups to argue for one side, another group or set of groups to argue for the other side, and a third group or set of groups to give a decision or judgement on the arguments. Another variation is to use triads and have individuals engage in mini-moots — see 1.6.4 above. When requiring participants to discuss case studies, an eight step procedure can be used:

14 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

in the real case. Case studies help to develop logical and critical thinking as well as decision-making.

Step 1: E  xplain the role-play to the participants (describe the scenario). Step 2: B  rief the participants who volunteer (or are selected) to do the role-play. Step 3:  Brief the other participants to act as observers (give them instructions on what to look out for). Step 4: G  et the participants to act out the roleplay (this can be done by one group in front of all the participants or in small groups consisting of role-players and observers). Step 5:  Ask the observers to state what they saw happen in the role-play. Step 6: A  sk all the participants to discuss the legal, social, or other implications of the role-play and to make a decision on what should be done to resolve the conflict in the role-play (this can be done using small groups). Step 7: C  onduct a general discussion and summarize. A variation of Step 6 would be to ask the participants to act out a conclusion to what happened during the role-play. Although the teacher sets the scene, he or she should accept what the participants do. Role-plays often reveal information about the student’s experiences as a story in itself.

Example: Is the Head of State above the law? A hotly contested election results in a win for the party of the President of a country. The opposition parties allege that the election was rigged and that the President used violence and intimidation to get people to vote for him (or her). Evidence emerges that the President had ordered violence to be used against several local opposition leaders whom he (or she) alleged were orchestrating violence against his (or her) party members in the rural areas. Party members on both sides are killed in the violence. There is direct evidence of the President’s role in inciting the violence that resulted in the killing of two opposition leaders. The Attorney-General charges the President with their murders and goes on trial. The President denies liability and objects to going on trial saying that the Head of State cannot be prosecuted. 1.  L awyers for the prosecution, give arguments for the Attorney-General. 2.  L awyers for the President, give arguments for the President. 3. Judges, listen to the arguments and give your judgment.

1.6.6 Role-plays
During role-plays, participants draw on their own experience to act out a particular situation (e.g., a politician presenting their election manifesto). Participants use their imagination to flesh out the role-play. Role-plays can be used to illustrate a situation. The instructor should use the following seven steps when conducting role-plays:

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Example: Show the difference between democracy and other regimes — see case study on Lebanon The teacher asks one student to play the role of a democratic candidate in an election, presenting his or her program of candidature. The teacher asks another student to play the role of a non-democratic candidate in presenting his or her program of candidature and nominates a third student as moderator. The teacher divides the other students between the roles of audience and media. One other student should write all the remarks on the flipchart. After the speeches of the two candidates, the remarks of the audience, and the comments of the media, the teacher starts to show the difference between the democratic and non-democratic candidates and their speeches and comments on the reaction of the audience and the media. The teacher asks the students to present spontaneous speeches focusing on various topics of democracy, some chosen by the teacher, others referring to the speakers’ interests. This exercise aims at defending democracy as an activist.

Example: Questions to prepare learners for a mock parliamentary debate — see the case studies on Ghana and Mongolia Educators should prepare learners for a mock parliamentary debate by asking them some preliminary questions about parliament and questions to help them prepare for the role-play — questions such as: 1. Who works in parliament? 2. How do you become a member of parliament? 3. How many members of parliament are there? 4. What do members of parliament do? 5.  How old would you have to be to become a member of parliament? 6. Where would you work? 7. What tasks would you have? 8.  W hat skills would you need? What would you have done before becoming a member of parliament?

1.6.7 Question and Answer
The question and answer technique can be used instead of lecturing. In order to use questions and answers effectively, a checklist of the questions and answers should be prepared to ensure that all aspects of the topic have been covered by the end of the lesson. The questions must be properly planned beforehand to make sure that all the information necessary for the lesson or workshop has been obtained from the participants. Instructors using the question and answer technique should wait for a few seconds (at least 5 seconds) after asking the question, in order to give participants an opportunity to think before answering. Instructors should be careful to ensure that more confident participants do not dominate the question and answer session.

1.6.8 Simulations
Simulations require participants to act out a role by following a script. They are not open-ended like role-plays and are carefully scripted to ensure that the objectives of the exercise are achieved. Simulations usually require more preparation than role-plays because the participants need time to prepare to follow the script. The instructor should tell participants about the persons or situation they are simulating before they act out the scene and give them time to rehearse. Simulations can be combined with case studies (see 1.6.5 above), moots (see 1.6.12 below), and mock trials (see 1.6.13 below). The procedure for conducting a simulation is similar to that for a role-play, and educators should follow the seven steps suggested in 1.6.6 above.

16 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Example: Who will govern the shipwrecked children? Twenty-six young people — six teenagers and 20 children are adrift in the ocean after their ship sank in a savage storm. All their parents and the crew are drowned. For five days they drift until, at last, they reach a deserted island. Here there is food and water but no one else. What do they need until a search party finds them? Everyone agrees that there should be rules so that they can get on with each other and live safely, but who is to make the rules? Peter (age 17) is the first to speak: “I am the oldest and the strongest, therefore I know best how to protect us. So, from now on I make all the rules!” Atiena (age 16) disagrees: “Everyone, including the younger kids, should decide on and agree to every rule. Their opinions count, too. Everyone must help, and we don’t need bossy people giving us orders!” Raphael (age 15) has a different view: “There are too many of us for everyone to take part in every decision. We’ll spend all our time talking! We should, rather, elect people to represent us. Anyone can be a representative, but they must be elected.” Mse (age 14) doesn’t feel that the younger children are old enough to make decisions: “I say let the teenagers vote and make the rules for the younger kids.” 1.  Play the different teenagers making their arguments. 2.  W hat are the advantages and disadvantages of each person’s suggestion? 3. W hose suggestion do you agree with most? Give your reasons. 4.  W hich suggestion do you think results in a government which can be called democratic? Give reasons for your answer. [South Africa: Democracy for All 1994, p. 2-3]

that there should be a substantial number of participants in favor of and against the proposition. The participants may be divided into two large groups and then subdivided into small groups for their side, to prepare arguments for the debate. The groups elect persons from their groups to debate on their behalf. The debate is conducted, and the participants then vote in favor of or against the proposition. The instructor can use the following seven steps to conduct a debate: Step 1: A  llocate the debate topic to two large groups of participants and choose which groups will argue for and against the proposition. Step 2: S  ubdivide the large groups into small groups of not more than five persons each. Step 3: G  et the small groups to prepare their arguments and to choose two debaters to present their arguments (one, the main debater, to present the group’s arguments and the other, a replying debater, to reply to the opposing group’s arguments). Step 4: A  llow the main debaters who are in favor of the proposition to present their arguments first within the designated time frame (5 minutes). Step 5: A  llow the main debaters who are against the proposition to present their arguments within the designated time frame (5 minutes).

1.6.9 Debates
Debates should involve relevant controversial issues such as: Should prisoners have the right to vote? Should citizens who have emigrated from the country be allowed to vote? Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?, etc. A controversial issue means

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Step 6: A  llow the replying debaters who are in favor of or against the proposition to briefly reply to their opponents within the designated time frames (1 minute for each side). Step 7: A  sk all the participants to vote on which side presented the best arguments and deserved to win the debate. A variation of the debate is “mini-debates” in which all the participants are divided into triads (groups of three) to conduct mini-debates with debaters for and against the proposition in each triad, together with an adjudicator who controls the debate, decides who the winner is, and reports back to all the other participants. For instructions on how to conduct triads, see 1.6.4 above.
Example: Debating aspects of democracy Use the above six steps to conduct a debate on any topic related to democracy, such as: 1.  Should convicted prisoners have the right to vote? 2.  Should citizens who have emigrated from the country be allowed to vote? 3. Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?

The following steps can be followed when using a game to teach about democracy: Step 1: Introduce the game. Step 2: Play the game. Step 3: D  ebrief the game so everyone understands what the game was about. Step 4: R  elate the game to the relevant aspect of democracy that is the subject of the lesson. For board games, see the case studies on Thailand: the SIM Democracy Board Game and the Democracy Challenge game in the South African Democracy for All. Games can be used to teach knowledge, skills, and values.

1.6.11 Hypothetical Problems
Hypothetical problems are similar to case studies, except that they are often based on fictitious situations. They can be more useful than case studies in the sense that a particular problem can be tailor-made for the purposes of the workshop. Furthermore, they are often based on an actual event (e.g. a newspaper report), even though it is not an officially reported legal case. The advantage of hypothetical problems is that appropriate changes can be made to the facts depending on the purposes of the exercise. Hypothetical problems are particularly useful when teaching about human rights in an anti-human rights environment because reference does not have to be made directly to the home country. Even though the facts may be identical to those in the home country, the hypothetical problem can present them as occurring in a foreign country.3

1.6.10 Games
Games are a fun way to learn because most people, whether they are adults or children, enjoy playing games. Games may be used as “ice breakers,” but they may also be used to teach important topics related to democracy and government. Games can illustrate complicated legal principles in a simple experiential format. Where games are used to teach about democracy, they should not just be fun but should also have a serious purpose.

18 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Example: The “Pen Game” An example of a game that can that can be used to teach values and knowledge and introduce participants to the need for law and types of laws that exist in democratic societies is what the writer calls the “Pen Game,” though there are many variations of this game. In the Street Law SA version, the “Pen Game” is played as follows: Step 1:  T he instructor announces that the need for some sort of legal system will be illustrated by playing a game. Step 2:  T he instructor checks that each student has a pen (or a paper clip, a bottle top, or any other suitable object). Once the instructor is satisfied that each student has a pen (or other object), he/she informs them that they will be playing the “pen” (or some other object) game. Step 3:  T he instructor tells the participants that as it is a game they need to be in teams and divides them into teams using small groups or by rows if they are in a classroom setting. Step 4: T he instructor tells the participants that since they are in teams, they need to have team captains and designates the participants on the right-hand side of each group or row as the team captains. Step 5:  The instructor checks that the participants know who are in their teams, who their team captains are and that they are playing the “Pen Game.” Step 6:  T he law teacher tells the participants to start playing the “Pen Game” — ignoring any requests for rules. Step 7: T he instructor allows the participants to make up their own rules regarding the game for a couple of minutes, but then tells them that they are not playing the game properly. Step 8:  T he instructor tells the team captains to pass the pen to the team members on their left and restarts the game. After a minute or so, the instructor stops them and tells them that they are not playing the game properly. Step 9:  T he instructor tells the team captains to hold the pen in his or her right hand and then to pass it to the team member on the left. After

a minute or so, the instructor again stops the team captains and tells them that they are not playing the game properly. Step 10:  The instructor tells the team captains to hold the pen in his or her right hand, pass it to his or her left hand, and then pass it to the team member on the left. After a minute or so, the instructor again stops them and tells them that they are not playing the game properly. Step 11:  T he instructor tells the team captains to hold the pen in his or her right hand, pass it to his or her left hand, and then pass it to the right hand of the team member on the left. After a minute or so, the instructor again stops them and tells them that they are still not playing the game properly. Step 12:  The instructor tells the team captains to hold the pen in his or her right hand, pass it to his or her left hand, pass it to the right hand of the team member on the left — but not to any members wearing spectacles (or any other distinguishing feature such as rings or clothes of a certain color). After a minute or so, the instructor again stops the game and arbitrarily chooses one of the teams as the winners. Step 13:  T he instructor debriefs the game to find out how the participants felt about it, why they felt the way they did, and what they learned from the game. Step 14:  Summary and conclusion: The instructor checks that the participants understand why society needs laws to prevent confusion and chaos; laws should not work retrospectively; laws should not discriminate against people; people should have access to impartial courts that apply the rule of law; citizens should participate in the law-making process. The “Pen Game” teaches knowledge and values — participants not only learn why we need laws in society but also appreciate why laws are necessary. Law teachers should ensure that games are structured in such a way that they meet the learning outcomes for the exercise. Not only should the game cover the various principles to be learned, but the instructor should ensure that during the debriefing all the outcomes have been achieved.2

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


When dealing with hypothetical cases, just as in case studies, participants should be required to argue both sides of the case and then to reach a decision. To this end, instructors can use Steps 1 to 8 mentioned for case studies — see 1.6.5 above.
Example: Police action and the rule of law4 The law in a country is: “The police may use reasonable force to subdue people who are breaking the law or otherwise using force against them.” Five members of an organization opposed to the government are stopped by the police while they are driving a car. The police recognize who they are, and when one of the suspects takes out a gun, the police fire their weapons and kill all five suspects. 1. What is the law involved in this case? 2. Who violated the law? 3.  W hich actions took place here that may have been violations of the rule of law?

as is sometimes done with case studies, and then to elect a representative to present the arguments of the group. Steps 1 to 8 for case studies can be used for these types of moots — see 1.6.5 above. Another method of presenting moots in street lawtype clinics that can also be used in democracy education is to use “mini-moots,” where participants are divided into triads with a “lawyer” on each side and a “judge” to control the proceedings, give a judgement, and report back to all other participants in triads — see 1.6.4 above.
Example: An appeal to the Supreme Court regarding election results Use steps 1-8 for case studies (see 1.6.5 above) to conduct a mini-moot on an appeal to the Supreme Court from an Electoral Court regarding a challenge to election results by a political party against the Electoral Commission for allowing an election to be rigged.

1.6.12 Moots
Moots involve case studies or hypotheticals in which participants are required to argue an appeal on a point of law. Moots are different from mock trials because there is no questioning of witnesses, accused persons, or experts as happens in mock trials. All the questioning would have been done at the trial stage; the moot is conducted at the appeal stage after the trial has been heard. The only people the appeal court sees and hears are the lawyers who argue the appeal. In law faculties, moots are usually conducted formally, and participants dress in robes and argue the appeal in a simulated moot court environment. Law participants are required to carry out the preparation work on an individual basis and to present their arguments individually as legal counsel. A variation used in street law-type clinics that can be used in democracy education programs is for participants to prepare arguments in small groups,

1.6.13 Mock Trials
Mock trials are an experiential way of learning that teaches participants to understand court procedures. Mock trials take a variety of forms. In law school programs teaching criminal or civil proceedings, the trials can be spread over a full semester with participants being carefully coached on each aspect of the trial. Participants are required to prepare and participate on an individual basis. In legal literacy, street law, and democracy education programs, large numbers of participants can be included in mock trials. For example, mock trials using five witnesses and an accused can involve up to 28 participants — eight lawyers for the plaintiff or prosecution team and eight for the defense team, three judges, five witnesses, an accused, a registrar, a court orderly and a time-keeper.

20 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Participants are taught the different steps in a trial. They are also taught basic skills like how to make an opening statement, how to lead evidence, how to ask questions and how to make a closing statement. Participants play the role of witnesses, court officials, judges, and lawyers. One lawyer on each side can make an opening statement, each lawyer can question one witness or the accused, and one lawyer on each side can make a closing statement. The chief judge can control the proceedings, each judge can question one witness or the accused, and one judge can be responsible for giving the judgment. The registrar calls the case, the court orderly keeps order in court, and the time-keeper keeps the time. The instructor should use the following steps to prepare participants for a mock trial involving large numbers of participants: Step 1: D  istribute the mock trial materials to the class. Read through the charge or summons, the facts of the case, and the witness’s statements with all the participants. The instructor should: 1.  Make sure that the participants understand the facts of the case, the nature of the charge (or summons), and the applicable law. 2.  Get the participants to read through each of the statements and to highlight those parts of the statements that favor the prosecution (or plaintiff) and those that favor the defense. Step 2: A  ssign or select participants for the various roles in the mock trial.

Depending on the type of trial, participants should be selected to play the roles of lawyers, witnesses, experts, judges, registrars, court orderlies, time-keepers, and court observers. For the role of judge, it is often helpful to invite a resource person, such as a lawyer, law student, or real judge. If this is not possible, instructor or students may act as judges. Step 3: Prepare participants for the trial. In order to involve the maximum number of participants, the instructor should divide the class into training groups. Participants should be divided into: 1.  Teams of lawyers, witnesses, experts, and accused persons for the prosecution and defense. Each team has the responsibility for preparing its side of the case and needs to prepare opening statements, questions for their witnesses and those of the other side, and closing statements. 2.  Teams of judges or magistrates (if more than one judge or magistrate will be used), who need to know how to run the trial and must prepare questions for the witnesses and a preliminary judgment that will be subject to change after hearing the case. 3.  Teams of registrars, court orderlies, and time-keepers who need to be prepared for the various tasks in a trial (e.g. arrange time charts).

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Procedure in a Mock Trial Hearing A number of events occur during a trial, and most trials must happen in a particular order. For the purposes of this chapter, a criminal trial will be used as an example. (In a civil trial, the plaintiff or his or her lawyer would bring the case instead of the prosecutor.) The following procedures occur in a mock trial hearing: 1. The court is called to order by the court orderly. 2. The judges or magistrates enter and sit down. 3. The registrar calls out the name of the case. 4. T he judge or magistrate who controls the proceedings puts the charge to the accused and asks him or her to plead. 5. The accused pleads guilty or not guilty. 6.  T he prosecution and defense teams introduce themselves. 7. The prosecutor makes an opening statement. 8. The defense lawyer outlines the defense. 9. The prosecutor presents the case. 10.  T he prosecutor calls the first witness and conducts the direct examination of the witness. 11.  T he defense lawyer then cross-examines the witness. 12.  T he prosecutor re-examines the witness if necessary. 13.  T he judge or magistrate may ask questions to clarify issues. 14.  T he procedure in steps 9-13 is repeated for each of the prosecution’s other witnesses. 15. The prosecutor closes the case. 16.  T he defense lawyer presents the case in same manner as the prosecutor in 9 above. 17.  T he defense lawyer calls the accused first (if he or she is going to give evidence) and conducts

the examination-in-chief (also known as direct examination). 18. The prosecutor cross-examines the accused. 19.  T he defense lawyer re-examines the accused, if necessary. 20.  T he judge or magistrate may ask questions to clarify certain issues. 21.  T he same procedure is followed for all the witnesses for the defense. [Note: In 17 above, the accused must be called before the other defense witnesses if he or she is going to give evidence — to make sure that the accused does not change his or her story to make it fit with that of the other witnesses.] 22. The defense lawyer closes the defense case. 23. The prosecutor makes a closing argument. 24. The defense lawyer makes a closing argument. 25.  T he prosecutor may reply to the defense’s argument but only on matters of law raised by the defense — not the facts. 26.  T he judge or magistrate adjourns the case to consider the verdict. 27. The judges or magistrates give the verdict. In a criminal case, the following steps occur when an accused is convicted. These steps do not occur in a civil case. In a civil case, the judge or magistrate decides in favor of one, the other, or neither of the parties, and makes an appropriate court order e.g. defendant must pay compensation. 27.  If an accused person is convicted, the defense offers evidence in mitigation (reasons why the sentence should be reduced). 28.  T he prosecution is given a chance to say why the sentence should not be reduced or why it should be increased. 29. The judge or magistrate sentences the accused. 30.  T he judge or magistrate tells the accused that he or she can appeal.

22 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Example: A Mock Trial hearing in an Electoral Court Use steps 1-3 and the procedures in the box above to conduct a mock trial hearing in an Electoral Court regarding a challenge to election results. A political party challenges the Electoral Commission for allowing an election to be rigged when the ruling party stuffed the ballot boxes in advance of the elections. Create your own fact pattern, prosecution, and defense witnesses’ statements and charge sheet.

groups of 16. It is probably impractical to go beyond 16, and it may be better to end at eight in a group. The snowball method is as follows: Step 1: A  llocate the same problem to a maximum of eight or 16 students and require them to consider their solutions individually. Step 2: D  ivide each cohort of eight or 16 students into pairs and ask them to discuss each other’s solutions. Step 3: D  ivide the cohort into groups of four by getting two sets of pairs to join together to discuss their solutions. Step 4: D  ivide the cohort further into groups of eight by joining up two sets of four students each to discuss their solutions. Step 5: I  f the instructor wishes to end with large groups, the groups of eight could be asked to join together to become a group of 16 to discuss the problem. Step 6: G  et feedback from each final group in turn regarding their solutions. Step 7: S  ummarize the discussion and conclude the lesson.

1.6.14 Open-ended Stimulus
Open-ended stimulus exercises require participants to complete unfinished sentences such as: “If I were standing for election” or “If I were the leader of the opposition... .” Another method of using an open-ended stimulus is to provide participants with an untitled photograph or cartoon and require them to write a caption. Participants may also be provided with an unfinished story and asked to give their own conclusion or to act out the conclusion in a role play.
Example: “If I were ...” Complete the following sentences: 1. If I were President, I would … 2. If I were Prime Minister, I would … 3. If I were Minister of Education, I would … 4. I  f I were Minister of Women’s Affairs, I would … 5. If I were Minister of Justice, I would …

Example: How can citizens participate in a democracy?

1.6.15 “Snowball”
A “snowball” is a method of group work that begins with students individually considering the solution to a problem, then discussing it in pairs, then in groups of four, then in groups of eight, and finally in

Use the above seven steps to conduct a snowball discussion on how citizens may participate in decision-making in a democracy.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


1.6.16 Opinion polls
An opinion poll allows participants to express their opinion on the topic of study. A poll allows for a spread of opinions (for example, “strongly agree,” “agree,” “undecided,” “disagree,” “strongly disagree”). Opinion polls can: (a) serve as the basis for discussion; (b) give the instructor feedback on the values, attitudes and beliefs of the participants; and (c) be used to assess changes in attitudes. An opinion poll can be conducted using the following steps: Step 1: A  sk each participant to express privately his or her opinion on a particular statement by stating whether they “strongly agree,” “agree,” are “undecided,” “disagree,” or “strongly disagree” with the statement and why (e.g. by individually writing the opinion down). Step 2: A  sk participants to share whether they “strongly agree,” “agree,” are “undecided,” “disagree,” or “strongly disagree” with the statement and record the results on a blackboard or flip chart in a table. Step 3: A  sk participants to justify their opinions and to listen to opposing points of view. Step 4: I  f no one takes an opposing point of view, the instructor should ask participants what the arguments are for the opposing positions. Step 5: C  heck the consistency of the participants’ views by giving them examples of situations that may cause them to change their opinion (e.g. see the

example below on whether citizens who have voted in the past should be able to vote for elections in the country they have permanently left). Step 6: A  sk participants if any have changed their views after hearing those of others, and if so, to explain why. For instance, if during an opinion poll on whether citizens who have voted should be able to vote for elections in the country they have permanently left, a number of participants say that citizens who have emigrated should be allowed to vote, the consistency of their view should be tested by giving them the example of a situation where citizens outside the country would have more votes than the people actually living in a constituency in that country. The participants could then be asked whether they still think that citizens who have emigrated from that constituency should be entitled to vote for somebody who will not represent them as they no longer live there.

Example: Should citizens who have emigrated from their home country be able to vote in elections there? Use the above five steps to conduct an opinion poll on whether citizens who have emigrated from their home country should still be able to vote in elections in that country.

1.6.17 Participant presentations
The following steps can be used to get participants to make presentations: Step 1: G  ive participants a topic on an aspect of democracy to prepare for presentation to the other participants.

24 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Step 2: G  et participants to research the topic by consulting books, magazines, journals or newspaper articles, or by asking parents, relatives, or friends about the relevant aspect of democracy and how it affected their lives. Step 3: G  et participants to present the results of their research to all the other participants. Step 4: G  et the participants to discuss each presentation made by their colleagues. Step 5: S  ummarize the findings in the presentations and relate them to the subject of the lesson.

1.6.18 Storytelling
Storytelling is a very powerful educational tool, as people identify with stories from an early age. Hence, stories appeal to all ages and can be used to educate both adults and children. Many folk stories have strong moral and human rights themes and are particularly effective if they are well-known to the participants in the educational programs. When using storytelling during democracy education, the educator could do the following: Step 1: R  ead, or ask a participant to read, the story or get the participants to read it together. Step 2: C  heck with participants that they understood what happened in the story. Step 3: A  sk the participants in pairs to list what they think are the good and bad things that happened in the story that are relevant to democracy. Step 4: G  et the pairs to share their ideas with the rest of the participants. Step 5: A  sk the participants to consider whether or not they think what happened in the story was fair and democratic. Step 6: I  n small groups, ask participants to decide what actions they think should be taken to make what happened in the story fairer. Step 7: G  et the groups to share their ideas with the rest of the participants.

Example: Promoting civil and voter registration and the secrecy of the ballot among marginalized communities in Kenya — see case study on Kenya. Participants were asked to conduct a situation analysis to assess the communities’ needs. Civic voter educators (CVEs) formed small groups based on their constituencies in order to outline issues and opportunities specific to their communities. Each small group discussed the following: 1. Identify issues that may affect the secrecy of the ballot in the constituency. 2.  Identify risk mitigation strategies that may promote voter privacy and equal participation. Groups were asked to present their findings to the class, after which the Institute for Education in Democracy facilitators gave feedback and identified thematic areas, target groups, sectoral priorities, and geographical scope. This provided a link to sequential training sessions, which occurred on the following day and outlined methods by which CVEs could engage marginalized groups, provide available culturally appropriate materials, serve as a forum for partnerships and linkages, and measure the level of existing civic education capacity.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Example: “The Kingdom of Sikkal” Use the above 10 steps to get participants to reflect on the story below: Sikkal is a country situated high in the mountains. For centuries it has had little contact with the rest of the world. Although Sikkal is only a tiny kingdom, it has attracted a lot of interest lately. This is mainly because of the unusual way in which society is organized there. To begin with, no one in Sikkal ever goes hungry. The Sikkalese people produce all their own food, and it is shared out to whoever needs it. A house is provided rent-free for every family. The size of the house depends on the number of people in the family. Fuel for heating and cooking is provided free of charge, as is a regular repair service. Should anyone ever fall sick, a doctor is always at hand. Everyone is given a free medical check-up every six months and care-workers make regular visits to old people, families with young children and anyone else who needs extra attention. In Sikkal, the good things in life are available to all. Each family is given a book of vouchers which they exchange each year for different luxury items, e.g.,

scent, soft furnishings, spices. The vouchers can be traded in right away or saved up over a period of time for something special. How have the people of Sikkal been able to organize all these things? As far back as anyone can remember, Sikkal has been ruled by a royal family. The present ruler is King Sik III. He decides the number of workers needed for each kind of work, e.g., growing food, building houses, or medical care. The people who do these jobs are selected at five years of age and sent to special schools for training. Farmers are sent to agricultural school, house-builders to technical school, health workers to medical school and so on. Everyone else of working age is employed by King Sik in one of his royal palaces. The most amazing thing about Sikkal is that there is no such thing as money. No one needs to be paid because everyone already has everything they need! You may be asking yourself whether anyone in Sikkal ever complains about these arrangements. In fact, this very rarely happens. The few people that do complain are looked after in secure mental hospitals. After all, you would have to be mad to complain about life in a society like this, wouldn’t you? [©Citizenship Foundation 2001]

Step 8: G  et the participants to think about the ideas suggested and evaluate the potential consequences of each — negative as well as positive. Step 9: T  ry to get the class to agree on principles of fairness that would have made what happened in the story fair. Step 10: A  sk the class to consider whether their own society lives up to their principles of fairness.

As an example, participants might be asked who are in favor of and who are against members of a recently removed brutal dictatorship being allowed to stand for public office in new democratic elections. Participants would then have to take a stand under a placard stating “In favor,” “Against,” or “Undecided” and would have to articulate their opinions on the topic. The following procedure can be followed: Step 1: P  repare placards with headings: “In favor,” “Against,” “Undecided,” or other suitable headings. Step 2: I  ntroduce the controversial topic on which the participants will be required to take a stand (e.g. Should convicted

1.6.19 “Taking a stand”
“Taking a stand” requires participants to stand up for their point of view by physically standing up and verbally justifying their position. A controversial topic should be chosen.

26 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

prisoners have the right to vote?). Tell participants that they may move their position if they hear a particularly good or bad argument. Step 3: R  equest participants to take a stand under the placard that reflects their point of view.

Example: Should members of a recently removed brutal dictatorship be allowed to stand for public office in new democratic elections? Follow the seven steps mentioned above to get participants to take a stand on whether they are in favor of or against allowing members of a recently removed brutal dictatorship to stand for public office in new democratic elections.

1.6.20 “Thinking on your feet” Step 4: G  et participants to justify their position – the PRES formula
by making a single argument — alternatively giving participants under each placard an opportunity to express their point of view. Step 5: G  et any participants who moved their position to give their reasons for doing so. Step 6: T  est the consistency of the students’ positions by introducing questions involving extreme examples (e.g. assume that in a suburb where a prison is located, there are more convicted prisoners eligible to vote than law abiding citizens entitled to vote and the prisoners may wish to vote a suspected gang leader who is qualified to stand as their candidate). Step 7: S  ummarize the discussion and conclude. To assist the participants in articulating their viewpoints in a logical manner, they may be required to use a formula like the PRES formula — see 1.6.20 below. “Taking a stand” not only teaches participants the skill of articulating an argument but also requires them to clarify their values. The PRES formula has been developed to help participants, particularly law participants, to construct a logical argument when asked to think on their feet. The PRES formula requires participants to present their arguments by expressing the following: (a) their Point of view; (b) the Reason for their point of view; (c) an Example or Evidence to support their point of view; and (d) to Summarize their point of view. For example, opinions on the death penalty could be articulated as follows using the PRES formula: 1.  Argument in favor of convicted prisoners being allowed to vote in elections: My Point of view is that I am in favor of convicted prisoners being allowed to vote. The Reason is that I believe that by being in prison they are already paying the price for their crimes and should be treated equally and not subjected to further punishment. The Evidence for my point of view is the Constitution, which provides that everybody is equal and may not be unfairly discriminated against. Therefore, in Summary, I am in favor of convicted prisoners having the right to vote in elections.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


2.  Argument against convicted prisoners being allowed to vote in elections: My Point of view is that I am against convicted prisoners being allowed to vote in elections: The Reason is that I believe that it is reasonable and justifiable to limit the rights of convicted prisoners who should not expect to have the same rights as law-abiding citizens. Evidence is that the Constitution states that rights in the Bill of Rights may be limited provided such limitation is reasonable and justifiable. Therefore, in Summary I am against convicted prisoners being allowed to vote in elections. 3.  Undecided argument on whether convicted prisoners should be allowed to vote in elections: My Point of view is that I do not know whether I am in favor of or against convicted prisoners being allowed to vote in elections. The Reason is that some countries allow convicted prisoners to vote in elections and others do not. For Example, South Africa allows convicted prisoners to vote but the United Kingdom does not. Therefore, in Summary I do not know whether I am in favor of or against convicted prisoners being allowed to vote in elections.

Steps when teaching the PRES formula: Step 1: I  ntroduce and explain the PRES formula. Step 2: D  emonstrate the PRES formula. Step 3: P  ose questions to individual participants on controversial issues and ask them immediately to use the PRES formula. Step 4: D  ebrief and conclude on the value of the PRES formula. The PRES formula can be combined with other learning methods such as “Take a stand” — see 1.6.19 above. If participants are required to make submissions rather than to express a point of view, the PRES formula can become the SRES formula (Submission, Reason, Evidence/Example and Summary). The PRES formula teaches the valuable skill of participants being able to think on their feet.

Example: Should public servants appointed by a recently removed brutal dictatorship be allowed to continue working in the civil service under the new democratically elected government? Use the PRES formula to argue why you are in favor of, against, or undecided about allowing public servants appointed by a recently removed brutal dictatorship to continue working in the civil service under the new democratically elected government.

1.6.21 Problem Solving
When solving a legal problem, law participants can construct a logical framework by using the FIRAC formula. The FIRAC formula refers to the following:

28 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

F = Facts I = Issues R = Rule of law A = Application of rule of law to facts

first political party breached the ethical rule against interfering with or preventing the meeting of the second political party: Using given facts, determine whether the first political party’s conduct constituted interference or prevention. Step 5: Reach a Conclusion

C = Conclusion Step 1: Identify the Facts The relevant facts concerning the case or problem must be identified: For example, the question may involve a detailed description of how a political party has infringed on an electoral code of ethics. The relevant facts that point to unethical conduct must be identified. Step 2: Identify the Issues The issues or legal questions to be answered must be identified: For example, the question might be: Did the political party unlawfully disrupt another party’s political rally? Step 3: Identify the Rule of law After applying the rule of law or ethical code to the facts, a conclusion should be reached on whether the first political party breached the ethical rule against interfering with or preventing the meeting of the second political party.
Example: Was it interference with the right of a political party to hold meetings to convey its message to voters? Use the above five steps to get participants to consider a set of facts (e.g. supporters of one political party singing so loudly at a meeting of another political party that the speakers for the latter cannot be heard) and to decide whether this would be regarded as interfering with the right of a political party to hold meetings to convey its message to voters.

1.6.22 Values Clarification
The relevant rules of law or provisions of an ethical code must be discussed — if there are conflicting rules these should be mentioned: For example, the ethical rule against interfering with or preventing meetings of rival political parties. Step 4: Apply the rule of law to facts The rule of law or provisions of an ethical code must be applied to the facts: For example, the ethical code rule must be applied to the facts in order to determine whether the Values clarification exercises encourage participants to express themselves and to examine their own values, attitudes and opinions as well as those held by others. Thus, participants are given an opportunity to examine their attitudes and beliefs. At the same time, they are asked to consider other points of view. A value clarification exercise promotes communication skills and empathy for others. Values clarification is important for promoting the development of the ability of participants to listen, as well as their communication skills, their empathy for others, their ability to solve problems and

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


make decisions, their reasoning and critical thinking skills, and their ability to maintain consistency regarding their attitudes and beliefs. The steps that can be used by instructors to teach values clarification are the following: Step 1: A  sk participants to express their opinions (i.e. identify their position on an issue). Step 2: A  sk participants to clarify their opinions (i.e. explain and define their positions). Step 3: A  sk participants to examine the reasons for their opinions (why they believe something; the reasons for their position; and the arguments and evidence that support their position). Step 4: A  sk participants to consider other points of view (e.g. by asking participants who hold opposite viewpoints to present their views, asking participants to write down the arguments for opposing viewpoints, or by the law teacher presenting opposite views for discussion). Step 5: A  sk participants to analyze their position and other points of view (e.g. by asking participants to identify the strongest and weakest arguments in support of their position and the strongest and weakest arguments of participants opposed to their opinion). Step 6: A  sk participants to make a decision on the issue (i.e. participants should re-evaluate and resolve the conflict

between the various points of view to find the best result). Step 7: C  onduct a general discussion and summarize.
Example: Should a political party that previously governed as a highly repressive regime still be allowed to exist in a newly formed democracy? Use the above seven steps to get participants discuss whether a political party that previously governed as a highly repressive regime should still be allowed to exist and participate in elections in a country that has been recently liberated from it and has introduced democracy.

1.6.23 Fishbowl
“Fishbowls” can be used for observations of case studies, simulations, role plays, or any other activity where participants are required to analyze critically what has transpired during the activity. They are also useful when dealing with values and attitudes. For instance, in gender-sensitivity exercises, fishbowls can be used to enable participants to observe the differences between how women relate to each other in given situations, compared with what men do in similar circumstances. In fishbowl exercises, it is important to involve the rest of the participants by requiring them to observe and report back on what they saw happening. The steps in a fishbowl are the following: Step 1: T  he instructor introduces the exercise by mentioning that the participants will be divided into small groups to prepare for a role-play. Step 2: T  he instructor divides the participants into small groups of reporters inter-

30 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

viewing the political leader of a recently formed political party — with not more than five participants in each group. Step 3: T  he reporters in the small groups prepare the questions they will ask during the interview, and the political leaders in their groups prepare what they will tell the reporter about their new party and why it was formed. Step 4: T  he instructor calls for volunteers from the groups to role-play the interview between the reporter and the political leader in front of all the other participants. The remaining members in the groups are told that they are observers, and the instructor gives them a checklist of things to look out for during the role-play. Step 5: T  he role-play is conducted, and the observers make notes. Step 6: A  t the end of the role-play, the instructor asks the observers what they observed. Step 7: T  he instructor conducts a general discussion and concludes the exercise. Fishbowls can be used to teach knowledge, values, and skills in combination with a number of other learning methods.
Example: An interview with the political leader of a recently formed political party. Use the above seven steps to arrange for individual participants to act as journalists and to prepare for and participate in a fishbowl interview with the political leader of a recently formed political party.

1.6.24 Jigsaw
The jigsaw method is useful for introducing participants to procedures such as legislative hearings where special parliamentary committees listen to representations from different interest groups regarding proposed changes in the law. The jigsaw is used to enable the different interest groups to consult with each other before they make representations to a parliamentary or other committee that is hearing arguments from people or organizations with different interests. Jigsaws can be conducted using the following steps: Step 1: B  rainstorm ideas to select two interest groups in favor of the proposed law and two that would be against it. Step 2: D  ivide participants into two groups in favor of the proposed law, two groups against the proposed law (“home groups”), and a group of parliamentary committee members. Step 3: T  he home groups meet to discuss the arguments they will make to the parliamentary committee. At the same time, the parliamentary committee discusses the issues and the questions they will ask the home groups. Step 4: T  he home groups subdivide into multi-interest groups, with representatives from each home group joining a multi-interest group to hear each other’s viewpoints. The parliamentary committee continues its discussions. Step 5: T  he multi-interest group members return to their home groups, report back to their colleagues, and in light of

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


what they have learned from the other groups, the home groups refine their arguments for the parliamentary committee. The home groups elect two representatives to present their arguments to the parliamentary committee: one to make the arguments, the other to deal with questions. The parliamentary committee continues its discussions. Step 6: T  he home groups each have a limited time frame (e.g. two minutes each) to present their arguments to the committee. The committee has a limited period for questions (e.g. one minute per home group). Step 7: T  he parliamentary committee has a limited time frame (e.g. two minutes) to consider its decision and to present it (e.g. a further two minutes). Step 8: T  he instructor debriefs the lesson and summarizes. The jigsaw is a fairly complicated procedure and the time frames need to be carefully managed by the instructor.
Example: A parliamentary committee hearing on whether there should be a curfew on teenagers being allowed out on the streets after 10 pm during week nights. Use the above eight jigsaw steps to get participants to argue as four different interest groups before a parliamentary committee with two groups for (e.g. school teachers unions and parents associations) and two groups against (e.g. the Human Rights Commission and youth clubs) the imposition of a curfew on teenagers being allowed out on the streets after 10 pm during week nights.

1.6.25 “Each one, teach one”
“Each one, teach one” is a technique that requires all the participants to become involved in teaching each other about a particular area of democracy. Each participant teaches another about a topic in the democracy program (e.g. one of the signposts of democracy), so that by the end of the exercise all the participants have learned about the whole topic (e.g. all the signposts of democracy). The following steps may be followed when using the “each one, teach one” technique: Step 1: T  he instructor prepares a number of cards with statements on them that cover different areas of the topic (e.g. the signposts of democracy). A sufficient number of cards must be prepared to ensure that the topic is covered in accordance with the desired outcomes (e.g. there needs to be a card for each signpost of democracy). Step 2: T  he cards are distributed to the participants, and the participants are told that they must teach their colleagues what is on the cards. Step 3: T  he participants move around the room teaching each other what is on their cards. Step 4: O  nce all the participants have taught each other what is on their cards, the instructor ends the exercise. Step 5: T  he instructor checks with the participants to ensure that they have all learned what was on the cards. Step 6: T  he instructor debriefs the lesson and summarizes.

32 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

The “each one, teach one” procedure must be carefully controlled to make sure that all the information on the different cards has been transferred to all the participants.
Example: Teaching about children’s rights — see case study on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Use the above six steps to teach participants about children’s rights in a democracy.

Step 2: P  articipants analyze what they see (e.g. how the elements of the picture relate to each other; the point the photographer or artist is trying to make; the meaning or theme of the picture; and what the figures or people represent). Step 3: P  articipants apply the idea of the visual (i.e. apply the idea to other situations by thinking about what the picture reminds them of; whether they can think of other events similar to it; and how the idea applies to local people and communities). Step 4: P  articipants clarify their beliefs (i.e. express their opinions on the visual aid, e.g. whether they agree or disagree with the photographer or artist’s point of view; how they feel about the idea; and what they think should be done about the problem shown in the visual aid). Step 5: T  he instructor facilitates a general discussion and evaluates what the participants have learned.
Example: What does the picture tell us about democracy? Follow the above five steps to use newspaper or magazine photographs or pictures by artists or cartoonists to stimulate a discussion on a relevant aspect of democracy.

A variation of the “each one, teach one” method is used in Bosnia when discussing children’s rights, where each child teaches the rest of the class by showing and explaining the words on cards reflecting each right.

1.6.26 Visual Aids
Visual aids take the form of photographs, cartoons, pictures, drawings, posters, videos, and films. Photographs, cartoons, pictures, and drawings can be found in text books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Videos and films are usually available in libraries and resource centers or from the organizations that produce them. Visual aids can be used to arouse interest, recall early experiences, reinforce learning, enrich reading skills, develop powers of observation, stimulate critical thinking, and encourage values clarification. Participants can be required to describe and analyze what they see and through questioning, to apply the visual aid to other situations. When using visual aids the instructor may use the following steps: Step 1: P  articipants describe what they see (focus on the elements of the visual aid and describe everything seen, including any symbols).

1.6.26 Inviting Experts
Inviting experts can provide participants with a wide variety of information, materials, and experience not available in any books. The use of experts, such as political leaders or election officers, can give participants valuable insights into how democracy works in practice.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Instructors should use the following steps when using experts: Step 1: S  elect an appropriate expert (e.g. a politician, an election official, a community leader, an NGO concerned with democracy or voter education, or a government official). Step 2: P  repare the speaker and the class beforehand (tell the expert and the participants about the outcomes for the visit in advance, e.g. ask the participants to prepare questions and inform the expert about some of the likely questions). Step 3: C  onduct the class (get the expert to give a short talk or get them to play their normal role — e.g. a party leader describing their party manifesto, an election official describing how voting occurs at a polling station, or to comment on how the participants did when playing this role). Step 4: D  ebrief the visit (participants should be asked what they learned from the expert; whether he or she answered all their questions; and how what they heard from the expert relates to what they had previously learned about the topic).

1.6.27 Field Trips
Field trips are useful because instructors can choose both interesting and relevant places for participants to visit. The trips should be arranged so that the experience of the participants is consistent with the learning outcomes for the exercise. Participants should be prepared before the visit and told to look out for specific things. They should also be asked to record their reactions on an observation sheet that should be prepared beforehand. The sheets can form the basis of a discussion when the participants return from the field trip. Instructors should use the following steps when arranging field trips: Step 1: D  ecide where to go (e.g. a voter education workshop; a polling station, a political rally, etc.) Step 2: P  lan the visit (participants and hosts should be prepared for the visit: e.g. participants should have observation sheets and hosts prepared for briefings). Step 3: C  onduct the visit (participants should observe the activities; ask questions; comment on specific things; and complete the observation sheets). Step 5: D  ebrief the visit (participants should report back on what they saw; how they felt; what they learned; and how what they learned related to previous knowledge).

Example: A talk by an expert on democracy Use the above four steps when inviting an election official, an NGO concerned with democracy or voter education or a government official to address the participants about what he or she perceives to be important aspects of a democracy.

Example: A field trip to see democracy in action Use the above five steps to take the participants on a field trip to a debate in parliament or congress, a voter education workshop, or a polling station.

34 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

1.6.28 Direct Participation
Direct participation requires participants to become directly involved in not only learning about democracy, but also for democracy by directly participating in a project that promotes democracy in their country. The method uses a combination of democracy education workshops and active participation in democracy projects in their communities. A good example is the work done in Burundi in the Schools for Democracy program carried out by Idasa in partnership with the Burundi Leadership Training Program and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy — see the example below. Instructors should use the following steps when arranging a direct participation program: Step 1: P  resent a first workshop to participants on how communities operate in a democracy and get participants to choose a topic for a group project involving the promotion of a certain aspect of democracy that is relevant to their community. Step 2: P  articipants in groups spend a few weeks interviewing members of their community regarding the chosen topic and its implications for democracy. Step 3: P  resent a second workshop on understanding how power operates in a democracy and the need to build strategic partnerships with potentially influential community members. Step 4: P  articipants continue interviewing members of their community and identify different sources of power and resources in order to build strategic partnerships and to invite some members of the communi-

ty to join their group. Step 5: P  resent a third workshop on how to develop an action plan for implementation in the community that will organize members of the community to work together to tackle the problem in question using local resources. Step 6: P  articipants organize the community in terms of their action plan for a particular project through a small strategic intervention using local resources. Step 7: P  articipants present and evaluate their progress at a fourth workshop. Step 8: P  articipants return to the community to complete their project and prepare a report. Step 9: P  articipants present their final report on the project to a fifth and final workshop.
Example: Directly participating in a democracy project — see case study on Burundi Use the above nine steps to involve participants directly in a project involving an aspect of democracy in their community by combining democracy education workshops and active participation in the selected aspect of democracy.

1.6.29 “Dream Country”
The “dream country” approach uses phases to encourage young people to think about democracy in their country and how they would like to change it in the future. The methodology requires participants to progress through a current phase, a dream phase, and a reality phase to identify what holds their dream back, and eventually to plan some concrete action.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


The method has been used successfully in Thailand — see below. Instructors should use the following steps when engaging in a “dream country” exercise: Step 1: A  sk participants to visualize the current political, societal, economic, and cultural situation in their country. Step 2: A  sk participants to write down their personal wishes for the development of their country over the next ten years by asking them what their country looks like in their dreams. Step 3: A  sk participants what changes would have to be made to political institutions and society at large to achieve their dreams. Step 4: R  ecord the different wishes and suggestions by the participants in categories and invite the participants to comment on each. Step 5: I  dentify the areas where the participants would be willing to become involved to make their dreams a reality.
Example: What is your dream for your country or community? — see case study on Thailand

1.7 Conclusion
The above mentioned interactive learning and teaching methods are just some examples of what can be done to ensure that participants participate in an active learning process when being educated about democracy. There are many other methods that can be used. Instructors are encouraged to be as creative as possible in their attempts actively to involve participants in the learning process during democracy education programs — whether learning about or for democracy.  (Endnotes)
For more information, see the USAID Democracy Education Survey (2002).
1 2

South Africa - Street Law South Africa 2005.

David McQuoid-Mason, “Teaching Human Rights in a Hostile Environment: A Lesson from South Africa” (2003) 22 Windsor Year Book of Access to Justice, 213-226.
3 4

South Africa - Democracy for All (1994), 36.

Use the above five steps to conduct a “dream country” exercise for your country or community.

36 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

PART I: Chapter Two:

— by Matthew Hiebert
initiatives around the world. Far from it. It is a curated collection of effective practices from a broad sample of countries. As such, any gaps identified should be understood to be gaps among those practices included in this guide and not necessarily absolute gaps or gaps in any particular country or region. In this section, I will focus on these latter two ways of reading this Best Practices Manual. In so doing, I hope to complement the other contents of the Manual by providing some reflections and analysis that go beyond the individual cases. I will attempt to draw out some of the good lessons that can be generalized from the various practices and to identify some of the possible gaps within and between them. The contents of this section, then, are interpretations and are naturally somewhat subjective. They are, however, guided by a particular perspective on education that I believe is common amongst the contributors, albeit not always articulated. Before presenting reflections on the practices themselves, I will discuss this educational perspective so that we will be on the same page.

A compendium of best practices can be read in a number of ways, and there is value in each. The first way is to look at the individual practices. This fits with the main goal of most best practices guides, which is to identify good practices so that they can be shared and hopefully replicated. In a broad work such as this one, however, it is safe to assume that the intent is not that any one practice be copied directly from one country to the next. Country contexts, like the democracies within them, are extremely varied, and so it is with reflection and contextualization that effective initiatives and approaches from one setting can be made relevant and viable in the next. A second way of reading a compendium of best practices is to look broadly across the document, to study the various initiatives that have proven effective and to see what positive lessons can be learned from them. Through such an analysis, it should be possible to discern approaches that hold value at a high level and may be generalizable to other contexts. Ideally, a number of such generalizations can be distilled from the many individual initiatives. In turn, these generalizations should help to inform the development of new and authentic initiatives that are guided by the same principles that helped the original best practices to be effective. A third way of reading a compendium like this one is to look at what is not said, what is absent. From these gaps, it should be possible to identify missed opportunities, as well as new avenues to explore that may strengthen or complement the existing work being done. It must be noted that this Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education has not purported to map all of the existing education for democracy (EfD)

Education and Its Functions
A thorough analysis of what makes for good practice in EfD should include a clear concept of what we mean by education. In colloquial usage, education is discussed in very narrow terms, essentially grounded in the idea of direct instruction. This has implications and effectively limits the scope of educational debate to what can be described in terms of knowledge and skills. Although we may recognize that there are other, deeper kinds of learning, these tend to be marginalized because they don’t make sense within a context of direct instruction.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Education that is focused on knowledge and skills is associated with a human capital model. Knowledge and skills prepare workers for jobs. Education’s function in this model is the training of capable workers who can contribute, alongside other forms of capital, to economic development. However, as the practices described in this Manual make clear, education is never just about knowledge and skills. Whether it is acknowledged in formal curricula or not, education systems play a major role in the development of other, deeper aspects of a person’s character, such as values, assumptions, habits, perspectives, understandings of power relations, and so on. Other educational models take this into greater consideration: • H  umanistic models, for example, tend to focus on education as a private good, emphasizing its role in personal growth and development and the development of individual autonomy and personal agency. • E  mancipatory models take this a step further, emphasizing the political role of education in helping individuals and communities to overcome oppression and work towards freedom and social justice. • S  ocial cohesion models emphasize community building. However, there are different perspectives on this. Some attempt to build community through the development of mutual understanding and an appreciation for diversity, whereas others seek to erase differences or, in a somewhat gentler manner, emphasize community building through a common foundation of experiences. • A  uthoritarian models seek to develop functional workers who do not question author-

ity, who are obedient and complacent, who lack initiative, and who have minimal skills to think critically, to organize themselves, or to envision changes to the conditions for their lives. • D  emocratic models, on the other hand, work to cultivate the types of citizen characteristics which support a healthy, functioning democracy, things like a sense of justice and personal responsibility, as well as autonomy and individual agency. Whether we agree with them or not, these different models all emphasize the deeper aspects of character formation to which education contributes. The main objectives of each of these models involve the development (or suppression) of people themselves, not just their capabilities. These approaches are not mutually exclusive, and certainly ideas like individual autonomy can be developed alongside knowledge and skills for economic participation. The best practices described in this Manual reflect, to varying degrees, a range of different models. While they all share common themes of democracy, some emphasize emancipatory perspectives along with this, whereas others emphasize, instead, community building through an appreciation of differences or solidarity to confront important issues. While knowledge and skills for democracy are discussed in most of the cases, there is a much stronger emphasis on the deeper levels of learning and development. Discussing this type of learning becomes difficult because it includes a wide range of developmental outcomes. These outcomes include things like: values and attitudes; assumptions about what is normal; perspectives about different groups of people; expectations about how decisions and disagreements are handled; as well as behavioral and cognitive habits. To make discussion easier, we can

38 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

use the term “dispositions” to refer to these different aspects of character development.

often work against the ideals of democracy. Because character-related educational outcomes tend not to be clearly defined and are often largely unintentional, they are commonly referred to as being part of a “hidden curriculum.” In the critical scholarship on education, the hidden curriculum is widely acknowledged to play a more important role in the political socialization of learners than the formal curriculum. Learners’ experiences, through years of immersion in educational settings, are extremely formative. Those settings reflect values and principles, democratic or otherwise, and learners’ experiences in them have serious political implications because of the way in which they shape them. It has become cliché to say that education is inherently political, but we should expand on this point to say that all aspects of the educational experience are political. Educational settings condition us to an understanding of what is normal and to our relationship with others and the world around us. The contribution provided by Rolf Gollob (see case study on Bosnia and Herzegovina) reflects this point, drawing attention to many of the small things taking place in the classroom that have formative importance for students.

The Hidden Curriculum
In the context of EfD, the learning of these dispositions is particularly important. While it is important that democratic citizens are knowledgeable about their democratic systems and processes, as well as issues of democratic importance, democracies are founded on principles like equality and participatory decision-making. For this reason, educators must take an interest not only in what citizens know and can do but also in the kind of people they are becoming. Knowledge and skills contribute to development of character, but they don’t tell the whole story. Unfortunately, most educational curricula remain heavily focused on knowledge and skills. While official documents may make some reference to character development, such references tend to be relatively vague. Knowledge and skill outcomes are usually quite clearly articulated, whereas character development is discussed in broad terms or with token reference to attitudes or values — with no indication of how those values may be inculcated, or the deeper levels of experience on which they take root. Educators receive clear guidance on the explicit contents that should be discussed in their classrooms, but there is ambiguity around the values and principles to be reflected in their educational practice. Naturally, this vacuum is filled by those values and principles that are commonplace in society, with the effect of reinforcing the status quo, including power structures, stereotypes, and social injustices. As noted by Arkady Gutnikov (see case study on Russia), teachers are often, unfortunately, perpetuators of a number anti-democratic tendencies in our societies. We trust that this is not the intention of our educational institutions, but it remains the case that their inadvertent practices

How the Hidden Curriculum is “Taught”
The challenging aspect of the hidden curriculum, and probably the reason why its outcomes are seldom clearly defined, is that the nature of the learning does not fit with the direct instruction approach to teaching. Things like values and dispositions are not taught in the same way as knowledge and skills. This type of deep learning seems to fit better with our concept of socialization than the way we usually think about education. However, education systems are indeed important sites of socialization. In these systems, learners become habituated to certain ideas

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


and processes. They develop expectations about what is normal and appropriate in different contexts. They develop ideas about different groups of people, about their relationships with one another and with authority figures, and they develop concepts about themselves that become part of their identities. In the case of formal schooling, the effect is even more powerful because it takes place over many years, leading to behavioral and cognitive habits that become deeply entrenched. Consider, for a moment, the experiences of students in authoritarian education systems, a point touched on by Gutnikov in discussing education in Russia. The daily experience of these students emphasizes passive complacence and deference to authority figures. This experience provides the primary message that students receive, and it is deeper and more formative than any explicit information provided by the teacher. Consider, also, the alternative. Consider learners who spend their days in active learning environments, like those described in many of the cases in this Manual, where their daily experiences involve making decisions and developing strategies to tackle open-ended problem-solving activities on meaningful topics. Consider the cumulative effects of regular group work and debate in the classroom, guided along by a caring teacher. Without even knowing the explicit content of instruction in these two scenarios, it is immediately clear that the learners will be on two very different developmental trajectories. Whether we are talking about formal or non-formal education, learners learn a great deal by the educational methods themselves. The phrase “the medium is the message” comes to mind, meaning that the way in which we encounter information is more formative than the information itself. This is particularly true in the case of formal education, where young people in their most formative years

are exposed day after day to a set of values and principles. These values and principles are reflected in a wide range of factors that comprise the daily experience of the learners. All of the policies, procedures, and so on represent certain values, yet these are often taken for granted. One of the recurrent themes in this Manual is that of pedagogy, and the idea that active learning is an important part of EfD, just as active citizenship is an important part of democracy. Of course, the explicit content that is taught also reflects values and principles, but the content is eclipsed by the context in which students are immersed each day. The teaching of the hidden curriculum is all about this context. This is not teaching in the conventional sense. It involves carefully considering the different factors that comprise students’ experiences and infusing these with the values and principles of democracy. The best practices in this Manual touch on a great many of these factors. Collectively, the factors fall into three broad categories. First, there are physical factors, which include things like the ways the learning space is organized, the way desks are arranged, the use of wall space, student ownership for the space, and so on. Second, there are social factors, which include things like the kinds of teaching strategies used, the groupings of learners, role modeling from the teachers, the types of peer interactions that students engage in, and even the way in which we talk about things. Third, there are institutional factors. These include things like admission processes, school governance (and the involvement of students), the policies and procedures, daily routines and scheduling, which reflect different priorities, academic reporting, discipline, and so on. To these three sets of contextual factors, we can add in the explicit content of instruction to come up with a comprehensive model of what learners are actually encountering.

40 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Education and Democracy
If we are interested in education as a way of supporting the development and enhancement of democracy, then we must look seriously at what values and principles are reflected in these kinds of factors. All of them can be fine-tuned to reflect democratic ideals, thereby contributing to the cultivation of these ideals in our citizens. Students, young and old, are learning constantly, not only through the instructions of their teachers but through interactions with the rest of the world around them. The contribution of Susana Restrepo reinforces this point, citing the Citizenship Competencies Program of the Colombian Ministry of Education, “citizenship education is not an isolated subject, but a shared responsibility that transcends all areas and instances of the school institution and the educational community.” The idea here is that all aspects of the school are involved in civic education. It is not just a topic, and it is not just taught by teachers. From the standpoint of democracy, all experience can be either educative or mis-educative. This is to say, experiences either contribute to our development and engagement as democratic citizens, or they contribute to something else. Often, different aspects of our experiences conflict with one another, leading to confused messages. The absence of certain experiences also has political consequences. What is taught and not taught, done and not done, said and not said, who attends and succeeds in school and who doesn’t, and the myriad factors that comprise students’ daily experiences—these are all political questions. This is the case in formal schooling, as well as non-formal settings, the mass media, and the many other ways in which we learn. Our goals for education go well beyond teaching about democracy. Indeed we are hoping to build thriving democratic cultures, characterized by rich dialogue and participation. While there are

indeed unifying goals related to this, democracy is, as much as anything, a celebration of differences. As such, individual and societal considerations need to be kept in balance. This inevitably results in tensions and ongoing discussions, and that’s partly the point. Democracies function through deliberative processes where different perspectives come together constructively. Our education systems have responsibilities towards all of the different individuals who make up those disparate perspectives.

Review of Best Practices — Good Lessons and Possible Gaps
Self-reflection is an important part of personal growth. And so, in addition to celebrating and sharing best practices, there is value in reflecting on those practices to draw out the lessons we might learn from them, as well as possible gaps within and between them. Determining positive lessons learned from the practices is the easier of the two tasks. We can look at the various contributions to this book and draw out key points that may be generalizable to other contexts. In terms of analyzing gaps, one must bear in mind that this Best Practices Manual has not attempted to provide a comprehensive documentation of all the good work being done to educate for democracy around the world. Rather, it has attempted to provide a useful cross-section of those practices, representing the different types of good work being done. This provides both inspiration and explanations for others working towards similar goals. However, it is still useful to look at the good practices presented, collectively, in order to identify aspects of EfD that may not be directly addressed by them, such that we might begin to break down remaining barriers and challenge the constraints within which EfD is conceptualized and practiced.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


This analysis of lessons learned and gaps is presented in three parts. First, consideration is given to access and coverage of EfD initiatives, looking at which beneficiary groups, educational modalities, and subsectors are represented among the practices, and which are not. Second, the analysis turns to quality-related aspects of the practices in order to look for useful generalizations. Third, the analysis looks at the system level and the governance and coordination of EfD initiatives, insofar as this can be inferred from the practices as presented. The fundamental criterion that underpins this analysis is the ideal of democracy itself. We are looking for ubiquitous democracy, even in institutions such as schools that have characteristics that are, as Gollob notes, inherently undemocratic. What we must bear in mind is that there are no gaps in the experiences of people — there are only alternative experiences. The differences between these alternatives have political significance. They will contribute to the values and principles of democracy or to something else. Wherever we do not see the values and principles of democracy, we should be concerned because the enemy of democracy is not only tyranny but also apathy and disengagement.

pre-service and in-service training of those working within those systems. We should also consider higher education programs related to democracy, whether directly (as in political science programs) or indirectly (as in those in journalism or law). Beyond this, we need to consider specialized training activities for those involved with upholding pillars of democracy such as human rights and the rule of law. Those involved with the justice system, policing, and the media are just a few examples of important beneficiary groups. It is a reality, however, that in many countries average citizens have limited formal education opportunities. In these countries, only a small minority complete secondary school, let alone higher education. In functional democracies, democratic participation is a right that should be afforded to all. Therefore community-based and non-formal educational programs are also an important consideration.

Good Lessons

Good lesson: Supporting beneficiaries across different educational levels.
The practices in the Manual are distributed across educational levels ranging from primary level, to secondary, university, and non-formal adult community education programs. It is notable that many of the initiatives in this Manual are targeting students at the secondary level. This is an important age, as students are nearing adulthood, where expectations for their democratic participation increase significantly. It is somewhat surprising that just one of the initiatives focused on university students, particularly given the political activity of student movements in many countries, however, it is noted that several others involved university students in certain capacities. Not represented in this Manual are practices focused on very young children (lower

Access and Coverage of EfD Interventions
To build a thriving democratic culture, access to relevant educational opportunities should be ubiquitous. Ideally, we would like to see democratic values and principles reflected throughout our societies and across our educational institutions. In considering gaps, therefore, it is logical to look at the presence and absence of EfD opportunities across different educational subsectors. Naturally this includes the formal education and training systems. Consideration should be given to primary and secondary education, as well as the

42 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

primary school and younger) nor specialized training programs such as those mentioned in the preceding introduction. • F  urther reflection: None of the initiatives specifically targeted young children, and yet children at this age are extremely impressionable. What might be the foundations of democratic citizenship that begin to develop at that young age, and how might they be fostered?

way of increasing the potential impact of limited training budgets. • F  urther reflection: The concept of a “leadership ladder” involves providing incrementally more sophisticated opportunities to emerging leaders so that their potential impact is not limited by lack of opportunities as their leadership capacity grows. How might this concept be applied in some of the other initiatives in this Manual?

Good lesson: Supporting beneficiaries across a wide range of subsectors, and even bringing them together.
Several of the initiatives, such as those presented by Lee Arbetman (see case study on US) and Gutnikov involved multiple beneficiary groups in different capacities. This “bringing together” of people from different walks of life has a great deal of potential to enrich dialogue, understanding, and a sense of community. • F  urther reflection: Of the many schoolbased initiatives, few made mention of involving community members as part of the activities. How might schools become more connected with the activities and issues of concern to the communities in which they are located?

Good lesson: Providing extra – or co-curricular activities that involve learners in “doing democracy.”
When school curricula are already over-stuffed with contents, teachers may find it difficult to consider integrating anything more to do with democracy. Providing extra-curricular opportunities for students in which they are working through democratic processes provides first-hand experiential learning without straining class time. Great examples include the moot court activities presented by Arbetman and Gutnikov. • F  or reflection: These types of extra-curricular activities are often led by civil society organizations (CSOs), or those outside the formal education system. How might these organizations work with school systems on a broader scale to benefit from their institutional stability and resources and to increase their scope and impact?

Good lesson: Social change needs champions, and supporting change catalysts is an effective approach.
It is costly to reach large numbers of citizens in any initiative, and decisions need to be made around whom to involve. The initiative presented by MarieLouise Ström (see case study on Burundi) mentions that participants were carefully chosen based on demonstrated leadership capacity. Working with influential people as change catalysts is an effective

Good lesson: Fostering social justice by working directly with disadvantaged groups.
In identifying their target beneficiaries, some of the contributors noted specifically targeting disadvantaged populations. Mukti Rijal (see case study on Nepal) focused on female beneficiaries, and Farkas

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


mentioned working with minority groups, whereas Carla Chianese (see case study on Kenya) focused on marginalized communities, and Arbetman noted an emphasis on disadvantaged youth. Because of systemic discrimination in many countries, among other social injustices, it is important to consider carefully the inclusion of minority groups, women, and those facing exclusion for other factors such as disabilities, geographic isolation, or extreme poverty. The empowerment of these groups is important in the context of human rights and social justice and therefore, democracy. • F  or reflection: How can we reconcile the importance of the preceding with the importance of also working to instill democratic ideals in those born to social and economic privilege—given that this latter group often go on to leadership roles?

ments to incorporate more meaningfully democratic values and principles into formal education systems?

Possible gap: Leveraging mass media as an educational tool.
Mass media, including television, radio, and newspapers, are a major source of information and learning for average citizens around the world. While none of the initiatives in this Manual focused on the use of mass media, it was noted in some cases that local media became interested in the programs and provided some coverage of the activities. • F  or reflection: How might we creatively engage mainstream media, private or public, to make them partners in educating for democracy?

Possible Gaps

Possible gap: Using the Internet as a democratizing force.
It is commonplace to talk about the “democratizing potential of the Internet,” and yet, none of the initiatives included in this Manual discussed making primary use of the web for this purpose. Though some initiatives like the one presented by Lee Arbetman and Xinia Bermudez reference websites where excellent tools and resources are available, the potential reach and impact of e-learning initiatives, mobile learning, social media, and interactive online tools is immense. • F  or reflection: In educational settings, technology is too often used for its own sake without significantly enhancing the educational experiences of learners. Can you envision online components that might greatly enhance any of the initiatives presented in this Manual? What online tools hold the most potential in educating for democracy?

Possible gap: Education for democracy in the formal education system.
While a number of the practices in this Manual focused on school-based initiatives, these initiatives were led by individuals working at the school level or by organizations outside the school systems. The most prominent gap in this Manual is the complete absence of focused EfD initiatives being led by governments through their formal education systems. This gap may be partly a function of the networks through which contributions to this Manual were solicited, but that is surely not the only reason. Governments invest billions of dollars annually in education, yet democratic goals appear to be secondary to those related to human capital development. • F  or reflection: How might civil society stakeholders effectively engage the govern-

44 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Quality and Rigor in EfD Implementation

Good lesson: Teaching democracy by EfD is a concept that is always evolving, and it doing democracy together.
comes in many different forms. It is interesting to pause and consider for a moment the subtle differences in meaning between: education for democracy, education about democracy, democratic education, democracy education, and more general but related terms like civic education and social studies. All of these approaches share similar goals in making students more civically aware and contributing to the functioning of our democracies. However, many of them focus on education as an informative process and neglect the fact that education is also a formative process. Many readers of this Best Practices Manual will recall our own experiences learning about democracy, often as a dry topic disconnected from our lived experiences or buried in a textbook alongside stale descriptions of other political systems. The concept of EfD that forms the basis for this gap analysis is grounded in an understanding of education that emphasizes cultivating and empowering people, not just filling their heads. Issues in democracy are not only related to deficits in knowledge or skills. In working towards democratic ideals, we need for EfD to support deeper learning as well as the development of character traits and dispositions that reflect democratic values and principles. This requires critical thinking and engagement on real issues that matter to learners. In analyzing lessons learned and gaps among the best practices in this book, we need to consider the content of learning, as well as context through in which that content is taken up. Moreover, we need to consider the actual activities of the learners — that is to say, are they practicing doing democracy as part of the learning process. In a number of the initiatives presented, the contributors outlined practices where the learners were involved with actually undertaking democratic activities themselves. In some cases, this was simulated, as with the mock trial activities presented by Arbetman and Gutnikov or the deliberative debates presented by Xinia and Arbetman. In other cases, the activities were not simulated but were confined to the ssafety of the educational setting as with the development of a class constitution as described by Kokol. However, there were also instances where the learners were actually out in their communities, organizing, working together, and undertaking real democratic interventions, as discussed by Ström, Restrepo, and Boubacar Tall (see case study on Senegal). Participating in democratic activities, simulated or otherwise, not only prepares students for such participation in their community lives, it also legitimizes this kind of participation as something normal that normal people do. • F  urther reflection: What types of behaviors are we talking about when we use the phrase “doing democracy”? How might we provide learners with more opportunities to practice those things?

Good Lessons

Good lesson: Using teaching strategies that engage learners actively.
It is common sense that when learners are engaged and active, they learn better. A great deal of educational research supports this. Consistent across the best practices is a learner-centered pedagogical orientation. The engaging teaching strategies identified in this guide are many. In the first section, David McQuoid-Mason details more than two dozen such strategies. Another excellent list is presented by Hoda Chalak (see case study on Lebanon). In one

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


terrific example, Farkas discusses with some depth the use of theatre as a pedagogical approach. Any readers concerned with competing pedagogical priorities need not be concerned. Gollob provides some reassurance on the matter, indicating that, “no distinction can be made between good teaching in general and teaching children’s rights in particular.” This point can be extended beyond child rights to EfD broadly speaking. Democratic educational practices are, quite simply, effective educational practices, and vice versa.

make mistakes. These behaviors lay foundations for concepts of justice and accountability as the students grow older. • F  urther reflection: In some ways, the authority of a teacher resembles that of government. Consider what accountability means in this context and what implications this has for a teacher’s practice.

Good lesson: Considering cultural and linguistic factors and their relationship to • F  urther reflection: How can we recon- democratic practice.
cile the expertise of the teacher and their authority in the classroom, with the principles of democracy and the empowerment of learners? While democracies and democracy advocates around the world share a number of common values, each democracy is unique in the way it is practiced and reflects aspects of the local socio-cultural context. Nancy Flowers (see case study on South Sudan) identifies a number of cultural and linguistic factors in South Sudan that have bearing on democracy-related activities there. Among these are the language dynamics of the group, considering mother tongues, home dialects, and official languages, each with its own status and power. Flowers also notes the challenge presented by the “culture of silence” present in many countries with histories of oppression, where people are hesitant to offer critical comments or even ask questions. In any group, it takes time to break down these barriers and establish trust and rapport between participants and facilitators. This is an investment because from this, we can establish a foundation for more active and outward facing forms of democratic participation. • F  urther reflection: Consider what is the value of working in heterogeneous groups, even when this means we may need to contend with breaking down hierarchies within the groups.

Good lesson: Teachers as role models of democratic citizenship.
Reading between the lines in all of the cases presented in this Manual, we can see the importance attached to the role of teachers as role models of democratic citizenship. Most of the cases make a clear reference to using democratic approaches in education — essentially, modeling democratic and deliberative practices. Chalak takes this a step further, noting in the methodology of the program that the teacher introduces him/herself to students as an activist in human rights, citizenship and democracy. This may seem like a small action, but it is highly impactful for students to know that their teacher cares deeply enough about something to openly identify themselves as an activist for it. Despite our attempts as educators to level out classroom hierarchies, teachers are naturally influential, particularly with young students. It is critical, therefore, that they model democratic behaviors. This need not refer to activism, as this was just one example. For younger students, it may be as simple as demonstrating fairness and admitting when we

46 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Good lessons: Involving learners in activities that make our democratic institutions meaningful.
Our democratic systems are complex, with many interrelated parts. In order to develop a robust understanding of the different democratic institutions, it is important to have students look at them in terms that are meaningful to them — so that they can understand them in the context of their everyday lives. Kokol provides an excellent example of this, with the development of a school constitution. Simulation activities such as the moot courts described by Arbetman and Gutnikov or the school councils described by Eslami-Somea are further examples of this. • F  urther reflection: It is worth considering what we think are the most important of the democratic institutions in our countries. After identifying these institutions, we can build on the experiences of the cases mentioned above, to devise activities that will make these institutions relatable to students at different levels. Many already have analogues at the school level of some sort or another.

the types of tasks and activities we ask students to engage in, again, increasing in complexity and ambitiousness. A third dimension involves working outwards from what is most close and personal to students, gradually increasing the scope of what we ask them to consider. We can see traces of each of these different progressions amongst the different initiatives in this Manual. As Ted Huddlestone (see case study on UK) aptly suggests, certain approaches such as storytelling are flexible enough that they can be adapted to any age, given appropriate consideration to the specific content and the kinds of activities and questions we develop around it. • F  or reflection: What kinds of authentic tasks might we engage young children in that would provide a good foundation for the more complex and controversial activities described in many of the initiatives in this Manual?

Good lesson: Education about democracy is an important part of education for democracy.
While much of this section has focused on education in and for democracy, it is still the case that democratic citizens need to develop a thorough understanding of underpinning concepts such as law, justice, freedom, human rights, as well as learning about the democratic system itself. It is important to recognize the rigorous approach by which the best practices in this Manual delve into these concepts. Many of these go far beyond talking about abstract concepts and delve into the real issues that are of personal significance to students. Aroni, for example, describes an integrated and active approach to tackling the serious issue of discrimination and anti-discrimination with young students. These are not the weakly presented lectures on electoral systems that some of us were subjected to as students—far from it! These initiatives present

Good lesson: Age appropriateness in discussing democratic issues.
The cases presented in this Manual appear to have taken age appropriateness into careful consideration. From collaborative activities in safe and relatively structured environments like those presented by Angeliki Aroni (see case study on Greece) and Gollob, to the more outward facing activities described by Ström and Tall, we can see an appropriate progression. There are several aspects of age appropriateness to consider. The first involves gradually increasing the complexity and controversial nature of content, as learners gain the capacity to understand and reflect on it. A second involves

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


democratic concepts and principles vibrantly, and problematize the related issues through examples, controversial positions, and engaging questions. • F  urther reflection: What should be considered “core curriculum” in education about democracy? What are the key things that students need to know?

cases, however, was discussion of other factors that have considerable impact on students. Institutional factors, such as the policies and procedures that provide the underlying structure for learners’ daily experiences (consider school rules, assessment systems, scheduling and so on) and physical factors like the way the learning environment is structured and used. • F  urther reflection: Consider what a democratic school would look like from a policy standpoint. How might physical spaces be adjusted and utilized to reflect democratic values and principles?

Good lesson: The content of EfD can be any important issue.
When we think about what might be the content of education for democracy, our minds may naturally gravitate towards conspicuous features such as elections, representation, separation of powers, and so on. However, as Ström so aptly describes, the content of education for democracy can be anything that people care about — even latrines! What is inspirational in such examples is the evidence of successful community-level organization to address issues that are meaningful and significant to the people involved. • F  urther reflection: In the context of different age groups, from the very young to the very old, how might we cultivate a sense of engagement and self-efficacy by working with the things they care about?

Possible gap: Democratizing the formal curriculum of mainstream schooling.
While many of the initiatives presented in this Manual make reference to curricula and training materials developed to support EfD, none were part of state sponsored formal curricula. Ultimately, the learners have the most prolonged exposure to these formal curricula, and however good, other programs that are either added on or added in to the formal curriculum stand a high likelihood of being overshadowed or marginalized in students’ overall experiences. • F  urther reflection: What are the entry points through which we might begin to reorient formal curricula to better reflect democratic ideals? How would a truly democratic curriculum be structured?

Possible Gaps

Possible gap: Reorienting institutional and physical factors to support the learning of democracy.
In the introductory portion of this section, four aspects to learners’ experiences were discussed as having a bearing on the teaching of the hidden curriculum (content, social, physical, and institutional). The practices described in this Manual give excellent attention to two of these — social factors and explicit content. Almost absent from the

Possible gap: Basic constraints of quality education.
Each country faces its own unique challenges with respect to providing quality education for all. This Manual has taken an appreciative approach, looking at the best practices in spite of any challenges that may exist. In reflecting on these practices, however,

48 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

we must recognize that in many of the countries there are severe shortages of qualified teachers, a lack of adequate physical facilities, basic learning materials, and so on. The challenges of educating for democracy are not separate from these systemic constraints, and in discussing possible gaps, we must step back and recognize these shared fundamental challenges. There is hope, however, as these are exactly the kinds of challenges which democratic citizens regularly organize and empower themselves to overcome. • Further reflection: In what ways are quality education and education for democracy aligned with one another? Are there differences?

In terms of identifying gaps, then, we should be interested in the effective management and coordination of EfD initiatives. We should also be interested in the extent to which education systems and initiatives themselves are reflective of democratic values and principles. Examples of the values and principles we might hope to see include the following, among others: • P  articipatory governance – that beneficiaries and stakeholders have a voice in the decisions that will affect them. • M  utual respect – that all parties involved demonstrate respect and appreciation for one another and for diverse viewpoints. • S  ocial justice – that there are no major differences in outcomes among genders, ethnic groups, regions, or socio-economic levels of students. • T  ransparency and accountability – that financial allocations and spending, and other relevant activities be disclosed. This Best Practices Manual has focused more on the delivery of EfD than its management. This means that management issues are not directly discussed in the practices themselves. Analyzing management issues to identify positive lessons and possible gaps, therefore, involves some conjecture. Admittedly there is some risk in this approach, but a handful of reflections are presented nonetheless in an attempt push the boundaries and possibly to gain further insight into the practices that have been presented.

Management and Coordination
The management and coordination of education initiatives are major factors in their outcomes. In the context of EfD, these issues take on a special significance because we are not only interested in the outcomes but also the processes by which those outcomes are achieved. In a democracy, citizens have a reasonable expectation that their institutions — particularly those that are publicly funded — will reflect democratic principles. Democratic management, therefore, has an inherent value in a democracy. Moreover, as the discussions above have emphasized, the management of educational institutions also contributes to the experience of students. This is to say that there is an educative value for students when educational institutions are managed democratically. Lastly, it is worth noting further that democratic management practices are, quite simply, effective. In addition to their inherent and educative value, democratic management practices also have instrumental value. Democracy, it turns out, is an effective mode of governance.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Good Lessons

Good lesson: Sharing of practices across borders and organizations.
There is good evidence in the practices presented that there has been dissemination of effective programs and models across borders and across organizations. The relationship between the contributions of Arbetman and Gutnikov is an example of the effectiveness of this sharing. In addition, the contributions of Tall and Ström both mention that the programs described have been modeled after successful programs elsewhere. This Manual itself is a further demonstration of such sharing, which, it is hoped, will result in the broader adoption of demonstrated best practices.

Good lesson: Leadership from civil society.
It is worth noting the clear leadership being taken by civil society in the advancement of education for democracy. The practices described in this Manual come, by and large, from inspired individuals and community organizations that are challenging the status quo of both democracy and education and are pushing the boundaries of EfD practice. • F  urther reflection: How might civil society leaders spark the interest of government bodies to take a more active interest in democratizing education?

Good lesson: Striving to connect democ• F  urther reflection: What kind of interna- racy-oriented programs with formal edutional coordination would be most valu- cational structures.
able for the further advancement of EfD globally? While the practices described in this Manual have originated largely outside of formal education systems, there is a clear recognition of the importance of connecting these initiatives with formal structures. As already noted, quite a number of the initiatives are working in schools, in both co-curricular and extra-curricular capacities. A special note should be made in relation to the Street Law program described by Arbetman because the program is credit-bearing for the law students who participate. These types of connections with formal educational structures help to motivate participants as well as to legitimize the programs themselves. • F  urther reflection: How could this example be applied usefully in other scenarios, for instance, having teachers earn professional development credit for their participation in EfD programs?

Good lesson: Utilizing democratic processes in the implementation of initiatives.
A number of the initiatives presented in this Manual have made a clear point of using democratic processes in their own management and implementation. For example, the contribution of Rijal discusses the utilization of horizontal peer teaching methods. The flattening of conventional hierarchies such as “train the trainer” models reflects an important step towards the democratization of institutional cultures. • F  urther reflection: When an organization has a small number of highly trained experts, how can hierarchies be flattened during the implementation of programming?

50 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Possible Gaps

Possible gap: Incorporating democratic values and principles into the culture of formal educational institutions.
Of the 16 initiatives presented in this guide, just one dealt with democratizing education institutions at the organizational level — Gollob noted the tension of educating for democracy in institutions that are not democratic themselves. It is worth questioning whether this should be so. As public institutions, what expectations might citizens reasonably have regarding what goes on in schools and how they are managed? What democratic principles should we expect to see reflected in them? • F  urther reflection: For educational purposes, why would it matter if educational institutions operate democratically? What might be gained or lost? What would a truly democratic school look like?

Possible gap: Limited engagement from government stakeholders and lack of upstream activities to support EfD.
As noted previously, the cases in this Manual give little indication of engagement in EfD from Ministries of Education or other official bodies. The practices described are either being implemented at the community level or are being added into existing school programs. Consideration needs to be given to activities that are happening upstream and particularly those in formal education systems such as teacher training institutes, curriculum departments, educational media units, policy development bodies, credentialing processes, teacher unions, and so on. Such programs would complement the best practices presented in this Manual by helping to create a context for their proliferation. • F  urther reflection: What kinds of programs might civil society stakeholders initiate to bring about upstream change in democratizing education systems? Which government offices are most accessible to civil society?

Possible gap: Concentration of engagement in certain geographic areas.
The networks of organizations from which the best practices in this Manual have been solicited have strong representation in every region and every continent, and yet the geographic distribution of the contributions is somewhat uneven. A number of countries and regions where there has been intense democratic activity in recent years are not represented. Particularly notable is the absence of cases from countries of the Arab Spring. There are, no doubt, tremendously important lessons to be learned from the experiences of these and other countries about how education can play a role in the advancement of democracy and civil society. • F  urther reflection: What substantive differences might we see in the practice of democracy education from one region to the next?

Concluding Comment
This analysis has been developed in an attempt to complement the presentation of the best practices in this Manual and to spark some higher-level contemplation and discussion around how the practice of education for democracy might continue to be advanced. The individual practices are exemplary in their pedagogical approaches and their modeling of democratic ideals. Where relevant, specific initiatives are mentioned by name to encourage rereading of them with new eyes in light of ongoing reflections, and questions have been presented with each point to underscore the fact that reflection is a process that is never complete. The good lessons and especially the possible gaps are presented with

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


complete deference to the pioneers and experts who have contributed them. There is a great deal to be learned from each practice presented, and this analysis has only touched the surface. 

52 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

PART II: Country Best Practices Reports
By: David McQuoid-Mason Learning outcomes:
At the end of this part you will be able to:
1. D  escribe some examples of best practices regarding democracy education in selected countries. 2. U  se some of the examples of best practices regarding democracy education from some of the countries that have provided lesson plans. 3. A  ppreciate some of the problems experienced when trying to introduce best practices for democracy education in some countries

As previously mentioned, a standard format was suggested to the authors from the different countries, but some chose to use their own approach. The guidelines suggested for the country reports were that the contributions should be short and the following format should be adopted: 1. Identifying the Problem: Case studies should begin with an introductory sentence or two that describes the problem that you are trying to solve. For example, if your country has weak civil society participation, the problem could be stated as: “Citizens fail to play an active role in civil society, diminishing their influence on government decision making processes.”

2. Objective: Case studies should state the overall objectives that the program is meant to achieve. To address low citizen participation in the life of the community, for example, the objective could be to “inspire students to become active in civic life by teaching about the importance of civic engagement and organizing projects through which students become involved in their communities.” 3. Target Audience: What is the audience for the program? Are you working with primary school students, secondary school students, university students, or another group? 4. Methodology: Describe the scope of the project and the specific teaching tools used to achieve the objective. Provide a step by step overview of the lessons used or courses taught. 5. Challenges: Provide an overview of the challenges or barriers that were faced, and how those challenges were met and obstacles overcome. 6. Results: Was the program successful? How was the project evaluated? Describe the project’s impact. A number of countries did not follow the above format, but in the spirit of democracy their formats have been retained to give a flavor of the socio-political situations in the countries concerned.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


“But that means that I have the right to have a break!?”
By: Rolf Gollob, Bosnia and Herzegovina Identifying the Problem
Learning children’s rights has to be synonymous with living children’s rights (CR). This means that teachers have to be aware of children’s rights and incorporate CR as a part of their teaching approach. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. School itself is not a democracy; it is an instrument of a democratic state. School is obligatory for all, and there are limits. So, how to handle this? The following example shows how a young teacher in the young democracy Bosnia and Herzegovina handles a difficult situation with great skills.

Knowledge builds skills, which changes attitudes. After this lesson, the students have learned a lot; this is obvious. My question: has the teacher learned his or her lesson? The teacher has built experience, but the lesson at the end is only learned when the teacher reflects on his or her reactions and can transfer them to a new situation. Teachers often lack real feedback. Inspectors have to become critical friends. Colleague teachers need to be invited for peer-to-peer feedback.

Example Lesson
The children are seated in groups. Their desks serve as tables, and small cards with group names have been set up on them. At one table, there are the rabbits, at another the bears, and the tigers are seated around the third. Full of excitement, a rabbit opens the envelope on his table. The teacher asks the 8-year-old to read the lines aloud. The rabbit reads, “Children have the right to the highest level of health and medical care attainable,” and sits down again. “There is a number as well,” the teacher calls. “We’re not doing arithmetic, but the number is important!” Obediently, the rabbit stands on his hind legs again and reads, “Article 24.” The teacher is pleased. The rabbit may come to the blackboard in front of the class. Article 24 is shown on a piece of colored paper shaped like a balloon. He may affix it to the blackboard. On the board there is space for many balloons. Together they will carry a basket with the words “Children’s Rights” written on it. The teacher puts her arm round the rabbit, and she is as happy as he is. “This is a right that you have,” she calls to the chil-

This classroom example is more of a story than a teaching plan. It gives teachers food for thought: How will I explain to unforeseen guests, visitors, and inspectors why my teaching looks the way it does from the point of view of CR? What is my own basic understanding of the relevance of the ratified convention in my classroom?

Target Audience
Teachers of all levels need to think about their own teaching style when it comes to the approach: the method is half the message!

Teachers should be well prepared but capable of flexibility to adapt to the needs required in a situation. This is highly effective. A good teacher is also a reflective practitioner.

A situation is never repeated. Training yourself to be prepared for the unforeseen is the challenge.

54 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

dren, and she continues, “In all the envelopes there are many more rights. Each right is a balloon.” The children have understood. Now many hands are up in the air. They are all eager to open an envelope, read and come forward, fix the balloon to the board and to be hugged and praised. This goes on for the next 45 minutes. Now it’s a bear’s turn. She has drawn Article 30 and reads, “Children belonging to a minority have the right to enjoy their own culture, to practice their own religion and to use their own language.” From the next table, a tiger adds, “Children have the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play, and to take part in cultural life and the arts. Article 31.” The third grade students are cheerful, enthusiastic, and active. There is a lot of movement and whispering, and everyone wants to be heard. How should these articles from the Convention on the Rights of the Child be taught? A case in point seems to be that no distinction can be made between good teaching in general and teaching children’s rights in particular. The difference is quite simply the following: In some instances, it may be possible to get away with the principles of teacher-centered instruction, just because the students have been socialized that way. However, if we are dealing with a subject like children’s rights, the inevitable consequence is that teaching must have something to do with the needs and the real experiences and queries of the students. For example, using Article 12 in the Children’s Rights Convention: How can I let the children learn that they have the right “to express their views freely” and that “in all matters affecting them, children’s views should be given due weight”? And what affects children and adolescents more closely than their own education and their school?

Interactive Teaching
Children’s rights must be addressed in such a way that they are not just on printed paper but sentences to be learned by heart like a formula in mathematics or the grammatical rules on the use of tenses. There is no reason why these topics require a heavy-handed chalk-and-talk approach, but when it comes to children’s rights, we need to turn to interactive teaching. The method of teaching carries at least half the message. Admittedly, this proposal is nothing new. For our subject, we need to take three steps towards good (or better) teaching. We can also call them three categories of learning processes. Students should learn: • t  o understand the rights of the child (knowledge), •  to implement children’s rights (skills) actively, and •  to develop personal values and attitudes (attitudes).

In the world of teaching and learning, the three stars of knowledge, attitudes, and skills have offered guidance to many generations of teachers. They are well known but have repeatedly been ignored. Teaching often is narrowed down to only one of these categories, depriving whole continents of children of meaningful learning and education.

Of course, it is a sensible idea that children should know the rights of the child. But must they be delivered in a dictation exercise, loathed as another boring lesson in an exercise book? Rather, children’s rights must be discovered and explored. Children should identify key issues and collect information on them to analyze. So this information must be worked on, processed, and questioned; to do this, the students need to discuss their experiences and link them to background

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


information and categories, and they must obtain insights into rules, concepts, and principles. In short, there is no knowledge without understanding and no understanding without active construction of cognitive structures. This applies not only to children’s rights but to any topic of learning.

ment. The teacher must not define “correct” opinions and attitudes.

Take Small Steps, But Take Them
Let us finally return to our example of the balloons in a third grade class. The example demonstrates the concept of a complex, multi-dimensional teaching approach, as outlined above. This concept distinguishes between knowledge, skills of implementation, the development of attitudes, and the expression of opinions. We may point out that, by these standards, there was a lot missing in this lesson. However, these criteria should not be applied mechanically. Each situation is unique. The most important point is that the children were all actively involved and enjoyed a cheerful lesson with a committed teacher. From now on, they will associate children’s rights with colored balloons, praise, and laughter, even though they might not (yet) understand everything. Finally, it should be noted that the lesson took place in Gorazde in autumn 1998. Gorazde is the Bosnian town that was cut off from the outside world, isolated, and almost forgotten during the war. To see topics like freedom of religious belief and protection of minorities addressed in school is an exciting experience and no easy task for students and teachers. Let me give you one more detail from this lesson: Some ten minutes before the bell was to ring, the teacher asked her third grade students what they had learned. A witty rabbit girl raised her hand and remarked, with the whole class laughing, “Now I know that there is this Article 31 that says that I have the right to rest and leisure. That means that now I have the right to have a break, doesn’t it?” The young teacher looked at the child, and one could see how intensively she was thinking. The third grade girl certainly had her point, and she proved that she transferred the lesson to her own circumstances. Those of us watching the class

Students need the opportunity to apply what they know and have understood actively, i.e. teaching should include project elements. Otherwise, the whole exercise will remain very artificial and distinctly remote from real life. Children’s rights address real and often serious issues, encouraging the students to participate in the worldwide efforts for justice and social change. The first steps in this direction would be in their places of residence and their learning environment. Lessons on how to design and decorate the school yard, how to monitor the children’s way to school, prevent drug use, discuss behavior and class rules. … There is an endless variety of topics for all grades and within all subjects. It is essential that any work on these topics be deliberately and explicitly linked with the principles of the Children’s Rights Convention. Many teachers are working along these lines but quite often without knowing what they are doing.

Learning and applying the knowledge is only half of the work. A student who has not clarified his or her personal views, or who was not given the chance to express his or her personal attitudes and perhaps actively change them, will tick off children’s rights as yet another of those remote school topics, soon to be forgotten as soon as the exercise books have been closed and the school reports have been handed out. In role-play settings, the different opinions should be put to the test, and the students may practice arguing their case. There must also be room for disagree-

56 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

almost stopped breathing. How will this teacher in the eastern Bosnian small town react? To make a long story short, she had what might have been the best possible reaction. She took the answer very seriously, and doing so, she started one of those discussions with an 8-year-old, that hopefully never stops. She agreed that there are contradictions inside such conventions and she gave the following

response: “Yes, you are right. The right for leisure is an important one. I need to tell you, though, there is also Article 28. This Article guaranties you the right to education. And no, this is still education time.” I don’t remember well. The girl might not have been happy about the answer. But it might have started a life-long journey of looking for answers to crucial questions.

Teaching material: The balloon game
Educational The students become aware of universal values in human rights. They understand that objectives: some human rights are implicitly contained in others, but within the system of human rights, it makes a difference if specific human rights are protected or not. The students understand that human rights are inalienable and that the arbitrary abolishment of human rights borders on dictatorship. Note on use Resources Procedure 1. The teacher prepares balloons and papers slips with the Children’s Rights written on them. 2.  He or she puts corresponding paper slips in different envelopes that are deposited on the students’ tables. 3.  On the blackboard, a basket is drawn (or cut out) which, will be lifted up by the balloons the students attach to it. 4.  The students take out one slip of paper indicating a balloon after the other out of the envelope, read it aloud and bring it to the blackboard. Short discussions take place. Some rights are understood, some not. This is not important. The important thing is the effect of putting together the basket and the balloons. Extension If the basket is also cut out, the balloon can stay in the classroom for the whole school year, and the discussions will go back to the different articles when needed or when something interesting happens. This game can be used as an introduction at the beginning of a lesson sequence on human rights or as a transfer exercise at the end. Envelopes, colored paper

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Schools for Democracy in Burundi
By Marie-Louise Ström, Burundi Background
In 2011, Idasa, an African democracy institute based in South Africa, was invited to partner with the Burundi Leadership Training Program (BLTP) and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) to develop communal Schools for Democracy in Burundi. The project was based on the Idasa School for Democracy model that has been widely implemented in South Africa since 1992, as well as in Angola (in partnership with Norwegian Church Aid) and Mozambique (also in partnership with NIMD). In Burundi, the project was piloted in two provinces, Gitega and Cibitoke. develop confidence in citizens to work collectively to shape the community and society in which they live.

Target Audience
Participants in the Schools for Democracy in Burundi are “ordinary” adult citizens, aged 25 and older, living in small, village communities. The course materials have a bias towards low-literacy learners, although the educational levels of participants vary quite widely. They are recruited primarily for the interest they have shown in actively solving public problems, rather than simply complaining about them. They are individuals with civic energy who have already taken some steps, no matter how small, towards addressing an issue of common concern (from health and agriculture to the environment and youth development, among others). They are involved in diverse community-based and faith-based organizations, although not necessarily the leaders of these organizations. They are also key players in informal community networks and individuals who “have the ear” of the community, even if they are not in recognized leadership positions. They are not recruited to the project directly via political parties, although careful attention is paid to diversity of political affiliation. Some are politically active, but others are not. Every effort is made to recruit women and men in equal numbers.

Identifying the Problem
The 2005 elections in Burundi ushered in a period of relative peace and stability after 12 years of civil war. In 2010, troubled elections created new tensions in the country, this time along political rather than ethnic lines. Ongoing violence and political paralysis has led to ordinary citizens often being deeply skeptical about democracy. They also often feel powerless about making significant changes in their circumstances. What is needed is a shift from understanding democracy as the work of elected officials (a state-centered view) to the work of the whole society (a citizen-centered view).

Project Objectives
The overarching goal of the Schools for Democracy in Burundi is to help build a culture of democracy and promote human development by equipping citizens with skills that enable them to be effective agents of change capable of organizing their communities and working across lines of difference and across the citizen-government divide to address public problems and create public goods. The Schools for Democracy aim to nurture democratic habits and values and to

The Schools for Democracy implement an extended course, developed by Idasa and adapted for the Burundian context, that consists of ten days of training, divided into five two-day workshops. The course is delivered over a period of four to five months, with three to four weeks between each workshop. It includes an important practical component, with participants working on projects between the workshops. The core themes are arranged as follows, under the

58 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

overarching theme of “Citizen-centered Democracy”: Workshop 1: Community and diversity Workshop 2: Power Workshop 3: Workshop 4: Workshop 5: Everyday politics Community organizing Mutual accountability

The workshops are non-residential, so participants all live within about a 10 km radius of the training venue. Thirty participants are recruited for each course, and they are expected to attend all the workshops. The training is conducted in Kirundi, the local language, by Burundian democracy educators who underwent rigorous training by Idasa. The educational approach of the Schools for Democracy is inspired by traditions of popular education, with an emphasis on experiential, collaborative, and self-directed learning. A wide range of participatory methodologies are used, including constantly changing configurations of group work, role-play, song, drawing, simulation games, moving debates, interactions with the community and more. Most importantly, the curriculum revolves around group projects that participants implement in their communities in the weeks between the five training workshops. The project methodology is described in more detail below. The Schools for Democracy curriculum has a strong focus on building democratic skills and habits, not only instilling knowledge about democracy. Its core conceptual framework differs from dominant, state-centered conceptions of democracy that focus mainly on elections, the functioning of democratic institutions and deliberative processes that contribute

towards government policy-making at various levels. Rather, the curriculum is based on the theory of public work. Public work is an emerging school of thought in democratic theory, which stresses citizens, not markets or states, as the foundational agents of democracy. It emphasizes a particular conception of the citizen as a co-creator of democracy and conveys the firm belief that every citizen, regardless of social status and education level, can play a concrete role in solving problems and creating stronger and more sustainable communities. In particular, the curriculum focuses on the tools of broad-based community organizing, including:
• one-on-one interviewing • discerning interests and issues • developing “public narratives” • interest- and powermapping • identifying resources • building public relationships • distinguishing between public and private “worlds” • developing organizing teams • strategizing for collective action • building capacity for collective action • learning through action •m  utual accountability and public evaluation

In the periods between the training workshops, participants work in small groups (of three to five people) to help organize their communities to take action on an issue of common concern. These organizing projects form the experiential bedrock of the training. Much of the “classroom” activity entails reflection on these “field” experiences. Participants learn the core concepts and skills by putting them into action and analyzing their effectiveness. Issues addressed by project groups during the Burundi pilot included soil infertility due to over-exploitation, production of strongly alcoholic liquor (moonshine), teenage pregnancy, polygamy, disputes between herders and crop-growers, and, grittiest of all, the absence of latrines.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


The group projects are structured in phases that correspond broadly with the workshop themes.
Phase 1 After the first workshop, the project groups spend a few weeks interviewing members of their communities (friends, family, neighbors, and others who they think might have an interest in the issue they wish to address). The aim is to check whether there is indeed fairly broad interest in the issue and to gain insight into how diverse members of the community understand it. Following the second workshop, the project groups continue with the interviewing process, continuing to deepen their understanding of the issue at hand, but also identifying potential partners and paying attention to different sources of power and resources that they might tap into. They create an expanded organizing team, inviting a few members of the community to join their group. Participants leave the third workshop with the first iteration of an action plan that they refine and begin to implement in the community. The aim is to organize members of the community to work together to tackle one aspect of the problem through a small but strategic intervention, using local resources, that can be wrapped up in the space of six to eight weeks. After evaluating their progress during the fourth workshop, the project groups have another few weeks to conclude their organizing efforts and to prepare their final reports for presentation at the fifth and final workshop.

Phase 2

Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on mutual accountability. Project groups are encouraged to evaluate their work and hold members accountable for their respective tasks. The groups present progress reports at each workshop, thus also developing skills to make formal presentations in public. At the final workshop, the groups present a full overview of their projects, reflecting on the outcomes, the lessons they have learned and their personal growth. Successful interventions are celebrated, but less successful ones are also mined for the rich insights they provide. The primary emphasis is on empowerment, including the ability to deal with setbacks, rather than on “success” in terms of quick, visible results.

In Burundi, four courses were conducted as part of the pilot phase of the Schools for Democracy, and the hope is to expand the program in the coming years. To achieve its full potential, especially in the face of constant resource challenges, there is a need for stronger institutional foundations for this work. Rather than being driven solely by NGOs that are dependent on foreign funding, partnerships with strong local institutions such as churches would help to ensure the sustainability of the program. There is also scope to work with institutions such as schools and clinics, for example, but this would require a radical change in how these institutions perceived their relationship with the communities in which they are based. Such institutions, while helping to meet basic needs, also have potential to help expand people’s imaginations and become centers of democratic power and transformation in communities. Empowering citizens and equipping them with skills to interact confidently and constructively with government also requires a shift in thinking among government officials themselves. Elected leaders and those who work in government bureaucracies need to shift from seeing citizens as hapless and needy to

Phase 3

Phase 4

An important innovation of the Burundi program is that trainers provide direct support to the project groups, visiting them at least once in the field between each workshop. The trainers act as “organizing coaches,” helping the participants to think through their strategies and deal with obstacles that inevitably arise but taking care not act on their behalf. Community organizing is complex, challenging work and, as novices, participants in the training course benefit from encouragement and mentoring.

60 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

seeing them as resourceful partners, full of talent and energy, capable of initiating change themselves and also of working in collaboration with government to address public problems on a large scale. Although the shift from a state-centered to a citizen-centered conception of democracy might sound obvious to some, it in fact poses a radical challenge to conventional ways of thinking about democracy all across the world. It points to the need for a profound paradigm shift, something that is not easy to achieve but that can happen through patient, strategic movement building. There is a need for a more concerted movement-building approach, both within countries and internationally, among democracy-building initiatives based on a citizen-centered paradigm.

Over the years, outstanding community leaders have “graduated” from Schools for Democracy initiated by Idasa. This was also the case in Burundi where a number of graduates have taken leadership to resolve conflicts in their communities, including serious conflicts between elected leaders. Some have continued to work on the projects they tackled during their training. All graduates have expressed transformed attitudes towards politics, understood not only as party politics, and a readiness to engage in the gritty work of solving local problems together with others, rather than sitting on the sidelines. Some have shown increased interest in running for election at the local level. All have talked about a radically new openness to recognizing the potential talents and contributions of fellow citizens and a sense of inter-dependence, which is a particularly precious gain in a country with a long history of bitter ethnic conflict. Community members have reported seeing a marked change in those who participated in the training and there is a strong demand for the project to be expanded. The latrine-building initiative mentioned above provides but one example of how participants and

their neighbors gained a sense of empowerment and collective civic agency while addressing a concrete problem in their community. The project group began by investigating the number of latrines in a particular area and how many households they served. They spoke with members of every household to gain a better understanding of why so few latrines existed and how this impacted on people’s lives. They learned that the problem was more complex than they had initially imagined, touching on a range of issues including land, ethnicity, public health, and basic awareness regarding hygiene. The group gathered information about an NGO that had been involved in constructing latrines elsewhere and learned how to build a proper latrine themselves. They identified families who were keen to build latrines on their own properties and negotiated the division of labor. First, the families had to dig a pit for their latrine according to certain dimensions. Then, everyone discussed how to obtain resources for laying floor slabs and constructing shelters for the latrines. A representative group including course participants and community members negotiated with the NGO to supply pre-cast floor slabs, then they had to figure out how to get wooden poles and other materials for the shelters. Someone suggested that they approach the priest of the local parish where there was a large stand of eucalyptus trees. They prepared together how they would present the project to the priest, including their objective to help build a culture of democracy. The priest was supportive, and by the end of the course, the group could report that six new latrines had been constructed, doubling the previous number in the area. Group members announced that this was only the beginning of what they hoped would be vastly expanded efforts to address the latrine problem and some of the broader issues associated with it. The question might be asked whether the latrine project can really be described as a democracy-building intervention. Absolutely! It exemplifies the

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


widespread understanding in the field of broad-base organizing that while winning an issue is useful and gratifying, the most important work of all is building the capacity and confidence of citizens to play a more active role in shaping their communities and their lives. This is the essence of a citizen-centered understanding of democracy. In Africa, expectations for community development are closely tied to democracy. Disillusionment with democracy often springs from people’s failure to experience tangible improvements in their quality of life. In this situation, citizens become consumers of democracy and critical spectators of electoral politics on the national and local stage. There is no denying that governments have a vital role to play in promoting democracy and development, but many — if not most — of Africa’s problems simply cannot be solved by governments alone. The Schools for Democracy aim to counter dependency, disappointment, and perceived failures of democracy by emphasizing that democratic societies are built — often quite literally — by the ongoing, collective efforts of every citizen. In the process of collaborating to address shared needs, citizens learn to work across lines of difference, however difficult it might be, to respect people from other backgrounds, listen attentively to multiple voices, accept the existence of diverse interests without demonizing the other, build collective power, negotiate in savvy ways, act inclusively and transparently, collaborate with elected officials and hold them accountable when necessary, and also hold each other accountable in the public sphere. In short, they experience the original meaning of democracy as people’s power. The Schools for Democracy pilot project in Burundi underwent a mid-term evaluation that was jointly conducted by project leaders and an evaluator from the Burundian Ministry of the Interior. Feedback was extremely positive, and the Ministry expressed strong support for the program, an extremely positive development in a context where a number of democracy

education interventions have been terminated. The Idasa coach, together with the trainers, conducted rigorous evaluation of the curriculum throughout the pilot process, making adaptations as necessary. A final internal evaluation workshop took place involving BLTP, the local implementing partner, NIMD, the trainers and the Idasa coach. Here is a sampling of comments from this evaluation discussion, illustrating the sort of feedback that was received throughout the project. Trainers spoke enthusiastically about the impact of the course on the participants, in spite of doubts they had initially harbored. Emmanuel Manwangu commented, “I was afraid that people at village level might get lost in the training, but even if it was a little challenging for them at the beginning, their minds were awakened, and they very quickly came up to speed. Democracy started to become concrete for them — the power to take action on issues right where they live.” Juliette Kavabuha admitted, “I wondered whether we would really manage to achieve results, but I have seen that each citizen really does have value and can contribute something. [The participants] have lost their fear of approaching the authorities. Citizens are now the initiators of change. This is a huge change in the context of Burundi.” Eusébie Nzorijana described a striking relocation of “politics,” which decentered the concept and the practice: “At the beginning, some participants were uneasy about conducting interviews. ‘This is politics,’ they said. Later a participant said proudly, ‘I can do politics myself now!’” Equally, trainers reported remarkable personal change and growth. Julienne Mukankusi said, “I have been deeply touched. I had done research and training on democracy before this, but I had not lived it. Now I have seen that a skilled citizen has more power than one can imagine.” Marie-Paule Ndayishimiye commented, “The course has transformed me. I

62 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

know that I myself am capable of being an agent of change.” Emmanuel Manwangu described the shifts in understanding of the meaning of democracy and citizenship: “This course changes one’s understanding of democracy itself. Our language has changed. Citizens are at the center.”

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


The Challenges to Civic Education in Colombia
By: Susana Restrepo, Colombia Introduction
Colombia has a well-known history of struggle to defend the prevalence of democratic institutions in the face of protracted armed conflict and entrenched social inequality. In addition to a major constitutional overhaul that sought to establish more participatory political structures, the country has engaged in various efforts to cultivate citizenship through its educational system. One of these efforts has been the promotion of citizenship competencies as a national policy. This policy, sprung from a series of guidelines for educational institutions, has been framed from a human rights perspective and defines Citizenship Competencies as “the set of knowledge and cognitive, emotional and communicative skills, that joined together allow for a citizen to act in a constructive manner in a democratic society.”1 The Ministry of Education has a Citizenship Competencies Program that conceives citizenship from three areas or perspectives: 1) Peace and coexistence (which refers to a coexistence that encourages conflict resolution, by taking into account different viewpoints and favoring dialogue and negotiation), 2) Democratic participation and responsibility (which requires members of the community to get involved in public affairs and exercise the rights and responsibilities that they have as citizens), and 3) Recognizing differences, plurality, and identity. The Citizenship Competencies Program holds that “citizenship education is not an isolated subject, but a shared responsibility that transcends all areas and instances of the school institution and the educational community.” This requires a contribution from all the actors (teachers, students, principals, and parents) that integrate the educational community.

Identifying the Problem
How can the concept of “transversality” be understood in school, and what are the risks that it entails for the effective implementation of a Citizenship Competencies Program? Transversality is understood as the school’s opportunity to provide valuable content and experiences that contribute to the formation of citizens who are socially engaged, critical, reflexive, intellectually independent, committed, team workers, and cognizant of the problems that affect society. Transversality requires schools to discuss citizenship education within their own institutions and to agree on common educational objectives. The competencies, abilities, and attitudes that are selected and developed should ideally be met through various school subjects. Assuming this responsibility in an interdisciplinary manner both enriches a true democratic education with different perspectives and minimizes the gap between discourse and practice inside school institutions. In addition, more than 16 years of continuous work in schools has allowed us to identify two obstacles for working transversally on citizenship competences: The explicit curriculum directs teachers to focus solely on their subject activities when planning their classes. Thus, activities that represent additional work are not usually undertaken. The hidden curriculum constitutes a clear manifes-

64 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

tation of the school’s culture, organizational climate, interpersonal relations, authority figures, respect for human rights, conflict resolution practices, and formative messages transmitted in the classroom by every teacher. This curriculum can sometimes hinder the development of democratic environments in school institutions.

Target Audience
Secondary school students, especially between grades 7 and 11.

Project Citizen is based on a research methodology that stresses the importance of citizens’ direct participation in the search for solutions for the problematic situations that arise in the communities and for which the State bears some responsibility. On one hand, the project aims to foster a deeper knowledge about the social and political situations that concern them. On the other, the methodology enables them to identify the agencies or bodies of government that are responsible for intervening in these situations and to demand from them an appropriate and effective response. Therefore, the project intends for the students to know and understand that solving community issues is not exclusively dependent on governmental action, but rather that as citizens, we all have the right and the responsibility to influence the decisions that are made. Project Citizen is an ideal program for democracy education that positively responds to the identified problem and meets all the requirements of transversal education that are highlighted in the Citizenship Competencies Program. While the program should ideally be led by a teacher (usually from the social sciences) in a class that can include it in the subject’s syllabus and has the necessary time for its implementation, its very nature as a research project aimed at a broad set of public policy issues that affect the lives of students provides a range of opportunities for other areas of the curriculum to contribute. The participation of other disciplines adds to the project’s effort by providing time, space, and knowledge that is specific to their area, thus allowing the students to utilize their understanding of these disciplines in their search for a solution.

•  To make citizenship competencies education a shared responsibility across all areas and instances of the institution. •   To build recognition around the advantages that a transversal program, such as Project Citizen, has on interdisciplinary work in the educational community.

How Can Project Citizen Achieve These Objectives?
Project Citizen has a strong emphasis on the area of “democratic participation and responsibility” as described by the Citizenship Competencies Program. This area has probably received the least attention out of all three components of the Program by the educational system, thus accounting for teachers and students’ lack of knowledge not only about the way that the State functions but also about how individuals relate to social and political institutions in their communities. It also contributes to the trend of students and teachers’ disinterest towards public participation, distrust in political activity, and discouragement around correcting social problems. Project Citizen aims to develop students’ interest in the problems and necessities of their communities, fostering a sense of teamwork, social commitment, solidarity, and political effectiveness. The main goal is the consolidation of a participatory consciousness in the future citizenry, as well as a well-founded interest in their community.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Project Citizen not only requires work inside but also outside the classroom. The latter includes visiting government entities, conducting surveys, and interviewing community members, among other activities. This work has also counted on the participation of parents, who join their children in the different extracurricular activities, while also contributing to the search for possible solutions to the identified problem. In order to achieve transversality in the development of the project, the most important thing is to spend a considerable amount of time planning, while taking into account two factors: the research methodology suggested by Project Citizen and the particular needs of the problem selected by the students. Fundación Presencia has designed two formats that seek to foster dialogue between different subjects to develop strategies for transversal work in the planning stage of the project. One of these formats addresses the problem selected by the students, and the other focuses on the steps required to complete Project Citizen. Both designs allow students and teachers to plan activities that enrich their work, while fostering team work and deliberation, thus encouraging a stronger commitment to their education over the course of the project. Project Citizen’s main steps are: •  To help students clearly identify and prioritize the community’s problems. •  To guide the process of identifying the governmental agencies that are in charge of offering solutions to the selected problem from a public policy perspective. •  To offer guidelines to analyze the existing public policies addressing the selected problem. •  To encourage students to formulate public policy proposals.

•  To develop investigative, communicative, and teamwork abilities. Project Citizen has a manual for teachers and students, as well as various pedagogical tools and methodologies that have been designed because of the first-hand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges associated with its implementation. This knowledge is based on teachers’ reports, Fundación Presencia’s researchers’ visits to the classrooms, and students’ and teachers’ meetings around shared experiences. It also comes from our familiarity with the heterogeneity of schools in a diverse country like Colombia and from our experience in over 13 years of implementation, in which more than 80,000 students and 1,500 teachers have been involved.

In order to ensure success and the effective adoption of transversality in the program, our main objective is to work hand-in-hand with the teachers and to organize training sessions that respond to their concerns. The following are among the activities that we carry out: •  Conduct a meeting with the principals, coordinators and chiefs of areas to present the program before it begins. •  Train both social sciences teachers and an interdisciplinary group of teachers from grades 7 to 11 in the program’s methodology, thus supporting the transversalization of the program. •  Establish the advantages of working interdisciplinarily on problems of the community that affect everyday life. •  Generate from the different disciplines a sense of identity and a commitment towards working on the selected problem. •  Train educators who can subsequently train their peers in different regions of the country.

66 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

•  Develop tools and work formats that allow teachers to understand how to transversalize the program and to agree on the areas of knowledge that are key in addressing the selected problem.

•  The project has a participative pedagogical approach that favors cooperative work and promotes the development of reflexivity, critical thinking, and teamwork abilities.

Based on these activities with the teachers and on the implementation of the program according to the steps outlined in its methodology, students, principals and teachers have recognized that Project Citizen: •  Offers teaching strategies that invigorate the educational practice, given that the pedagogical processes are centered on the role of the learner. •  Promotes democratic and horizontal education in the school. •  Fosters development in pedagogical relations among peers and between students and teachers. •  Impacts both the explicit curriculum, contributing to the fulfillment of standards for the development of citizenship competences and the hidden curriculum (school climate, pedagogical relations, definitions of authority). •  Provides space for the relationship between young people and politics and citizenship practice to develop. •  Generates in students a social commitment and a sense of belonging within their communities, separating them from traditional politics, which responds to a distinct relationship between the institutions and the public in which mistrust, lack of participation, and alienation prevail. In addition, Project Citizen encourages students and teachers to establish a connection with the social demands of their communities. •  The tasks that are developed and the problems that are selected necessarily involve knowledge and methods from different disciplines, thus deepening the understanding of those problems and establishing clear working bonds and commitments from the teachers. (Endnotes)
Formar para la ciudadanía … si es posible, Estándares básicos Competencias Ciudadanas, Ministerio de Educación Nacional, 2003.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Living Democracy through Physical Education
By: Angeliki Aroni, Greece Identifying the Problem
Students’ ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity in the Paleo Faliro Elementary School of Intercultural Education in Athens, Greece, is in many cases the source of inter-group conflicts and hostility. The school’s 102 students come from 30 different countries on 4 different continents. The everyday reality of the school is a representation of the situation facing immigrants in Greece as a whole. The only solution is to live in a micro-society in which the students have the chance and the duty to coexist with us, the teachers, and with each other. On top of this already challenging situation the student population changes on almost a weekly basis due to fluctuations in the number of immigrants in the country. “Living Democracy” is the key concept needed to be mentioned in this context. By coping with this situation we do not just learn but also live and experience core elements of democracy — such as participation, equality, rule of law and justice — in our daily routine. We thereby fulfill the core aspects of the Council of Europe’s approach to Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC). Physical education provides an ideal environment to implement the program. Its concrete focus on rules, action and cooperation gives students the opportunity to overcome language barriers and become active members of the school community. The program aims to facilitate the peaceful coexistence of the students. This goal was accomplished by promoting respect and tolerance toward diversity and by facilitating team building and social cohesion through specially designed physical activities and games, examples of which are provided in the lesson plan that follows.

The objective of the program was to contribute to the peaceful coexistence of the students. This was accomplished by promoting respect and tolerance towards diversity and by facilitating team building and social cohesion through specially designed physical activities and games. Like all Greek elementary schools, the school consists of six grades. It has two classes in each grade which are organized by the students’ fluency in Greek. Thus, A1 and B1 contain students who were either born in Greece or possess fluency in the language, whereas A2 and B2 contain students who have recently immigrated to Greece and speak little or no Greek. During the 2011-2012 school year, tensions arose between the students of the two 6th grade classes, the target audience of the program. The first class was comprised of 12 students (eight boys, four girls) from Bulgaria, China, Egypt, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Syria,Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The second class was comprised of 13 students (ten boys, three girls) from Albania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Georgia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, US, and Uzbekistan. At the beginning of the year, conflicts between the two classes, such as name calling, spitting, pushing, shoving, and threatening violence, arose and escalated during Christmas break. I attempted to solve the problem by bringing the two groups of students together for classes in physical education. Nevertheless, this attempt proved ineffective, as the conflicts simply continued during the classes’ activities and games. The students either refused to be placed in the same team or, when they were on the same team, began to fight with the opposing team. Therefore, we jointly decided to use the “flexible zone” in order to imple-

68 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

ment an intervention project aimed at promoting respect and tolerance towards diversity and teaching the skills needed for peaceful coexistence.

The flexible zone in Greek elementary schools is a specific period of time set aside within the school schedule (four hours per week for grades 1 and 2, three hours per week for grades 3 and 4, two hours per week for grades 5 and 6). In the flexible zone, the choice of theme or topic is of primary importance and depends on its usefulness and importance for the students and teachers involved.1 We used two consecutive hours per week of the flexible time to bring the classes together. Consequently, a three-month intervention program was designed, which consisted of one two-hour session per week. The program was based on physical activities and games because sport not only speaks a simple language — which simplifies intercultural communication and is particularly attractive in today’s multicultural society — but also “has been considered one of the cultural practices most promising both for enhancing interethnic contact and social cohesion and as a tool for peace and reconciliation initiatives.”2 The OSCE’s “Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims” were used for designing the project.3 The OSCE Guidelines are an excellent cross-thematic tool that can be used as a supplement in classrooms for religious education, history and civic education and in the school yard during physical education classes. We applied the guidelines’ suggested strategies on establishing a constructive environment, establishing ground rules for discussion, establishing codes of conduct, enhancing student democracy, and accommodating religion (such as providing sports uniforms that respect religious standards of modesty).

The following four didactic principles were adopted from the EU’s project on “Development of Intercultural Skills through sport and physical education in Europe”4 : 1. E  xperience of strangeness as a starting point for education According to the first principal, familiar forms of movement, activities, or games can be alienating. New, “strange” activities are introduced into physical education classes for students to realize that their own body culture is just one of many. Exposed to a variety of activities, students become aware of commonalities in games played throughout the world but also of differences and variations of games played within the same culture. 2. Team tasks on challenges Students are assigned certain tasks and form teams to achieve the goal. They have to cooperate and through negotiation and conflict-management skills, find the best way to confront the challenge. 3. Experience of recognition and belonging Through verbal and non-verbal communication, students evaluate and recognize their emotional, cognitive, and social state that promotes their sense of belonging to the team. 4. Reflection on the experience of strangeness One of the objectives of intercultural educational sport teaching is to develop intercultural skills that can be applied outside of class. Therefore, reflection on the learning process and the experiences of the students are of vital importance at the end of every session. The fourth principle is also one of the strategies contained in the “Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims,” in which they suggest “Activities to Promote Reflection and Critical Thinking.” According to their specific goals, activities and games were divided into two

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


broad categories: cooperative team building games and multicultural games. The combination of these two served what Schulenkorf called the “dual identity status” in sport projects.5 For Schulenkorf, successful sport projects are those in which the ethnic sub-identities of the participants are combined with a superordinate identity. Such a status is encouraged by designing sport activities in which different ethnic groups participate together and where a shared set of values and organizational identity is emphasized (cooperative team building games), while at the same time allowing participants to engage in culture specific activities (multicultural games).

Each session comprised of an introductory part in which students were asked to recall the previous session and were then presented with the objectives for the upcoming session. Students then participated in warm-up games and a selection technique according to the objectives of the session. This way, if the activities required teams with equally skilled members, an equal number of boys and girls, or a random formation, an appropriate technique was used to ensure its effectiveness. The main part of the lesson usually contained two or three games/activities/sports. Two examples of cooperative activities are the “the bus” and the “alphabet relay.” In “the bus,” students are divided into groups around large mats (the “buses”) and are told that they will need to cooperate with each other in order to complete the activity. Their goal is to work together in order to move a large mat around the gymnasium. Before the performance of the task, there is a discussion about what it means to cooperate: working together, looking out for others, helping others, speaking to others respectfully, etc. They are reminded that there are some important safety concerns they need to take into consideration. They especially need to remember that they are to move at the same speed as everyone else in their group. If they go too fast, they can cause other people — and the mat — to fall. They need to think of others and not play around, as others can be injured. They are then presented with the following six challenges, which illustrate the principle of sequencing, the order in which you provide students tasks starting from simple, and progressing to more difficult: Challenge 1: Lifting the mat: Students lift the mat together, and then bring it back down to the floor (quietly) at the same time. The first time I verbally “count” to cue students to lift it, and then they must find a way to do it themselves (suggestion:

Example Lesson
An essential element of all lesson plans used in the program was the technique used for partner and group selection. Interpersonal relationships are more likely to develop when children are encouraged to work with different partners and in different teams. In Greece, a popular method for many physical educators is to ask students themselves to form pairs or choose captains who are then responsible to divide their classmates into teams. In addition to lowering the self-image of those chosen last, disagreements often occur, and teams tend to always have the same members. Thus, a variety of techniques were used like the Chinese method, the Roman method, the Brazilian method, etc., in order for students to have the opportunity to work with all their classmates. In the Chinese method, for example, all students stand in a circle, and on the teacher’s count of three, they put one hand into the circle either palm up or palm down. Students with palms up form one team as do the ones with palms down. In the event that the outcome is not even, the teacher asks the students from the largest group to repeat it until the teams are equal in number.6

70 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

each group designates one person as the “captain,” to lead when the mat should be picked up and put down). Students are reminded to lift it only to a point where they are still able to see over the mat. Challenge 2: The drop: Students lift the mat. At my signal, they drop it at the same time. They are reminded to move backward out of the way when they drop it. If they all do it at the same time, it will make a big boom! (Not necessarily fun for you to hear, but the kids will love it!) Challenge 3: The drive around: Students lift the mat and walk around the gym while holding it up (again, not higher than they can see over it), following directions to turn: straight, turn left, turn right, U-turn, backward, etc. Challenge 4: The pick up: A few students are spread around the gym. A group with a mat comes over to “pick up” each child. The group must drop the mat, the student lies on the mat, and the group picks up the mat. Safety is stressed here! It is important that the student on the mat lies without moving, and that the group brings the mat to the floor safely without dropping it. They are not allowed to pick up more than two students at a time. Challenge 5: The 360: Students turn the mat 360 degrees in one, then the other, direction. Challenge 6: The tow truck: While half the class lifts the mat up, the other half goes under the mat on their hands and knees, all facing the same direction. The mat is gently brought down onto the students’ backs, who then must move the mat to the “garage” (sideline) without dropping it. The second activity is called “alphabet relay” and is an adaptation of an exercise I once read about that

adds the cognitive challenge of creating and correctly spelling Greek words. The participants in four groups (lined one behind the other) were placed on one end of a defined area behind a clothes line for hanging letters by pegs. On the other end, paper letters of the Greek alphabet were spread out on a table. This game included four tasks. Challenge 1: On my signal, each team sends its first player to the table to retrieve a letter and return to hang it in their part of the rope. That player then tagged the next runner on his/her team, who goes to the table and retrieve another letter until the teams created any Greek word with their letters. Challenge 2: The teams have to create a four letter word. Challenge 3: The teams have to create a five letter word Challenge 4: The teams have to create a word with as many points as possible. Each alphabet letter had a certain point value, like in Scrabble. At one point, certain students realized that a useful technique was first to think of the word and then to run for certain letters. This proved to be valuable, especially in the last challenge as they realized that certain letters gave their words more point value. The activities above relate to all five basic elements of education for democratic citizenship, as they are active (emphasizing learning by doing) task-based, collaborative (employing group work and cooperative learning), interactive (using discussion as the groups need to talk about the best technique to solve the challenge), critical (encouraging students to think for themselves about the challenge), and participative (as everyone need to contribute in order for the challenge to be effectively dealt with).7

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


The final part of the program was to debrief and reflect in plenary. Reflection provides time and space for students to make the connection between what seems just another entertaining, fun game and student centered activities that promote dialogue and that provide students the opportunity to work together, struggle, deal with failure and master the challenges presented to them while building better relationships and team cohesion. In addition, the reflection phase provides time to teach about democracy, as it further develops students’ skills in democratic citizenship by elaborating on different democratic elements. For example, “the bus” gives the opportunity to discuss and raise awareness on the issue of responsibility concerning the safety of participants involved in the activity. Especially important in the reflection phase is inductive learning, as proposed here; only through reflection in the classroom will the experience become knowledge that can be used in another context. Reflection allows a student to learn to view school as micro-society and the society around him or her, the reality of his or her community, region and country.

Both challenges became easier with time as the activities and games helped the students gradually become a team, establish a collective identity and a sense of belonging, and improved their language and communication skills. Students from the same ethnic and language background helped each other with translations during discussions. The project’s impact was assessed through a personal log I kept for observations, comments, and notes. I had the students use a Learning Log throughout the project as an assessment method to monitor their progress. It is a central element of the training I had received in using Arigatou International’s “Learning to Live Together” manual on Intercultural and Interfaith program for Ethics Education.8

The students were asked to keep a personal log and record their experiences, feelings and thoughts after each session. It was intended to strengthen the process of self-reflection and offer children the opportunity to interact with their themselves. Unfortunately, it did not work, as language proved to be a major issue. Many of the students did not possess adequate language skills (neither in Greek nor in their native languages), making the process of writing an ordeal. So, the impact of the project is based on my own personal log’s input. Both challenges became easier with time as the activities and games helped the students gradually become a team, establish a collective identity and a sense of belonging, and improve their language and communication skills. Students from the same ethnic and language background helped each other with translations during discussions. At the end of the project, students refused when they were asked to resume their previous status of working separately in different classes. Conflicts between students became minimal, and several of them acted as mediators in conflicts between younger students during breaks.

The main challenges of the project were the students’ initial resistance and rejection of the activity for two reasons. First, they did not want to work with the other class, and secondly, they were used to a competitive framework of physical education in which the main objective of the games played was to win while another team lost. Moreover, the lack of a common language made discussions and reflections at the end of each session very difficult.

72 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

JA Spinthourakis, E. Karatzia-Stavliotiand, and H. Lambropoulos. “Teacher views and priorities towards curricular innovation as a venue for effective citizenship education,” in A. Ross (ed), The Experience of Citizenship. London: CICE, Institute for Policy Studies in Education (University of North London), 2004. pp. 399-406

N. Schulenkorf. “Sport events and ethnic reconciliation: Attempting to create social change between Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim sportspeople in war-torn Sri Lanka.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport 45, 2010, 273-294.

R. Clements and S. Kinzler. A Multicultural Approach to Physical education; Proven Strategies for Middle and High School. USA: Human Kinetics. 2003.

J. Sterkenburg, “The values and limits of sport-based social interventions in post-conflict societies,” in O. Dorokhina, M. Hosta, and J. Sterkenburg, Targeting Social Cohesion in Post-Conflict Societies through Sport Good practices Handbooks, No. 1, Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 2011.

R. Gollob and P. Krapf. “Living democracy”; Volumes I - VI for EDC/HRE (Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education), Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing. 2007.

OSCE. Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination Again Muslims: Addressing Islamophobia through Education. 2011. Available via:

Arigatou Foundation. Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education 2008. Available via:

P. Gieb-Stuber. Development of Intercultural skills through sport and physical education in Europe, Chapter 1 in Sport facing the test of cultural diversity Integration and intercultural dialogue in Europe: analysis and practical examples, Sports policy and practice series, Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing. 2010.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


The Concept of Civic Education Clubs (CECs) in Ghana
By: Harrison Belley, Ghana Background
A situational analysis of the Ghanaian democratic scene shows the ignorance of most Ghanaians, especially young people, of the basic provisions of the republican constitution of Ghana and concepts in democratic governance. There is, therefore, the need to consolidate democracy through the teaching of fundamental concepts in democratic governance. A program to address these shortcomings is imperative. There is a general understanding and acceptance that no limited civic education program can be successful. Hence the adoption of the strategy for sustainable massive civic education through clubs, identifiable bodies, and religious bodies among others is necessary. within the philosophy of catching citizens when they are young and infusing in them the democratic and constitutional culture. The concept is one in which members of the club are encouraged to be analytic and sharp in their relations and ability to carry out an appraisal of constitutional and legal issues through effective participation and learning. The Clubs, by virtue of their character and role, are non-partisan in their activities, which enables members to meet and discuss issues in a safe, participatory environment. They are voluntary organizations, open to all Ghanaians irrespective of one’s religion or political affiliation, ethnic origin and status. Any number of persons, but preferably ten or more, may form a CEC. The leadership of a Club is made up of a chairman, secretary, organizer and a treasurer. Patrons are appointed. They are expected to assist and guide Clubs in the implementation of their policies.

The goal of this effort is to broaden and deepen the students’ knowledge of civic engagement and democracy among students. Through the concept of Civic Education Clubs (CECs), students at all levels of the educational system are taught to realize their roles as future leaders and their role in consolidating Ghana’s democratic system. The idea is to rally them around the constitution to ensure active participation of the students in the socio-political life of the nation. Therefore, the aims and objectives of setting up these Clubs are to study, analyze, and discuss the content/provisions of the constitution, to develop a practical commitment to social justice, democracy and equality of all without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, and level of education and to instill in members the spirit to defend and preserve the constitution.

To realize the aims and objectives outlined above, Clubs organize activities around debates, quizzes, and a mock Parliament/Legislature aimed at improving members’ understanding of the constitution and current affairs. One such activity is the constitution game that is played among students in the Senior High Schools and Tertiary institutions. The game is a contest among the members of the Clubs in the schools, and it is organized during the school term/ calendar. The constitution of the Republic of Ghana forms the basis of this contest. With the help of their patrons, club members study the chapters and articles of the constitution.

Target Audience
The concept of Civic Education Clubs (CECs) falls

74 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Option 1
The contest is facilitated by the staff of the National Commission for Civic Education. There are ten regions and 170 districts in Ghana. The districts in each region are divided into ten zones. Winners at the zonal level meet to contest at the regional level. Regional winners meet at the national level for the national championship contest. The duration for each contest is two hours. Questions are designed on issues around the constitution, current affairs and democratic values. The contest takes the following form: Step 1: T  he date for the commencement of the contest is announced by the NCCE (facilitators). Step 2: N  CCE selects moderators, time keepers and recorders from institutions working in the area of education and democracy. Step 3: P  atrons of Clubs submit details of contestants, minimum of 3 and maximum of 5, to the NCCE. Steps 4: N  CCE sets the rules of the contest and communicates to club members through their patrons, moderators, time keepers and recorders. There are three rounds in each contest, and 10 questions are asked in each round. Contestants have 30 seconds to answer each question. Step 5: M  oderator mentions details of each contesting club. Five clubs participate in one contest. Step 6: M  oderator asks the questions after balloting by the contesting teams for sitting position. If a club is unable to answer a question, it is transferred to the next club and becomes a minor question which is offered to the next club. If the next club answers the minor question correctly it then has a chance to answer a major question. Step 7: A  t the end of each round, the recorder announces the scores.

Step 8: T  he moderator announces the final scores and the eventual winner of the contest.

Option 2

Law-making role-play

This exercise is aimed at upper primary school children and students in tertiary institutions. It lasts from 60-80 minutes — excluding the time needed to arrange the classroom into a Chamber of Parliament which takes about 10 minutes. Upper primary school pupils and students in tertiary school. Lesson duration: 60–80 minutes Classroom set-up time: 10 minutes Law-making is one of the main functions of the Ghanaian Parliament. Laws are made through a process of debate and decision-making. During parliamentary debate, ideas are tested, challenged, refined and ultimately accepted or rejected. This lesson involves a role-play that demonstrates how proposals for bills are considered by Parliament. By participating in a role-play that simulates the process of law-making in the Parliament of Ghana, students will: • Understand how Parliament debates and votes on bills • Understand the role of government ministers, the opposition, minor parties and Independent members of parliament • Explore the concepts of representation and scrutiny • Inquire into real and current issues • Practice public speaking, careful listening and quick thinking Questions are designed to generate discussion about the role-play by exploring with students:

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Who works in the Parliament? [Answer: 275 members of parliament elected by the people, Parliamentary officers, including: the Clerk and Deputy Clerk, Marshal, Hansard reporters, chamber attendants, and the parliamentary press corps]. How do you become a member of parliament? [Answer: Members are elected by the people at the general election]. Who do members of parliament represent? [Answer: Members represent their constituents in their demarcated constituencies]. How many members of parliament are there? [Answer: There are 275 members of parliament — one from each of the 275 constituencies]. The scripts for the exercise have been designed by NCCE to provide a framework for the role-play. The scripts include specific roles that can be assigned to students and indicate what they have to do and say. Before the role-play begins student are taken through the following exercise: Step 1: A  rrange the classroom into a parliamentary chamber by arranging chairs and tables into a horseshoe shape. Step 2: A  sk the students to watch the “What is Parliament?” video. Step 3: A  sk students to imagine that they are members of parliament. • • • • • How old would they be? Where would they work? What tasks would they have? What skills would they need? What did they do before becoming a member of  parliament?

they may belong to the government or opposition). Step 5: D  ivide the class into government, opposition, minor parties, and independent members of parliament using the numbers to gain the right proportions for parliament. Step 6: S  elect a Speaker to play a non-debating role from the government group who must exercise authority in the room. Step 7: S  elect a Clerk and Marshal who are also parliamentary officers who do not debate or vote. The teacher should play the role of Deputy Clerk. [This role does not require active participation but puts the teacher in a central position in the room so they can assist with the running of the role-play]. Step 8: G  et the students to elect their party leaders — the government elects the Prime Minister and the Opposition elects the Leader of the Opposition. Step 9: S  elect a Minister from the government group to introduce the bill relevant to his or her portfolio (e.g. the Budget Bill would be introduced into Parliament by the Minister of Finance). Step 10: S  elect a Shadow Minister from the government group to oppose the bill relevant to his or portfolio. Step 11: S  elect the party Whips (managers) for each group to count the total vote at the end of the debate. Step 12: Start the role-play. The role-play commences as follows: Step 1: T  he Clerk rings the bell and instructs the members to stand. Step 2:  The Marshal leads the Speaker into the chamber, carrying the Mace on his or her right shoulder. Step 3:  The Marshal announces the Speaker, places the Mace on the table and moves to their seat.

Step 4: T  ell students that as members of parliament, they represent the views of their electorate and may be working as part of a team (e.g.

76 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Step 4:  The Speaker tells everyone to sit down and begins the session. Step 5:  The Clerk stands and reads the rules of the chamber and the title of the bill (first reading). Step 6:  The Minister introduces the bill and the Shadow Minister responds to the bill. Step 7:  After a few speeches by members from each side, the debate ends. Step 8:  The members vote on whether or not to accept the bill. Step 9:  The Whips count the votes. Step 10: T  he Speaker announces the result of the debate. Step 11: T  he House is adjourned and the members stand. Step 12: T  he Marshal leads the Speaker from the chamber holding the mace. After the role-play, the following questions are explored with students: 1. Do government bills always pass this chamber? [Answer: Not if a majority of independent members and opposition members vote against the bill. The government needs to secure a majority of members to vote for the bill in order for it to pass]. 2. What happens if the vote is a tie? [Answer: The Speaker votes on the bill to break the deadlock]. 3. Why are the independent members of parliament and minor parties important? [Answer: If they hold the balance of power in the House, they can determine whether a bill will pass or not, and they can put pressure on the government to amend the bill]. 4. What other major steps must a bill go through to become a law? [Answer: After it has been debated and voted on it is sent to the legislative drafters to include any amendments that were adopted by the House. After that the amended final version of the bill is tabled by the relevant Minister to be passed

at its second reading. If it is passed it becomes an Act and is sent to the President for signature].

A major challenge for the concept of the CECs is the exiting leadership of the Clubs. These executive members of the Club who complete their courses leave the institution, and new executives have to be elected and taken through orientation. Membership changes every year. To overcome this challenge, it was recommended that the leadership of the Club should be a blend of junior and senior students, and the Club should embark on a strategy of encouraging new members to join the club. There has been the challenge of inadequate preparation of teachers who facilitate the process of democracy education in the Clubs. Periodic orientation for the teachers was used to tackle this problem.

The idea of the CECs is to provide mechanisms for the development of civic skills to help members to act constitutionally and democratically. After the contest, members are able to identify national symbols of the country and are imbued with the sense of patriotism. They are also able to describe functions and processes such as check and balances, separation of powers, judicial reviews and also developing competence in explaining and analyzing how such systems as the legal, political, economic, parliamentary, and executive systems work. Finally, it increases the rate of civic participation and nurtures competent and responsible participation in civic education activities. The central focus and purpose of the concept is to foster the development of citizens to participate actively and knowledgeably in public affairs.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Towards An Active Democracy with Theatre in Education
By: Atilla Farkas, Hungary Identifying the Problem
Since the first democratic elections took place in 1990, the democratic institutions of Hungary have come a long way. Unfortunately, the euphoria surrounding political participation has withered, and most of the population has become disillusioned with politics and making a difference. Political disillusionment is particularly strong among young people under 25. As we prepared the program, we mainly used the Drama Improves Lisbon Key Competences in Education (DICE) research, which shows most of the relevant information for our practice.1 Even though DICE shows that 78 percent of the respondents believe that education is the primary area in which the state should take the interests of young people into account, we can clearly see that marginalized and socially deprived children are neglected by the Hungarian government. By elementary school, social mobility is already determined. Children of poorer families often enter the school system with disadvantages that could only be compensated by a well-developed and properly financed system. This problem is further intensified by segregation in the school system. Comparative international research shows that the Hungarian education system is one of the most socioeconomically segregated in the world. Additionally, geographic location often determines a young person’s chance of success in the education system. The smaller the settlement in which they live, the less chance they have to obtain an advanced degree. There is also a clear correlation between schooling and political activity; a significant difference has been documented in political interest, activity and awareness depending on the level of schooling completed. Lower level schooling indicates less political interest and activity.

The project was aimed at addressing the problems listed above by bringing Theater in Education (TIE) programs to young people from minority groups and marginalized backgrounds. Our project creates participatory TIE programs that empower participants and give them an understanding of the basic concepts at the heart of democracy. This affords them an opportunity to relate their own social and personal values to the concepts of democracy and express them artistically. The project aimed to cross borders, not only between arts and education but also national, social, ethnic and individual boundaries. The project also offered young people and their teachers new models of democratic dialogue and stimulus for active involvement in democratic institutions. Research by DICE shows that participation in TIE programs results in positive changes in the democratic attitudes of young people. The research pointed out that a sustainable project that carries on for an extended period of time results in the biggest changes. Sixty groups of young people of various ages from marginalized backgrounds participated in TIE programs that investigated basic concepts of democracy — including justice, freedom, responsibility, identity and the important connection between self and society — through stories that offered a structure to motivate them to engage actively in their social surroundings. They then worked on artistically linking these concepts to events around them, thus raising their social awareness. This was done with the help of their school-

78 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

teachers, who were trained for this task before the activity. The artwork gave both teachers and students the opportunity for new forms of expression and also made the school a place for social and political debate. We offered the young people participating in the project access to information through a website created specially for them. This raised their awareness of democratic institutions, rights, and support agencies. They were able to connect with others facing similar difficulties, find the best support for their problems and through the website’s forums of discussion.

participants brought views which were new to us but could be incorporated. This way we not only affected them, but they affected us and our program. These projects are highly valued by both the teachers and the occupants of these institutions. We also empowered these young women by sharing their insights on our democracy with the public, who had the opportunity to understand a different position through the artwork coming from these particular young people. We addressed marginalized young people who are vulnerable for different reasons and also created a virtual forum where they could share their questions and answers with each other. We worked in economically disadvantaged areas because statistics show that active democratic participation is visibly low in most of these territories. Our project aims to give confidence, voice, and experience to the young people from these areas, which together trigger their active democratic participation. Forty percent of the projects were implemented in Slovakia and Serbia with marginalized ethnic minority children there. The problems and ideas expressed by the young people across the region were brought together at the end of the project, emphasizing the necessity and importance of working across all sorts of borders. Specialists working with young people and art were familiarized with all elements of the work at the three full day trainings that disseminated our programs.

Target Audience
Young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, marginalized Roma communities, and vulnerable young people who have already fallen into the vicious cycle of crime participated in the project. Students from the Roma and Hungarian ethnic minorities, mostly from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, participated in the project in Serbia and Slovakia. These young people have experiences that are similar in some aspects to the theatre performances of the TIE programs. This created the opportunity to examine fictional situations to which they can relate. The programs created an opportunity for these young people to participate actively, to take responsibility in understanding and solving the fictional situations, and to give them the experience and the joy of making change. Discrimination against women is fairly strong in the region, and it is important to pay special attention to their participation. We focus young people’s attention on problematic aspects of how our society relates to the question of gender. The portrayal of women in the theatre is a powerful tool that we use so that the gender focus is emphasized. We also worked with a Girls’ Young Offenders Prison on this project. When we are creating a new TIE program, our aim is to map all the fields which could be related to the subject on which we are concentrating, but this time the

The project toured three different TIE programs in Hungary, Slovakia, and Serbia for marginalized and ethnic minority children. Sixty interactive performances were held. Twelve half-day training courses were conducted for the approximately 100 teachers working with these young people across the region, and three publications were distributed in 150 copies to support

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


the work of the teachers. Fellow artists, drama professionals and educators were invited to three events — built around the three TIE programs — to share the thinking behind the work and to offer elements or the whole of the program as a model for further use and development. Research by an independent specialist investigated the effect of the project and shared the findings of the mid-term analysis, which were used to improve the activities in the program’s second year.2 The final reports, notes, and recommendations were published in journals for specialists in the field. The work of the project participants was shared with approximately 1500 visitors to the exhibition created to celebrate their work and 750 copies were published to give policy makers access to the findings. Our mission is to give people the opportunity to realize their responsibility to society, and through this realization, they will be able to build and live in an active democracy. Our tool in this project is TIE. We find it the most useful and effective method of work for these aims. It uses the institution of theater, which itself serves to build an active democracy by creating a space in which students are not only viewers but participants. Each program was constructed around one particular problem such as identity, barriers, and injustice. These are central problems in our society, and learning about them — and more importantly, experiencing them — leads to a better understanding about the relation of the self and society. The play and the tasks are in strong connection with each other, and neither would function properly without the other. This way, everything they do becomes the part of the play, and the play becomes part of their thinking. In the first phase, we take the main problem and look around it, and we break down the issue and explore its parts. During this work we use methods of theater-making, drama, and pedagogy. This gives participants a deeper understanding of the subject, and while

creating the TIE program, our aim is to give the chance for the participants to go through a similar exploration. The very first step of creating a TIE program is to specify the target audience’s age. Next, we determine the appropriate subject and choose the play. There are two ways in our work to create a TIE program. One is to choose a subject such as injustice and let the students improvise. We then brainstorm for several weeks to create a storyline that includes parts for the participants. This was the methodology used in creating Brotherhood. The other method is to choose a written play and then pick out the main subject. This was the method for Bonecage. We decided that the age of the targeted audience would be 13 to 15. Geoff Gillham’s Bonecage was intended for young people, and it seemed to be written directly for use in the TIE program because of its brevity. It is only a 30 minute-long play, but it brings up a lot of questions that can be explored with the participants. While we are rehearsing the drama, we also concentrate on the subjects that are brought up by the drama. This way we can find questions to ask the youth and also the tasks which could be offered for the participants. This way the realization of the play also means the realization of a whole TIE program. The play explored not only identity through the three roles but the students’ past, present and future. We realized that the subject and this drama also needs some preparation from the audience, so we attached a short, thirty minute task using mainly the methods of drama pedagogy in which we focus on “our cages,” everyday life’s obstacles with which everyone deals. After this, they can watch the play. After the play comes the processing phase when the participants can refill the observed scene with their life’s experiences, such as we did in the preparing phase. When they

80 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

have a deeper knowledge of the whole scene, we offer them to end the story with all the experiences in their mind. This way this task is not only a reflective phase but also a forwarding experience.

This project’s risks were linked to possibilities of how the teachers involved cooperate in the process. Their full-hearted support and active participation were needed for the project to have maximum effect. Unfortunately, teachers themselves are extremely vulnerable to personal and social factors that may impact their work. We remained in constant contact with them to be able to give support as soon as obstacles confronted them. We discovered that because of geographical distances and teachers’ tight schedules, it is impossible to gather together teachers from different places. This led to shifting from meeting all together to a three-hour training session in each region. The training sessions were shorter but focused directly on the specific group. We held 24 three-hour sessions over two years.

partner organizations according to their knowledge of local need. Sixty-two groups of marginalized young people (1560 participants) of different age groups took part in the three different TIE programs. Children from the following towns in Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia participated: Bácsfeketehegy,  Bácsgyulaf alva,  Bag, Bély,  Budapest,  Csallóközaranyos, Cse pel,  Dombóvár, Dunaszerdahely,   Gödöllő, Gyömrő, Győr, Kassa,   Kishegyes, Kocsér,   Komárom,   Pécs ,  Szabadka,  Temerin, Zenta, The first program was on November 10, 2008, and the last on May 21, 2010. A three-day exhibition was held in the Entrance Hall of the largest Hungarian University (ELTE), approximately 1500 visitors May 10-12, 2010. A n independent qualitative research organization said: “Kerekasztal’s TIE programs have a positive. Impact on the democratic attitude of young participants.” 3 At least 3000 incidents of reflection on social problems during different programs from marginalized participants. Approximately 1.4 million people were reached through the publications. 11 (national and local) print articles were published, 10 internet articles published, 1 national television 1 local television report, 5 radio stations (3 national and 2 local) broadcast interviews and reports about different events of the project. (Endnotes)

Follow-up material was developed before the touring of each TIE program began, as they gave support in continuing the specific work of the program. Adjusting our plans to the needs of the teachers and the advice from the designer, we published 500 folders and published the materials for it separately. This way, the materials could be adjusted to specific needs of the teachers and placed into the folders. The website was launched in November 2008. Additionally, a postcard-size leaflet with the webpage link was distributed to all participants [1000 copies each for three different TIE programs: Bone-cage reworked September 2008 (Budapest, Hungary), Brothers created October 2008 (Dombóvár, Hungary); Eleven Vests created October 2009 (Budapest, Hungary)]. Thirty-six groups were organized by the implementing organization and 24 groups were organized by the two

For more information on DICE, please see: HYPERLINK “” Bori Fernezelyi and Luca Váradi, The Effects of the Theatre in Education Programs of the Round Table Association on the Democratic Attitudes of Marginalised Young People. 2010.
2 3

Ibid., pp. 15.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Promoting the Secrecy of the Ballot in Kenya
By: Carla Chianese, Kenya Identifying the Problem
The March 4, 2013, Kenyan general election attempted to ameliorate the fragile political environment that followed the disputed 2007 general election, which saw the disbandment of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and pervasive post-election violence due to accusations of vote rigging and long-term foundational issues which remained unaddressed since Kenya’s independence in 1963. Out of the vestiges of the 2007 election arose a peace-brokered coalition government, a new constitution, and a new devolved governance structure that came into fruition with the 2013 general election. The increasing demand for democracy and good governance in Kenya risked being in vain if its citizenry remained marginalized and politically illiterate. For the most part, a majority of Kenyan citizens have limited capacity to participate in democratic processes, which reduces their influence in governance and decision-making. With the political instability of the 2008 post election crises at the forefront of the 2013 elections, civil society, and NGOs pursued civic education to enhance effective democratic participation. • To empower marginalized communities in north-eastern Kenya to understand their civic rights and responsibilities, which will enable them to make informed choices. • To promote equal rights and participation of minority groups through which the secrecy of the ballot is protected. • To enhance the capacity of community-based organizations to promote democratic participation within the scope of existing programs. This case study will explore methodologies used to protect the secrecy of the ballot amongst marginalised sectors of north-eastern Kenya.

Target Audience
This project targeted representatives from community-based organizations in five counties: Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Mandera, and Wajir. Fifty representatives from each county were recruited to participate in civic/voter educator (CVE) training. Although training civic/voter educators was the primary goal of the project, it was expected that the trainees utilize their networks at the grassroots to deliver civic and voter education to marginalized sectors of their communities to promote minority rights. In this context, marginalized groups include illiterate citizens, women, and youth.

In the months leading up to the March 4 general election, the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) implemented a project under its civic and voter education program, titled, “Promoting Civil and Voter Registration and the Secrecy of the Ballot among Marginalised Communities in Kenya.” This project, funded by the Australian Government through AusAID, aimed to extend democratic citizenship to some of the most marginalized regions in Kenya by meeting the following objectives:

IED recruited and trained 250 CVEs with the intention that they would reach 25,000 citizens in their communities over a period of one month. CVEs were expected to conduct two sessions per week in their communities, targeting marginalized groups, with a strong focus on protecting voter rights and promoting

82 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

citizens’ responsibilities. IED specifically engaged with members of community-based organizations to enhance their capacity at the grassroots to promote equal and active citizenship and to utilize connections from existing programs. Although a key component of the training focused on the new positions in the election, legal framework, and voting processes and procedures, a strong emphasis was placed on identifying communities’ needs, to which CVEs suggested risk mitigation strategies and specific strategies for mobilization and implementation. Participants were asked to conduct a situation analysis to assess the communities’ needs. CVEs formed small groups based on their constituencies in order to outline issues and opportunities specific to their communities. Each small group discussed the following: • Identify issues that may affect the secrecy of the ballot in the constituency. • Identify risk mitigation strategies that may promote voter privacy and equal participation. Groups were asked to present their findings to the class, after which the IED facilitators gave feedback and identified thematic areas, target groups, sectoral priorities and geographical scope. This provided a link to sequential training sessions which came the following day, which outlined methods by which CVE’s engage marginalized groups, provided available culturally appropriate materials, served as a forum for partnerships and linkages, and measured the level of existing civic education capacity. Illiteracy is a major risk to protecting the secrecy of the ballot; therefore the program clearly outlined voters’ rights and responsibilities. Culturally appropriate resources were developed in the form of:

• X2 posters (voting procedures and the layout of a polling station) • Sample ballot papers • Political party symbol handbook

Sample Lesson Plan
This lesson plan is an outline of the IED training course for CVEs. The following sessions were developed to ensure CVEs had the capacity to execute their civic/voter engagement with the public.

Session 5: Voting Processes and Procedures
5.1 General Objectives
Participants are to understand voting processes and procedures for Election Day.

5.2 Specific Objectives

By the end of the session, participants should be able to: • • • • • Explain the conduct of polling day. Outline the voting process in chronological order. Identify voter’s responsibilities and entitlements. Demonstrate how to mark a ballot paper correctly. Describe how the secrecy of the vote is protected (assisted voting and identifying party symbols).

Session 6: Planning and organization of civic education activities
6.1 General Objectives
Participants will learn tips for planning and managing civic education activities in their communities.

6.2 Specific Objectives

By the end of the session, participants should be able to: • Develop a checklist and schedule for conducting a civic education activity. • Explain their role and what is expected of them in a civic education activity.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


• Identify target groups for civic education needs. • Lead a basic civic education activity.

Session 8: Participants’ Action Plans
8.1 General Objective
Participants will understand their role in leading civic education activities through their organizational work plans using the civic education module on voter information.

Session 7: Methodology and delivery techniques
7.1 General Objective
Participants will learn about varieties of civic education methodologies and approaches for different audiences.

8.2 Specific Objectives

7.2 Specific Objectives

By the end of the session, participants should be able to: • Draw up individual work plans to execute civic education activities. • Map out target districts and dates in their constituency for civic education activities. CVEs were encouraged to plan civic/voter education sessions around existing activities within their community based organisations. This collaborative approach utilised existing networks, personal and resources within their communities. The CVEs were encouraged to incorporate a civic/voter education session at the beginning or end of their planned meeting. One of the CVEs, Fatuma, shared her positive experience: “For my second session, I went to a market where they sell miraa (a socially accepted stimulant that you chew) and camel milk. Usually ladies sell camel milk and men come to the market to buy it. The crowd was a mixture of Borana and Somali people, so I went with a translator to translate into mother tongue for me. There were approximately 30 people there. I displayed the posters on the wall behind me. At first, I didn’t think anyone would be interested because usually people expect educators to give them money for their time and to receive information, so I wasn’t so optimistic. However, they were very interested. I explained

By the end of the session, participants should be able to: • Identify different methods of conducting civic education activities. • Explain specific civic education techniques. • Identify the difference between participatory methodologies and one way passage of information. • Outline advantages and disadvantages of each method. CVEs used visual aids (voting procedure and polling place layout posters) to assist in the delivery of their sessions. They also used sample ballot papers and invited participants to practice marking them. In addition, CVEs used a display book of party symbols which were to appear on the ballot paper. CVEs familiarised the community with each party symbol so they were able to determine identifying features of a ballot paper and ensure that their ballot paper was being marked correctly if they were an assisted voter. CVEs performed role plays to deliver civic/voter education to the community. CVEs used theatre to demonstrate voting procedures and the layout of the polling station. This method was particularly useful when communicating with illiterate audiences.

84 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

how to mark a ballot paper, the colors that the ballot papers would be, and the six elective positions. I especially talked to them about bringing a friend or relative with them if they didn’t know how to mark the ballot paper, or that expected mothers and the elderly didn’t have to wait in the queue all day. They were so grateful for the information and actually said that there should be more people like me. They asked me so many questions and asked me to repeat myself until they understood. Most people were interested to see the voting procedure poster, as they could understand it without any explanation and also the sample ballot papers. Actually, they asked me for all of the posters I had carried to take back to their families to explain.”

Problem analysis:

Designing and implementing a project within insecure regions and with limited resources presented several barriers; however, no more so than the rich cultural and socio-political complexities that exist within each county. For the purpose of this paper, challenges have been broken down into thematic areas:

The CVE advised that another civic education service provider had previously conducted civic/voter education in his community in late 2012 and had offered the community a “sitting allowance” (payment for attendance). When approaching community members, the CVE carried an IED handbook on voter education that bore the logo of IED and another civic education service provider. Community members accused the CVE of working for the service provider who had previously paid a “sitting allowance” and therefore, were withholding their “sitting allowance” from the CVEs. They refused to cooperate because they believed that he was able to provide a “sitting allowance” as previous civic educators under a different program had done. The following concerns were expressed to the Program Manager: • In rural community villages, perception is significant, and once the community views the CVE as having ulterior motives or as dishonest, they refuse to cooperate, and therefore access is restricted. The CVE expressed concern that he might encounter difficulties mobilizing participants in the future. The CVE was concerned that his reputation was tarnished in his local community and that without offering assistance “sitting allowance” to the participants, he would not be able to mobilize them. The Program Manager advised him to reiterate that he was contracted by IED to conduct voter education in his constituency and that as a matter of policy, IED does not offer “sitting allowances” for providing public services. The Program Manager also offered to speak to the chief of the community via telephone to reiterate the contractual arrangements as a CVE and to confirm what is and is not provided under this arrangement.

1. Electoral and political factors

Due to the transient electoral and political environment, there was frequent risk of change in legal framework and electoral procedures and processes as determined by the authorities. The Program Manager had to ensure consistent and frequent information was being delivered to CVEs at all times. Political campaigning was also ongoing throughout the project deployment phase, which posed risks of jeopardizing the legitimacy of the ballot by providing inconsistent information.

2. Perception

On February 14, 2013, the Program Manager received a call from a CVE from Wajir county who said that he was facing challenges around mobilization and the perception of the community.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


1. Identification
• Brand all CVEs with a t-shirt, cap and identification badge outlining the project, organization and the donor. • Prepare an “Introduction Letter” for CVEs to distribute to communities that is signed by the Executive Director. In an attempt to harmonise civic/voter education in north-eastern Kenya, the Program Manager had requested a matrix from the Electoral Management Body (EMB) after a consultative civic/voter education caucus meeting in February 2013, however, this was not provided. This recommendation was added to the overall analysis of civic/voter education and provided to the EMB.

conflicts over land and resources, therefore the safety of 250 CVEs was highly prioritized, as well as the facilitation and monitoring teams. After completing a safety and security analysis of the five target counties, it was decided that training would be stationed in Garissa and Isiolo counties, with all participants travelling to those counties for an in-house, three-day workshop. The poor quality of the roads also meant that training was best convened in two counties rather than five. To ensure the safety and security of deployed CVEs, IED developed a thorough communication strategy whereby cluster groups were set up in each county. Two contacts were selected from each county and were responsible for communicating frequently with 25 CVEs via phone and reported to the Program Manager weekly. A procedure for reporting such incidents was developed and outlined in the training.

2. Technology

North-eastern Kenya has limited capacity for internet and telephone coverage, which posed a barrier to the frequency of communication and timeliness of reporting. To overcome this, IED used text messages as the predominant mode of communication between CVEs and developed a strategy for completing field activity reports. Usually, field activity reports are completed and submitted online; however, as this was not technologically possible, IED revised the field activity report, printed sufficient copies, and distributed hard copies at the workshop. Identified contact persons were responsible for collecting field activity reports from the cluster groups and returning the reports by post to IED. During the announcement of the general election results (which took seven days), bus services did not operate in remote areas; therefore there was a delay in returning reports to IED.

4. Gender and Ethnicity

3. Safety and Security

North-eastern Kenya poses many security risks, from terrorist attacks from the nearby Somali boarder, to roadside bandits as well as inter-clan clashes and

Traditionally, women have been excluded from democratic participation due to complex socio-political and cultural tenets. IED endeavoured to recruit a 50:50 gender balance in the workshops but found it challenging to engage enough women to meet this quota. As a result, IED was not able to recruit an even representation of women, though it seeks to achieve a higher result in the future. Some women CVEs were not able to enter communities without a male counterpart, therefore local CVEs often worked together when a male counterpart was necessary. The same issue was presented for opposing clans, where some CVEs were not able to gain access to a particular community due to ethnicity. This was overcome by IED’s emphasis on recruiting a balanced geographical and ethnic ratio, which was identified in the initial program needs assessment.

86 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

5. Geography and Terrain

North-eastern Kenya is arid with limited and infrequent access to natural resources, road networks and public services. Navigating this terrain requires local knowledge and local language, so IED recruited several CVEs from each constituency and ward level to ensure every corner of the county was reached. This ensured a fair representation of clans.

Four focus group discussions were conducted in four constituencies to ascertain the level of knowledge, change in perception and behavior of community members who had attended a voter education session. The focus group discussions were specifically designed to engage community members to determine whether the following development outcomes were achieved: 1. Was there increased voter turnout? 2. Was there enhanced confidence of marginalized communities in electoral processes? 3. Were there reduced incidences of unacceptable ballot papers and electoral malpractices? This project facilitated a participatory development process to enhance citizens’ feelings of ownership of democratic processes and government legitimacy in some of the most challenging socio-political and environmental regions. The dynamics of power sharing changed the landscape of civic education in north-eastern Kenya. In a region typically forgotten and left behind, the true essence of constitution-building and deepening democracy was experienced through this project.

CVEs completed self-assessments before and after the activity to determine whether voters’ knowledge and skill in electoral processes improved through the use of civic education methodologies. The results were analyzed against the following performance indicators: • Was the capacity of CBOs strengthened to engage citizens to promote electoral participation? • Was there enhanced confidence in electoral processes? • Are citizens empowered to actively participate in democratic processes? • Was there an increase in the number of women and youth who voted in the 2013 general elections in the target counties? • Was there a reduction in the number of unacceptable ballot papers in the target counties?

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Human Rights and Citizenship in Lebanon
By: Hoda El Khatib Chalak, Lebanon Background
Lebanon is a country ruled by what is known as consensual democracy. This type of democracy adopted the principle of quotas among the sects and does not fully realize democratic principles and concepts. After several wars that divided the country, the Lebanese population desires to live with equality among all citizens and without discrimination. Until now, consensual democracy has been unable to prevent conflict in Lebanon.

Target Audience
The direct target audience for the program is university students. The indirect target audience for the program is the university’s social environment.

The Human Rights and Citizenship course consists of a number of modules offered over a 24 hour period. The aim of the project is to overcome religious divides and foster the emergence of a strong civil society that includes and serves all Lebanese.

Lebanese youth have never fully experienced life under a government that realizes democratic practices. Some do not even know how the mechanisms of democracy work. Lebanese activists from all backgrounds have long struggled to overcome sectarian divisions and to foster a strong civil society that supports all Lebanese. As such, democracy is one of the most important subjects that Lebanese youth should study and learn. This education can establish the knowledge needed for the process of democratization.

Some of the specific teaching tools used to achieve the objective are:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Brainstorming Capacity building The concept of leadership-networking Developing democratic activities Dialogue Discussion Exchanging experiences Information Mentoring References Reinforcing skills Role playing Teamwork and teambuilding

Through the Human Rights and Citizenship course, Saint–Joseph University launched an innovative program for university students with the goal of educating them on rights and democratic practices and encouraging them to contribute to the social, political, and economic development of Lebanon by participating in the process of transition toward a democratic regime, according to international standards. The objectives of the study are to enable the embrace of pluralism in Lebanon and to overcome sectarian differences in order to build democracy. 

Step-by-step overview of how the course is taught:

Step 1: Create a democratic and positive atmosphere during the course: (a) T  he teacher starts by introducing himself or herself as a teacher and as an activist in human rights, citizenship, and democracy.

88 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

(b) T  he teacher asks the students to introduce themselves and to write their first names on a paper in front of them. (c) D  uring the course, the teacher calls the students by their first names.

choose one or two representatives. The teacher chooses another student and asks him or her to moderate the discussion between the representatives. The rest of the students play the role of the audience and should express which team convinces them and why. Step 5: Content of the course: (a) I  nformation: The teacher aims at fostering the students’ role as important actors in their country by informing them about their rights and empowering them to defend their interests in the sociopolitical arena by contributing to dialogues between different communities. (b) T  he teacher guides and connects the discussion’s results to democratic concepts. For example, during the course the teacher should implement a method of dialogue between the students: to accept the opinions of others, right to be different, tolerance, etc. (c) T  he teacher selects from each discussion the theme to be discussed next class. Step 6: The course should be related to concrete issues: (a) E  xchange experiences: In the beginning of each session, the teacher asks the students to share with the class any events they have experienced or thoughts they have had since the last session (for example: in their friend group, through TV news, etc.) that are related to what they are discussing in the course. In turn, the teacher shares with the students any event he or she finds relevant to the course. (b) T  he teacher and students should become a unified team advocate to democracy by mentoring the student’s democratic activities. Step 7: Themes that need to be raised during the course: (a) S  tudents should learn about issues related

Step 2: How to start the course: (a) T  he teacher asks the students what they expect to learn from the course. He or she asks that one student volunteer to write the other students’ answers on the flipchart. When an answer is not clear, the teacher helps the student to clarify his or her answer, for example by saying “Please let me know if I understand your answer correctly.” (b) A  fter collecting all the answers, the teacher asks the students to group the similar answers using the same color marker. (c) A  fter collecting different groups of answers, the teacher can encourage the class. For example, the teacher can say: “You have very good ideas about human rights and democracy.” (d) T  he teacher guides the students to put the answers in a useful framework for analysis. Step 3: In this step the teacher asks, “What is democracy, and why do we need it?” (a) T  he teacher asks for answers from those students who do not frequently participate. (b) O  ften, a brainstorming session starts spontaneously among the students. (c) T  he teacher lets the students exchange different ideas and starts to turn this brainstorming into a discussion. (d) S  ometimes, the discussion may become intense and aggressive; the teacher must allocate time among students and organize the discussion. Step 4: Encouraging teamwork: • The teacher divides some students into two teams with different opinions and asks each team to

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


to notions of difference, identity, belonging, stereotypes, and discrimination and how to address these issues through principles and techniques such as dialogue, tolerance, diversity, pluralism, and conflict resolution. (b) S  tudents also learn about teamwork and teambuilding as well as how to exploit group dynamics in a positive and productive way. (c) S  tudents learn how to engage further in order to overcome the sectarianism, racism, and discrimination that are still predominant in Lebanon.

Step 8: Tools used to show the differences between democracy and other regimes: (a) R  ole playing: The teacher asks one student to play the role of a democratic candidate presenting his or her program of candidature in an election. Another student is asked to play the role of a non-democratic candidate presenting his or her program of candidature. A third student is nominated to play the moderator. The teacher divides the other students between the roles of audience and media. One student should write all the remarks on the flipchart. (b) I  nformation sharing: After the speeches of the two candidates, the remarks of the audience, and the comments of the media, the teacher presents the differences between the democratic and non-democratic candidates by talking about their speeches, and then comments on the reaction of the audience and the media. (c) C  apacity building: The teacher asks the students to present spontaneous speeches focusing on various topics of democracy, some chosen by the teacher, others referring to the speakers’ interests. This exercise aims at defending democracy as an activist. (d) R  einforcing skills: This exercise also teaches

the students certain presentation skills such as speaking without notes or trying to make use of an expressive body language. (e) C  oncept of leadership: During the course, students learn how to give feedback and to value it as part of their strategy to improve their skills as leaders of democracy. (f) C  onflict resolution: During the discussions the students are introduced to a variety of conflict resolution techniques that are put to the test in various interactive games, role plays, and scenarios. (g) T  eambuilding: The students get to know each other’s commonalities and differences and exchange viewpoints concerning their common causes. During the class, several working groups are formed to discuss different rights and to decide on how to take action. The different groups then present their results which are discussed together. (h) N  etworking: Students decide how to network to increase jointly their participation in implementing democracy in the Lebanese society.

Step 9: Ending the course by offering mentoring: • The teacher concludes the course by expressing his or her willingness to stay in touch with the students when needed. Skills learned during the course: (a) S  tudents learned how to give feedback and to value it as part of their strategy to improve their skills as leaders of democracy. (b) D  uring the discussions, the students were introduced to a variety of conflict resolution techniques that were put to the test in various interactive games, role plays, and scenarios. (c) T  he students got to know each other’s commonalities and differences and exchanged viewpoints concerning their common causes. (d) D  uring the class, several working groups were

90 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

formed to discuss different rights and to decide on how to take action. The different groups then presented their results, which were discussed together. (e) S  tudents decided how to network to jointly increase their participation in implementing democracy in the Lebanese society.

• The students were introduced to the concept and history of comprehensive democracy. • Over the years, the number of students enrolling in this course increased. • The students were presented with secular events, such as celebrating the international day of human rights in their university. • The students planned and organized projects and events related to human rights, citizenship, and democracy and established a new secular club at the university. • The students supported advocacy campaigns for democracy launched by NGOs in civil society. • Once this small, diverse group of students is educated on democratic practices, they will share knowledge with their peers. • Many of the students become activists and members in NGOs that work on democracy issues. • A remarkable number of students remain in contact with the teacher, exchange views among each other, and collaborate in democratic activities.

Lebanon is a country hosting 18 different religious communities. For 30 years, Lebanon has endured various wars, which often involved a significant religious component. Political parties, public institutions, the education system, and most aspects of life are organized according to sectarianism, to the detriment of national unity and civil peace. Instability has reigned. The various Lebanese communities do not have enough trust in each other. Lebanese democratic activists form a considerable part of the Lebanese society, but until now they have not been able to create an effective agent of change. Often, a Lebanese youth from a particular community does not know enough about the socio-cultural environment of other young Lebanese from other communities. In this context, educating students on the transition to democracy is a real challenge. The most important challenge is to transform the students’ ideas from sectarian affiliation to democracy. The other challenge is to emphasize the importance of education for democracy in the process of democratization.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


Academy of Political Education (Mongolia): Education Methodology for Nomads
By: Damba Ganbat, Mongolia Identifying the Problem
In 1990, when Mongolia began its transition to democracy, the country’s total population was 2,149,300 with 67.6 percent of the population residing in rural areas. Of this group, 42 percent were nomadic herdsmen living in remote areas, where information access was relatively limited. The sole means of information dissemination was state-owned radio and television. Founded in 1993, the Academy of Political Education has since organized 6,500 training sessions for eight target groups, in which around 130,000 citizens, approximately 10 percent of Mongolian adult citizens, were involved. Most of the training sessions were designed for nomadic herders. Democracy education training for herders, who move from one place to another in search of fresh pasture and water, is distinct and requires special training methods, approaches, structures, and efforts. Since nomadic herdsmen live in the countryside without any buildings, it is necessary to conduct training next to the herdsman’s ger.1 Therefore, additional facilities such as a vehicle equipped with training tools are needed. Because the training is conducted in open areas exposed to sun and wind, the training sessions should not last for more than two hours. citizens can ensure their rights. 3. To help citizens to understand their local administration and other public service organizations. 4. To provide knowledge on the distinctive functions of citizens’ representation and administrative organizations established by local administrative elections.

Tools and supplies needed for training:
• • • • •

Handouts Laptop computer Portable writing board, pen and paper Portable power generator Projector, screen Tent, shade, portable chairs since training is  outdoors •  Other additional equipment such as audio speakers, extension cord Training components:
No. 1 Topic What are human rights and freedom? What are some principles of the Constitution? To whom should citizens refer when their rights are violated? What are the local government and administrative institutions? What are the main principles of the Constitution and other laws? “Administrative institutions and civil rights” movie Conclusion Duration 20 minutes Design Lecture, discussion


30 minutes

Opinion listening, discussion, lecture Lecture, discussion


30 minutes

Target Audience
Nomadic herdsmen

Purpose of Training
1. To give a general understanding of the human rights and freedoms specified in the Constitution of Mongolia to the herdsmen and explain these concepts. 2. To provide information and knowledge on how

4 5

35 minutes 10 minutes

Movie discussion Teacher’s conclusion, remarks

92 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

In order to provide more understandable and accessible training to the public, the training shall be more participatory and discussion-oriented and shall be applied to the local context. The reason is that although nomadic herdsmen are literate, most have only a secondary education. To conduct more productive training, teachers are required to obtain information in advance on the Aimags2 and Soums3 where they are going to conduct training, such as the results of the last local administrative elections. Step 1: The first component gives an understanding of human rights and freedom as specified in the Constitution. The teacher begins by explaining these concepts in terms of the local practice. For example, the teacher starts the training by asking questions such as: “How were the last elections conducted in your Soum? Did you vote? What kind of election materials and handouts did you read?” and so on. Step 2: After these questions, the teacher concentrates on human rights and freedom in order to introduce the concept of democracy in Mongolia and the new democratic Constitution. In doing so, the teacher presents prepared slides showing the main differences between the current democratic society and that of the former communist period. For instance, participants compare an election ballot from the communist period containing only one candidate with a current democratic multi-candidate ballot. Step 3: In the second component, the teacher begins by asking whether the participants have referred to a particular organization when their rights were violated. In many cases, there is at least one person who has had such an experience. The teacher asks that person to talk about his/her experience. If there is no such person, the teacher will talk about his/her own prepared cases.

Step 4: Then, the teacher identifies the most common issues for which a citizen refers to local government, administrative, and legal organizations. In doing so, the teacher asks each participant and writes down each issue they mention on the board. Step 5: Based on the most repeated case, the teacher talks about how citizens can protect their rights. For example, the teacher explains how a citizen will complain and to whom he/she will refer if his/ her governor imposes illegal charges or other issues related to the illegal administrative acts. Throughout the explanation, the teacher employs methods to promote discussion. The teacher needs to prepare carefully, since he/she will teach and explain the procedures of how to protect legal rights by using the examples of issues raised by the participants. Step 6: The third component explains the local administration, which is a new institution established after the democratic transition in Mongolia. During the communist era, there was no such structure. The teacher explains that this is a crucial institution because the vast territory of Mongolia is sparsely populated. The teacher also explains that citizens have the opportunity to solve problems and address issues within their administrative units instead of going to the capital city, which may be located several hundred kilometers away. This is explained in the cases of problems related to water, wells, and pasture, which are more important to the herdsmen. At the same time, the teacher will discuss the importance of representative democracy and local administrative elections in which people elect their representatives. Step 7: The distinction between the citizens’ representative council and administrative institutions will

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


be explained. In order to do so, the teacher should know the names of the representatives of the Aimag and Soum councils and governors. Based on their cases, the teacher will explain the main functions of these institutions and the differences between them. Step 8: After explaining the differences between these institutions, the teacher will give information on what kind of issues that affect participants’ interests and rights are referred to the above-mentioned institutions. For instance, in order to talk about issues affecting the herdsmen, it is important to begin by asking names of their representatives in the local council. Step 9: In the fourth component of the training, the “Administrative institutions and civil rights” movie will be presented.4 Re-focusing participants’ attention to the topic by showing a topic-related, short movie is useful for the people who have the above-mentioned limited education. Step 10: Before beginning this component, the teacher needs to prepare the training by dividing the “Administrative institutions and civil rights” movie into the following three parts:
Movie scene Part I Violations: Citizen Bold’s land is illegally transferred to citizen Jambal with the help of a governor of the Soum. In this part, Mr. Bold gets information on the administrative court from lawyer Jargal. In the conclusion part, citizen Bold takes his land back by applying to the administrative court.

Step 11: After watching the movie and discussing it with the participants, the instructor will conclude the training by assessing the experience. In order to strenghthen understanding and knowledge obtained from the training, we provide handouts such as brochures and booklets after the training.

The herders possibilities of getting books and newspapers are relatively limited, so they frequently use and read handouts distributed after the training. • Materials on human rights, freedom, human rights organizations, local government, local administration, the courts, attorneys, claimants, respondents, and plaintiffs are prepared by the Academy of Political Education.

• Basic knowledge on human rights will be enhanced and understanding will be established. • Gain knowledge on the structure of local governance additionally the purpose and role of concrete persons in charge and civil servants.
Information content - What is necessary to establish the administrative court? - What is the administrative act?

Issues raised - Where has the administrative violation occurred? - What should citizen Bold do? - What is the administrative court? - Who can refer to the administrative court? - What kind of decision does the administrative court take?

Part II

- In what case can a citizen refer to the administrative court? - Plaintiff, respondent - Decision-making process of the administrative court - The administrative court’s practice of solving administrative cases - Additional information given by instructor

Part III

94 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

• To understand the relevance of local elections and incentivize and stimulate the participation in them. • To learn that corruption is a close threat that can affect our community lives directly. • To learn the significance of local meetings to discuss pressing issues. If issues arise, to learn whom to contact and turn to at the local level. (Endnotes)

Traditional nomadic structure for living.  n Aimag is an administrative unit in Mongolia, similar A to province. Currently, Mongolia consists of 21 Aimags.  Soum is a second level of administrative unit in Aimag. A The 21 Aimags of Mongolia are divided into 329 Soums.  he Academy of Political Education produced severT al 25-30 minute movies for the purpose of training. Depending on the training program and the target groups, it is used in the training. Examples of the training movies are available here: w&index=122




h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = E d X 1 Y Q k g gTQ&list=UU2wiOLqezwvAlAY4JfXtwRw&index=120 h t t p : / / w w w . y o u t u b e . c o m / watch?v=Vp-o6ZzRS3k&list=UU2wiOLqezwvAlAY4JfXtwRw&index=121

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


A Case Study on Democracy Education in the Village of Pharsatikar, Nepal
By: Mukti Rijal, Nepal Background
Nepal has gone through a period of political turbulence in the last decade and a half. Following the end of a ten-year armed insurgency conducted by the Maoists, a comprehensive peace agreement was signed in November 2006, and an election to the Constituent Assembly was held in 2008. The assembly worked for four years but failed to deliver a new constitution due to political conflicts dictated by positional bargaining among the major political parties. The assembly was recently dissolved. It is worth noting that elections local governments have not been held in Nepal in the last 15 years due to, among other things, the political conflicts and instability within the country. the public spaces where major decisions, including decisions regarding public resource use and allocations, are made.

The Institute for Governance and Development (IGD) is a national civil society organization working in the areas of local governance and civic rights. It identified some of the villages in the Rupendehi district, where women’s conditions are poor. Women in these villages are unable to raise their voices and exercise their freedom of action. The Pharsatikar Village Development Committee is one of the places in which the IGD worked together with local women’s groups and community citizen’s groups to enhance their knowledge of democracy, civic rights, and local governance. In turn, these efforts would enable women to stand up for their democratic rights and engage with local service providers to ensure the effective delivery of goods, services, and entitlements.

Identifying the Problem
The local government institutions are run by appointees of the central bureaucracy. This has exacted a heavy toll on democratic institutions at the local level. As a result, not only is an accountability relationship missing but local communities are denied services as well. The marginalized and discriminated groups, especially rural women in districts like Rupendehi 250 km west of Kathmandu, have suffered due to a lack of services at the local level. They are not aware of the benefits entitled to them from the central government and disbursed through local government. As a result, social security benefits and other services for widows and senior women, as well as stipendiary benefits allocated to the female students are misused, embezzled and not optimally distributed. Women in the rural areas of Nepal are suppressed, shackled, and subordinated due to patriarchal traditions and unjust social relationships. Mostly male family members exercise the decision making role and participate in

Target Audience
The target audience of the citizen education program included members of community citizen’s groups in the village of Pharsatikar in Rupendhi district. The participating women comprise a mix of social groups, classes and castes. Altogether, 30 women were targeted as core members of a community citizen group. They received democracy and civic education over a period of two months.

A democracy and civic education textbook was conceptualized and developed. The textbook, entitled “Citizen and Citizen Pedagogy” (“NagrikShiksha” in Nepali), was used as a reference for the democracy

96 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

and civic education program. The content included in the textbook was simple and thus suited to the knowledge level and needs of the target group. The course was based on a horizontal peer teaching-learning strategy. First, intensive training was provided to five local facilitators, selected from among the members of the community-based citizen’s groups, who were responsible for running a two-month-long course on democracy and civic education. The facilitators were semi-volunteers paid by the IGD through its Decentralization for Inclusion and Peace Building Project. Because the local women were busy with domestic chores and household obligations, the classes met during flexible hours. In general, the classes were held in the afternoon, usually between the hours of 2 pm and 5 pm. Organizers’ houses with spacious courtyards were used to host the classes.

to those women who show their citizenship papers. Women who do not have the required documents are politely turned down. The moral of this exercise was to show the importance of having citizenship documents for one’s own identification in order to receive the social security benefits provided by the government. Step 4: Self-Governance and Decentralization This step emphasized the importance and benefits of decentralization and self-governance. For example, this step explained how decentralization and self-governance can: (a) Enable democratic participation of citizens (b) Minimize local conflicts (c) Increase transparency (d) Protect rights and entitlements of citizens (e) Maximize the use of local resources and capacity Different forms and structures of Nepali government were described and discussed with the participants, including village governments in rural areas, municipal governments in urban areas, and district governments for coordination and linkage with the national government. Self-governance and decentralization were approached through discussions and an exercise in which the participants were asked to throw small stones at a target. If a stone is thrown from a shorter distance, it hits the mark more easily. This was used to illustrate how the self-governing system with decentralized government maximizes the use of resources and promotes accountability and transparency because it is easier to scrutinize power from a closer proximity. Step 5: Citizen Participation in Local Governance Citizen participation fosters good governance and democracy. Participation does not only mean consulting, but also taking an active role in decision making, as well as producing and distributing goods

The project contained the following steps:

Step 1:  An Introduction to Nepal — Geography, demography, culture, politics, history, etc. were presented using charts and a map of Nepal. Step 2:  Key Aspects of the National Governance System in Nepal Using charts and diagrams, various state bodies and mechanisms of governance were presented. These included freedom, liberty, recurrent elections, the rule of law, voting procedures and the importance of local elections. Step 3: Citizen and Citizenship The rights, duties, and obligations of citizens were explained through role-playing exercises. The purpose of these exercises was to show the importance of citizenship to receiving public services and goods. In one such exercise, a scene from the local government office was enacted. Widows and senior women stand in a queue to receive their social security benefits distributed by the office. The officials only distribute the allowance

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


and services. In order to illustrate this idea, a mock exercise was conducted. Participants were asked to build a toy house using available local materials such as mud, stones, and wood. First, each participant was asked to share her views about the shape, size, and architecture of the houses he or she would prefer. Once the participants had agreed on a plan, each participant volunteered to lay the stone, mud, and wood in order to build the house according to the agreed-upon specifications. When it was finished, the participants were told to pull the house down. The participants were reluctant to destroy the toy house because it was their own creation, and they had a sense of ownership for it. The lesson of the exercise was that when every citizen participates in the decision-making process of a project, he or she has a sense of ownership and puts his or her best effort into making it a success. Step 6: Civic Rights and Human Rights The Nepalese constitution guarantees, among other things, rights to equality, freedom, and information. However, Nepalese citizens, especially in rural areas, are not aware of their civic rights and entitlements. In order to impart lessons about civic rights and human freedoms, the rights of Nepali citizens were presented in charts. Additionally, a mock exercise was conducted in order to expose the participants to the voting experience and teach them about the electoral process. In the mock exercise, two participants declared their candidacy for the presidency of the local ward committee. The other participants were told to cast their votes in favor of the candidate they preferred through secret ballot, using two toy ballot boxes placed side by side. The candidate who received the most votes was declared the winner. Step 7: Children’s Rights Nepal has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (1989) and has enacted laws relating to children’s rights. A child has the right to survive, to be protected, to develop, and to participate

in the processes that define, prioritize, and enhance their rights and welfare. This lesson was delivered using pictures, photographs, and information displayed in charts. Step 8: Women’s Rights Women’s rights are human rights. Women also enjoy special rights through positive discrimination and protection against domestic violence and sexual harassment. Thirty-three percent of the seats in the Nepalese parliament and local councils are reserved for women. This lesson was delivered using pictures and photographs. Step 9: Good Governance The rule of law, transparency, accountability, open and corruption-free leadership, decentralization, and participation are key elements of good governance. To illustrate the concept of transparency, two plastic bags—one dark and one transparent—were displayed before the participants. Both of the bags were empty. Everyone agreed that the transparent bag was empty. However, no one could determine what was inside the dark bag. Instead, the participants made guesses and speculations about the contents. The exercise demonstrated that when actions and processes are transparent and open, there are few doubts, suspicions, and accusations. A lack of transparency creates doubt and suspicion and gives rise to conflict. Step 10: Local Goods and Services Delivery Process Education and health care benefits for the elderly and widows are some of the services delivered to citizens at the local level. The messages in regard to local goods and services available at the local level are provided in the citizen charters displayed at the notice board of the office of the respective service delivering agencies. However, most of the elderly people and widows are not, in the case of Pharsatikar Village, aware of the provisions and their entitlements. The target groups are taught about the

98 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

importance of citizen charters with emphasis on the need to consult them to know what services are available and how they can be accessed. The Right to Information Law and the Local Self-Governance Law in Nepal are enacted to empower citizens to use public goods and services and to engage with service providers to get them in an effective and responsive manner. Step 11: Peace and Conflict Conflicts arise due to incompatible goals and interests. In practice, this can take the form of misinformation, unjust distribution of resources, skewed opportunities, poor services, and discrimination. Although many conflicts bring disaster and destruction, some conflicts have positive results as well. Conflicts should be addressed before they escalate and turn violent. This lesson was delivered through a role playing exercise in order to demonstrate dispute resolution. In the exercise, two participants pretended to quarrel over a lost pen. They accused each other of taking the pen and were ready to assault each other. Another two participants acted as mediators and encouraged them to discuss the issue peacefully. The participants then settled the dispute over the lost pen. The exercise taught the participants that discussion and dialogue help settle disputes by fulfilling the parties’ interests while preventing the conflict from turning violent.

Moreover, some of the notions of democracy and civic rights are abstract, and it is difficult to make them sufficiently concrete to be relatable to rural, illiterate women.

Democracy and citizen education classes were evaluated at objective and performance levels. The objective of the classes was met because women felt empowered by the information and knowledge imparted to them through the classes. No independent external evaluation was conducted. Nevertheless, internal evaluation at the project level indicated that community-based citizens’ group members have contacted and visited the offices of their service providers, demanded information, and engaged with the providers to obtain the services they were due. Moreover, they have joined in the initiatives for enhancing civic rights at the local level. In particular, they have opposed violence against women by, among other things, staging rallies and organizing processions. They have also opposed the dowry practices rampant in their local communities. Finally, they have succeeded in achieving the allocation of 15 percent of the grants provided by the central government for the welfare of women.

It was difficult to motivate marginalized and discriminated groups to participate in the democracy and citizen education classes. At least three out of thirty participants dropped out, and a further five were not regular attendees. Women are not encouraged by their husbands and in-laws to participate in such classes. Follow up coaching and support is needed, which is very difficult to organize unless such activities become part of the village government. Illiteracy and backwardness is another impediment for these types of classes, where no material benefits are provided.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education


It’s All About Freedom
Jules Maaten, Philippines Identifying the Problem
The It’s All About Freedom initiative is a branded campaign for democracy (civic/political) education that targets Filipino youth and activists in — and potential supporters of — political parties and NGOs. With a median age of 23.4, the Filipino population is comparatively young. This generation is more socially developed, enlightened, and engaged than older ones, and mostly technologically savvy. Their problem is that individual initiative is stifled by widespread corruption, red tape, and social control, resulting in a lack of initiative and often a failure to take personal responsibility to improve their own, immediate environment. Many people look to local and national authorities to improve their circumstances, when they could already be working at it themselves. Thus, the campaign capitalizes on programs that generate participation, connote sustainability and trigger ripple effects. In addition, it aims to foster debate on different issues related to the concept of freedom, to identify social and legislative restraints on freedom, and to develop and promote policies to enhance political and economic freedom. The activities are publicized through various networks both offline and online. The most prominent parts of the campaign are the so called “Freedom Runs.” that comes with civil liberties and human rights. These programs contribute to making people aware of their ability to build a more free society.

Target Audience
The It’s All About Freedom initiative targets Filipino youth and activists in — and potential supporters of — political parties and NGOs.

Four major activities were launched in 2011: • A “Freedom Run” that made anti-corruption advocacy “fashionable,” with more than 2,000 runners in 2011 in Quezon City and more than 3000 in 2012 in Taytay, Rizal. Regional “Freedom Runs” (in Quezon Province, Luzon, in Leyte, Visayas and in Butuan, Mindanao) were also held in the Spring of 2013, as well as a “Freedom Cup” football tournament with more than 600 players, with runners and players wearing the popular “I Am Free – from corruption”-shirts; • The launch of “Ako’y Malaya” (I am free), a song by the popular singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon, to popularise freedom as a thought-provoking issue; • The Freedom Project, a contest that identifies liberal best practices, with over fifty projects from institutions, organizations, local councils and ministries from across the country nominated in 2011 and 2012. In each of those years, more than 10,000 internet voters participated; and • The Freedom Speech, an annual speech given by a respected individual to analyse the state of freedom in the country. The inaugural Freedom Speech was given in 2011 by former Liberal Party president (and current budget Secretary in the Aquino administration) Florencio “Butch” Abad.

Transformational change through people empowerment is the brand of freedom that the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Philippine Office promotes. The guiding principle of each program in the It’s All About Freedom campaign is to translate the complex concept of freedom into everyday language, thereby reaching new target groups, in addition to existing ones. There is a need to convert one’s freedom into personal empowerment, and to instil into the value system the responsibility

100 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

The second speech was given in 2012 by Election Commissioner Grace Padaca. Audio-visual productions, social media and the internet are used to broadcast these activities. To visualize the campaign a mascot with a playful grin, called Fredo, has been introduced. He derives his name from the word “freedom,” and in Germany he would be called Friedrich. Fredo wears an “I am free” shirt as a call to be free from whatever prevents him and his community from excelling. Fredo symbolizes freedom to choose and to express oneself, and he is a protagonist of freedom from corruption and from poverty. He is also the main character in a short video explaining the basics of classical liberalism. The most eye-catching events have been the “Freedom Runs,” two of which have been held in Metro Manila, and three smaller ones in the provinces. A third one will take place in Quezon City, Metro Manila, in November 2013. Thousands of runners wear the “I Am Free”-shirts, which were originally printed with “I Am Free – from corruption,” and now also with “I Am Free – My Vote Is Not For Sale” and with “I Am Free – Kalikasan = Kalayaan” (Freedom=Nature). This can be further expanded in any opportune way. This is a branding of democracy education, edutainment cum mobilization. The success of these projects motivated the Philippine office to continue to improve them by involving more partners--from public and private sectors, and from international organizations including the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). These initiatives use top-down and bottom-up approaches, as they not only involve policy-makers and executives but also tap street bureaucrats, students, media and civil society groups. They were designed so that the discussion of freedom can be experiential and not merely theoretical, which also

proved to be more engaging and substantive. Because many of these activities accommodate participants from all over the country, they have a wider reach as well. The other popular event is the annual “Mabuhay Germany” public market organized by the GermanPhilippine Chamber of Commerce. FNF Philippines has a stall where thousands of passers-by participate in games that promote discussion on the meaning of freedom. At other events and debates, the participants are invited to write their personal freedom messages on a “Freedom Wall.” Audio-visual presentations have been produced to promote these programs, which have become an attraction to participants in the “Freedom Runs,” as well as an incentive for those who join The Freedom Project because their own programs gain further visibility. The runners appear in a music video where they enthusiastically show their support for anti-corruption advocacy. At the same time, it demonstrates how enjoyable the activity is, which in turn encourages others to join future runs. Video documentation of The Freedom Project had been successful as well, with the selected projects using the material in their own advertising efforts. The Liberal Party has been using this video in its liberal democracy orientation seminars too, to explain freedom in more practical terms. These videos are available on the internet and are shared via social media. Collaboration with private and public organizations is growing, too. Media publicity has also intensified over the past two years, with national broadsheets printing news items on the activities of the FNF. The Philippine Official Gazette has even carried stories about It’s All About Freedom.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 101

Over the past two years, it has been a challenge to maintain the novelty of the programs and to sustain the interest of the public in the activities. The programs have to adapt to upcoming trends and to new technologies. Given these requirements and considering the large target audience of the campaign, human resources are often exhausted. These challenges are addressed through careful planning of activities, identifying objectives and expected results early on, and proper scheduling of events. Training sessions for staff are also organized to upgrade their skills. As a result, they are able to produce electronic books (for tablets) and are currently developing a digitized “Freedom Wall.” While classroom discussion is essential, it is equally important to bring the debate beyond lecture halls and thereby involve a greater number of people. The public shapes issues and influences the government’s response on these issues. If citizens are aware of their rights and roles, they become more demanding toward their political leaders and more assertive of their stake in governance. It’s All About Freedom started out as experimental but the people themselves livened up the campaign and made it an integral part of FNF Philippines’ work. The programs have to be constantly innovative, evolving, and not limiting in terms of participation to sustain people’s interest in the campaign. While activities continuously develop, consistency in messaging must be ensured to build brand recall. “I am free” has achieved this as It’s All About Freedom’s slogan. Further, the power of the internet and social media must not be discounted as effective communication tools.

People call the office to inquire about future events, which means that the activities make a dent in terms of popularizing advocacy and enhancing the Foundation’s profile. Politicians willingly host FNF to conduct its programs in their constituencies, and universities, student groups and other NGO readily volunteer to be partners in the It’s All about Freedom campaign. With this, the network for freedom and democracy is expanded and strengthened. The campaign theme It’s All About Freedom is echoing in FNF offices worldwide because it is simple yet amply embraces the thrust of the Foundation. Promotional materials (shirts, stickers) for “I am free” are becoming prominent in the network. There have been a number of requests from local politicians and government agencies (for example, from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Presidential Adviser for the Environmental Protection) to co-organize Freedom Runs in different parts of the country. There is also a demand for video training sessions from youth groups because they recognize the attractiveness and impact of the videos of the Foundation, which they would like to imitate. The number of participants in the Freedom Run increases every year. The actual number of attendees also always exceeds the targeted figure. From a goal of 1000 participants, 1500 came in 2011. The following year, the aim was 3000 attendees and more than that was present. The same can be said with the number of entries to The Freedom Project and the impact of online voting. From 6000 online voters when The Freedom Project was launched, the figure reached 10000 in the second year. Video views and Facebook fan page likes are going up as well, which are empirical indicators of the success of the activities. Currently, FNF Philippines fan page has over 6593 likes.

102 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Replicating the campaign is easy: what is crucial is to identify a topic that would appeal to the public or an issue they can relate to. The slogan “I am free” is suitable for the promotion of individual freedom and for linking this freedom to their responsibility as members of their society. More information about this initiative can be found at:

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 103

Moot Court and Living Law in St. Petersburg, Russia
By: Arkady Gutnikov, Russia Identifying the Problem
The transition from the authoritarian Soviet regime to democracy is not a direct, one-way road. After just a few years of more or less democratic elections in 19891990 and the first experience with democratic practices after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991-1993, Russian society still does not have a common vision for the future and conflict between social groups has become more divisive. There are no appropriate procedures through which to come to public agreement on any serious topic: from minority rights to the structure of government, from the relations in the federation to the principles of foreign policy. Free and fair elections, an independent judiciary and active citizen participation in local governments can create the ground for a stable democratic future. But Russian citizens do not have a clear understanding of the rule of law and human rights, and they lack experience with and have little training in participating in legal procedures. They distrust the judiciary system and do not like to use law to resolve social conflicts.

The first moot court competition for schoolchildren on the topic “Tolerance and Human Rights” took place in St. Petersburg at the St. Petersburg Institute of Law, from December 2004 to March 2005. After that, the regional moot court competition became annual with the support of the Civitas-Russia Partnership, the General Consulate of Great Britain in St. Petersburg, and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, in cooperation with St. Petersburg Association of Juvenile Judges, Center of Tolerance “Trust” of St.Petersburg State University, Youth Human Rights Group, and Center of Vocational Education “Ladoga.” Moot courts are organized by the Center of LawRelated and Civic Education “Living Law,” which is part of the St. Petersburg Institute of Law. “Living Law” is an original Russian program based on the methodology of the well-known Street Law curriculum. In addition to the moot court program, students and teachers participate in a wide range of school projects organized by the Institute and partner organizations: Law Olympiad, Debate Competitions, Teachers’ Club, the Living Law/Street Law clinic for law students, Theatre (art/social project), an “Introduction into the Law” course, Amicus Curiae Moot Court competition for law students, International Human Rights Moot Court, trainings and internships. There are several stages of the moot court competition: 1. Developing case materials and testing (with law students and teachers). 2. Teacher training. 3. The lessons in the school (conducted by a

The program prepares students to use available legal methods for conflict resolution by teaching them basic skills such as case analysis, argumentation, and public speaking to give them the ability to participate in legal processes, applying rule of law and human rights principles in practice.

Target Audience
The main beneficiaries are students between 13 and 16 years old. Other groups involved in the program include university students (law students and students of pedagogy), school teachers, and practicing lawyers.

104 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

teacher). 4. The school round (to select the school team of 4-5 players; a teacher and/or law students play judges). 5. The inter-school (quarter-final, semi-final) rounds (take place at the schools, teams visit other schools to play, law students, practicing lawyers and teachers play judges). 6. The final round (which takes place in the real Court Room with professional lawyers and judges).

Lesson 2 (90 minutes) 1. Setting up the “court room” – 5 minutes 2. Teams’ final preparation – 10 minutes 3. Court hearing – 40 minutes 4.  Debrief of the hearing (self-assessment, peer-evaluation and feedback from judges) – 15 minutes 5. Discussion on the case issues – 15 minutes 6. Final debrief on the topic – 5 minutes

Model Plan of the Moot Court Hearing (up to 40 minutes):

Model Lesson Plan:

Preparatory brief meeting (optional, up to 15 minutes) 1. Brief explanation of the moot court goals, structure and rules. 2. Completion of a questionnaire. 3. Homework: to read and analyze case materials. Lesson 1 (90 minutes) 1. Focus: discussing short hypothetical/real situations – 15 minutes 2. Describing learning outcomes – 2 minutes 3. Teacher’s input – introducing new information (laws, international documents etc.) – 13 minutes 4. Case study – 20 minutes 5. Preparation for the hearing – 40 minutes 5.1.  Explaining the task, overview of materials (10 minutes) 5.2.  Giving roles, creating the teams and assigning roles (5 minutes) 5.3.  Preparation for the hearing (developing the position and arguments) (25 minutes) Lesson 1.1 (45 minutes, optional) Training on legal argumentation, evaluation criteria.

1. The presiding judge opens the hearing: names the case, introduces the panel, checks the presence of the parties, briefly explains their rights and obligations. (2 minutes) 2. The presiding judge gives the floor for the first side (applicant or prosecutor) for arguments. (5 minutes) 3. The presiding judge gives the floor for the second side (government or defense lawyer) for arguments. (5 minutes) 4. Judges asks questions to both sides. (10 minutes) 5. The presiding judge gives the floor for the closing arguments (rebuttal) for the first side (applicant or prosecutor). (5 minutes) 6. The presiding judge gives the floor for the closing arguments (rebuttal) for the second side (applicant or prosecutor). (5 minutes) 7. Judges leaves the courtroom for the meeting (to make assessment). (3 minutes) 8. The presiding judge announces the results of assessment and all judges tell participants about their opinions on the case. (5 minutes) There are several modifications of the model moot court hearing. For some cases, we have divided the case into two separate issues (for example the issue of “guilty or not guilty” and the issue “what should the punishment be, if he/she is guilty”).



Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 105

The team can consist of 3-5 members. The team could be structured in several ways, for example: Lawyer 1 -  the team leader (lead counsel) introduces the team members, to present the position, to make a rebuttal Lawyer 2 -  the co-counsel presents arguments on Issue 1 Lawyer 3 -  the co-counsel presents arguments on Issue 2 All of them can respond to judges’ questions. Or Lawyer 4 only could be in charge of responses. Lawyer 5 could be a reserve member (he/she can come to the court room together with the team and be ready to replace other member, if needed). One of the most controversial cases used by the program is related to the discrimination of women in the labor market. A young woman applied to the St. Petersburg subway system to be trained for the position of subway train driver’s assistant. The administration refused her application, based on the provisions of the Russian Labor Code and the governmental decree that that lists professions prohibited for women. The official goal of the regulation is to protect women’s health. From another point of view, this regulation limits the access of the women to wellpaid jobs and protects employers from the necessity to improve the working conditions. Competing students researched historical and comparative cases, referred to international law and experts’ opinions, discussed the conflict between traditional and modern understanding of the role of women in our society. The term “discrimination” became less abstract for them when they were working on a real case and finally met the hero of this case — Ms. Anna Klevetz, who observed the final round of the moot court and participated in a discussion with the students.

The program organizers prepare a set of materials for each moot court competition, including the Students’ Manual (with the case materials, instructions and evaluation criteria), and the Teachers’/Organizers’ Manual (with lesson plans, instructions, evaluation forms, etc.). The case materials include the fact pattern; the extracts from laws; international documents; court decisions; experts’ opinions; and other relevant information. After the completion of the final moot court round, organizers can give students the questionnaire again to compare students’ knowledge of the legal system before and after the moot court activity. Another version of the moot court takes place in the form of a festival — not a competition — to train students and to show the results of training without counting points and identifying the winners. There is also a version that does not identify the winning team but gives awards for “best lawyers” (for example, best prosecutors, best defenders, best team leaders, etc.). All students who participated in the moot court receive certificates, and the best get special awards (usually, books on human rights, biographies of famous human right lawyers, CDs with law data-bases, etc.).

One major challenge was a lack of knowledge of the Russian legal system among teachers. Most history and social science teachers in charge of law-related education do not have specialized training in law or human rights. They are often the main promoters of stereotypes and legal cynicism. Many of them have an authoritarian teaching style, acting as dictators in classrooms. Many teachers promote nationalistic post-imperial ideas, xenophobia, nostalgia for Sovietstyle authoritarianism, and skepticism of such “western” values as human rights. Additionally, they often do not have enough time for in-service training. To overcome these obstacles, we provide teachers with

106 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

extremely detailed step-by-step lesson plans and conduct preparation lessons, with teachers taking on the role of students. It makes it easier for them to repeat the same exercise with their students. Another method is to involve law practitioners (lawyers and law students from legal clinics) as resource persons and trainers. Lawyers and law students visit classrooms and play the role of judges and observers to provide feedback to students. Second, the serious methodological challenge is the need to create balanced cases with equal opportunities for both parties to develop legal arguments. In the Russian tradition of law-related education, it is unusual to deal with such controversial cases. This practice comes from the general tradition of the knowledge-oriented authoritarian pedagogy that gives students tasks with only one right answer. Teachers usually push students not to analyze the case deeply and develop their positions and arguments but to find the “right” court decision. To overcome this obstacle and to protect students from this influence, we use real domestic and international court cases with complicated legal issues, simplifying the factual aspects (taking into account that in the moot court students don’t present evidence but just argue their positions). There should be cases that concern very sensitive legal, political, and social issues. The case should be in the focus of current public debates. If the case includes unclear legal regulations or contradictory legal precedents, such as the occasional conflict between the law and the constitution or the law and the International Conventions (like ICCPR, ECHR, etc.), it provides a better example for the students. It’s important to develop a case that incorporates a discussion of human rights and reflects the conflict of values typical for a society in transition. Over the course of program, we have developed cases on such issues as: the right of Muslim girls to cover their hair for a passport photo (Constitutional Court hearing); punishment for hate speech, concerned migration,

in a newspaper (Criminal Court hearing); the rights of women to be employed as subway conductors (Supreme Court hearing); domestic regulation of public events (Administrative Court hearing); the right to be registered with the Pirate Party for parliamentary elections (Supreme Court hearing), among others. To move the focus from determining the “right decision” to understanding the background of the problem and measuring the quality of the argumentation, we also do not reveal the results of the actual decision during the moot court procedure. The judges evaluate the arguments alone and give the feedback, with an emphasis on the work of students. They can describe decisions in similar cases but must concentrate on the role of parties in establishing any court decision. Most of the cases we used were in the process of appellation, cassation, or in the European Court of Human Rights, so moot court judges could only give some expectations, but not the final “right decision.”

The feedback from participants (students and teachers) and outside experts showed that the moot court program was successful. We use simple questionnaires and interview to evaluate the program. Each element of the program is followed by a debrief with self-assessment and peer-assessment. Judges, lawyers, human rights activists said that students demonstrated high motivation and good skills in arguing their positions before the Moot Court. Aleksander Shishlov, St. Petersburg City Ombudsman, said: “Young people, who want to protect human rights in the future, are the strategic intellectual resource of the society. I believe that the experience of participation in the Moot Courts will help competitors to become qualified lawyers.” As Natalia Mikhalchenkova, High School teacher from St. Petersburg, mentioned, “children are acquitted with legal profession and work of judiciary system; they are taught to use legal mechanisms for human rights advocacy; they improve

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 107

analytical, public speech, teamwork skills; and teachers achieve goals of law-related education and professional orientation, get new teaching methods.” Svetlana Larina, officer of the Kaliningrad Region Ombudsman, focused on such learning outcomes as “ability to participate in the civilized procedure of dispute resolution, to analyze cases, and to be tolerant and to respect people with different beliefs.” Thousands of students from St. Petersburg have now had experience with the moot court. They gained an awareness of basic practical law and human rights. They developed analytical and critical thinking skills, honed their argumentation and public speaking abilities, and learned the value of teamwork and leadership. Teachers began to use interactive methodology, like case studies, PRES-formula (adopted from the original methodology of formulating a position in a controversial case: Position, Reasons, Examples/ Explanation, Summary, developed by prof. David McQuoid-Mason, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, for Street Law program), role plays, moot courts in their regular classes. Law students from legal clinics apply their experience as moot court trainers and judges in their clinical projects for schoolchildren and even for university students. Each year, students and teachers from St. Petersburg and Leningradskaya Oblast (two neighboring regions of the Russian Federation) demonstrate their willingness to take part in the next moot court competition.

Each year, some of the students — former participants — become trainers for new moot court teams. They continue to participate in the moot courts and other law-related projects as trainers, jurors, and other participants. The moot court methodology is distributed among Russian regional law educators through seminars with teachers. Now there are local moot courts in Kaliningrad, Ryazan, and other regions. The important follow-up result of the domestic moot court competition is the participation of Russian students in the International Moot Court competition (IMC), organized in 2012 in The Hague by the Justice Resource Center of New York in cooperation with the Department of Education of The Hague mayor’s office. Student teams from Argentina, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United States, and Venezuela modeled the International Criminal Court hearing in English. As a result of this event, colleagues from St. Petersburg, Gdynia, and Warsaw (Poland) organized the series of student exchanges for the “Baltic Moot Court” in 2013. The second IMC will take place in The Hague in 2014. The perspective of participation in this prestigious international competition became additional motivation for students to play local moot courts.

108 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

The “Projet d’Action Citoyenne” in Senegal
By: Boubacar Tall, Senegal
It has been noticed that Senegalese citizens do not participate in public life in order to influence government decisions due to a lack of civic culture. Yet they face so many public policy issues and, although government is responsible for bringing solutions to the issues, citizens also have their own responsibility with regard to those issues. A good civic education program was needed to change the situation. The “Projet d’Action Citoyenne” (or PAC) is a curricular-based civic education program adapted from “Project Citizen,” a Center for Civic Education program. It is aimed at middle school and high school students, as well as community youth. as a concerted action of government and citizens in order to find solutions to issues that people face. It is implemented as follows: Step 1: The teacher asks students to identify community public policy issues by listening to radio stations, watching television broadcasts, reading newspapers, interviewing their parents and the community members, etc. Each student must come to the classroom with identified problems. Step 2: The students discuss these problems in class and form research groups to get more information about them. The teacher ensures that selected problems are appropriate for the exercise by giving a lesson on public policy so that the students understand the concept. Then, students select one problem to be studied by all students either through consensus or by voting. Step 3: The teacher asks the students to collect information about the public policy issue selected by the class and research groups are formed depending on availability of sources of information. Students use the program’s pre-set questionnaires and notebooks to record information and collect data. Questionnaires are designed in such a way that responses are collected about the causes and consequences of the problem, as well as about solutions that have been tried by the government, community associations, nongovernmental organizations, other ideas given by community members, etc. Step 4: The teacher asks students to form portfolio groups. There will be four portfolio groups: •  Group One’s task is to explain the problem, its causes and consequences, why it is a public policy issue, and which government office addresses it. •  Group Two’s task is to describe the public

PAC enables students to gain three major competencies: • Social Cooperation: This competency refers to a learning criteria related to the “common commitment to a common life” and the need for cooperation with other students in the pursuit of a common goal. • Individual Autonomy: This competency develops critical thinking and the ability to distinguish facts from fiction and indoctrination and propaganda from real life issues while remaining open to others’ views. • Public Participation: This competency refers to the knowledge of symbols and functioning mechanisms of institutions in a democratic republic and knowledge of citizens’ rights and obligations. It calls for direct and/or indirect participation in decision-making processes within the local community, as well as nationally, regionally, and internationally.

The program uses the concept of public policy seen

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 109

• •

policies that have been alternatively implemented by the government to tackle the problem. The group must identify the advantages and disadvantages of each policy. Group Three’s task is to develop a class pub lic policy. Group Four’s task is to design an action plan  that will facilitate the implementation of the class policy.

small river. The water was soiled by animal excrement and drinking such water caused health problems such as diarrhea, dysentery and skin diseases. Therefore, the principal was obliged to expose the water to the sunlight and add some chemicals to make it drinkable. The local government had begun the construction of a water tower, but for unknown reasons, the work was stopped. Students decided to address the problem of inadequate drinkable water. The most important challenge they had to face was building community support for their project. Many people were not accustomed to seeing students conducting research within the community and did not understand why the students were spending so much time on the project. Fortunately, the Principal was very involved, and he asked students to form small groups to go into the village to explain the project to the head of the village, the mosque imam, the traditional chiefs, and family mothers. Inside the school, the Parents and Teachers Organization was also informed. After receiving approval from those important community members, the students started to implement their project. The students interviewed members of the community and found that many people drank water from the river with donkey-drawn barrels. Only some officials had tap water at home. Their teacher, Fatou Faye, never expected that this preliminary portfolio survey would contribute to a protest march in the city! The students decided by themselves to organize a peaceful protest. That initiative was probably due to the political atmosphere at that time: the country experienced its first alternation of power since its independence, and it was common to see that kind of event in the country! The protest was another important challenge because the local government representative was not informed prior to the demonstration, and the middle school prin-

In order to facilitate the groups’ tasks, the teacher asks students to share collected information, organized in such a way that each of the portfolio groups will be in possession of information related to its duty. There are also some students who are representatives of their groups to other groups to circulate the information. There are many plenary sessions to harmonize the class project. When portfolios are completed, students rehearse for the oral presentation of their work. Each portfolio has a written declaration, along with illustrations and art work to present ideas clearly in an attractive way. Step 5: The students present their portfolios orally before an audience of parents, community members, school authorities, and government officials and elected bodies. A jury made of people from the community presides over the presentation, asks questions, and gives community members the opportunity to ask questions as well. Step 6: With the help of their teacher, the students reflect on their work and draw lessons for their next projects.

Ross Bethio is a semi-rural city in the north of Senegal. The middle school where the project was implemented had no electricity and no tap water. The school’s principal had to buy water from water sellers that used donkeys to transport barrels of water from a

110 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

cipal had to inform him quickly, telling him that it was nothing but a civic education lesson that had been too successful. Local private radio journalists covered the march, which was broadcast nationally. Apart from that immediate impact, the project, both during its implementation and during the portfolio oral presentation ceremony, did have a real impact on the community’s awareness of how citizens can influence public policy decision-making. Both the head of the village and the Imam testified about a better knowledge of the issue, saying that they did not know the water tower construction in Ross Bethio was blocked because the contractor had misappropriated the funds. Another challenge was related to the students’ access to sources of information such as the internet and libraries, which were not available in Ross Bethio. However, those obstacles were overcome with the help of the Health District officer, the government representative himself, and many other officials who helped students get information from their offices. Some of the officials even volunteered to come to the school to give talks to the students. Students also had to make an oral presentation of their portfolio in French, which is not the local language but the official one taught in schools. They were not accustomed to making speeches in French and in public. Additionally, community members are generally illiterate. To overcome these obstacles, students had to successfully: • Rehearse their texts in French. • Make role plays about the issue of drinkable water in Wolof, the main Senegalese national language.

At the very beginning of its implementation in Ross Bethio, PAC had an immediate impact in the school: The students were concerned about the lack of electricity in the school. Head of State Abdoulaye Wade had to pay a visit to the village during a trip to the northern part of the country. To avoid another protest by the students while the President was there, the local government representative asked the electric company to bring electricity to the school immediately. Another result was the positive reaction of the government, in which a representative said that a new contractor was going to be hired to finish the water tower. The water tower construction ended recently in 2010, and the school was provided water the same year. As a result, on one hand, the project has made a kind of modernity within the school and the village at the organizational level. On the other hand, the process of implementation has shown that the students are closely related to traditional values. That feeling was linked to the contribution of traditional and religious leaders to the success of the students’ endeavour. The findings mentioned above derived from statements made by various stakeholders during the opening ceremony of portfolio oral presentations. On the academic level, students who participated to the project had in general, the best achievements.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 111

Students Writing Their Own School Constitution
By: Dejan Kokol, Slovenia Identifying the Problem
Citizens do not fully understand the meaning and role of the state’s constitution — one of the key elements of democracy — because they don’t recognize it as a summary of founding principles, rules, and values of democracy that regulates the functioning of a democratic state and the life of its citizens. It is a founding document in which citizens can learn about their rights, the state structure and functioning, constitutionality, and laws, etc.

The proposed project was implemented with a group of students, teachers and parents as an extracurricular activity. The exercise can also be adapted for the classroom or as a school-wide project, working with school parliament and school council, parents’ representatives, school authorities and representatives from the local community. Depending on the project’s complexity, activities take approximately 12-13 school hours. It is recommended that the students writing a class or school constitution possess some basic knowledge of human rights and democracy. It is important that the teacher realizes his or her role as a facilitator and models democracy through participation in the classroom. Throughout the project, they will understand the importance and role of this document, and as a consequence, the necessity of living by its contents. Step 1: The content of the state constitution was dealt with in the first three school hours. In order to present and simplify more complex articles in the constitution, I used an illustrated version of constitution: Constitution in Comics.1 The main characters, Miha and Maja, present selected articles of the state constitution in a clear and simple way, through examples using everyday situations. During this stage, students learn about the structure and functioning of the government, human rights, basic principles of the democratic decision-making process and related institutions, the legal and social state and other practices. They gain an insight into the content, complexity and importance of the document for the democratic state. Step 2: (two school hours) Students compared ele-

To address this problem, I motivated the students and teachers of our primary school (in a small town called Gornja Radgona, which is located in northeast Slovenia, bordering Austria) to write a constitution for their class or school. Through the process of writing their class or school constitution, students learn about the content of a constitution, its meaning for citizens, and its role in a democracy. They also learn about and put into action those key principles of democracy that establish rules for life in democratic society. By doing so, they develop a better understanding of the importance of the document in creating and sustaining democracy, increase competence in democratic decision-making, and realize the importance of including human rights in the document.

Target Audience
The project’s target group included primary school students aged 13-15, though depending on the project’s complexity, the project could include students from secondary school or university. School teachers, authorities and parents can also contribute.

112 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

ments of the state constitution with procedures used in the school. In this activity, the teacher used questions to direct students to compare and contrast state structure and school structure, state symbols and school symbols, the national anthem and school anthem, the official language in the state and in school, state territory and the school environment, human rights and children’s (students’) rights and responsibilities, constitutionality and laws in state and in school, and procedures to change the state constitution and school constitution. This activity helps students identify the key elements that should be included in their own class or school constitution. Step 3: (two school hours) Students looked for appropriate documents about Slovenian laws that regulate the constitution clauses in the area of education that were discussed in the previous activity. The teacher guided students and helped them search for corresponding documents (acts and rules on education, school rules, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Act on Founding the School Institution, rules on students’ rights and obligations in primary school, syllabus for the subject of citizen and homeland education and ethics, etc.) when needed. The teacher also reminded the students to keep in mind elements of the state constitution. The students recognized that the school process is regulated by numerous and complex documents and to make the work easier, they prepared summaries to use when writing their own articles. Step 4: (three hours) Students were divided into work groups. During this time, the work groups narrowed their study to just one field or one clause of the constitution, choosing from general articles, human rights, state structure, constitutionality and lawfulness, or constitutional changes. They once more read the selected articles from the state constitution and studied the documents that regulate these

topics in the school process. They suggested and prepared articles for their class or school constitution. In this activity, the teacher reminded students to bear in mind that their articles had to be based on democratic principles, that they should be in accordance with human and children’s rights, and that they should be applied equally to all students. Work groups drafted the articles and sent them to the whole project group for adoption. Step 5: The draft articles were then revised by all project participants, who had the opportunity to suggest and discuss possible changes. Step 6: Finally, they voted on the articles.2 If the majority of the present students voted for the article, it was adopted. The article could be rejected with the possibility to amend it by once again sending it to the work group, after which it could be sent again for approval. At this stage, the objective was for students to learn and put into practice the key principles of democracy by setting up democratic rules or articles for the group, while modeling democracy during the exercise. They also realized the need to establish the rules one needs for life in a democratic society. Step 7: (one hour) Next, the group wrote the preamble to the constitution. The students read the preamble to the state constitution as a group, discussed it with the teacher, and learned about the meaning of its content. On the basis of what they read and the discussion, the group prepared a draft of the preamble, in which they stated reasons for writing the school or class constitution and listed its authors. Step 8: (two hours) Students made decisions about the articles that were previously rejected, rewritten by the group and then sent back for approval. After that, the project group (the whole class if working on a class constitution or the school parliament with the school board — representatives of teachers, parents and local community — in the case of school constitution) could accept the constitution. At that point, the class constitution came into force

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 113

as an internal document valid for all participants of the school process.

The finished school constitution was the result of a project through which students, teachers, parents, and representatives of the local community could search for information about general provisions of school, school rules, students’ rights and obligations, rights and obligations of other school process participants, and school structure.3 The impact of the project and the school constitution was positive. All participants of the school process accepted the constitution. The evaluation of the project was carried out in a survey. Project participants and users of the constitution evaluated the content’s appropriateness, everyday usage and role in developing education for democratic citizenship and human rights. The evaluation of the survey showed that the important articles — which were included in the school constitution — are easier to use when they can be found in just one document, as opposed to many different documents. It showed also that 82 percent of evaluated students consider the school constitution as very usable in everyday school life and that all of the teachers in our school think that the school constitution can contribute to development of EDC and HRE principles, help promote and internalize their values, and lead to better understanding of the state constitution. The evaluation can further be done every school day by observing students’ behavior in relation to their promotion of democratic values and human rights to the extent that they live by the articles and values they included in the school constitution. (Endnotes)
Ilustrirana Ustava Republike Slovenije. Accessed via: URS/UstavaVStripu

At the time of writing the constitution, I was faced with several challenges and barriers. One of the challenges was to present the complex content of the state constitution, its meaning, and its role to students of this age group. Fortunately, not long before the project, an illustrated state constitution was published, which made it much easier for students to relate to the document. Students explored the role and meaning of the state constitution through the process of writing their own constitution and by accepting and promoting the rules and principles upon which the documents are founded. Another challenge was the need to focus only on the most important documents, among the many that regulate the school process, and to search for possible connections with the state constitution. At this stage, students needed to be motivated to tackle the large number of documents and information. It was a challenge to incorporate a variety of ways to write and approve articles on democratic principles, since through the very process of writing the constitution, the students developed and internalized the principles and values. Composing the text of the constitution regarding children’s (students’) rights was also a challenge because students did not fully understand the importance of ensuring equal rights for all. By focusing on their rights, the students often forgot the imminent connection of their rights to their obligations. It was necessary to explain and present the history and content of the most important international documents in relation to human and children’s rights. The aim is to learn the importance of the documents and enable their subsequent acceptance of human and children’s rights, not only for their own benefit but the benefit of the whole group.

For example, in the case of writing a school constitution, the voting could be done by the school parliament in cooperation with the school board.

Slovenian Constitution. Accessed via: http://587.gvs.

114 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Human Rights Education for People Without Literacy: Training Trainers in Southern Sudan
By: Nancy Flowers, South Sudan
Taking advantage of a lull in the decades-long civil war in southern Sudan in the early 1990s, UNICEF launched a project to train a team of local people to do grassroots human rights education in this vast rural area. Anticipating that this region would eventually achieve some kind of independence from the Khartoum government, UNICEF wanted to lay foundations for democratic citizenship and an understanding of human rights, especially those of children. In particular, they wanted to address the rights of girls in southern Sudan, the vast majority of whom never go to school and are married before they leave childhood. Brought into the project to prepare materials and plan the training, I immediately encountered a major challenge: fewer than 40 percent of men and 10 percent of women in southern Sudan could read or write.1 Most familiar methodologies would not work in this situation, and typical leaning materials would be totally ineffective where there was no electricity and where insects and dampness destroy most paper documents. I could find few resources on human rights education for illiterate populations nor could I locate colleagues with helpful experience. However, I had the insights of Paolo Freire to guide me.2 Especially important was his vision of learning as an essential collaboration of teacher and students in the process of “conscientization,” the development of a critical awareness of one’s social reality through reflection and action. UNICEF wanted to convey specific content about human rights to the trainees, but equally important was modeling learning in human rights. Trainees would be asked to forego the familiar, traditional divide between “informed” teacher, who imparted information to “ignorant” students (what Freire called the “banking method of education”). Instead they would be asked enter into dialogue with participants as co-learners in a democratic classroom, a cooperative activity involving mutual respect, human rights principles, and a recognition of their shared roles as involved citizens building a new, democratic society.

UNICEF put together a training team of Sudanese men and women on their staff. However, identifying trainees with literacy in English or Arabic and the ability to become grassroots educators in their region proved difficult. Given how few women in southern Sudan go to school, finding female participants was almost impossible. Ultimately we succeeded in forming two teams, one for a two-week training in the central city of Rumbeck, the capital of Lakes State, and another far south in Yambio in Western Equatoria State. Most of the trainees were single young men, while the few women were middle-aged widows, but everyone shared the experience of years in refugee camps, where most had received an elementary education. However, all had an essential asset: they were locals who would be reaching out to settlements in their home territory. For them this training offered a rare opportunity to further their education and establish a working relationship with a UN agency. Many traveled long distances to attend, one man walking sixty miles through the bush.

Since Arabic had been the official language of government and schools and English the language of the refugee camps, we had anticipated an EnglishArabic training, challenging but doable. We had not

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 115

recognized the importance of trainees’ being able to express themselves and develop their own trainings in their home dialects. In Rumbeck that language was Nuer and Dinka; in Zambio it was principally Zante. However, as often happens where many languages are spoken in the same area, most participants knew a little of every local dialect. We developed a highly participatory classroom with four blackboards: if the presenter was speaking in Arabic, for example, he would write a key term in Arabic while another participant would write it in English, a third in Nuer, and a fourth in Dinka, accompanied by considerable debate about which was the right word. I was initially impatient with this seeming waste of valuable time — five minutes to find the right words for “equality before the law” or “democratic process” — but after a few days I realized that this process engaged everyone in the room in genuine dialogue. By debating how to express these sometimes-unfamiliar concepts, participants were consolidating their understanding and finding examples from their own experience. During the first mornings, we focused on the human rights content while modeling facilitation and interactive techniques. Participants not only became skillful at applying concepts to local conditions and attitudes, but also grew conscious of the importance of the learning process. For example, we often stopped and asked about what had just happened: How many people participated in the discussion? Who asked the questions and who answered them? Did the facilitator dominate the room and the chalkboard? Was the process democratic, with differences of opinion encouraged and respected? Such critiquing did not come naturally to most participants, whose schooling had enforced obedience and what Freire has called a “culture of silence.” As facilitators we encouraged a language of critique, modeling constructive criticism and respectful disagreement. At the end of each day, we gave out evaluation forms

asking for suggestions to improve our own performance, and consistently reported the next day on what changes we were making in response. Repeatedly we stressed and attempted to model the importance of a democratic learning environment where everyone’s rights were respected. Likewise, a learning environment not controlled by and centered on the teacher was a new experience for participants, who had difficulty believing a truly democratic classroom was possible, much less effective. We addressed this challenge by spending afternoons of the first week demonstrating interactive methodologies such as role play, simulations, and different forms of small group work, stressing the importance of clear goals and instructions. Then we asked small groups of participants to develop an activity using those techniques to help people to understand a concept we had discussed earlier in the day, such as the right to education or the best interest of the child. As we sat outside around oil lanterns in the evening, each group would lead the others through their activity, followed by critique. By the start of the second week, mornings continued to be focused on human rights and democratic concepts, but afternoons were devoted to participants’ planning their own trainings. Working in teams of four or five, based on their proximity of their home towns and common dialects, they planned half-day and full-day trainings that they were actually going to present in nearby villages at the end of the week. These real-life field tests added urgency to their work, and they spent their evenings trying out presentations and activities and getting feedback from colleagues. As a dress rehearsal on the day before their presentations, each team presented their whole programme to another team, who gave them feedback. The teams then reversed roles. The last day I attended as many of these village presen-

116 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

tations as possible. Typically, a group of fifty villagers attended, mostly adult men and women, many of them local leaders such as the priest, the town scribe, or the school head. Both the trainers and I were delighted that the villagers were curious, enthusiastic, and eager for more, especially the women: “When are you coming again?” After eight hours of facilitation the exhausted trainers had to beg to be excused to go home. Here, as an example, is a 90-minute activity on discrimination against women developed by the Rumbeck trainees. It requires neither literacy, electricity, nor any special materials. It proved an especially popular success, evoking both laughter and serious discussion, with minimal presentation by the trainer, and all its examples and analysis contributed by participants themselves.

another. Nondiscrimination, together with equality before the law and equal protection of the law, forms a basic and general human rights principle. Step 2: Go through the list of suggested reasons for discrimination and ask participants to give examples from their experience: • Race? • Color? • Sex? • Language? • Birth? • Religion? • National or social origin? • Property? • Political or other opinion • Other status? To the Facilitator: Point out, if participants do not, that children as well as women are among the groups that most frequently experience discrimination. Step 3: Small-Group Activity: Born Equal? (10 minutes) •  Divide participants into small groups. Ask half the groups to think of as many advantages and disadvantages of being a female as they can. Ask the other half to do the same for males. •  Ask each small group to combine with another that had the same assignment. They should 1) compare their lists; 2) decide on five of the most important items in each category 3) rate each item on a scale of 1-5 based on how important each advantage or disadvantage is to the life of an individual. For example, something trivial like “Wearing attractive clothing” might be rated a “1” while “Not get as much food” might receive a “5.” To the Facilitator: With a mixed group of participants, you might make all-male and all-female groups.

Example Lesson: What Is Discrimination and How Does It Affect Our Lives?
[Materials: pieces of paper/cloth/stones in two colors or marked with male and female symbols.] Step 1: Presentation/Discussion: What Is Discrimination? (15 minutes) Explain that the word “discrimination” is used in many human rights conventions with a consistent and specific meaning. Human rights law uses the term “discrimination” to mean “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference” for any reason. It then goes on to gives examples of such reasons: “race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The effects of discrimination are to limit “the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of all persons, on an equal footing, of all rights and freedoms.” Simply put, discrimination occurs when one person enjoys greater or lesser human rights than

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 117

Ask some single-sex groups to deal with the advantages and disadvantages of their own sex and others with those of the opposite sex. This variation emphasizes the difference in male and female perspectives. Step 4: Full-Group Activity: Born Equal? (25 minutes) •  Draw a line on the ground. Ask everyone to put his or her toes on the line and explain that line represents their birthday. Explain that all the participants are babies born on the same day and according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights they are “born free and equal in dignity and rights.” •  Observe that unfortunately some members of the community are not really “equal in rights and dignity.” Ask each participant to draw a piece of paper with a male or female sign or in some other way randomly to assign male and female roles. •  Ask a volunteer to mention an important male advantage identified by the group and how many points it was given. Then ask all those designated “males” to advance that many steps forward from the line. Next ask for a female advantage and its rating and ask all the designated “females” to step forward accordingly. •  Continue in this same manner with participants stepping forward for advantages and backward for disadvantages according to the rating given. Alternate between male and female, advantages and disadvantages. •  When participants are far apart, with the “females” far behind the “males,” ask participants to turn and face each other. Move among the two groups asking questions of several individuals from each group, especially males designated “females” for this exercise and vice versa.

To the Facilitator: Ask questions like: • • • How do you feel about your “position”? What do you want to say to those in the  other group? H  ow would you feel if you were in the other group?

Step 5: Full-Group Discussion: Analyzing Discrimination (30 minutes) Use the activity “Born Equal?” as an introduction to a discussion of discrimination. Ask participants to restate some of the major advantages and disadvantages mentioned in the exercise. Ask which of these advantages or disadvantages lead to serious discrimination that limits women’s human rights. Explain that international human rights law (esp. CEDAW) outlines some very specific sources of discrimination, including law, customs, and practices that discriminate. To the Facilitator: 1. You might read articles of CEDAW that address the most serious forms of discrimination mentioned. 2. You might discuss some of these topics: •  Which forms of discrimination do you think can be changed? How? •  Are there forms of discrimination that you don’t think can be changed? Why not? • Who benefits from discrimination? •  Who imposes or reinforces the practices that continue discrimination? 3. You might use a role-play here, showing a “before” and “after” sequence with examples of discrimination. The ”after” version would illustrate a case where the discrimination no longer exists. 4. You might also use an “Effects Web” here with the central statements derived from participants’ examples or their opposite. For example, “Women

118 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

and girls receive as much food/education as men and boys.” Step 6: Closing (5 minutes) 1. Review the main points of this session: •  The kinds of discrimination that make men and women’s lives and human rights unequal. •  The effects of this inequality on women and girls. 2. Thank participants for their contributions.


Gender Concerns International, “Women in South Sudan.” via;



Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder

and Herder. 1970.

Paolo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy and

I wish I could conclude with a report on the success of these grassroots trainers for human rights and democracy in the villages of southern Sudan, but sadly the truce that had made this project possible came to an abrupt end. Bombing resumed in Rumbeck and Yambio, and another violent phrase in the civil war broke out, forcing not only me but also UNICEF to withdraw. Ultimately, of course, South Sudan achieved nationhood in 2011. Although I can only hope that these trainings will have some influence in the lives of the participants, they were surely of immense value for me. I had repeatedly to confront my misconceptions about working with illiterate populations. I learned the immense power of storytelling for all people. And the importance of trainers’ developing their own strategies and presentations. Most important, this southern Sudan experience underscored for me both the difficulty and the importance of inspiring in trainers a commitment to democratic, non-authoritarian learning that respects and builds on the experience of the participants and in which teacher and learner are engaged in genuine dialogue. As Freire has put it, “There is, in fact, no teaching without learning. One requires the other … Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning.”3

Civic Courage. Lathan: Rowan & Littlefield. 1998. pp. 31.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 119

Future Search – “Dream Thailand”
By: Rainer Adam, Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul, and Ben Fourniotis, Thailand Identifying the Problem
Opinion surveys show that in Thailand, the young generation’s interest in politics is almost non-existent. Youth and young adults are usually significantly underrepresented in democratic institutions (parliament, senate and political parties), and their voices are largely unheard in Thai society. Together with its partner organizations in Thailand, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom conceptualized the original campaign in order to reach out to Thailand’s young generation to ascertain their views on the future of their country. The results are then used to make political parties and political decision-makers aware of the lack of youth participation, and show society would benefit from more youth inclusiveness. The “Dream Thailand” campaign targets young university students and is based on the well-known “future search” methodology. As we learned through experimentation, “Dream Thailand” can be applied to a large variety of contexts. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation and its partners in Thailand believe that the current young generation is the future of the country and believe their voices need to be heard, prepared this new campaign. The seven “Dream Thailand” sessions concluded with an exhibition in Bangkok in 2012 and a summary of the results was presented to political decision-makers in the capital. in government and opposition aware of the deficiencies in youth participation in politics in general, and encourage political decision-makers to reach out to the young generation.

Target Audience
The first “Dream Thailand” campaign involved about 1,400 young students between 19 and 22 years old from 8 provinces in 6 regions of Thailand, participating in shaping the future of the country. The majority of participants were recommended by university lecturers and university students made up the majority of participants. All faculties were represented. “Dream Thailand” was also open to the public, and there were other, non-university going participants involved. Pamphlets, small reports, Power Point presentations and documentary films have been made and syndicated explaining the projects initial aims and its results. The results were presented to political decision-makers in government and opposition as well as to the general public to show that youths have an interest in increasing their political involvement.

The concept of “Dream Thailand” is based on a renowned methodology called “Future Search.” It progresses through three steps: the dream phase, the “reality check” phase (what holds us back) and the formulation of concrete actions (what do we want decision-makers to do, what do we want to invest ourselves). The participants were asked to visualize the current political, societal, economic and cultural situation. Subsequently, they wrote down their personal wishes for the development of Thailand over the next ten years.

“Dream Thailand” events provide a platform for youth to voice their visions, opinions and recommendations about the Thailand of their dreams, the Thailand they want to live in. Furthermore, the Foundation wanted to make political parties and decision-makers

120 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

The facilitators set the stage by posing the question: “What does Thailand look like in your dreams?” As a logical consequence, the second step and follow-up question asked what changes should be demanded from politic institutions and society at large. The students’ wishes were then categorized and the concise results of this brainstorming session were presented to the group. Overcoming initial caution, the participants soon began making engaged and inspiring contributions. The last step was to identify certain areas (such as conflict resolution, advances in education, social unity has increased cohesiveness) in which the young people wanted to be involved in order to translate their dreams into reality. Participants followed these steps: (a)  Participants sat in a circle or half circle and are given two pieces of paper. (b)  A video clip was shown to inspire participants to reflect on different issues. The video involved snippets of recordings of random people in society replying to the question “what is your dream for Thailand in the next 10 years?” (c)  For 5 minutes participants reflected on the reality of Thailand and imagined Thailand over the next 10 years. (d)  Participants wrote their “‘dream”’ on one piece of note paper and wrote their ideas about achieving those objectives on another piece. (e)  The notes are grouped into 5 topic sections; politics, economics, society and culture, education, and technology/media/environment and displayed on a board. (f)  Facilitators identify outstanding and relevant comments and lead discussion sessions on aims and potential processes that needed to be in place to realize the dreams.

barriers, or obstacles in conducting the campaign. This was in part due to the help provided by the programs implementing partners. The major partners were Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre, Thai PBS, Asian Knowledge Institute, Happening Magazine, Future Thai Leaders, Mahidol University, and the Election Commission of Thailand. However, the follow-up posed two serious challenges. First, it is difficult to get people to stay engaged and motivated for a long period of time, especially when the subsequent phrase focuses on hard issues, such as equality of opportunity, good governance, decentralization and peace. The aspirations of the participants need to be channeled into political action. In case no political player (a party or a movement) wants to take up the challenge, the participants themselves need to consider starting a movement to fight for their interests. A second challenge is that the demands and proposed solutions of the participants need to be substantiated by reliable information and the kind of advice that only subject matter specialists can provide. The Foundation is currently organizing a second round of subject matter consultations in the main policy areas identified by the “Dream Thailand” participants.

Some of the participants remained active in politics and advocacy post their experience with “Dream Thailand.” Some participants attended succeeding seminars, while others are collaborating with The Foundation’s partners to contribute to public discourse and realize their dreams for Thailand. As a result of the “Dream South” program, for example, some participants were able to receive funding from the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center to carry out further projects, such as documentary making.

The Foundation did not face any major challenges,

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 121

Since “Dream Thailand” offers flexible, far reaching opportunities, we had to attend to the diverse foci of each region. For example, the struggle for identity and national security was a major issue in Songkhla, a southern province with a large Muslim population. In other provinces such as Chonburi, Chiang Mai or Nakhonpanom, Thailand’s circumstances were compared to similar issues in other nations. For example, students wished for a Thai educational system that would be equal to those in Europe or the United States. An interesting topic addressed in many provinces concerned the hierarchical system. Hierarchical structures are found everywhere in Thai society. For example, it is obligatory to be very respectful towards people with higher social status, because of their age, rank or wealth. While this system has rarely been questioned in the past, it is increasingly viewed by young people as limiting their personal freedom and as a factor contributing to the increase of social inequalities. In this context, the necessity of paying respect to persons deemed superior (especially because of seniority within the system) without any action to merit respect, was questioned. Inequalities were found at several levels. Regional inequalities in educational opportunities and livelihoods were noted. Other students commented on the issue of inequality and referred to the lack of rule of law, access to justice and wished for every individual to be treated equally by the judiciary. Some wishes were repeated across many levels and seemed to be agreed on by most participants. This was the case for the issue of internal unity. “I want Thai people to love each other” was probably the most prevalent wish voiced throughout all the events. Engaged reflections addressed a range of positions. “Is it necessary for a healthy society to be built on love or does the wish for positive feelings between people only means that we listen with respect to each

other’s opinions?” “Should we try to realize that different people have different views and that in order to get along with each other one needs to respect the others’ views as equally legitimate as one’s own?” The outcomes of the “Dream Thailand” campaign roadshow were summarized and put together in the form of an exhibition and a documentary film, which received a great deal of attention from both the media and the general public. The documentary was repeatedly aired nationwide by public TV (Thai PBS), and participants were interviewed on a live show about “Dream Thailand.” The stimulating and far-reaching collection of ideas and proposals offered by the participants was exhibited at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center in October 2012, in three separate parts: Dream, Reality and Future Planning. The first part presented the participants’ major issues collected from the dreams throughout the event series. A collection of over 1200 post-it notes on which the students were asked to write down their wishes formed a vivid part of the exhibition. The second part allowed the visitors to visualize reality. Most dreams were linked to the real circumstances fundamental for the imagination of a better situation. This idea of change will finally be used to formulate concrete ideas on how to achieve the dreams that improve reality. Visitors were invited to contribute their own dreams and visions at the exhibition and responded enthusiastically.

Feedback Session – Documentary Screening
Forming an important part of the feedback session, each venue holding the “Dream Thailand” workshop in 2012 screened the “Dream Thailand” documentary. The collection of thoughts and wishes about Thailand in the next decade reflected what the participants shared in their interactive workshops. Almost all participants agreed that the results did reflect their dreams

122 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

about their country in the future. The screening of the “Dream Thailand” documentary has exposed many young people to other people and linked their aspirations across different parts of the country.

Follow-up and Replication
The above-mentioned activities in the framework of the “Dream Thailand” campaign have led to demands from other stakeholders and organizations for the “Dream Thailand” approach. Subsequently the Foundation was invited to apply the methodology in the following contexts:

cess feel empowered. They realize that their dreams for the country as a whole or in part are shared by others. They understand that their voices are listened to by the authorities and their initiatives will be supported. In conclusion, it was found that the process is easy to replicate elsewhere. The initiative can easily be transferred to other places, situations and countries, other levels of governance, by simply asking forward-looking questions to participants to plan or design the future of organisations, communities or a country.

Dream Bangkok
In the run-up to the Bangkok Governor election, the Democrat Party used the summary report of the “Dream Thailand” project in its campaign for a liveable capital. The project has inspired not only a political party but the media and the general public to demand change.

Media Coverage
The results were published in TV and radio programs, newspapers, as well as frequent updates on the “Dream Thailand” Facebook page. “Dream Thailand”- Documentary was screened for the first time in the Hot Short Film program on ThaiPBS channel at 23:00 on 11 October 2012. It was also screened at the film and music festival “[email protected]*3” at House RCA on 13 October 2012 at 12:00 for the first screen and 21:00 for the second. “Dream Thailand”- exhibition and workshop was reported by several news agencies including Khaosod, Matichon, Kapook, RYT9, Than Online, Kom Chad Leuk, etc. TV interviews by ThaiPBS, Bluesky Channel, Social Café program, and Khon Thai Mai Ting Kan program “Dream Thailand” - Documentary, with English subtitles, can be watched on youtube channel “Asia Freedom TV” or visit our Facebook page “DreamThailand” for more information.

Dream East
The Senate Sub-Committee on People’s Network, with the help of FNF, conducted a replication on the “Dream Thailand” initiative in the Eastern region, calling it “Dream East.” Civil society organisations and government agencies came together to develop a plan for the Eastern region over the next 10 years. The Senate SubCommittee helped build a bridge between civil society organisations and government agencies.

Dream South
The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, with the help of the FNF, conducted a replication renamed “Dream South,” which enabled young people in the Deep South to come up with possible solutions in the form of project proposals. The success of the campaign motivated more Thai youth to participate in the process of change. Those students or participants who have been part of the pro-

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 123

h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / p a g e s / D r e a m Thailand/475198242493065 tent&view=article&id=1600:introducing-simdemocracy-&catid=3:latest-news content&view=article&id=1537:sim-democracyboard-game-edutainment&catid=3:latest-news content&view=article&id=1587:sim-democracyunderstanding-democracy-in-a-playfulway&catid=3:latest-news SY&list=PLnxVznfbsHVUzw2eqRHNrCBywDgIOO_p M m d Q & l i s t = P L n x V z n f b s H V U z w 2 e q R H N rCBywDgIOO_p embedded&v=sZwIxW1A0uY#at=18

124 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

SIM-Democracy, a Board Game for Democracy Education
By: Rainer Adam, Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul, and Ben Fourniotis, Thailand Identifying the Problem
In Thailand, as in many other emerging democracies, youth participation in politics is rather limited. Many young people do not have an interest in politics and do not see how it affects their lives. Moreover, democratic values, democratic institutions such as parliament and political parties, and public decision-making processes are not well understood. Young people also do not know through which channels they can participate in the community. areas — public health, security, public education and environmental protection. The citizen role includes generating income and paying taxes, taking initiative within the community, engaging in charity, and monitoring the government. The implementation of SIM-Democracy targets first-time voters, including high school students and first-year or second-year university students. The players compete with each other to be elected for public office. After the first testing of the game and a positive preliminary evaluation, we involved the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT), a partner organization of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (the Foundation) whose mission includes democracy education. The ECT incorporated the game into their educational program. In order to use SIM-Democracy on a larger scale, a training of trainers was conducted to produce play coaches — the individuals who facilitate the games — who are capable of coaching teachers, students and participants in general. In addition, training sessions were organized for the staff of the ECT. In partnership with the ECT, SIM-Democracy was officially endorsed and launched nationwide. In order to encourage the use of SIM-Democracy in schools, teachers were targeted and trained to become play coaches at their respective schools. Over 300 teachers were trained to be facilitators, mainly through playing the game with Foundation staff.

SIM-Democracy, a board game, was put together by toy designers and democracy experts with the intention of providing an interactive tool for young adults and first-time voters so they might gain a better understanding of the basic functioning of a democratic community and of public policy. Furthermore, the aim is not so much to provide answers but to stimulate questions and further inquiry, thereby increasing interest in public affairs.

Target Audience
Our target audience is high school students from 16 to 18 years old, first-time voters, and young adults (up to 22 years old).

Through the simulation of a simple democratic community, SIM-Democracy allows participants to play different roles in a democratic society, to take on the role of a government or the role of an ordinary citizen. The government role involves budget planning and resource allocation, spending, investment, provision of infrastructure and support to citizens in four policy

Currently, the major challenge in the implementation of SIM-Democracy is that it relies heavily on play coaches, without whom the players may not get the most out of the game. Different play coaches may

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 125

also differ in their teaching style. It is, therefore, difficult to set a uniform standard for all play coaches. Furthermore, it has been noted that even after the training, not all teachers are capable of coaching their students, especially when it is expected that they use of modern educational tools and techniques. Despite these obstacles, SIM-Democracy was considered successful by all stakeholders. Most students mentioned that they have learned things such as how a democratic government works and how it copes with unexpected situations. Participants were able to give immediate feedback on the day which took the form of a recorded interview. The Foundation has also kept in touch with schools and teachers to enquire about the status of the game post implementation. Teachers were also able to give feedback on how the students engaged with the game. Final evaluations take place with about 30-40 teachers, electoral commission staff, facilitators and students. Most teachers believed that this educational tool is useful for their students and should be used in parallel with their teaching. Moreover, we noticed that sometimes after only one session of SIM-Democracy in a province, the lessons were multiplied and spontaneously introduced in neighboring provinces, which reflects the popularity of the game as well as the capacity of local trainers to coach and distribute SIMDemocracy to the interested public.

• •

 pproximately 1800 students and others parA ticipated in these activities so far; SIM-Democracy exhibitions were conducted  in 12 provinces.

We have no data for schools that conducted SIMDemocracy sessions without participating in the ECT-led training. We also do not know the extent of the spontaneous spreading mentioned above. So far, we have distributed about 750 games to the public through educational institutions, public bodies, subdivisions of the ECT, Ministry of Education, etc. In June 2013, we conducted a national SIMDemocracy competition held under the auspices of the ECT. Schools from five regions competed. The regional champions were invited to Bangkok, where the national champion was selected. Awards were presented by the ECT. The event was be publicly broadcast on Thai public television. Because of demand from neighboring countries (Bhutan, Malaysia, Maynmar, among others), we are currently also working on an English version of the game. Moreover, together with a team of computer experts and designers we are preparing an electronic version of the game for tablets and smart phones. We plan to release this version with a SIM-Democracy app in early 2014.

Links: tent&view=article&id=1600:introducing-simdemocracy-&catid=3:latest-news content&view=article&id=1537:sim-democracyboard-game-edutainment&catid=3:latest-news

After about 18 months of implementation we have reached the following targets: • •  pproximately 350 play coaches and teachA ers were trained; Approximately 120 schools (including scout  camps and universities) all over Thailand played SIM-Democracy;

126 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education content&view=article&id=1587:sim-democracyunderstanding-democracy-in-a-playfulway&catid=3:latest-news

SIM Democracy Board Game

SIM Democracy Brochure

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 127

Using Stories to Develop Political Literacy
By: Ted Huddlestone, United Kingdom Identifying the Problem
To be able to participate in the democratic process in any meaningful sense, citizens need not only to be aware of democratic ideals and values but also to be able to apply them in practice. Fundamental to this ability is political literacy, the development of practical political understanding and judgement, and the ability to communicate these sentiments to fellow citizens. Lacking basic political literacy, citizens often feel estranged from the political process. They may even feel that their actions are well-meaning but ineffective or even counter-productive. • • • • to solve open-ended – suggest a range of potential solutions engaging – stimulate the imagination and emotions as well as intellect accessible – comprehensible to all succinct – as brief as possible

Introduced in the right kind of way, stories can help citizens to develop political literacy, feel more empowered and positive about their role in the political process, and ultimately, become more effective as democratic citizens.

Traditional stories with ”morals” or ”happy endings” are inappropriate. It is important that learners do not feel they are being guided towards any particular solution to the problem(s) raised by the story, but instead feel encouraged to think independently. The story should always contain some element of controversy with which to encourage diversity of opinion and stimulate debate—not an ”either-or” dilemma, but one with a range of possible responses. Educational stories of this kind tend to be few and far between. Teachers new to this approach might be advised to use or adapt existing examples, such as those featured in some of the publications by the Citizenship Foundation.1 Better, they should try to develop their own, adapting them to local circumstances and interests. Examples of stories that can be used with younger children include Click, Clack, Moo-Cows That Type2 and The Sand Tray.3 For secondary school students, useful examples include Enemy of the People4 and The School on the Edge of the Forest.5 Having selected or developed a story, the next step is to devise activities that enable learners to interact with the story. These activities should: • encourage critical thinking and discussion • permit all students to express their opinions • feature both individual and group work

Target Audience
Stories can be used as an educational tool with people of any age, from students in primary schools to adults in continuing education programs. In fact, if the language is sufficiently accessible and the narrative ”rich” enough, the same story can be used across a range of age groups, with the level of response varying with the group.

In using stories to develop political literacy, two factors are crucial: the selection of the story and the ways in which learners interact with it. Stories selected for this purpose should be: • politically rich – embed conflicting political concepts, principles, or debates • problematic – present the learner with a problem

128 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

• be introduced at increasing levels of difficulty • make explicit the political concepts, principles, or debates implicit in the story • allow students to apply these concepts, principles, and debates to actual situations

For centuries it has had little contact with the rest of the world. Although Sikkal is only a tiny kingdom, it has attracted a lot of interest lately. This is mainly because of the unusual way in which society is organized there. To begin with, no one in Sikkal ever goes hungry. The Sikkalese people produce all their own food and it is shared out to whoever needs it. A house is provided rent-free for every family. The size of the house depends on the number of people in the family. Fuel for heating and cooking is provided free of charge, as is a regular repair service. Should anyone ever fall sick, a doctor is always at hand. Everyone is given a free medical check-up every six months and care-workers make regular visits to old people, families with young children and anyone else who needs extra attention. In Sikkal the good things in life are available to all. Each family is given a book of vouchers which they exchange each year for different luxury items, e.g., scent, soft furnishings, spices. The vouchers can be traded in right away or saved up over a period of time for something special. How have the people of Sikkal been able to organize all these things? As far back as anyone can remember, Sikkal has been ruled by a royal family. The present ruler is King Sik III. He decides the number of workers needed for each kind of work, e.g., growing food, building houses, or medical care. The people who do these jobs are selected at five years of age and sent to special schools for training. Farmers are sent to agricultural school, house-builders to technical school, health-workers to medical school and so on. Everyone else of working age is employed by King Sik in one of his royal palaces.

Example Lesson
Step 1. R  ead the story The Kingdom of Sikkal together (5 minutes). Step 2. A  sk students in to work in pairs to list what they think would be good things and bad things about living in that society. The students share their ideas with the rest of the class (10 minutes). Step 3. A  s a class, ask students to consider whether or not they think Sikkal is a fair society, noting the reasons for their views and where they agree and disagree (15 minutes). Step 4. I  n small groups, ask students to decide what actions they would take (if any) if they were citizens of Sikkal to make their society a fairer one. The students share their ideas with the rest of the class (15 minutes). Step 5. A  sk the class to think about the ideas suggested and evaluate the potential consequences of each—negative as well as positive—including unintended ones, and consider whether they would be ”worth” it (15 minutes). Step 6. T  ogether, try to arrive at an agreed set of ”fairnesses” that would be needed for a society to be described as a fair one, considering whether they are always mutually consistent or might sometimes conflict (15 minutes). Step 7. A  sk the class how far they think their own society lives up to the set of ideals they have devised, and what if anything might be done to make it fairer (15 minutes).

The Kingdom of Sikkal

Sikkal is a country situated high in the mountains.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 129

The most amazing thing about Sikkal is that there is no such thing as money. No one needs to be paid because everyone already has everything they need! You may be asking yourself whether anyone in Sikkal ever complains about these arrangements. In fact, this very rarely happens. The few people that do complain are looked after in secure mental hospitals. After all, you would have to be mad to complain about life in a society like this, wouldn’t you?

education seminars in a number of countries across Europe and in Turkey and Bahrain. (Endnotes)
For example: Ted Huddleston & Don Rowe (2001) Good Thinking: Education for Citizenship and Moral Responsibility, Evans Brothers, Volumes 1-3; Ted Huddleston (2004) Citizens and Society: Political Literacy Teacher Resource Pack, Hodder Murray.

The two main challenges to this approach are the teachers’ occasional lack of confidence in dealing with political issues in class and their lack of expertise in critical thinking and discussion-based methods of teaching. It is an approach which demands a high level of skill and personal efficacy from teachers. The only way to overcome these challenges is through training and practice. Ideally, training should focus on helping teachers to develop their own stories and learning activities, rather than simply relying on existing ones.

Dorothy Cronin (2002) Click, Clack, Moo- Cows That Type, Simon & Schuster UK.
2 3

Don Rowe (2001) The Sand Tray, A & C Black. Ted Huddleston (2004) op cit. Ted Huddleston & Don Rowe (2001) op cit., Volume 3. Ted Huddleston & Don Rowe (2001) op cit., Volume 2.




The use of story in political literacy teaching was one of the methods explored in the Citizenship Foundation’s Political Literacy Project. This was a two-year project to develop a programme of discussion-based materials to support the teaching of political literacy at Key Stages 3 and 4 (ages 11 to 16) in secondary schools in England, in association with the introduction of Citizenship into the national curriculum in 2002. The response from teachers and students who took part in the project evaluation was universally positive. Aspects singled out for comment by participating teachers included the open-ended nature of the project materials, the potential for engaging student interests, the quality of student discussions, and the focus on political language and the vocabulary of politics.7 Following the success of the original project in England, this approach has been used in teacher

Ian Davies et al (2002) ‘Political Literacy: An Essential Part of Citizenship Education’, The School Field: International Journal of Theory and Research in Education, Vol XIII, No 3/4.

130 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Democracy Education Programs Based at Law Schools
By: Lee Arbetman, United States Identifying the Problem
Whether a country’s democracy is new, emerging, or established, there is an on-going need to revitalize and support democratic values and practices through education. Democracies are not automatically self-regenerating. As retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has said, “Knowledge of our system of government (democracy) is not handed down through the gene pool. … The habits of citizenship must be learned.” At the very core of learning about democracy is learning about the law. Law schools have a unique role in this regard. Their mission is to teach law. While their primary focus is on teaching law students who will become lawyers, they also have the institutional capacity to teach beyond the walls of the law school and to educate communities about law, legal systems, democracy, and constitutions. The clinical Street Law program at Georgetown recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. This program has been a democracy education and legal education innovation of the first order. A global organization— Street Law, Inc.—has developed as an outgrowth of the original Georgetown Street Law clinical program. Street Law, Inc. creates classroom and community programs that teach people about law, democracy, and human rights worldwide. Street Law’s accessible, interactive programs empower students and communities to become active, legally-astute contributors to society. These programs utilize the trademark qualities of the original Street Law program at Georgetown and are practical, relevant, and participatory. In addition, Street Law has produced a textbook used all over the United States (Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2010, 8th edition) along with culturally sensitive, legally accurate adaptations of the textbook used in many other countries. Street Law, Inc. and the clinical program at Georgetown have worked with law schools across the country and around the world. More than 70 law school-based Street Law programs exist in the US, while more than 50 programs operate in other countries. These law school programs are particularly prominent in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the former Soviet Republics. In the US, the majority of the law school-based Street Law programs award academic credit to the law students who participate. However, a growing number of these programs are either part of law schools’ pro bono programs or are student-run clubs and do not award academic credit. Many of the credit-bearing programs are based closely on the Georgetown Clinic model and have the

The Street Law program began at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, in 1972. A credit-bearing clinical program was piloted that allowed upper division (in the US, second and third year) law students to use empowering, innovative student-centered teaching methods to teach lessons about law and public policy in public high schools in the District of Columbia. From the start, the program has had two missions: to educate youth, particularly disadvantaged youth, about legal topics that would be of value to them in their daily lives and to strengthen the law students’ legal education by requiring them to teach legal topics to non-lawyers.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 131

following characteristics: • Law students (often in teams of two) teach two or three times per week over the course of a semester in nearby high schools (primarily urban schools serving diverse youth). • Law students attend a weekly seminar that focuses on the content to be taught, developing effective lesson plans and teaching activities, and clinic administration. • Clinic staff supervise the law students in the field, observe classes, and provide feedback.

petition. The mock trials are held in the courtrooms of the DC Superior Court, and many of the trials are judged by sitting state and federal court judges. Each high school Street Law class in the city enters at least one team in the competition. The Georgetown Street Law program develops a challenging mock trial case each year for the competition. Training high school students to take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses is a substantial academic challenge both for the law student instructors and for their high school students. The first high school mock trial occurred as part of the Street Law program in Washington, DC, in 1973. Since then, the program has spread to virtually every state in the US Almost all states now have a statewide high school mock trial competition that culminates in a national competition among the winners of the state tournaments. In 2012, more than a 1,000 people from 42 states, Guam, the Northern Marianna Islands, and South Korea participated in the national mock trial tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A number of lawyers in practice today cite their experience in their high school mock trial program for heading them in the direction of a career in law. In addition to mock trials, law students help their high school students understand democratic processes and structures through mock legislative simulations and mock appellate hearings. Street Law, Inc. collects information about the law school-based programs. The website contains a directory of law school-based Street Law programs along with a resource library of materials— including free copies of all of the Georgetown Law Schooldeveloped mock trial materials—that are helpful to persons starting or conducting a program. A particularly good set of law student-written and classroom-tested lessons can be found on the web page for the Street Law program at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.

Target Audience
Participating law students most often work with high school students who are either in a law class or in another social studies class that contains law-related content such as civics, history, or government. Because the law school programs tend to focus on disadvantaged teenagers—those in the US who research has shown receive the weakest civic/democracy education—some programs also work in community-based settings, residential facilities, or the juvenile justice system. Some programs also teach adults, including those behind bars or in homeless shelters.

Most of the programs operate for one semester, although the Georgetown clinical Street Law program is year-long. There is significant variation in the teaching tools used to achieve the objectives of this program. Many participating high schools use the Street Law textbook from which the law students teach lessons. However, the law school programs that award credit often require the law students to create their own lessons as part of the academic component of the program. A highlight of the Georgetown program is an annual city-wide interscholastic high school mock trial com-

132 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

To create a program, a series of basic questions must be answered: • Who will teach in the program (law students) and who will teach these instructors (law faculty and staff)? • Who will receive the lessons taught by the program (typically high school students, but possibly teens or young adults in non-traditional school or community settings)? • What lessons will be taught? • How will they be taught (the issue of effective, empowering pedagogy)? • How will the program be incentivized (will there be academic credit)? • How will success be determined? Typically, there are a few significant hurdles. The staff at both Street Law, Inc. and the Georgetown Street Law Program are available on a limited basis to help others overcome these challenges. If the program is to be a credit-bearing program at the law school—and Street Law, Inc. believes this structure leads to the highest program quality—then the program must go through the faculty’s approval process. This process can be lengthy and challenging. If the primary advocate for the program is a tenured and widely respected member of the faculty, the process can be easier. If the advocate is an adjunct or an outside organization and not well known to the faculty, the process is more difficult. Law schools with a commitment to experiential learning are more likely to embrace Street Law quickly. Law schools with more traditional views of legal education will be a harder sell. Most often, the school system sees as very appealing the opportunity to have bright, energetic law students willing to volunteer in their social stud-

ies classrooms. Still, details must be worked out: which classes will the law students visit, how often, what role will the teacher of that class have, who will be responsible for grades and for discipline, etc. In some school systems, law students must first be certified as substitute teachers or complete background checks. In the US, this program has a special appeal beyond the obvious support it provides for civic/democracy education. The legal industry in the US struggles with a lack of diversity among lawyers. The country’s population is more than 30 percent non-white and trending in the foreseeable future to 50% or more nonwhite, while the law profession is comprised of about 10 percent non-white lawyers, a number which has remained stubbornly constant for a number of years. The Street Law program is a specific activity that law schools can undertake to expose diverse teens not only to the law and democratic practice but to careers in the law. In this respect, Street Law can be viewed as a diversity pipeline program. According to the American Bar Association’s Presidential Commission on Diversity in the Legal Profession (2010),“Lawyers and judges have a unique responsibility for sustaining a political system with broad participation by all its citizens. A diverse bar and bench create greater trust in the mechanisms of government and the rule of law.”1

There is a great deal of anecdotal information from both high school students and from their law student instructors about the value of the Street Law program. The high school students are affected not only by the knowledge they acquire but also by the powerful, positive role models that their law student teachers become for them. Law students, who typically have not had direct experience with urban education, are exposed to a significant social program in the US and have the opportunity to improve their mastery of legal content, strengthen public speaking skills, and

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 133

practice collaboration with each other and with other professionals. One measure of the success of Street Law at law schools is that most law schools that begin a Street Law program continue it. The value of the program to the law school’s students and to the wider community becomes clear quickly. There is no meaningful data on the extent to which democracy is strengthened in the US or, to our knowledge, in other countries from the Street Law program. The methodological challenge of identifying experimental groups that have participated in Street Law and control groups that are identical to the experimental groups except for the treatment (Street Law), while also controlling for other variables that affect democracy outcomes over time has been too great to overcome. But law school-based Street Law programs continue to grow throughout the US and around the world as well, which indicates a widely-held belief in their value.

For more information:

Street Law, Inc. and the Georgetown Street Law Program ([email protected]) Street Law program at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA ( South Africa ( Street Law, Inc. ( (Endnotes)
American Bar Association, Diversity in the Legal Profession: the Next Steps. 2010. pp 5.

134 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Deliberating in a Democracy
By: Lee Arbetman and Xinia Bermudez, United States Identifying the Problem
Freedom of speech is the foundation of a healthy democracy. So is the art of balancing democratic values, such as liberty and equality with safety and security. For democracy to thrive, citizens must be able and willing to express and exchange ideas among themselves and with their representatives in government and be able to weigh courses of action and potential consequences. When values are in conflict, freedom of speech becomes a critical vehicle for exploring choices, weighing options, and finding common ground. In addition to freedom of speech, strong democracies also need members who are willing to listen to and to respect others with viewpoints very different from their own—particularly on controversial issues.1 Deliberating civic issues—weighing opposing views, deciding difficult questions, accepting majority decisions while honoring dissent—is not natural behavior but requires instruction, skill, and multiple opportunities to practice. While civic participation in both emerging and stable democratic societies depends on the ability to engage in deliberative discussions of controversial issues, there is little evidence that in-depth discussions of controversial issues regularly occur in either the U.S. or in countries in Eastern Europe.2 Unfortunately, civics teachers often avoid controversial issues or address them as current events without much insight or reflection. Although many Americans recoil from a system they perceive as driven by narrow self-interest and messy conflict, “to the extent the climate in schools these days avoids controversial political issues and does not help students to be comfortable in dealing with those issues, a great disservice is done to the students and the democratic process.”3 Hahn adds: “When students have the opportunity to discuss controversial public policy issues in a supportive atmosphere, where several sides of an issue are presented or explored, and they feel comfortable expressing their view even when they differ from the teacher’s and other students’, then there is a great likelihood that adolescents will express higher levels of political efficacy, interest, trust, and confidence than their peers without such experiences.”4

The goal of Deliberating in a Democracy is to increase the knowledge, ability and dispositions of high school teachers and their students to effectively participate in deliberations of controversial issues related to democratic principles in their countries. Deliberation provides students with a deeper understanding of issues facing their democracies and helps develop a well-reasoned position by helping students understand a point of view different than their own. It also ensures that conflicting views can be heard, understood, and valued. This program uses deliberation, which can enhance students’ academic knowledge and build civic skills, especially the ability to discuss with others how to solve pressing public problems.5 Students who effectively participate in deliberations on controversial public issues increase their political knowledge, political tolerance, perspective taking skills, and political participation.6 Since the deliberation of controversial public issues can play a central role in increasing political knowledge, political tolerance, perspective taking, and political participation,7 Street Law, Inc. worked with students to increase these skills through deliberation of controversial topics with the intention of helping them (1) to gain a deeper understanding of an issue, (2) to find areas of common agreement, and (3) to make a decision based on evidence and logic.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 135

Target Audience
Since the inception of the Deliberating in a Democracy program in 2004, more than 550 secondary teachers in ten different cities across the United States and in 13 countries in Russia, Azerbaijan, Eastern Europe, and Latin America have engaged nearly 41,000 secondary students in authentic civic deliberations while learning democratic principles and participating in lessons on democracy. Street Law, Inc., Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), and Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) with their global partners are able to provide training and technical support to countries wishing to implement a deliberation program. 

points of agreement and disagreement among group members. Teams try to reach consensus on the issue; if they cannot reach consensus on any substantive aspect of the issue, they should try to reach consensus on areas of agreement and on a process they could use to resolve disagreements. The class then debriefs the activity as a large group, focusing on how the group worked as a team and how use of the process contributed to their understanding of the issue. Participating teachers conducted a minimum of three classroom deliberations, using the SAC method, which were chosen from curriculum materials created for Deliberating in a Democracy. Lessons on 38 controversial public issues, in English, Russian, Spanish, and other languages, are available at Materials include a grade-level reading with a focus question and additional resources, such as political cartoons and quotes. The website also featured student polls and a discussion board. Students also deliberated issues and current events with their peers in other countries via videoconference, web cam, and/or Skype. Students also had the option to participate in multischool conferences at their site. Teachers were given the opportunity to travel abroad to visit each other’s classrooms, meet with other teachers, officials, scholars, and participate in seminars on democracy.

Teachers who participated in the Deliberating in a Democracy program attended professional development workshops on how to successfully conduct a classroom deliberation using the Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) method, developed by the Johnson brothers at the University of Minnesota. The SAC method was designed to help students achieve three goals: (1) to gain a deeper understanding of an issue, (2) to find areas of common agreement, and (3) to make a decision based on evidence and logic. In the SAC method, students are organized into groups of four, and each group is split into two pairs. One pair in a foursome studies one side of the controversy, while the second pair studies the opposing view, even though it may conflict with their own personal view. Partners read the background material and identify facts and arguments that support their assigned position. Each side advocates their position, while students on the other side make notes and ask questions about information they don’t understand after the other team is done presenting. Afterwards, the pairs reverse positions, using their notes and what they learned from the other side to make a short presentation demonstrating their understanding of the opposing view. Students then discuss the issue in their foursomes, trying to find

There were various challenges that teachers faced during the deliberation process in their classrooms. Timing was a major concern for many teachers, as it is difficult to fit the entire explanation and process of deliberation into a 45 minute time frame. To address this issue, teachers often assigned the reading for homework, sometimes even having students distinguish the pros and cons of each question before coming to class. Teachers were then able to dedicate the full period to the deliberations, and the debriefing afterwards. Teachers also faced the challenge of group discussions dominated by a small group of students or

136 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

managing deliberations in classes of 30-40 students. In response, teachers strategically placed students in small groups, grouping more vocal and quieter students in separate groups. This gave all students a greater chance of their voices being heard. Another frequent problem was posed by small groups finishing their deliberations at a different rate. The groups that ended earlier than other groups were encouraged to delve deeper into the topic, whether it was by explaining further their personal views, finding more reasons to add to their consensus, or prodding them further by acting as a “devil’s advocate.” At times, the teacher selected issues which they believed were sufficiently engaging for their classes but which students did not consider controversial, and students quickly came to a consensus. Teachers had several different methodologies to address the lack of controversy obstacle. Some teachers played the role of devil’s advocate by challenging students from different perspectives or referencing reasons not listed in the curricular materials. Others galvanized students by connecting the topic to current events: for example, the “Public Demonstrations” deliberation was a success during the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.

• Over 77 percent of students reported a greater ability to state their opinions, and 72 percent said they developed more confidence in talking about public issues; • Almost 100 percent of teachers indicated that they would continue to use deliberations after the conclusion of the project. A subsequent evaluation by the University of Minnesota in December 2012 found that over 90 percent of teachers Agreed to Strongly Agreed that deliberations helped their students to develop a deeper understanding of issues (96 percent), engage in critical thinking (94 percent), make decisions based on evidence and logic (93 percent), respect others’ points of view (91 percent), and identify multiple perspectives associated with the deliberation topics (94 percent). (Endnotes)
1 2

Barber, 2004.

An independent evaluation conducted by the University of Minnesota in 2009 revealed that Deliberating in a Democracy was effective in multiple cultural and educational contexts: • Over 98 percent of teachers reported that “almost all” of their students engaged in critical thinking during the deliberations and developed a better understanding of the issues; • Over 88 percent of students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the deliberations increased their understanding of the issues, and that they “learned a lot” from the process;

Gimpel et al., 2003; Larson & Parker, 1996; Niemi & Niemi, 2007, DEEP; 2000; The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) study of 90,000 students in 28 countries reported that an open classroom climate for discussion is a significant predictor of civic knowledge, support for democratic values, participation in political discussion, and political engagement (measured by whether young people say they will vote when they are legally able) (Torney-Purta, 2001).
3 4 5 6 7

Hibbing and Theise-Morse, 2002. Hahn, 1998. Harris, 1996; Hess & Posselt, 2002. e.g., Hess, 2009; Parker, 2003; Torney-Purta et al., 2001.

Gimpel, Celeste, & Schuknecht, 2003; Zukin, Keeter, Andolina, Jenkins, & Delli Carpini, 2006.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 137

Acronym Guide
AusAID – Australian Agency for International Development BLTP – Burundi Leadership Training Program CCD – Council for a Community of Democracies CD – Community of Democracies CEDAW – Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women CR – Children’s Rights CRF – Constitutional Rights Foundation CRFC – Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago CSO – civil society organization CVE – civic/voter educator DICE – Drama Improves Lisbon Key Competences in Education ECK – Electoral Commission of Kenya EDC – education for democratic citizenship EfD – education for democracy HRE – human rights education ICCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICESCR – International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Idasa – Institute for Democracy in Africa (South Africa) IED – Institute for Education in Democracy IGD – Institute for Governance and Development (Nepal) IPE – International Projects in Education (Switzerland) MoE – Ministry of Education MoNE – Ministry of National Education (Turkey) NGO – nongovernmental organization NIMD – Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy TIE – Theater in Education UDHR – Universal Declaration of Human Rights UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund USAID – United States Agency for International Development

138 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Organizations Working on Democracy Education
This list is by no means exhaustive but rather serves as a starting point for those interested in learning about democracy education around the world. The Academy of Political Education was founded in 1993 as non-profit, non-governmental organization to serve the society and aimed to assist in creation of the democratic society, respecting human rights and liberties, rule of law, and civil society. The primary objective of the Academy of Political Education of Mongolia is to support and strengthen civil society, rule of law and a democratic state which respects individual human rights and liberties. To achieve its goals the Academy is implementing the activities such as providing training and seminars, carrying out research, publishing periodicals, brochures and textbooks. Today the Academy has become one of the most capable Mongolian NGOs. The Academy is continually developing new programs and publications to meet Mongolia’s future needs. Mongolia’s 1990 democratic transition provided development opportunities based on principles of democracy, human rights, civil liberties, rule of law and civil society. The new Mongolian Constitution, adopted in 1992, guaranties freedom of assembly, speech, and press. Education of citizens about new democratic values has become extremely important issue. Acción para el Desarrollo conducts informal civic education workshops for leaders of neighborhood associations in underdeveloped neighborhoods in and around Caracas, Venezuela. Workshops focus on the themes of democratic values, the role of civil society and community organizations in democracy, how to negotiate and mediate local conflicts, the Bolivarian Constitution and the rights of Venezuelans, and how to address the violation of human rights. The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) is a regional nongovernmental organization based in The Gambia that promotes, in cooperation with other African and international institutions, the observance of human rights and democratic principles throughout Africa. Currently, the ACDHRS is in the process of developing a civic education training manual for teaching human rights in primary and secondary schools. The Albert Shanker Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to vibrant democracy, quality public education, a voice for working people in decisions affecting their jobs and their lives, and free and open debate about all of these issues. The Association for Civic Education (ASPEC), an independent nongovernmental organization based in Bucharest, is committed to the promotion of civic education and democratic values in Romania. ASPEC is in the process of initiating a nation-wide training program for 300 young civic and political activists. This educational program aims to encourage greater cooperation among a new generation of political and civic activists at the grassroots level in Romania. The Campaign Against Violent Events (CAVE) works towards the promotion of peace, the rule of law, and human rights in Sierra Leone. To teach the youth of Sierra Leone about democracy, CAVE maintains a program of civic education through theatre troupes, radio programs and roundtable discussions. In addition, CAVE provides human rights training for activists on issues of conflict resolution, good governance, human rights monitoring, and documentation.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 139

The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools works in the United States to expand and improve civic education in American schools and institutions of higher education. The Campaign cooperates with over 60+ coalition partners on advocacy and other projects. The Center for Civic Education is a nongovernmental organization in California that runs programs with the assistance of public and private sector partners. It interacts with the educational community in more than eighty countries, including many emerging democracies. The Center for Civic Education Indonesia (CCEI), in cooperation with the Indonesian National Ministry of Education, coordinates a program to make civic education a successful and sustainable part of Indonesian education reform. CCEI has engaged the services of 36 provincial coordinators from all twelve Indonesian provinces. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) is an organization based in the United States that promotes research on the civic and political engagement of Americans between the ages of 15 and 25. The Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives carries out a wide variety of projects relating to democratic curriculum development and teacher training. The Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives believes that for a genuine democratic transformation in Russia, schools must educate students about democratic philosophies and practices, and the Perm-based Center for Support of Democratic Youth Initiatives thus offers training in human rights education to teachers throughout the Perm oblast, develops and tests human rights curricula in local schools, and publishes teacher training guides and textbooks.

The Citizenship Forum (CF) is dedicated to promoting and institutionalizing democracy in Morocco. The Forum’s education on citizenship program involves the strengthening of 25 civic clubs inside schools throughout Morocco, promotes the importance of teachers who serve as project coordinators, and seeks to create three new civic clubs at the university level. The Citizenship Forum also publishes two editions of an Arabic newsletter called “Citizenship,” an educational publication that is widely distributed among CF’s network, which also serves to foster greater interest in the Forum’s educational programs. The Citizenship Foundation is an independent education and participation charity based in London. Founded in 1989, it focuses on developing young people’s citizenship skills and their knowledge and understanding of the law, democracy, and public life. It works nationally and internationally to: champion civic participation; support teachers, schools and colleges in the teaching of citizenship education; and help young people in community settings with issues which are important to them. The Citizenship Project and the US-based “You the PEOPLE” program are developing a civic education curriculum for Russian public schools and in the Republic of Karelia. The goal of the “You the PEOPLE” Program in Russia and Karelia is to make democratic skills and attitudes a way of life by using the latest teaching methods in newly democratic states. The program teaches civics and government through a variety of subject areas, from geography to physics. The Civic Education Partnership Initiative (CEPI) brings together partners from the US and Morocco to create significant impact on the teaching and learning of civic education in both countries. CEPI has experience in international civic

140 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

education, teacher education, curriculum development, education policy development, major program completion and in-country expertise. Civitas Senegal is a member of Civitas International, a global network of civic educators that aims at developing civic education among youth in schools and community settings. Civitas has developed Project Citizen, a curricular based civic education program in Senegal. Civitas Senegal conducted programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, ICRC (International Red Cross Committee, using Project Citizen in the “Exploring Humanitarian Law program”) and is presently developing a human rights education program with Sencirk a youth at risk education association. The Donetsk Human Rights School (DHRS) aims to assist in the reform of education and the establishment of institutions for civic education in Ukraine. The DHRS develops materials for civic education by providing programs of teacher training and curriculum development for secondary school teachers. In addition, the DHRS organizes a national conference for civic education specialists and a civic education training seminar; prepares a guide to civic education resources for faculty and students of pedagogical institutes; updates its courses on civic education for use in Ukrainian schools; and prepares and releases electronic versions of its teaching aids on CD-ROM. The Eastern Youths Democratic Forum (EYDF) is a nongovernmental, nonpartisan organization that promotes democracy in Eastern Nigeria. The EYDF provides civic education materials through each of its five offices and offers training to young people on the use of computers and the Internet to stimulate their educational development and awareness about democratic principles.

The Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to working for the oppressed laborers and marginalized people of Pakistan. The Foundation conducts a project called Democratic Development Pakistan that provides education and training for the promotion and expansion of democratic ideas in Pakistan, in addition to its Campaign for a Peaceful Pakistan, a project for establishing peace. The Foundation also provides education and training to students, youth, lawyers, journalists and civil society organizations, and works to increase awareness about the rights of working women in Pakistan. The Educational Society of Malopolska (MTO) promotes civic education and activism at the grassroots level in nine regions of the Balkans. The MTO organizes five training workshops and site visits in Poland and in the Balkans for local activists from the region. These workshops assist in the creation of 20 new parent-teacher NGOs and support of its network in rural towns in Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Croatia. In addition, the MTO has created a small grants program to encourage local civic education programs, with a focus on inter-ethnic projects. Facing History and Ourselves is an international, nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to promote democratic citizenship by providing curriculum and strategies for teachers, students and communities. By illuminating common themes of justice, law and morality in past and present, Facing History teaches a framework and a vocabulary for examining the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship, whether in a school, community or the wider society. First Amendment Schools: Educating for Freedom and Responsibility is a national reform initiative designed to transform how schools

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 141

model and teach the rights and responsibilities of citizenship that frame civic life in the US. To achieve this goal, the First Amendment Schools (FAS) project serves as a national resource for all schools interested in affirming First Amendment principles and putting them into action in their school communities. The FAS project is designed to help schools create the types of environments that allow all members of the community to understand what it means to be an active, civically engaged citizen. The Forum for Education and Democracy engages with the public education system in order to solve issues of social justice through encouraging greater citizen participation in the United States. The mission of the Forum is to create a system in which students build connections to their communities. The Foundation for Education for Democracy (FED), a nonpartisan, independent NGO based in Warsaw, works towards the advancement and dissemination of democratic ideas by helping organizations develop the skills needed to advance their countries’ democratic transitions. FED conducts civic education, leadership, and NGO development workshops designed to create core groups of indigenous civic educators so that they may teach their countries’ citizens about the rights and responsibilities of living in a democracy. Since its establishment in 1958, the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) is active at home and abroad. The work of the Foundation is based on the political philosophy of classical liberalism. Its international engagement is part of the Federal Republic of Germany’s foreign development program. The Foundation has close ties to the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). The fundamental values of the FNF are freedom and responsibility, human dignity and peace. The Foundation has

seven regional and 44 project offices in more than 60 project countries. The Generation for the Integrity of Lebanon (GIL), a nonprofit youth organization, works to promote human rights, pluralism, democracy, and youth participation in civic activities. GIL believes that the most likely avenue for genuine civic participation that transcends sectarian affiliations is among the youth. Thus, GIL conducts youth training workshops at the grassroots level that includes lectures, discussions, debates, educational games, role playing and multi-media materials. As a result of the project, GIL publishes a book that includes the training materials, discussions, and names of participants, and that serves as a permanent reference on the issue. GIL publicizes and distributes the book to the wider community (parliamentarians, journalists, NGOs, decision makers in political parties, university professors, etc.) and uses it as a reference in the design of future civic education activities. GONG is a nongovernmental organization based in Zagreb that carries out a civic education program entitled, “I Vote for the First Time.” The main objective of the program is to inform high school students who are approaching voting age about their role as citizens in a democracy and the importance of participating in elections. The program consists of workshops addressing topics such as an overview of Croatia’s political and electoral system; the basic elements of the country’s electoral laws at the national and local level; efforts that are being undertaken to amend and improve these laws; the fundamental rights of the voter; and information on how citizens can get involved in the political process. Nancy Flowers, is a founder of Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA), a national network dedicated to building a culture of respect for human rights. Established in 2012, HRE USA facilitates

142 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

collaboration to integrate human rights education (HRE) into formal and non-formal educational settings; advocate for the inclusion of HRE in education policies, standards, curricula, and pedagogy; provide teacher-training programs and HRE resources; and contribute to global scholarship on HRE. For more information see Idasa, the most prominent independent democracy institute in Africa, closed in March 2013 after more than 25 years of path-breaking democracy-building work across the continent. Founded in 1987, Idasa played a significant role in South Africa’s transition to democracy, facilitating the first major conversations between the white political establishment and the exiled liberation movements. Following South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, Idasa’s mission expanded to help build democratic societies in Africa. Democracy education constituted a key part of this work, gradually evolving beyond basic civic literacy to include grassroots leadership training and the creation of informal schools for democracy to nurture agency and a sense of democratic possibility among citizens. The Information Centre on Human Rights Education in Belarus works on the local, state, and international levels to advance democracy and improve civic participation of the Belarusian people in building a new democratic society. The Centre conducts peer education training programs on children’s rights and civic responsibilities for students and civic activists and publishes online materials on school self-government systems in countries in transition. The Institute for Democracy Education – Ghana (IDE-Ghana) is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit and public policy oriented organization that is dedicated to the promotion of democracy education and good governance in Ghana

and beyond. IDE-Ghana’s vision is to become a leading think tank in the promotion of democracy education and good governance. The mission of IDE-Ghana is to enhance the knowledge of citizens about democratic principles and values in order to advance democracy and good governance in Ghana and beyond. Over the last 20 years, the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) has become synonymous with democracy and good governance, and particularly elections, as it is the premiere organization working in the areas of democratic governance and electoral processes in Kenya. As a non-governmental and non-partisan organization, IED enjoys a unique position, being one of the very few civil society organizations (CSOs) with a strategic niche in democratic governance, elections and electoral observation. Since inception in 1993, IED’s work has focused on promoting democratic, peaceful and credible elections and referenda in Kenya and the Africa region through strengthening electoral administration, management, institutions and infrastructure, and support towards electoral reforms. Institute for Governance and Development (IGD) is an independent civil society organization in Nepal committed to enhancing the capacity of both the citizens and public sphere institutions to engage together to build a just and democratic society through appropriate institutional and procedural choices and behaviors. It strives for achievement of equity, justice, inclusion and transformation with a preponderant focus on citizen participation and empowerment with a view to contribute towards deepening democracy, strengthening participatory governance and progressive realization of justice for peace and positive transformation of the society. Since 1987, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has worked in over 135

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 143

countries, and promotes the participation of youth as engaged citizens in an increasingly globalized world. IFES’ work with youth focuses on the inclusion, leadership and public service of young people through programming implemented in an interactive, targeted manner designed to fit local contexts. IFES has found that youth civic education programming is crucial to a country’s democratic health; a culture of democracy exists only when citizens are informed about democratic principles and translate that knowledge to action through community service and leadership. In a number of countries, IFES has developed formal civic education curricula at secondary-, and tertiary-levels. Informal civic education programs are also a key component of IFES’ portfolio in this area. By engaging young people outside of the classroom they have a greater opportunity to contribute to the design of the program, thus transforming youth from passive recipients of development programming to dynamic agents for change in their communities. The center for International Projects in Education (IPE) offers education-oriented services to governmental and non-governmental institutions in developing and transforming countries. IPE concentrates on the areas of school and democracy; teaching and learning; and governance, and it contributes to democracy promotion and the fight against poverty. The aim of IPE is capacity building abroad as well as at home at the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich). The knowledge of PH Zurich experts makes an important contribution to the education projects of IPE. The international exchange arising from projects enables lecturers of the PH Zurich to deepen their knowledge in national as well as international contexts. The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) is an independent, non-partisan research institute whose objective is to play an important role in placing

democracy and civic studies higher up on the agenda of the education system. IDI runs pilot programs throughout Israel that aim to deepen and expand the education for democracy. The IDI also produces three booklets, including a multi-stage educational curriculum on democratic principles and a guide for civics teachers to equip them with background materials relevant to civic education as well as the “Constitution by Consensus” project. Kerekasztal Színház’s (Round Table Theatre) mission is to give people the opportunity to explore and understand the most relevant questions of our time through artistic work. Most importantly, they are improving active democracy and social responsibility. In this mission, the focus is on the Theatre in Education program. TIE programs are offered for youth from ages six to 18. Kerekasztal Színház believes that youth is the future. Osnovna šola Gornja Radgona, Slovenia, is the only primary school in a little town (3200 inhabitants) by the Austrian border (520 pupils from 6 – 15 and 70 teachers). The school plays an active role in the local community by organizing various extracurricular activities and events and promotes environmental awareness, intercultural values and human rights. Our pupils take part in the School Children’s Parliament and in the Students’ Council where their class representatives can express their opinion of school politics and actively participate in decision making of school process. Four years ago, a local school for children with special needs and handicapped children moved into our school building. They have been integrated in our school life equally and the relationship among the children has largely improved in accepting differences. The Pontis Foundation, a Slovakia-based civil society organization, works to transform and strengthen democracy in Slovak society. Pontis orga-

144 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

nizes a citizen education program during national elections to encourage citizen participation in the public policy process. Presencia Foundation is a non-profit nongovernmental organization that works in pursue of a greater social welfare by strengthening the exercise of a competent, active and supportive citizenry. The Foundation has concentrated its efforts in the making and implementation of programs and pedagogical materials for the democratic formation of children, youth, and the community in general, strengthening the formation of honest and respectful citizens. St. Petersburg Institute of Law named after Prince P .G. Oldenburgsky is one of the first Russian non-governmental law schools, founded in 1992 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today the Institute is the resource and training center in the areas of clinical legal education, professional development of lawyers and trainers. The Institute is also a center for civic education, national partner of the RussianAmerican program Civitas-Russia. Since 1996, the Institute is implementing the Living Law/Street Law project, providing a wide range of activities in law-related, citizen, human rights, and democracy education.  Street Law, Inc. creates classroom and community programs that teach people about law, democracy, and human rights worldwide. Our accessible, engaging, and interactive programs empower students and communities to become active, legally-savvy contributors to society. Most of our efforts are focused on providing teachers, law students, lawyers, and other volunteers with the curricula, resources, and support they need to become effective Street Law educators—enabling us to expand our reach nationwide and globally. Street Law participants benefit from “real life” lessons

and insights, which they can use to effect positive change for the rest of their lives. Via Education is a non-profit organization based in Mexico, and its mission is to generate opportunities for sustainable social development through the design, implementation, and evaluation of educational strategies. This mission is fulfilled through four main research areas: quality education, education for democratic citizenship, education policy, and social responsibility. Its primary focus has been the strengthening of quality education and life opportunities for children in underprivileged conditions, particularly in the field of education for democratic citizenship. Visible Congress - Visible Candidates of the Department of Political Science at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, is working on a project called “Visible School Governments” to foster change in the civic behavior of youth, improve the quality of student representation, and generate awareness about the importance of permanent communication between the people and its representatives. Through this civic education project, Visible Congress - Visible Candidates hopes to foster a certain sense of belonging and civic participation that can strengthen the democratic culture of Colombia.

Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education 145

UN Resolution on Education for Democracy

Co-sponsored by: Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, United States of America and Uruguay
The General Assembly, Reaffirming the Charter of the United Nations, including the principles and purposes contained therein, and recognizing that human rights, the rule of law and democracy are interlinked and mutually reinforcing and that they belong to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations, Reaffirming also the right of everyone to education, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and in other relevant instruments, Recalling the plan of action for the second phase (2010-2014) of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, Reaffirming that democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of the people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives, Recalling the United Nations Millennium Declaration wherein the Member States committed themselves to sparing no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, and resolved to respect fully and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to strive for the full protection and promotion in all countries of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all and to strengthen the capacity of all countries to implement the principles and practices of democracy and respect for human rights, including minority rights, Recognizing that while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy and that it does not belong to any country or region, Mindful of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights, the World Plan of Action on Education for Human Rights and Democracy adopted by the International Congress on Education for Human Rights and Democracy, the World Programme for Human Rights Education proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 59/113 A of 10 December 2004 and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, Recalling with appreciation the establishment of the United Nations Democracy Fund and the efforts of the Fund to advance the United Nations democracy agenda as well as the operational activities in support of democratization processes carried out by the United Nations system, including by the Department of Political Affairs of the Secretariat, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme, Acknowledging the role of international, regional and other intergovernmental organizations in support of democracy, Recognizing that education is key to the strengthening of democratic institutions, the realization of human rights and the achievement of all international development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, the development of human potential, poverty alleviation and the fostering of greater understanding among peoples, 1. Reaffirms the fundamental link between democratic governance, peace, development and the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are interdependent and mutually reinforcing; 2. Takes note of the Education First initiative launched by the SecretaryGeneral on 26 September 2012, in particular its third priority area, “fostering global citizenship”; 3. Encourages the Secretary-General, United Nations agencies such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and other relevant stakeholders to strengthen their efforts to promote the values of peace, human rights, democracy, respect for religious and cultural diversity and justice through education; 4. Strongly encourages Member States to integrate education for democracy, along with civic education and human rights education, into national education standards and to develop and strengthen national and subnational programmes, curricula and curricular and extracurricular educational activities aimed at the promotion and consolidation of democratic values and democratic governance and human rights, taking into account innovative approaches and best practices in the field, in order to facilitate citizens’ empowerment and participation in political life and policymaking at all levels; 5. Invites United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, including the United Nations Democracy Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to provide appropriate expertise and resources for the development of relevant educational programmes and materials for democracy; 6. Encourages international, regional and other intergovernmental organizations, within their respective mandates, to share their best experiences and practices in the field of education for democracy, including but not limited to civic education, with each other and with the United Nations system, as appropriate; 7. Invites the Special Rapporteur on the right to education to seek, in close cooperation with Member States, the views of Governments, United Nations agencies and programmes, civil society and other relevant United Nations mandate holders in order that he may include in his next report to the General Assembly at the sixty-ninth session an update on the efforts of Member States in the field of education for democracy; 8. Decides to continue its consideration of the issue of education for democracy at its sixty-ninth session, under the agenda item entitled “Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields”; 9. Invites Governments, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to intensify their efforts to promote education for democracy, and requests the Secretary-General, within existing reporting obligations, to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

146 Best Practices Manual on Democracy Education

Sponsor Documents

Or use your account on


Forgot your password?

Or register your new account on


Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Back to log-in