Background and current status

Background and current status

We understand that the overall purpose of the Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) Framework is to foster a critical, active and democratic citizenship at times of “economic and political crisis” when it is “more evident that citizens should be able and willing to engage actively in defense of these values and principles” (Council of Europe, 2018 p. 13).

As such, we take as starting points:  

a. Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) need to respond to multiple problems that coexist in this contemporary crisis (BBC, 2017; Eurobarometer, 2018; UN, n.d): rise of extreme-right nationalism, xenophobic and racist attitudes (Leiviskä, 2018); the presence of uncriticality, irresponsibility and ‘hate’ in the digital space (Runciman, 2018); high levels of frustration, alienation, and cynicism toward conventional politics, particularly among marginalized young people (Sant & Davies, 2018) and a crisis of democratic faith (Asmonti, 2013, p. 143).  

b. Teachers are essential to promote a Democratic Culture and yet we know little about whether or not teacher education prepares future teachers to consider the democratic culture dimension in their practices and how this could be done (Schulz et al 2018).  

In light of these challenges, EDCD-TEP will examine and make practical recommendations on how a democratic culture dimension responding to this contemporary crisis could be embedded in primary teacher education programmes. Our overall purpose is to develop a framework for teacher education so pre-service teachers learn how to better educate citizens who value and respect diversity and human rights, who can critically response to the challenges of the digital space, and, who are willing to actively participate to promote democracy and social justice. 

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