Newsletter on Human Rights Education
and Education for Democracy

Year 1, issue 3 (20 February 2004)
Published by the DARE network
for its members and contacts

Table of content

0. Editorial
1. News from the board
2. Fiatalok a Vidékért Egyesület – FIVE
3. Interview with Corina Leca (CRED, Romania)
4. Norway: Operation Day
5. ‘Let us plant trees together - for our children's sake and for our own…!'
6. Announcement of workshop
7. The next seminar: Budapest (Hungary), 21-25 April 2004
8. Useful websites and links
9. Your contributions to e-DARE


0. Editorial

For this third issue of e-DARE we are very happy to have received so many interesting contributions, from all over Europe. It shows there is a real interest in communicating and exchanging on human rights education and democratic citizenship education.


1. News from the board

Hannelore Chiout had a meeting in February with representatives of German federal organisations of civic and political education about the DARE-network, its aims and objectives and activities, also with representatives of the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Women, Youth and Senior People. A meeting with Martin Schulz, member of the European Parliament, at the end of January opened new perspectives for a future cooperation in questions of HRE and EDC with European parliamentarians.

Hannelore Chiout, chair, chiout@adbildungsstaetten.de


2. Fiatalok a Vidékért Egyesület – FIVE
(Youth for Rural Areas Association), Hungary
(Note from the editor: Youth for Rural Areas is the host organisation for the next seminar for DARE members, on the subject of ICT, taking place in Budapest, Hungary, from 22 to 24 April 04. 21st April is the arrival day, and 25th departure).

The name of our organisation indicates that the target groups consist of different sectors of the rural population. We are located in Göd, a small town by the river Danube and near Budapest. Most members of the association are volunteers.
The mission of Youth for Rural Areas Association (FIVE) is twofold: on the one hand the informal and non-formal education of young people in rural areas and of voluntary youth workers - and, on the other, education in connection with youth initiatives.
On FIVE’s main mission, the informal and non-formal education of both rural young people aged between 16 and 28 years old and youth workers, the association has in recent years managed several tendering and project management courses for both target groups. Our staff implemented further training sessions also with a view to providing useful information, ideas and model youth initiatives for young people. Our aim is to motivate training participants to organise and carry out new rural initiatives or projects. The voluntary staff of the association has also produced a ca. 100-page booklet about tendering and project management for those who have no knowledge and experience in these topics, i.e. mostly young people and civil activists.

FIVE takes part in the European Voluntary Service programme, through which over the last few years we have continually sent volunteers to various parts of Europe as well as hosting volunteers. After completing their EVS project, our former EVS volunteers usually become activists within our organisation.
We publish a weekly e-mail newsletter (Hetedhét Európa – something like All Across Europe) for young people of the rural areas of Hungary. It contains weekly information re EVS vacancies in Europe - and other short features on FIVE projects of FIVE.
In 2004 we started to establish a new European partnership within the Leonardo da Vinci programme. ‘Education of Youthworkers in Europe Seeing Hosting Organisation’s Innovative Talent – EYESHOT’ is a mobility project for Hungarian youth workers participating in vocational training in different European countries. They exchange information, knowhow and innovative methods; and learn about:

Within the DARE network, FIVE is providing and organising one seminar and one meeting of working group 2; is participating in and contributing to working group 2 and follow-up activities; and contributes to newsletters, publications and the website.

Béla Mokos, Youth for Rural Areas, mokos@vodafone.hu


3. Interview with Corina Leca (CRED, Romania)

Corina, what title or name would you like to give to the educational practice or experience you want to present here?
I would like to call it: ‘Individual reflection in a small learning community’. It can be considered as a method for the professional development of teachers, based on a specific algorithm of reflection. We applied this method to a group of thirteen teachers (they were the pilot group).

What are the aims and objectives of this approach?
This method aims to develop the critical thinking and writing skills of participating teachers, and to improve their teaching and assessment competences. It also aims at motivating participants to share their class experiences for their own and their learning community’s benefit. Another objective is to offer a concrete experience on how so-called meta-cognition (reflection upon an experience or a process in which one participated) can substantively increase the quality of that product and of the self-trust of the practitioner as well. In short: it leads to a sustainable development.. Another (indirect) objective is to improve the learning results in civics on the part of the students.

Can you describe the method?
I started by presenting to the group two schemes of reflection, individual- and group-based, as used by some US teachers; and gave them some very substantial materials (including a sample of individual reflection based on a very simple fact). I used some articles from Educational Leadership (http://www.ascd.org/cms/index.cfm?TheViewID=353), 1999 and 2002 and I translated for them the algorithm used by S. Hole and G. Hall McEntee (http://www.ascd.org/publications/ed_lead/199905/hole.html).
The thirteen teachers surveyed their professional experience - and after one month each member of the group presented his/her professional reflection according to the following sequence:

  • factual description of the event (a mere narration of what happened, no analysis or interpretation);,
  • why that event took place (the whole context of the event has to be analysed, subsequent questions will come out);,
  • what might it mean? (looking for meanings lying behind each aspect of the event);
  • what is its relevance for one’s future practice? (this is the explicit learning - what that event taught that person, what he/she has to do in the future).

The group analysed the accuracy of reflection (did it comply with each requirement?) and acknowledged how difficult it was to separate the facts, the causes, the meaning and the consequences and, at the same time, how necessary such accuracy was for an effective performance.
Each member filled in their diary, which was a part of the pilot project; their main observations regarding the event (the learning flowing from the event); and the reflection exercise (an assessment of his/her analytical skills).

Why do you consider this ‘good practice’?
The method “just” puts in order some very common thinking practices. The logic of sequence naturally links the past, the present and the future and this really motivates the participant to work through it. Another advantage is that the algorithm can be applied to a variety of circumstances, and this happened to our group.

What difficulties could one expect in applying the method?
If this approach is new for the participants, the sequences can be confused. The facilitator has to concentrate on keeping everybody on the right track. Crucial for its success is also to work with concrete class or teaching experiences, and indeed to write down the experience rather than just orally telling and analysing.

Can you tell us something about the results of this practice?
It is a bit early to get a broad view on them, but some of the teachers successfully applied it already to their middle and secondary school students.

Corina Leca, CRED, corinaleca222@hotmail.com


4. Norway: Operation Day
Nationwide pupil solidarity project

The student participation programme known as Operation Day in Norway (OD for short) began as a spontaneous initiative in 1964. At a gathering in the student council, the initiator proposed that young people should not only concern themselves with their own conditions at home when there were countries and regions in the world lacking the facilities for proper schooling. The proceeds from the first initiative were devoted to replacing school buildings after the war in Algeria.

It is Norway's largest solidarity programme for youth; and, with two exceptions, there has been one initiative every year.

Operation Day has its own organisation at national, regional and school level. It has its own web-page (http://www.od.no/?pid=1&sid=1) where the different projects are also listed. It involves every year more than 800 lower and upper secondary schools - and about 180,000 pupils between the ages of 15 and 18, 120.000 of whom take part in fund-raising for projects voted by the student bodies at school and regional level. Only schools proposing to take part in the initiative action may vote on the following year's projects.

The aim is to involve students and raise awareness on global issues in countries in Africa, Asia and Latin-America - and for them to give a day of their education to show solidarity with students in these countries. The wages they receive and the funds raised from the sale of cakes, coffee etc. are given to the project selected. Each year around 3 million euro is raised. In 2003 the proceeds went towards supporting schooling in Sri Lanka.
The aim is not to create a negative picture of conditions in these countries in need. Rather the focus is on culture, what we can learn from each other, having common goals and recognising that problems in the developing world cannot be solved by charity alone but by people here in the north becoming aware and changing our attitudes.

Operation Day consists of two pillars: International Week culminating in Operation Day itself. This takes place on UN Day or 23rd October each year. International Week aims at providing information on international questions and more specifically on the project for which the funds are being raised. The OD administration and NGOs provide information materials to schools taking part in the project, thus contributing to cultural understanding and international awareness. This project can serve as an example of good practice for raising awareness, creating a sense of solidarity and for practical knowledge of democracy. It does not have to be implemented on a large scale nationwide basis, but can equally well be done at local or even classroom level - for example in civics education.

John Christian Christiansen, Norwegian Board of Education, John.Christian.Christiansen@ls.no


5. ‘Let us plant trees together - for our children's sake and for our own…!'

The following is taken from a very recent issue of an Albanian newspaper, as I wanted to start this article with a topical, dramatic incident. I present below very briefly what happened:
Feb 2nd: A 17-year old prisoner was sent to hospital, (having complained of feeling ill). After one hour there, he had taken the gun of the policeman guarding him, had opened fire on him and another policeman, and had run away.
Feb 3rd: The killer was arrested, the police finding him at home in his village.
I’m shall not comment on the balance of events; but three people died. I just wanted to bring some detail into the story. The teenager had been arrested one month earlier, accused of killing someone. His parents had complained at the police station, maintaining that the young man was insane and had never shown any signs of aggression. They had asked to visit him in hospital.

Feb 4th: "If we could have visited him under medical supervision, all this would not have happened", declared the teenager’s father.
In her press interview, given the day after her son died, the mother reported that he had been arrested during the morning (of Feb 3rd).
Two details:
- "They (the police) accused us of fudging - and asked us for money in order that my son might be set free;
- The police came last night and took my husband from his bed, accusing him of collaboration… I told them they had taken my son…we knew nothing about it.

One can’t comment within a one-page article, why this tragedy? and what about HR in my country? - so instead I shall just quote the headlines from the front page of the newspaper1 in question:

Date: Feb 4th:
- Prisoner kills two policemen and escapes;
-Director of Coca-Cola: how I was threatened for paying 200 thousand euros;
-Ex-prime minister: $2 md in drugs had been circulated for 2003 (throughout Albania);
-Quarrel over girl, deputy's son and one other wounded;
-Always there, when there are people in difficulties…

I can't help but highlight another dramatic news item (Feb 4th): Father kills 21- year old daughter: back home after missing for 3 days.
The mentality: The girl had dishonoured the family - and so had "deserved" the punishment.
What's more: it’s not the first case lately of an "honour killing" in this part of Albania.

I’m not quite sure whether this will help you understand something about everyday life in my country…

Anyway, I can tell you that ACHR (Albanian Centre for Human Rights) has concluded the first phase of its work and has entered the second.
End of the first phase was marked by the publication, by New Tactics in Human Rights of a tactical notebook entitled 'Educating the next generation: incorporating HRE in the public school system' - by Kozara Kati, Robert Gjedia, edited by Liam Mahony-2003. (Publisher: The Centre for Victims of Torture)

What is this book2?
To explain this I shall just quote Kate Kelsch, p4 of the book:
“…Each notebook contains detailed information on how the author(s) and his/her organisation achieved what they did. …In this notebook we learn about utilising political opportunities to establish a partnership with government and turn an ambitious vision into reality. ACHR successfully collaborated with the Albanian Ministry of Education to bring HRE into all public schools in the country. They took advantage of the post-communist transition period to negotiate with new government officials to launch a long-term process in which they would prepare Albanian citizens for full participation in democracy. They focused on the next generation - the children. Coming from a political context in which policies were decided and enacted at national level, they were able to create a vision encompassing the entire education system and achieve a nationwide impact.”

Taking advantage of writing from a country like mine, I shall offer just one further quotation (Tactical Notebook 2; Editor’s preface-page 6):
“Many HR organisations resist the idea of working with government, as they fear being manipulated and co-opted. ACHR’s experience shows that, at least with some governments, this resistance may come at a cost of making a significant impact on society”

Finally, I said that ACHR had entered its second phase. What is the new ambitious vision for ACHR? It could be summarised in one line:
‘Let us plant trees together - for our children's sake and for our own…!'

1 ‘Shekulli’ – Albanian daily newspaper. References: ‘Shekulli’ -date: Jan 2, 3, 4th, 2004
2 The Tactical Notebook series, available online at: www.newtactics.org.

Kozara Kati, Albanian Center for Human Rights, qshdnj@albaniaonline.net


6. Announcement of workshop: ‘Working in heterogeneous classrooms using Complex Instructions (CI) in Human Rights Education’
Budapest, 25-28 June 2004.

Target group: teachers, educators, trainers.
Location: Budapest.
Deadline for registration: 31 March 2004. Maximum: 20 persons.
Methodology: complex instruction
The Foundation for Human Rights and Peace Education is launching a four-day workshop in Hungary for those who are interested in human rights education and a cooperative teaching-learning strategy: Complex Instructions (CI) developed by the Stanford University, School of Education experts Elisabeth Cohen and Rachel Lotan. CI is a excellent interactive tool for working in depth with human rights issues in small groups. It includes such elements as: status intervention, building upon the diverse skills of the students, the role of the teacher as facilitator, designing CI units.
Participants number is limited: 20 persons
Working language: English
Participation fee: 110 Euro
Hotel rooms are available based on request: 40-50 euro/night single room; 60-65 euro double room

Contact and trainers;
Eva B Nagy, Director of the Foundation of Human Rights and Peace Education: dunaalmas@hotmail.com Tel: 0036 30 389 50 46
Aniko Kaposvari, Trainer: ankohu@yahoo.com Tel: 0043 699 12 67 33 21

7. The next DARE seminar: Budapest (Hungary), 21-25 April 04

Invited: the DARE members

Practicalities of the seminar:

Seminar theme: ICT (information- and communication technologies) in EDC and HRE

The meetings will take place in the Central European University Conference Centre (and thus not in the European Youth Centre Budapest).

A formal invitation (one person per member organisation) and a draft program will be sent out later.

Travel costs, hotel costs and meals for the DARE members are, with certain restrictions, covered by the Grundtvig project. For members from countries who don't belong to the EU Socrates programme, the DARE board hopes to find a solution allowing them to participate at the same conditions. More details about this seminar will be sent as soon as they are available.


8. Useful websites and links

European area of lifelong learning: http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/cha/c11054.htm

Teaching remembrance - Education for the prevention of crimes against Humanity

European teacher training seminars (Council of Europe); programme for 1st half of 2004:
http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural%5FCo%2Doperation/Education/Teacher%5Ftraining/Courses_and_seminars/ca_rListe%20chrono.asp#TopOfPage and http://www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural%5FCo%2Doperation/Education/Teacher%5Ftraining/Courses_and_seminars/ca_qDGIV%20EDU%20INSET%20PROG%202004%201.asp#TopOfPage
Commission on Human Rights – provisional agenda of the sixtieth session, 19 January and 15 March-23 April 2004, Promotion and protection of human rights. c) Information and education;

Report of the sub-commission on the promotion and protection of Human Rights, 55th session, Geneva, 28 July-15 August 2003, Rapporteur: Mr. Stanislav Ogurtsov:

UNESCO Human Rights Education webpage

Wim Taelman, VORMEN (Flemish Organisation for Human Rights Education), wim.taelman@vormen.org


9. Your contributions to e-DARE

DARE members can submit short articles for eventual publication in e-DARE. As it is foreseen that the next issue of e-DARE be sent out at about 20 April, we invite you to send in your text at latest on 6 April.


This newsletter is edited by DARE, Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe network

Editor Wim Taelman.
DARE, c/o VORMEN vzw
Lange Gasthuisstraat 29
B-2000 Antwerp (Belgium)

Contributions for this newsletter can be sent to: wim.taelman@vormen.org

DARE correspondence address:

Hannelore CHIOUT
DARE network chairperson
Mühlendamm 3
D-10178 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: 00-49-30-400 401 17
Fax: 00-49-30-400 401 22
E-mail: chiout@adbildungsstaetten.de
Url: www.dare-network.org
DARE members can subscribe to this newsletter by sending additional e-mail addresses to wim.taelman@vormen.org
If you want to unsubscribe, send a message containing your e-mail address to wim.taelman@vormen.org.