My last letter I finished by expressing hope that the DARE Network will get a second grant from GRUNDTVIG for the coming three years. Now we have the pleasure to inform you of the approval of DARE's proposal. Starting in October 2007 till the end of September 2010 - following a defined work plan - all major activities of the network have a financial basis. There will be a lot of challenging work for the 16 participating organizations of the proposal, but they and all members will benefit as well. It is a great step ahead to raise the profile of the DARE network across Europe and to strive for recognition of the diversity of approaches in education for democratic citizenship and human rights.
The approval of the GRUNDTVIG-project offers me the opportunity for some personal remarks in the e-DARE. First of all I want to introduce the new and young coordinator for the project: Georg Pirker from the coordinating DARE-member AdB (Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungsstätten. He started his work a few months ago with a lot of enthusiasm and a remarkable experience in international cooperation.
It gives me also the opportunity to say good bye to the DARE community and all friends and colleagues close to education for democracy and human rights. Being still involved in a number of projects after my retirement in May 2007, at the launching meeting of the DARE-project in December 2007 in Berlin, linked with the elections for the DARE-board, also my time as chairperson of DARE will come to an end. Looking back to 5 years of networking, starting with the meeting of the 'founding fathers and mothers' of DARE at the Sonnenberg mountains, these years have been a very specific, enriching, inspiring experience and I want to thank all colleagues who not only shared with me the outstanding experience of building a network of education across nations but also the vision of a democratic civil society standing for solidarity and human rights.
The new period also means to say farewell to Katrin Wolf, and to thank her for the tremendous efforts in building up the DARE-network. She has been the heart of communication within DARE during the last three years. In September she took over a new position in an international foundation.
The new grant gives planning a more concrete dimension. There are three steps in the near future your active commitment is needed:
1. The launching meeting for the Grundtvig-project takes place from 7-10 December 2007 in Berlin. All members are invited to join and to use the opportunity to get detailed information and to have a voice in DARE's policies for the coming years.
2. We remind you of the opportunity to participate in the SAD's, the 'Synchronised Action Days'. As already mentioned in the last e-DARE this years' SAD's are planned for the first time around Human Rights Day at 10 December 2007 (+/- 5 days). DARE will publish on the website a collection of educational examples on human rights taking place in member organizations within these days. We are confident that a number of DARE-members plan activities within their regular schedule. The initiative shall raise the recognition and profile of individual DARE- members as well as of the network. It shall give an idea of DARE's contribution to the Human Rights Day 2007, emphasizing the diversity of approaches and the range of dissemination.
3. One of the main needs identified by the last General Assembly of DARE in June 2007 in Sofia was a future active enlargement-policy of the DARE-network. Although the DARE-network at present has 36 members in 26 countries there are still representatives of EDC and HRE missing from several European countries, e.g. France, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Finland. We invite active organizations from outside reading this newsletter to benefit from cooperation and the exchange of experience by becoming part of our Europe wide network.
Hoping to meet you in Berlin!
In the political arena, the term diversity (or diverse) is used to describe political entities (neighbourhoods, cities, nations, student bodies, etc.) with members who have identifiable differences (racial, religious, generational, etc.) in their backgrounds or lifestyles. Political creeds which support the idea that diversity is valuable and desirable hold that recognising and promoting these diverse cultures may aid communication between people of different backgrounds and lifestyles, leading to greater knowledge, understanding, and peaceful coexistence.
Diversity frequently encompasses differences in racial or ethnic classifications, age, gender, religion, philosophy, physical abilities, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, intelligence, mental health, physical health, genetic attributes, behaviour, attractiveness, cultural values and politics.
Cultural Diversity - n. Ethnic, gender, racial, and socioeconomic variety in a situation, institution, or group; the coexistence of different ethnic, gender, racial, and socioeconomic groups within one social unit.
Article 1 - Cultural diversity: the common heritage of humanity
Culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.
Article 4 - Human rights as guarantees of cultural diversity
The defence of cultural diversity is an ethical imperative, inseparable from respect for human dignity. It implies a commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the rights of persons belonging to minorities and those of indigenous peoples. No one may invoke cultural diversity to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor to limit their scope.
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 3 to 21 October 2005 at its 33rd session,
Affirming that cultural diversity is a defining characteristic of humanity,
Conscious that cultural diversity forms a common heritage of humanity and should be cherished and preserved for the benefit of all,
Recalling that cultural diversity, flourishing within a framework of democracy, tolerance, social justice and mutual respect between peoples and cultures, is indispensable for peace and security at the local, national and international levels,
Celebrating the importance of cultural diversity for the full realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other universally recognized instruments,
Cultural diversity refers to the manifold ways in which the cultures of groups and societies find expression. These expressions are passed on within and among groups and societies.
Cultural diversity is made manifest not only through the varied ways in which the cultural heritage of humanity is expressed, augmented and transmitted through the variety of cultural expressions, but also through diverse modes of artistic creation, production, dissemination, distribution and enjoyment, whatever the means and technologies used.
From Council of Europe, Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on cultural diversity:
Cultural diversity is expressed in the co-existence and exchange of culturally different practices and in the provision and consumption of culturally different services and products.
"Diversity refers to human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong; but that are manifested in other individuals and groups. Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, work experience, and job classification.
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. _It means understanding that each individual is unique, _and recognising our individual differences. These can be along _the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, _political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration _of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. _It is about understanding each other and moving beyond _simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the _rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
The evaluation workshop of the challenging project Quality Assurance of EDC in Schools of Dimbovita County took place in Tirgoviste 22nd-23rd September. The 32 participants coming from five primary and secondary schools presented/shared with each other the main products of the project: the evaluation report on EDC for each school, the EDC policy and school development planning. Representatives of the local school inspectorate, Institute for Educational Sciences (ISE) and National Agency for Quality Assurance in Schools (ARACIP) in Bucharest participated, too.
According to both teachers' and coordinators' opinions the workshop was very successful thanks to the huge amount of work performed by everybody in the last part of the project. In spite of the unanimous happiness and gratitude, the trainers/facilitators of the project believe that this kind of whole school approach project has to be thoroughly analysed in order to secure for real sustainable development of EDC in the given schools.
The main conclusion drawn by the project team is that this project needs at least one more year in order to make a difference in how quality should be conceived by the participating schools. Teachers were reactive rather than proactive. They neither developed specific EDC quality indicators nor drew conclusions for the evaluation reports. They simply identified the relevant EDC aspects in the evaluation framework prepared by the team. Or they stated very general things (no causes, no people responsible for the flaws) after they had described various EDC dimensions in their tool-based reports. All the school teams are rather unhappy with how they related to the rest of the school staff. Most of the participating teachers feel that they did not succeed in motivating their colleagues to fill in the evaluation forms responsibly or get involved in more specific EDC/HRE activities. They realized how complex and difficult quality assurance is. They understood that one could not tick an item/criterion/etc. regarding EDC quality without proving its existence. They admitted they do many things without paying attention to the processes and this project challenges them to become aware of both the process and outcomes of their daily activity.
As far as the achievements of the current project are concerned, we can state that the teachers:
Nevertheless the four trainer-facilitators people believe that many of the participating teachers made huge efforts to break down some of their professional and private barriers. Still they:
Although this project seems overwhelming for the participating teachers and many of them regard it as a challenge that blows up ordinary school requirements or assignments we do want to assist the five schools and other new schools with implementing and monitoring the EDC policy and development plan. The genuine context of the education system and the personnel and material conditions of the participating schools practically dictate us how to continue the project.
Fortunately, the local education authorities were quite responsive to this pilot project and assured us they would offer this kind of training on a regular basis from this school year on. Therefore, even if we do not get funds to continue the activity in a project format, we can rely on the infrastructure of schools to multiply the outcomes of this phase of the project.
Cases studies on the processes and products concerning the five participating schools will be available by the end of this year and the Council of Europe will hopefully get a powerful reason to support the implementation of its quality assurance of EDC policy enacted in 2005.
Corina Leca , Romania
In 2007, the Bloomsbury Colleges at the University of London initiated a new studentship programme designed to foster collaborative interdisciplinary research between its six consortium colleges. The Institute of Education and Birkbeck College have collaborated to create a studentship entitled Development NGOs and Human Rights Education. The aims of the research degree are to investigate the intentions and methods of NGOs promoting HRE in the UK and overseas, and to assess the impact of these programs to determine the extent to which they comprise a contribution to development.
Sam Mejias has been selected as the 2007 Bloomsbury Scholar for human rights education, and will be conducting research primarily focused on UK-based NGOs and their work in the UK and in Sub-Saharan Africa. He joins DARE as part of the ICEDC, and has a background in research and program evaluation, human rights education, and the teaching of youth produced media. He has conducted educational development research in Tanzania, worked as an Africa researcher for the Economist, and led programme evaluations in New York and Yerevan, Armenia.
Sam Mejias, Institute of Education, University of London
A training course for trainers and facilitators in adult education.
(Grundtvig ref DE-2008-722-001)
The training course will be carried out from 31 March to 6 April 2008 in Bonn/Germany by the Institute for Applied Communication Research in Non-formal Education (IKAB e.V.) in co-operation with UNIQUE, a recently established network of practitioners and researchers in the field of non-formal education.
Heidrun Boetzel, Bildungswerk e.V. / IKAB e.V. (Germany)
DARE memers are invited to submit examples of good practice in the area of human rights education, citizenship education and education for mutual respect and understanding. HREA is assisting the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR), the Council of Europe, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in compiling a compendium of good practices in school systems. Submissions are being accepted for the primary and secondary level schooling sectors in addition to teacher training institutions.
A good practice denotes a strategy resulting in the successful teaching and learning of human rights values and competencies. Good practice might be demonstrated through a learning activity, a methodological tool, an audio-visual resource or a documented program design intended for the formal education sector. Some of the potential practices envisioned for the Compendium include:
Please visit the compendium website in order to learn more about this initiative, to obtain details about submission, and to access the online submission form.
Submissions should be made as soon as possible but no later than 1 December 2007.
Materials selected for inclusion will be distributed widely for public use, both electronically and in hard copy, thus providing high visibility for your good practice. Your contributions will be essential for forwarding a common understanding about quality teaching and learning in the area of human rights, citizenship and education for mutual respect and understanding.
Felisa Tibbitts, HREA
2007 has been a significant year in Britain with the 200 years commemoration of the parliamentary act to end Britain's involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST). Many schools and civil society organisations have chosen to mark this anniversary. Alongside this many schools and the general public have shown a rapid rise in support for Fair Trade. 200 years ago the public played a part to end the TST through a boycott of sugar today they are buying Fairtrade sugar and other products. Schools can now apply to the Fairtrade Foundation for Fairtrade status. Many cities, towns and villages are seeking or have attained Fairtrade status and the availability and sales of Fairtrade products has risen rapidly.
However today there are more slaves around the world than 200 years ago, the official figure is over 12 million (ILO figures) including in the UK. While many UK consumers are buying Fairtrade many more are purchasing cheap clothes and food produced in sweatshops in South East Asia and by labourers on estates in Africa where conditions are close to those of slavery.
Working in partnership with the York Museum Service and the North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership, CGE ran an over-subscribed day training course for teachers on the linked themes of Slavery, Unfair trade and Fair Trade, this was accompanied by a 'Bitter Sweet' workshop for secondary school pupils (12-14 years old) which was held in 6 local schools. In looking at the conditions of slavery 200 years ago clear links were made to modern slavery, in addition teachers and pupils carried out a short role play to answer the question what is a fair price for a pair of jeans, the original stimulus being a £3 (5 euros) pair of jeans available from several leading supermarkets and clothes stores in the UK. This activity and others can be found at www.betterbytheyear.org. The website aims to provide teachers and secondary pupils with accessible information on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is low public awareness in the UK of the Goals. Looking at selected countries allows the progress made or obstacles to achieving the Goals to be studied. The website includes a Slavery section and also a section titled What can I do? which links knowledge gained to taking positive action as a young global citizen.
If you are working on these themes, including the MDGs I would be interested to hear from you.
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