INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “PARTICIPATORY SCHOOLS 4 BETTER DEMOCRACY”
Participation, Citizenship and Democracy in Schools was the topic of the first International Conference promoted by the Network of Democratic Citizenship Schools. The Conference “Participatory Schools 4 Better Democracies”, held between 19 and 21 of April, in the University of Algarve in Faro (Portugal), was a space and a time of joint reflection, networking opportunities and sharing of good practices, tools and experiences.
The event was organized by ECOS – Cooperativa de Educação, Cooperação e Desenvolvimento CRL. in partnership with Pinheiro e Rosa School Cluster, counting with the support of Erasmus + Programme and of the local partners University of Algarve and the regional department of Instituto Português do Desporto e da Juventude (Portuguese Youth and Sports Department).
Coffee breaks, reception and participants and guests hospitality were provided by the students of the Turism, Events Organization and Restaurant and Bar courses from Pinheiro e Rosa School Cluster.
The event, bilingual with presentations in English or Portuguese and simultaneous translation, was attended by more than 200 participants comprising of teachers, students, CSO professionals, scholars, experts, local authorities and regional government departments representatives, among other. Most of the event had Internet life streaming which aloud people from other European schools and CSO working in the field to attend it online.
The Conference Opening Day counted with an opening table composed by a representative from the Municipality of Faro, the Director of Pinheiro e Rosa School Cluster, Francisco Soares and Sofia Martins from the board of ECOS CRL.
The day continued with a presentation of the Network of Democratic Citizenship Schools project made by teachers, students and other professionals from the 3 school and the 3 Civil Society Organizations that are part of this project. The presentation consisted on a timeline with main achievements, activities and outcomes from this 2 years’ project.
The work day finished with an inspiring cultural input from the storyteller Fernando Guerreiro, a cocktail with world music from Discossauro Project and a traditional grilled fish dinner.
The second part of the Conference was dedicated to “Schools and Democracy”. It started with a Panel composed by Derry Hannam advisor to the Council of Europe on Education for Democratic Citizenship and António Branco the Dean of the University of Algarve. The teacher, teacher trainer and project evaluator, Isabel Duarte, moderated it. The main questions directed to the lecturers were “What we mean by school democracy? What is it? Why to do it? How can it be done? And does it work?”
The morning finished with an hour of inspiring Pechakucha style presentations of “Schools and Democracy” initiatives and during the afternoon and next morning participants were able to go deeper and experience 8 selected “Initiatives of Democratic Participation in Schools”.
This part of the conference was closed with a presentation of the “Tools for Democratic Participation by Network of Democratic Citizenship Schools Project”. The presentation included technical information as well as stories of students, teachers and CSO practitioners unique experiences during the construction of the Scale of Reference for Democratic Citizenship Schools and the creation of the Strategic Action Plans for Participation of their schools.
The third part of the Conference was dedicated to “Networking and Learning Communities”. The key note talk from Fernando Cardoso Executive Director of the Portuguese Association of Creativity and Innovation (APGICO) provided theoretical and practical examples of school networking processes, while José Pacheco, founder of the Projects “Make the bridge” (Bridge School) & “Anchor”, offered us a Skype inspiring and provocative input about “School, Democracy and Learning Communities”.
After an official launching of the Network of Democratic Citizenship Schools, an Open Space was created where participants could propose a topic do be discussed and others could join them in a circular talk for final Conference Recommendations.
Tapete Mágico theatre group gave a cultural touch to this last day with its play “New forms of Censorship”. The Conference ended up in a final celebration dinner in Faro downtown with promises of future joint ventures between many of the participants and the renewed energy for the continuation of the Network of Democratic Citizenship School beyond ERASMUS + project life circle.
Our appreciation and thanks to all those who worked so hardly to make this happen.
Discover the other activities
- Project Launching Events
- International Training Course
- Local Seminars
- Local Actions
- International Conference