AN EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN AN INTERNATIONAL COMENIUS PROJECT ON EUROPEAN CITIZENSHIP LEARNING

M.H. Salema, J. Conboy, F. Sousa, C. Carvalho, D. Martins

Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto de Educação (PORTUGAL)
This paper reports on an ongoing research developed by the Portuguese team of a Comenius consortium of six European partners coordinated by the University of Trento. The Comenius-funded ECLIPSE project (European Citizenship Learning in a Programme for Secondary Education 517815 –LLP- 1- 2011-I- IT- Comenius –CMP) seeks to develop, test, and implement an understanding of the European dimension in Citizenship Education.

In Portugal, three schools are involved through a selected number of thirteen teachers and their grade 9 classes in a total of 80 students. The schools are situated in very different social economic contexts. The project focuses on teacher professional development conducted both at the university and in teachers’ workplaces in a collaborative effort with the purpose to improve pupils’ knowledge of European citizenship. Teachers attended eight workshops from October 2012 to May 2013, in a total of 25 hours plus 25 hours of autonomous work in their schools coached and supported by the university researchers. Workshops objectives intended to support teachers with theoretical literature always closely linked to teachers’ experiences and practices; give information on European citizenship topics; promote teachers’ critical reflection with the help of instruments such as teaching logs, teachers’ and students’ portfolios, collaboration between peers, promote teacher’ metacognitive and learning to learn processes. Teachers were from different disciplines: Foreign Languages (English and Spanish), History, Geography, Natural Science, Physics -Chemistry, Mathematics, Visual Education, Citizenship and Contemporary World. Teachers planned, implemented, reflected and evaluated teaching and learning processes, designed learning activities integrating their discipline contents with European citizenship topics within an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach with their peers.

This paper presents preliminary data of the 80 pupils’ European Citizenship Competences (knowledge, attitudes, values and skills). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a pre-test and post test, students’ questionaires, and teachers’ qualitative evaluation.

At the moment, results reveal positive effects on students European citizenship competences and on teachers practices and development although in both groups data reveal concerns about European citizenship education in the actual European and global crisis.