The EU “live” in Civic Education: To Experience and Understand the European Union in-situ. A model for and experiences from political excursions and thematic seminars to and in Brussels

Iris Weber, Richard Kotter

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Abstract

Political Excursions to Brussels on EU matters can be a very effective and important methods and format of civic education. Based on experience from practice, this can be the case in particular if they are conceived of, organised and implemented as in-situ seminars, which has been practised in over 40 seminars since 2004. The format we advocate and demonstrate here, with an early qualitative evaluation based on the literature and contrast to other practices and models, is one of an exemplary (by policy field), multi-perspective (different key institutions, players, actors and preferable nationalities on inputting participants or at least experts) approach which is conducted in-situ. This is, however, resource and planning intensive, and requires quite a high degree of experience and expertise, and is not a model which can be taken to a mass-produced regular repeat delivery. The learning and engagement of voluntary participants in non-formal education, in addition to (though at times in partnership with) formal education institutions - such as secondary schools or universities – is very significant and has been shown and evaluated to be of a high level of quality with significant nation-wide appeal in Germany and of staying power in the market for civic education. We also reflect on how this approach may be a basis for genuinely trans-national non-formal civic education in Europe on EU matters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-32
JournalInternational Journal for 21 st Century Education
Volume4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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