In March 2015, nearly 100 teachers and other educators from EU Member States published a manifesto containing 24 recommendations for preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism. That same month, the Paris Declaration stressed: ‘The primary purpose of education is not only to develop knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes and to embed fundamental values, but also to help young people in close cooperation with parents and families — to become active, responsible, open-minded members of society.’
In the same spirit, RAN decided to launch an Education working group (RAN EDU), inviting school professionals from across the continent to participate. They reached the consensus that schools are indeed important places in which to empower young people and to build resilience against radical ideologies leading to violence. What is more, schools and teachers are on the front line to help identify and safeguard youth at risk of radicalisation. They are essential partners in preventing and countering violent radicalisation at early stages. Since then, the importance of education in prevention strategies has been widely recognised in political debates. Fortunately, many schools and teachers across Europe have tackled these challenges with increasing efficacy.
This companion reflects upon these developments and formulates recommendations to envision schools as ‘labs for democracy’ that would provide sustainable responses to radicalisation. This entails reconsidering certain teaching methods and modifying curricula. It also includes improving institutional structures to strengthen teachers and schools as facilitators who will build and strengthen democratic values amongst students and empower them as active citizens.
The companion was authored by Götz Nordbruch (ufuq.de) and Stijn Sieckelinck (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).
Download “Transforming schools into labs for democracy”: ec.europa.eu
Transformer les écoles en laboratoires de la démocratie. Un partenaire pour prévenir la radicalisation violente par l’éducation
Télécharger version française “Transformer les écoles en laboratoires de la démocratie”: ec.europa.eu