Participant in the project with video camera

Circles on Water

How to counteract asocial behaviour in a school district with more than 4000 pupils? In Kamensky the project Circles on Water tried to find solutions by applying the principles of education for democratic citizenship and human rights.

The project group, led by the project coordinator Natalia Leikam centred their work around the realization that no school subject alone could train a child to live in society and to adopt the attitudes of a citizen. In fact it is just as important to nurture skills and competences necessary for socialization as the most basic skills such as eating, walking, speaking.

The project targeted students of orphanages and institutions for teenagers with deviant behaviour of the Altai region; high school students and students of a pedagogical colleges. The target audience was chosen based on the following concepts “future teachers – carriers of knowledge” and “a child in difficulty, integrated into society”.

The European Wergeland Centre

The project started with a seminar for deputy principals, educators of children’s camps, school councillors and administrators of the pedagogical college. Participants were acquainted with the CoE Living in Democracy manual (2008) edited by Rolf Gollob and Peter Krapf.

This seminar was followed by a seminar for educators and was centred around the topic of citizenship competence developed through extracurricular or supplementary education.

“Educational resources are a true treasure for teachers. Irrespective of his subject — physics, biology or literature — every teacher will discover how to use these manuals to help develop the democratic culture of students”, M. G., a social science teacher, said.

At a later stage volunteers, among the students of the pedagogical college, were selected for development of videos related to citizenship and human rights education. All in all 8 videos were developed. In addition practical classes, on the topics of citizenship and human rights were held for schoolchildren.

“I enjoyed making videos about human rights. Everybody who watched our films would certainly easily remember his or her rights, shall be able to share this knowledge with friends, and will be considerate of his/her responsibilities”, Sophia, 8th grade school student, said.

The project also resulted in the development of a quest game “Your rights” involving 114 participants. The total number of project participants was 130 schoolchildren, 28 college students and 39 members of the faculty.

“For a child to be literate he needs to be taught letters and for him to become a Citizen he needs to learn about his rights and responsibilities. A teacher would only make these concepts understood if he himself accepted democratic values and behavioural attitudes, if he acquired the skills and learned to process critically the acquired knowledge”, Anna, a college student, said, after taking part in the project.

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