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Their Hopes, Fears and Reality

Working with Children and Youth for the Future

Edited By Melinda Ann Dooly Owenby

Based on a research project supported by the European Foundation, this book explores how primary and secondary students in four different European countries view theirs and the world’s future. The results indicate that there is a gap between students’ perspectives about the future and a clear pedagogical base for helping students confront many issues that are significant to them. The importance of ensuring students become critically aware citizens and helping them develop the ability and skills necessary for facing the challenges of the future are patent. This book spells out specific ways in which the issues which emerged from the study can be approached from diverse fields (geography, language learning and arts and crafts). It also discusses some cross-disciplinary educational issues relevant to all teachers – general education and cross-disciplinary, as well as offering two proposals on how teachers can count on sufficient psychological support to face the challenges of teaching in an increasingly complex environment and promote cooperative behaviour in the classroom.


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Between Classroom and Social Reality – Developing Active Citizenship in School Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz & Anna Zalewska 163


Between Classroom and Social Reality – Developing Active Citizenship in School BEATA KRZYWOSZ-RYNKIEWICZ & ANNA ZALEWSKA One of the main roles of education is to help people learn to func- tion effectively in their environment – their immediate surroundings as well as a wider social environment. Inevitably, as social, political and economic transformations change the expectations and oppor- tunities in today’s society, the role of education gains even more importance as students must learn to deal with these rapid changes. As has been demonstrated in this study, the transformations European youth are experiencing are significant. This could be noted especially in the results of the Polish youth who participated in this study. It could be argued that the changes which have occurred in Poland in the last two decades are unique in scope although they are obviously related to the changes that concern the whole world (such as globalization). However, there have been important socio-histo- rical transformations connected with the changes in Poland’s political system. In the political sphere these changes mostly mean the fairly re- cent introduction of a new, democratic system, while in the social sphere they are related to issues of social stratification, exclusion, changes in values, social orientations, etc. which have accompanied these political changes. Additionally, in the economic sphere these changes are connected with the introduction of free trade. All of this is reflected in everyday problems and challenges which teachers face; not least of which is helping youth be able to deal with these multiple transformations by...

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