ART4DEM develops a multidisciplinary programme for citizenship education (BSE) in primary and secondary education. The project explores new ways of working on civic education, through participative art forms and forms of new media. BSE in education faces tough challenges. Despite the persistently low scores for democratic attitudes among Flemish pupils, the educational world is hesitant and struggling to tackle them. For example, schools give varying meanings to citizenship and many only work sporadically on it. Research also points to the gap between young people, depending on educational level and social background, which is particularly evident in cities. Some authors therefore stress the importance of new forms of BSE, which are more in keeping with the environment and the participation wishes of children and young people. Schools, in turn, are asking for an intra-muros offer.

The central research question is: how can artistic methods contribute to BSE in a diverse context in 5th and 6th grade (primary education) and 7th and 8th grade (secondary education)?

The project works from multidisciplinary insights and knowledge of creative processes (Schools of Arts), the educational world and didactics (Education&Training Department) and inequality and the importance of social involvement (Social Work) on design oriented trajectories in 6 schools. The experiments comprise two theatre forms (1- Mantle of the Expert, 2- participative drama in collaboration with Sering vzw) and a visual interactive method (3- Interactive Design). This involves qualitative and quantitative research into what the trajectory means for all those involved (pupils, teachers, school policy), what the influence is on democratic skills, attitudes and behaviour among the pupils and on the democratic school culture.

Duration: 2018-2022

Researcher for ISOS: Britt Dehertogh