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Contested Narratives and Controversial Issues in Citizenship Education


The ERASMUS+ project ConCitizen addresses a key issue in citizenship education: how do we teach controversial issues particularly related to contested narratives in post-conflict and diverse societies? European education systems share a strong tradition of democratic formation, focusing on coexistence, critical stance and respect for diverse opinions and outlooks.

However, new challenges for democracy have emerged such as populism, right-wing and Islamist extremism. In addition, digitalization of society has evoked a polarized debate culture on social media characterized by echo chambers and filter bubbles. ConCitizen explores how contested narratives and controversial issues are included – or avoided – in the school subjects of history, religious education, and citizenship education.

ConCitizen seeks to stipulate innovative learning and teaching practices by developing pedagogical models that encourage self-reflection, awareness of power relations, and critical thinking when teaching contested narratives.

The aim is to strengthen the student teachers’ and NGO youths ability to create an inclusive learning environment by addressing stereotypes and highlighting common vulnerability. In addition, ConCitizen addresses an international gap for teaching materials that combine a presentation of key concepts and theories with pedagogical models.

Project ConCitizen

Teaching resources

The ConCitizen Project has developed a range of resources for both lectures at the universities, teachers at primary and secondary schools and for student teachers.

The ConCitizen partners

In the links below you will find more information on the ConCitizen project, a need analysis based on primary and lower secondary teachers, and our resources for teaching contested narratives and controversial issues.

The ConCitizen Team

- missing a few participants