Closing the empowerment gap through citizenship education: How to address educationally disadvantaged groups: 17-19 November, 2011, Warsaw, Poland

Blog: Events
Author: Lidia Varbanova - Date: 03 Jun 2011, 19:35

All over Europe, citizens are turning away from classic political participatory processes. This is reflected by low numbers of voters at polling stations during elections and a general disenchantment with politics. One criticism is that – increasingly influenced by private or narrow-topic interest groups – the people and institutions active in politics are losing legitimacy, and no longer work as elected representatives for the general public good. Feelings of powerlessness and disillusionment when it comes to 'institutional politics' are rife as trust in representative democracy ebbs. What Colin Crouch calls 'post-democratic' tendencies now share the field with a rising number of new ways of getting involved in politics or socially conscious projects. This development could be considered a positive one, interpreted as proof that democracy is still alive and kicking. However, these new forms of political involvement are to a large extent determined by access to education, income and competencies. Groups and individuals with no access to these resources remain excluded from participation in civil society and political processes. It can be shown empirically that socially disadvantaged groups with poor educational opportunities suffer under a conspicuous 'empowerment gap'.

How can citizenship education at the national and European levels contribute to the closing of this empowerment gap? What instruments, practical approaches and projects have been developed to work with educationally disadvantaged groups? What competencies have to be strengthened? Which ones already exist? What roles do different political and economic starting points play in Western and Eastern Europe?

The NECE conference invites multipliers in the fields of citizenship and cultural education, youth and social workers, NGO representatives and experts from a wide range of academic disciplines from all over Europe to come and take part in an exchange of ideas, and find out more about the possibilities of transfer and new networks. Presentations will include theoretical and practical approaches from Europe, both in schools and in out-of-school or informal learning environments, providing a platform for the discussion on inclusive approaches of citizenship education for educationally disadvantaged groups. The conference format aims to be both participatory and interactive.

Since the number of conference participants is limited, we ask you to register as soon as possible.
Online registration

Programme (PDF version: 756 KB)




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