BEHIND THE SCENES ...
The slogan of the European Union „United in Diversity“ is increasingly being affected by forces that are shaking the basic idea of mutual respect and tolerance. Social and political observers warn of a so-called „polarization“ of society. This polarization is evident worldwide in politics, where political movements far beyond the center have been able to establish themselves, especially in recent years. Extreme positions - whether politically right or left - are becoming more and more popular. Society is divided by this aggravation. Equally, with regard to religion, different levels of education, urban versus rural life or traditional versus diverse family-models, views are drifting further and further apart. The Covid 19 pandemic is seen here as an additional amplifier of the divisive tendencies. Social media in particular can drive the problem, through the possibility of networking more with like-minded people or also through displayed information, which is matched to the previous usage behavior of people through algorithms.
In order to be able to overcome entrenched polarisations and master challenges of the future, it is not enough to simply want to approach each other. Competences such as cohesion, discourse skills, empathy and diversity as an opportunity for holistic solutions must be promoted and compromises must be found that aim at the participation of all social groups without leaving out marginalised groups.
Young people in particular are very impressionable with regard to polarising tendencies, but at the same time they can also have a positive influence on their environment. This is why bye, Polarity focuses on the secondary school level. Through innovative didactic concepts, learning materials and interactive workshop designs, teachers are provided with the appropriate tools to sensitise students to the topic, to teach them key competences in dealing with polarities and subsequently to empower them to become important ambassadors for a united Europe.
BYE, POLARITY WILL PURSUE THESE GOALS ....
» Students will gain a heightened awareness of prevailing polarities in politics and society and develop key competencies such as discourse skills and empathy to deal with them critically.
» Students should not only be able to recognize polarizing tendencies in social media, but also be supported in actively counteracting them.
» Teachers will be provided with innovative teaching and learning materials to integrate concepts against progressive polarities in an uncomplicated way in the classroom.
» Students should be able to recognize polarising tendencies through critical thinking skills, actively counteract them and thus be empowered to act as ambassadors of the basic idea of Europe „united in diversity.
To make this possible, the following project results are being developed…
UNITED TOGETHER AGAINST POLARITY!
THINKING ABOUT POLARITY!
We will produce a cross-national report on how to deal with the increasing polarisation in politics and society. In addition, good practice examples will be collected to show how the topic has been included in school lessons so far.
CONCEPT AGAINST POLARITY!
In order to be able to teach the complex topic of dealing with polarities in an adequate way and in a target group-specific manner in school lessons, we will develop a comprehensive didactic and methodological concept.
TEACH TO REACH!
With regard to such a complex topic, innovative teaching and learning materials are required, which include three steps. First, learning materials are developed for theoretical and fact based teaching. In a second step, materials will be developed that are based on shared experiential learning and can be conducted in different workshop settings as well as with different group sizes. In a final step, a guide for teachers on how to use the developed learning materials will be provided.
UNITED TOGETHER AGAINST POLARITY!
Students in particular often spend a considerable amount of time on social media channels and are therefore also constantly confronted with an enormous amount of information - this is exactly where we come in. Together with the target group, we work out where polarising tendencies are spread on the internet, how they can be recognized and in what ways students can actively counteract this themselves. A workshop and a guide for pupils will be developed to enable them to act as ambassadors for a united Europe in social media.