07 SES 03 C, Belonging, Funds of Knowledge, Identities
The European citizenship is an important and necessary stage during the long process of development the European identity. In the meantime, the process of creating a culture of European identity must overcome the stage of assimilation and adaptation of a citizenship model which in fact is related with a politic culture and a civic identity. Knowing the names of the states of the European Union, the important symbols and institutions is an important aspect, but understanding the way of living, the cultural differences to find the meaning is another thing in the long process of integration. The European Union represents a social, economic and administrative reality, which must face the new uncertainties of Brexit, the migration phenomenon and the changing of the cultural and political context.
The civic transnational solidarity must be consolidated, as a response to numerous challenges of globalization. Europe needs to change paradigm from Europe as a „family of nations” to a space in which people have the feeling of living together and a feeling of belonging, not as abstract words.
The identity contributes to the social cohesion and has an integration role. For living without conflicts and for living in peace, people need to feel a coherence inside the diversity of culture, as is stipulates in the Multilingual education in the light of diversity report (European Commission, 2017).
The building of the identity is not a born process but a cultural one, being transmitted by social mimetic and by education from the early stages. The 21st century could become an identity vector, by raising awareness and development of the belonging identity to a common space, inside the European Union.
Paradoxical, the European balance, underline the principle of unity in diversity, was the result of contradictions generated by cultural, social and political values: the respect for human dignity and the human rights, respect for democracy, tolerance and critique spirit, the capacity of integration the differences. The complex reality of Europe has a profound unity and interrogation about European identity: What do we want to do together and how? (European Commission, 2015).
Romania is a space who join rapidly the European project and the associated values. In the meantime, the theme of European Union is not very well known at school level and the identification with a common European heritage is still vague. The knowledge about European Union includes aspects regarding countries, cities, flags and so on. The role of universities is crucial especially putting into practice the European project, by pedagogical interventions capable of promoting and consolidating the civic education in schools, with the aim of stimulating the building of a European identity. The identity couldn’t be imposed but could be developed by the education and cultural actions.
In this article we present the results of a pedagogical experiment. The main research question is: What kind of teaching activities could contribute to the developing of a European identity? The main objective is to identify which strategies are the most efficient in primary school, to develop the European identity. The participants are 6 classes, primary school, 3 teachers taught as they designed their lessons, without specifying the methodological aspects and 3 of them received a new approached based on project based learning, using games, legends, integrated in formal and nonformal activities.
The stages of the pedagogic research conducted are: Stage I: Selecting the experimental classes (non-experimental design); Stage II: Testing the teaching effectiveness of the developed/ designed instructional strategies (experimental design). The selection of the group of experimental classes was the first stage of the research. Six primary school classes were chosen. The classes chosen were all third and fourth grade classes because the material was considered more suitable for these older students. The aim in the selection process was that the classes should be as similar as possible in terms of a complex set of parameters (learning outcomes, number of students, classroom environment). This was to ensure that in the second stage of the research the results obtained would show the affects of the educational strategy under test, rather than being influenced by these other factors. The study had a cross-sectional non-experimental design, using several psychometric instruments for collecting the data. The sample consisted of 6 primary school classes (third and fourth grade) from the Timis county, aged between 9 and 10 years old. All students were tested using a test for reading and writing skills. Testing the effectiveness of the new approach was the second stage of the research project and consisted of implementing a pedagogical experiment designed to empirically validate the teaching effectiveness of using the teaching strategy based on project-based learning, using games, legends, integrated in formal and nonformal activities. The research involved a comparative experiment where the independent variable was the instructional strategy used (standardized or based on the choice of each individual teacher). The dependent variable was represented by the score obtained by students in a test of their knowledge.
Carrying out teaching activities based on a lesson using the experimental model proposed in this paper can lead to a statistically significant increase in students’ levels of achievement. We believe that the data presented can be considered as an /a strong argument for the need/ advantage of making qualitative lesson plans, with a solid pedagogical foundation, in order to achieve teaching activities real efficient teaching activities which will assure high levels of achievement by students. Using new approach in teaching, such project-based learning, games, role plays, using new technology, could contribute to changing perspective about identity and the sense of belonging.
European Commission, 2017, Multilingual education in the light of diversity report, available at https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/404b34d1-ef63-11e6-8a35-01aa75ed71a1 European Commission, The Development Of European Identity/Identities: Unfinished Business, https://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/policy_reviews/development-of-european-identity-identities_en.pdf European Commission, 2015, A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy Passerini, L., (2012), Europe and its Others: Is there an European Identity, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199560981.013.0006 The Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union, 2018, https://www.robert-schuman.eu/en/bookshop/0218-the-schuman-report-on-europe-the-state-of-the-union-2018 White, J., (2016), A common European Identity is an illusion, http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/64994/
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