Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Turkey

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Generation Democracy Project workshop in İzmir to evaluate pilot implementation…


The joint workshop of the Curriculum Development and Democratic School Culture Working Groups started on 17 June 2013, Monday with the opening speeches of Emir Adzovic, Team Leader of the Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Project on behalf of the Council of Europe and Dr. Hüseyin Şirin, Member of the Board of Education.

The workshop brought together more than 100 people including academicians, and pilot school principals, teachers, and guidance teachers. The participants will be sharing ideas and experiences about the practise of the elective course on Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project.

In his opening speech, Emir Adzovic resembled the functioning of the Project and the structure of working groups to building a house. In his metaphor, he likened the Legislation Review and Curriculum Review working groups to the concrete blocks, and the Curriculum Development and Democratic School Culture working groups to the water and electricity facilities of the house. He further added “School principals and teachers supported all our efforts considerably and at this point we need everyone's contribution. Every single contribution will make this house look much more beautiful".


Board Member, Dr. Hüseyin Şirin mentioned some practises that have been implemented by pilot schools and shared examples of İstanbul Üsküdar Cumhuriyet Trade Vocational High School, Manisa İsmet İnönü Girls Technical and Vocational High School, Samsun Garip Zeycan Yıldırım Science High School and Mersin Pakize Kokulu High School.

In his speech, Şirin said "It will not suffice to provide students with theoretical knowledge in Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and evaluating their progress just by means of cognitive measurement techniques, what is more crucial is to change their attitudes and behaviours in the context of democratic citizenship and human rights”. He underlined the importance of school principals' and teachers' becoming role models for the students. He concluded his opening speech congratulating all academicians, school principals and teachers on all their efforts and hard work.


The best five

The results of the Activity Competition in the scope of Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project has been announced. We would like to thank all our teachers for their application and congratulate the owners of the five best activities. You can see the winners on the Board of Education website


Training the Trainers - 24 - 28 June 2013

A very demanding programme awaits the Capacity Building Working Group, which is one of the warranties of the sustainability of project results. The first series of training seminars to be delivered in this scope targets teacher trainers. In the first part of the seminars which are organised in cooperation with the MoNE Teacher Training and Education General Directorate 200 philosophy and history teachers from 81 provinces of Turkey will be trained about the conceptual basis of Democratic Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education. In order to ensure a quality and interactive training environment the participants will be divided into two groups of 100 people. The first group will receive the training on 24-28 June and the second group will receive the training on 1-5 July. Following this first part of the training they will also be trained in different perspectives and approaches to democratic citizenship and human rights education in August, which will have a more practical focus. In 2013-2014 academic year, trainees will give the same training to their colleagues in their respective provinces who will be teaching the elective Democracy and Human Rights Course.


We get together again in İzmir - 17 - 20 June 2013

A four-day workshop will be held in İzmir between 17 and 20 June, which will serve the two major outputs of the project. In the working groups which will run in parallel, pilot school principals and teachers will on one hand evaluate the one year implementation of the elective course on "Democracy and Human Rights" for secondary schools. On the other hand, they will review and provide feedback on the school based activities drafted by the Democratic School Culture Working Group with an aim to strengthen the democratic school culture in schools. Moreover, in the scope of the workshop, pilot school teachers will receive further training on the teaching methodologies in the field of EDC/HRE.




Dublin Study Visit - 22 - 26 April 2013

Our delegation consisting of 7 school principals from Edirne, İstanbul, Konya, Mardin, Mersin, and Samsun, and representatives of the Board of Education and the Ministry of National Education set off on 21 April 2013 for the study visit to Dublin. The visit aimed at familiarising the participants with Ireland’s educational policy and school system, as well as demonstrating examples of good practice in the field of education for democratic citizenship and participation.


Dublin welcomed us with a bright, sunny face which was disturbed by sudden showers from time to time, but still pleasant enough for us to enjoy our visit.

Our official programme started early on Monday morning with a session in the Department of Education and Skills (DES), the regulating body in the field of education. There we were welcomed by Mr Aidan Clifford, who was our host throughout the week and showed us great hospitality. Mr Kevin McCarthy, Divisional Inspector made a presentation on the Irish Education system in general and we were introduced to the basics in order to have a full grasp of what we were going to see in the following days.


Our programme included visits to seven schools in total and meetings with the key actors in the field of EDC/HRE in Ireland. We were delighted to learn about the strong bonds between schools and civil society organisations. It was also interesting to hear about the on-going reform process in the field of education in Ireland. The official visit ended on the morning of 27th April leaving us pleasant memories of Ireland. Making comparisons between Ireland and Turkey is not easy as there are immense differences between the population and the surface area of the two countries, yet it was a good exercise to compare the effect of their approach to citizenship education on the overall education system. It is also interesting to observe that although the size of our countries, our schools, or the composition of our population might differ, we have a lot of common strengths and challenges; hence, we have a lot to learn from each other.


If you want to know more about the visit, please read our "Ireland Diary" in the May issue of our Monthly Bulletin.


  • Photo Gallery
  • Ms Ólöf Ólafsdottir paid a courtesy visit to Mr Nabi Avcı, the Minister of National Education

    Ms Ólöf Ólafsdottir Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation Department in the Council of Europe visited Mr Nabi Avcı, the Minister of National Education on 9 April 2013. Ms Ólafsdottir wished success to Mr Avcı and invited the Minister to the Conference of Education Ministers of the Council of Europe which will be held in Helsinki at the end of April. Ms Ólafsdottir and Mr Avcı also discussed future prospects for cooperation between the Turkish Ministry of National Education and the Council of Europe in the field of education






    The fourth Project Steering Committee Meeting of the Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Project was held on 9 April 2013

    The 4th Steering Committee Meeting of the Generation Democracy, a joint EU/CoE project in education was held on April 9th 2013 in Ankara. The meeting was chaired by Mr Salih Çelik, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Education of Turkey and the Senior Programme Officer of the Project. The meeting brought together  representatives of all General Directorates of the MoNE, Central Finance and Contracts Unit, the EU Delegation to Turkey, the Ministry of EU Affairs, the Beneficiary, NGOs, and all the other relevant stakeholders. Ms Ólöf Ólafsdóttir, Head of  Education Department of the Council of Europe represented the secretariat and gave an opening speech along with Mr Erwan Marteil, First Counsellor, Head of Section, Financial Cooperation, Institution Building and Civil Society Delegation of the European Union to Turkey who addresses the meeting representing the EU Delegation to Turkey.

    The delegates discussed the project progress and focused on the new elective curriculum in the pilot schools and drafting stage of the textbook and implementation of best practices for promoting democratic school culture in the pilot schools. The project representatives briefed the committee members on the results of education legislation review and the results of primary and secondary school curricula review.

    Mr Salih Çelik concluded the meeting noting that they are pleased with the progress of the project and  they are willing to cooperate with the Council of Europe in the future.


    Generation Democracy Activity Competition started

    Within the scope of Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project (Generation Democracy), Board of Education and the Council of Europe are organising an activity competition to increase awareness among primary and secondary school students, teachers, administrators, parents and wider school communities on democratic citizenship and human rights education and to provide the teachers who teach the democracy and human rights course for secondary education with a teaching material (activity book). We invite all our teachers to come up with their original contribution and support the process of our young people’s participation in life as active citizens who have instilled a democratic culture and who respect human rights.

    You can download the terms of reference and the activity template from the links.

    As the activities are expected to be in line with the elective course curriculum on Democracy and Human Rights, which is being piloted in this academic year, you may also need the Curriculum which is available on our web site.



    Legislation Review Workshop Took Place in İstanbul on 18 - 20 March 2013

    The Legislation Review Working Group have finalised their review of the Turkish education legislation from an EDC/HRE perspective and drafted their report. The group organised its workshop between 18 – 20 March in İstanbul to share their findings with relevant stakeholders including NGOs, academicians, legal experts, school principals ,and teachers. In the workshop representatives of these groups came together to go over the problem clusters and to develop recommendations.








    Curriculum Review Workshop Took Place in Ankara on 14 - 15 March 2013

    The Curriculum Review Working Group reviewed the primary and secondary school curricula in the light of EDC/HRE principles and they have drafted their report. Now it is time for them to share their results with relevant stakeholders. They organised their workshop between 13 – 15 March in Ankara to share their draft report with relevant people including NGOs, academicians, teachers and curriculum developers. In the workshop representatives of these groups came together and developed recommendations. The final report will constitute an important reference point for those who will develop curricula for any subject in the future.







    We are back in pilot schools again

    Mart ayı itibari ile "Demokrasi ve İnsan Hakları" dersi programı kapsamında gönderilen etkinliklerin uygulamasını görmek ve dersin pilot uygulanmasında kaydedilen gelişmeleri yakından izlemek amacıyla pilot okul ziyaretlerimize kaldığımız yerden devam ettik. Ziyaretlerin ilk ayağında Edirne,İstanbul ve Mersin'deki pilot okullarımızda; okul müdürlerimiz, öğretmenlerimiz ve öğrencilerimizle birlikte toplantılar gerçekleştirdik ve onlardan değerlendirmelerini dinledik. İkinci dönemde gerçekleştirdiğimiz bu ziyaretlerde, pilot uygulaması devam eden etkinliklerin, pilot okullarımızın okul ortamlarında olumlu gelişmelere zemin oluşturduğunu görmek oldukça mutluluk vericiydi. Bu yüzden tüm okullarımıza gösterdikleri özverili çalışmalardan ötürü tekrar teşekkürlerimizi sunuyoruz. Nisan ayı içerisinde uluslararası uzmanımız Rolf Gollob ve AB Türkiye Delegasyonu'ndan katılacak gözlemcilerle birlikte sahadaki gelişmeleri izlemeye ve pilot okullarımıza destek vermeye devam edeceğiz. 1- 2 Nisan 2013 tarihlerinde sırasıyla Mardin ve Sakarya'da, 12 Nisan'da Konya'da ve 19 Nisan'da Samsun'daki pilot okullarımızda olacağız.



    Training on Redesigned Elective Course Took Place in Antalya


    Between 28 – 30 January we organised a training addressing pilot school teachers in Antalya. The seminar included a debriefing session where the teachers had the opportunity to share and discuss their experience with the elective course curriculum and respective activities. The rest of the training focused on the activities to be implemented in the second semester and provided teachers with the necessary tools and skills to teach the course in the most effective way. Representatives of the EU Delegation to Turkey and the Central Finance and Contracts Unit followed the sessions closely. Prof. David Kerr (UK) and Prof. Rolf Gollob (Switzerland) also participated in the seminars and provided an outsiders’ perspective. During the sessions in which the participants were involved in a number of group work the following topics were dealt with:
    • Teachers from pilot schools spilt into working groups and evaluated in detail the activities they implemented during the first semester in order to improve them in every aspect;

    • In a plenary session, Oya Taneri made a presentation on the measurement and evaluation aspect of EDC/HRE and made some recommendations;

    • Representatives of the Material Development Working Group (MDWG) also participated in the sessions and group work in order to collect feedback about the visual materials that accompany the existing activities;

    • In a plenary session the teachers of the pilot schools also discussed the methodologies to be used in EDC/HRE courses;

    • Democratic School Culture Working Group (DSCWG) also cunducted separate sessions together with the principals of the secondary pilot schools. During these sessions, the school principals who participated in the study visit to Germany shared their experience with their colleagues;

    • The event, as a whole, served as a platform for networking and provided a number of opportunities for the exchange of good practices.

      We are back in our pilot schools: Yozgat and Konya 17-18 December 2012

      The first and second rounds of field visits to our pilot schools were organized in September and October 2012. Before the end of the year, we started the third round and visited our pilot schools in Samsun, Mardin, İstanbul, Mersin, Manisa and Edirne between 5-7 November 2012 not only to continue supporting our pilot schools during the piloting process but also to make an assessment of the activities with the teachers within the scope of “Democracy and Human Rights” course. Now on 17-18 December we are visiting Yozgat and Konya.


      Democracy Education in Germany

      The The Turkish delegation consisting of the members of the Legislation Review Working Group and the Capacity Building Working Group, senior officials of the Board of Education and principals from three pilot schools accomplished a three-day study visit to Hamburg and Berlin. The visit was organised in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Demokratiepaedagogik (DeGeDe) under the guidance of Mr Kurt Edler. The agenda included two school visits in Hamburg and one school visit in Berlin. In Hamburg, the delegation was divided into two groups and were welcomed warmly by Theodor Haubach Schule and Gymnasium Allee. In Berlin, in a similar set-up the groups visited Carl-von-Ossietzky Schule and "Quadratkilometer", which is an initiative between schools and civil society. During these visits the delegation had the chance to attend the assembly of school parliaments and to observe an ethics class.


      Another important moment during the visit was the meeting with the Senate Administration for Youth, Education and Science, which was opened by Mr Mark Rackless, the Undersecretary. After his opening speech representatives from the Landesinstitüt für Schule, Unterricht and Medien Berlin-Brandeburg (LISUM) made presentations on curriculum and education system in Berlin.Perhaps one of the most interesting sessions for the Turkish Delegation took place at SV Bildungswerk, where the group had an interactive session with Ms Dilan Aytaç on empowering students for qualified democratic presentation in schools.


      Throughout the study-visit, the group members made good contacts and established a good network with their German counterparts for future cooperation. The invaluable experience of the teachers of Turkish origin living and teaching in Germany proved to be an important contribution for the coming period. Their understanding of both cultures is clearly a crucial element in the capacity building efforts planned for the first half of 2013. The level of willingness and enthusiasm on both sides is an indicator of close cooperation even going beyond the borders of the Generation Democracy Project.



      Group Specific Training 22-23 November 2012

      The Group Specific Training for the Legislation Review Working Group took place at Başkent Öğretmenevi on 22-23 November 2012. The seminar aimed at presenting and sharing the progress made by the LRWG and exchanging ideas on the relationship between education legislation and human rights culture, as well as on the position and role of Education on Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education in education legislation. Mr Martin Eaton, a lawyer from the UK and more importantly the legal expert who wrote the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education, also took part in the seminar to share his knowledge and experience in the field. Legislation Development and Divisions Director of the Board of Education,MoNE, Mr Adnan Sığın, also shared his experience with the working group.  Mr Zafer Çelik, Head of Education Systems and Policies Department in the Board of Education and Mr Emir Adzovic, Team Leader of Generation Democracy (DCHRE) Project made opening speeches and welcomes the participants.

      We are back in our pilot schools: Mersin, Manisa, Edirne 5-6-7 November 2012

      The first field visit to our pilot schools has been organized in 24 -28 September 2012. As a follow up on the field visits, we organized meetings

      our pilot schools in Samsun, Mardin, İstanbul, Mersin, Manisa and Edirne between 5-7 November 2012 not only to continue supporting our pilot schools during the piloting process but also to make an assessment of the activities with the teachers within the scope of “Democracy and Human Rights” course. Furthermore, we got a chance to make observations while the activities of the Democracy and Human Rights course were carried out in the classroom environment. Prof. David Kerr, who also particapted in pilot school visits, convey the encountered experiences from his own country and shared his observations on effective implementation of the activities.

      An Induction Seminar for the Monitoring Experts was held on 16 October 2012

      Generation Democracy Project will be cooperating with a group of 10 academicians from pilot provinces in the monitoring of the pilot implementation of the curriculum on Democracy and Human Rights elective course and the strategy paper on democratic school culture. An Induction Seminar was held in Volley Hotel, Ankara on 16 October 2012 to inform the academicians about the project and the scope of the monitoring activity.

      The third Project Steering Committee Meeting of the Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Project was held on 3 October 2012 at Başkent Öğretmenevi

      The meeting was presided by Mr Salih Çelik, Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of National Education and the Senior Programme Officer of the Project and brought  together the representatives of the Central Finance and Contracts Unit, the EU Delegation to Turkey, the Ministry of EU Affairs, the Beneficiary, NGOs, and all the other relevant stakeholders. On behalf of the Council of Europe, Mr Adrian Butler, the Head of Ankara Programme Office, and Ms Sarah Keating, Head of Unit for Regional and Bilateral Co-operation - Southeast Europe made opening speeches. Some of the important points on the agenda included "the first impressions about the pilot implementation of the redesigned curriculum of the elective course on democracy and human rights for secondary education", "project visual identity and the planned outreach in pilot provinces" and "monitoring and benchmarking studies to be carried out during pilot implementation

      We are visiting our pilot schools again between 24 - 28 September 2012

      As you know the new curriculum for the Democracy and Human Rights elective course was introduced to the teachers in a seminar which was held in Rize in the first week of September. We were able to reach most of the teachers who will be teaching this course throughout the implementation. They worked together on producing activities for the course and indeed the first theme and the first activity was sent to the teachers by the Board of Education last week. In order to make sure that we reach all the relevant teachers and more importantly to raise awareness on this elective course and on our project we are visiting our pilot schools in ten provinces between 24 and 28 September 2012. There will be two groups, each including representatives from the Board of Education and the CoE, visiting 5 provinces each. The dates and the routes are as follows;

      24 September 2012 - Group 1: Elazığ

      24 September 2012 - Group 2: Mardin

      25 September 2012 - Group 1: İstanbul

      25 September 2012 - Group 2: Edirne

      26 September 2012 - Group 1: Samsun

      26 September 2012 - Group 2: Sakarya

      27 September 2012 - Group 1: Manisa

      27 September 2012 - Group 2: Konya

      28 September 2012 - Group 1: Mersin

      28 September 2012 - Group 2: Yozgat

      The first theme and the first activity of Democracy and Human Rights Elective Course have been shared with the teachers

      The first theme and the first activity of Democracy and Human Rights Elective Course which will be piloted in selected secondary schools in 10 provinces have been shared with the teachers by e-mail. The teachers can also reach the unit and the activity on our website through the restricted area. All activities designed for "Democracy and Human Rights" course are going to be shared with the teachers and relevant parties on a regular basis. Teachers who do not have a password to access the restricted area can reach us for details

      Information Seminars to Introduce Strategies to Improve Democratic School Culture were organised in 10 provinces

      Strategies aiming at improving democratic school culture were introduced to the valuable school administrators, teachers and school personnel in the pilot primary and secondary schools in 10 pilot provinces by a team consisting of Ms Hatice Demirbaş, Democratic School Culture Working Group (DSCWG) Coordinator, Ms Nalan Alican DSCWG member, Assistant Prof. Hakan Dündar and Assistant Prof. Metin Elkatmış from the University of Kırıkkale and CoE representatives. Members of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and families were also invited to the seminars. The Provincial Education Directorates of our pilot provinces provided great support to our seminars and the level of attention and participation was quite high.


      Ms Hatice Demirbaş made the first presentation in which she briefed the audience about the project and explained the work carried out by the DSCWG focusing on the importance of democratic school culture and how these strategies were developed. She conducted her presentation in an interactive manner and invited a representative from each group of stakeholders and asked them the question "What does democratic school culture mean?". Following her presentation, Assistant Prof. Metin Elkatmış took the floor and explained the concepts that are relevant to democratic school culture. Assistant Prof. Hakan Dündar made a presentation on the stakeholders of a democratic school and gave some real-life examples. Our seminars were concluded by Ms Nalan Alican's presentation on the importance of family in improvind democratic school culture.


      The project team, led by Mr Zafer Çelik, Head of Education Systems and Policies Department in the Board of Education, accompanied the seminars in Elazığ, İstanbul, Samsun, Konya, and Yozgat, and contributed to the seminar by making a short presentation on the importance of the outcomes of Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project, as well as the cooperation betwwen the Turkish Ministry of National Education and the Council of Europe.

      Training Seminar to Introduce Democracy and Human Rights Elective Course Curriculum was accomplished

      Our seminar started in a very friendly atmosphere in the “In-service Training Institute” of the Ministry of National Education in Çayeli, Rize. The institute, which is considered as the gate of Çayeli reaching out to Turkey, hosted 50 people for our seminar.


      On the first day of the training, following the opening speeches of the Institute, Mr Zafer Çelik, Education Systems and Policies Group Head, made a speech on behalf of the Board of Education and informed the participants about the project and mentioned the major activities that have been accomplished so far. Then Ms Seda Arican, one of the Project Officers from the Council of Europe (CoE) talked about the structure and function of the CoE, as well as its role in this field.


      After the speeches, Mr M. Akif Sütcü, Coordinator of the Curriculum Development Working Group (CDWG), made an impressive presentation on all the stages between the very beginning of the development of the redesigned “Democracy and Human Rights” elective course and the moment when it received its final approval. He also underlined the importance of this curriculum. In the second half of the day, Mr Hüseyin Sezer a member of CDWG and one of the responsibles of the seminar informed the teachers and deputy school principles from pilot schools about the general structure and the aims of the new curriculum, emphasising that it is a more activity based curriculum when compared with more traditional ones. In his presentations “Use of Films in Democracy and Human Rights Teaching” he showed some scenes from the film “Hotel Rwanda” and he maintained that the teachers can use some alternative classroom activities and communicate democratic values to students through interaction, which will keep their level of interest and participation high.


      On the second day, Mr Ahmet Doğanay, Curriculum Development Expert and an instructor in the University of Çukurova stated that the group will try to give life to the current text of the curriculum by enriching it with some activities to be designed during the seminar. In his presentation he explained that the curriculum is shaped under five main themes and that their aim is to place “knowledge and value based active citizenship” approach in the foreground. He further explained that they have listed the knowledge and skills expected from a democratic citizen in 32 attainments and he reminded that democracy is a skill gained not only through education but also through living. In their joint presentation, Mr Doğanay and Mr Bülent Tarman, Instructor at the University of Necmettin Erbakan, presented the scope of the five themes in the curriculum (Democratic System and Living Democracy, Human Rights and Freedoms, Living Democracy: Active Citizenship, Pluralistic Approach to Diversity, Peace and Compromise) and provided detailed information by giving some examples.


      Following this session, which was conducted in a friendly discussion atmosphere, the main topic was the measurement and evaluation aspect. The emphasis was on the fact that the measurement and assessment approach to be used for the “Democracy and Human Rights” course should be in line with the aims of the course and should be designed to measure the students’ skills to become citizens in their schools and in their wider communities. It was further stressed that a single measurement and assessment technique would not suffice as there are different components to be measured including knowledge, values and skills. Accordingly, it was suggested that the teachers can assign different tasks and projects to students depending on their individual differences and skills and make the assessment separately.


      On Thursday, the seminar focused on its main aim, which was to design sample activities to be able to reach the attainments specified in the curriculum. The group discussed how activities should be designed and the main principles to be followed. Mr Doğanay stated that activities will constitute the life-blood of the curriculum and that they wanted to work together with the teachers and administrators from pilot schools to design some activities. He further expressed his belief that the seminar would lead to the production of a number of original activities. Meeting his expectations, the participants, who were divided in seven smaller working groups, designed quite interesting and original activities. These activities were presented to the whole group in the end. It was a very useful workshop because the teachers gained the ownership of the course and started to believe in it as a result of the intensive group work which lasted until midnight. Moreover, during the evaluation of the activities, the main features of a successful activity became clearer for the teachers.

      During this 5-day seminar, through the efforts of CDWG members and experts, we were able to introduce the new curriculum to its main owners. Furthermore, the teachers who will help this new course come to life received their official certificate of professional development issued by the MoNE and went back to their schools with a sense of fulfilment and with all the tools to start pilot implementation.

      Training Seminar to Introduce Democracy and Human Rights Elective Course Curriculum

      A training seminar to introduce the new elective course “Democracy and Human Rights” is going to be held in Rize, Çayeli between 3 – 7 September 2012. The seminar will last five days and teachers from ten pilot provinces (Edirne, Elazığ, İstanbul, Konya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Sakarya, Samsun, Yozgat) are expected to participate. Seminars are offered as part of in-service training programmes and constitute a major step prior to the start of pilot implementation.

      Throughout the programme teachers will get familiar with the new curriculum and they will also actively take part in the development of activities to be used during pilot implementation

      Click here for the Seminar Programme

      Information Seminars to Introduce Strategies to Improve Democratic School Culture

      A series of training seminars to introduce strategies to improve democratic school culture is going to kick-off on 3 September 2012 in Elazığ. These seminars will bring together the wider school community among whom are teachers and school principles of pilot schools, along with other people working in pilot schools, PTA members, and parents.

      The aim of these seminars is to make the target audiance familiar with democratic school culture strategies and facilitate their pilot implementation in 10 primary and 10 secondary schools in the pilot provinces.

      Seminars will follow the route below:

      3 September 2012 - Elazığ

      4 September 2012 - İstanbul

      5 September 2012 - Samsun

      6 September 2012 - Manisa

      7 September 2012 - Mersin

      10 September 2012 - Mardin

      11 September 2012 - Edirne

      12 September 2012 - Sakarya

      13 September 2012 - Konya

      14 September 2012 - Yozgat

      Democracy and Human Rights Elective Course Curriculum Approved

      The curriculum for Democracy and Human Rights Elective Course for for secondary schools was revised in the scope of the DCHRE project. The draft curriculum was shared and discussed extensively among the relevant stakeholders in a workshop held in Kızılcahamam between 18 – 20 June 2012. Having received valuable contribution from NGOs, pilot school teachers and school principles and academicians, Curriculum Development WG finalised and submitted the draft curriculum to the Board of Education for approval on 15 July 2012. The curriculum was approved by the Board relatively quickly and in the second half of August it was also approved and signed by the Minister of National Education. The new elective course “Democracy and Human Rights” is now going to be piloted in 10 pilot secondary schools in 10 provinces (Edirne, Elazığ, İstanbul, Konya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Sakarya, Samsun, Yozgat) throughout the 2012-2013 academic year.

      Click here for the Curriculum - Turkish Version

      Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Grant Scheme Information Meetings


      Between 1-6 July 2012 information meetings were held in Elazığ, İstanbul, Samsun, Manisa and Mersin provinces to introduce the Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Grant Scheme. The aim of the information meetings is to raise awareness of the relevant stakeholders and public on Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project (Democracy Generation) and accompanying Grant Scheme Programme.


      Project Director Hüseyin Öztürk and Project Coordinator Adem Bozkurt from the Board of Education (BoE), Contract Managers Esra Şahin and Saygın Tozlu from Central Finanace and Contracts Unit (CFCU) and Project Officer Ahmet Murat Kılıç from the Council of Europe (CoE) joined the information meetings. The representative from Delegation of the European Union to Turkey mentioned that due to her busy schedule they are regretful for not being able to join the meetings and she added thepresence of the CoE would be sufficient to represent European Union.

      Within the project introduction session Hüseyin Öztürk and Ahmet Murat Kılıç made a presentaion on Democracy Generation Project and they informed the audience about the progress during the first year of the project. The aim of the session is to ensure that the grant scheme proposals will be in accordance with the overall objective of the project. During Grant Scheme introduction session Adem Bozkurt introduced the Grant Scheme guidlines in detail and Esra Şahin and Saygın Tozlu explained the role of the CFCU and the administrative and financial procedures that will be folowed during the implementation of the grant scheme projects. A questions and answers session followed the presentations during which most common issues were clarified. In each province more than 150 people including administartors from provincial directorates of MoNE, R&D personnel, NGO representatives, school pricipals, teachers and other government agencies’ representatives, participated information meetings. The participation of MoNE administartors boosted the attention of the local media and in Samsun and Manisa articles were written in the newspapers.


      Kızılcahamam Workshops 18 - 20 June 2012


      Between 18- 21 June 2012, two important workshops on “Sharing the re-designed draft elective course curriculum : Democracy and Human Rights Education, for secondary education” and “Development of Democratic School Culture Strategies” were successfully held in Kızılcahamam, Ankara. Total number of 110 participants varying from NGOs that are active in the field of human rights and citizenship, teachers and school principals from all pilot schools, academicians and short-term experts in the project, ministry representatives from respective General Directorates and BoE project team were intensively involved in the working sessions during 3-day workshops.


      These simultaneous workshops were vitally important within the scope of DCHRE project in Turkey as they aimed to display first tangible results on two important draft documents via detailed consultation with all relevant stakeholders. During the first day of the programme, the draft elective course curriculum ( Democracy and Human Rights Education)  re-designed by CDWG presented in great details by Dr.Ahmet Doğanay (STE-CDWG). Following his excellent presentation, Dr. Metin Elkatmış (STE-DCSWG) explained the draft strategy paper prepared by Democratic School Culture Working

      Group on developing democratic culture  in schools of Turkey to the participants. Following two days of the programme, 9 working groups in total (composed of primary and secondary school teachers, principals, NGOs, academicians, MoNE officials and BoE WG members)  focused on working on the draft documents in depth and provided their feedback in the form of working group reports. These working reports were presented and discussed at the final plenary session. On the final day of the workshops, Material Development Working Group also took the opportunity to present their outputs and collected valauble feedback from all participants on the draft versions of designed awareness raising materials ( short-films, posters, project slogan/logo) in the field of DCHRE. At the end of these workshops, the question is whether the  workshops achieved their objectives or not? According to the evaluation results obtained from the participants, the answers is confidently : “Yes.”..


      Visit to Pilot Schools in Konya

      The project team, supported by the officials from the Board of Education of the Ministry of National Education of Turkey and the international experts Prof. David Kerr and Prof. Edward Huddlesone visited two schools in Konya; Mehmet Akif Ersoy Anatolian High School and Mareşal Mustafa Kemal Primary School. Konya is one of the ten project’s pilot provinces where the new curriculum for the elective subject of EDC/HRE in secondary schools and Democratic School Culture Framework will be piloted as of September 2012.Both schools reacted very positively to the incoming pilot in their schools and showed openness in facilitating the piloting phase. The Head teachers and current EDC/HRE teachers showed impressive maturity and experience in the work with the subject.

      In the primary school, the subject is running successfully for the last 2 years and the teachers presented impressive number of elements of good practice. More importantly, they showed readiness to share the issues and problems they faced with during the original piloting of the curriculum two years ago as well as to share their ideas for innovation and improvements. At the secondary school level, the Director and the teachers had very clear expectations from the project and shared their insight on how to involve parents and students in the process of deciding on the elective subject. The student councils work successfully in both schools.


      Living Democracy In Sweden

      The Turkish delegation consisting of the members of Democratic School Culture Working Group and senior officials of Board of Education and one representative from all other WGs had an inspiring study-visit to Stockholm. Thanks to the support of Elisabeth Backman as the organizer of the event, participants had the opportunity to closely observe the school environments and practices in different schools located in various areas around Stockholm during the first two days of the programme. A group consisting of student representatives from the school councils and head-teachers and principals in each school warmly welcomed the Turkish Delegation. They kindly introduced their physical school environment and pointed out the aspects of how they live and practice democracy together as one.

      Following school visits to 5 different schools, the focus of the remaining programme was on the key players that are keen on supporting the improvement of “school democracy” in Sweden. Swedish Students Councils (SVEA) as one of the leading organizations representing all school student councils in the country, hosted the delegation. One of the Committee members in SVEA, briefed the delegation on their main mission and their active role in raising awareness about the students’ rights and lobbying and advocacy activities addressing politicians to make students’ voice heard.

      One of the most interesting sessions for the Turkish Delegation took place at the Swedish School Inspectorate. A legal adviser from The Child and School Student Representative (BEO) - part of the Swedish Schools Inspectorate- presented the ways they safeguard the rights of children and students and the cases on degrading treatment in schools.

      The following day, The delegation met the counterpart organization of Board of Education in Sweden and held an interactive session discussing the curriculum development stages in Swedish Education system and how they tackle the challenges at the policy making level.

      The day ended with an official visit to Swedish Parliament. The Turkish Delegation was welcomed by the MPs from both coalition and opposition parties who are also the members of the education committee in the parliament. They answered the main the questions directed by the Turkish Delegation and pointed out the importance of promoting the policy of not only teaching democracy in the classroom but more importantly enhancing a common culture that all students live and practice democracy to the fullest in their own environment.

      On the last day of the programme, Turkish Delegation paid a courtesy visit to the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm and had the opportunity to meet the Counsellor. The meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere where the Delegation was informed about the current situation of the Turkish students in Sweden and the main problems they encounter.

      At the end of the study-visit, it was obvious to everyone in the delegation that in Sweden, democracy and human rights are not only the concepts thought through a cross curricular approach in classrooms but are also internalized and cohabited by students, teachers, schools managers as a whole.


      International Social Sciences Symposium

      The International Symposium on Social Studies Education organised by the University of Marmara, the Ministry of National Education and the Council of Europe held from 20 to 22 April 2012 in Istanbul.

      Council of Europe experts Prof. David Kerr, Prof. Rolf Gollob, and Dr. Reinhild Otte were among the keynote speakers of the event.

      Prof. David Kerr defined the EDCHRE project as "An ambitious project and probably the biggest investment in this field." He added that it is very important that Turkey will be one of the leading countries not only in Europe but in the entire world as well.

      Dr Reinhild Otte pointed out the political context of EDC/HRE and summarised what has been done by the CoE and the EU with regard to democracy and human rights. She also stated that she is quite pleased to see that the extensive publications of the CoE can also be translated into Turkish and can be used in Turkey thanks to this Project.

      Prof. Dr Emin Karip, Head of Board of Education, stressed the importance of democratic citizenship education and democratic school culture. He further drew attention to the importance of being open and willing to change attitudes and behaviours which do not leave any room for the students to think freely and act as individuals. Therefore, besides social studies teachers, teachers of all other subjects should play a role in establishing a democratic culture.

      Assist Prof. Bülent Tarman expressed his gratitude for the support of the EDC/HRE project in the organization of the symposium and praised the cooperation in the preparatory phase of the event. Prof. Dr Cemil Öztürk, Dean of the Atatürk Faculty of Education, added that ‘the support of the CoE inspires us and elevates our spirit’.

       Joint EU/CoE project on democratic citizenship and human rights education launched on 12 April in Ankara

      “Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Project” brought together some 200 key stakeholders at its Launching Event in Rixos Hotel Ankara. The three year project (6.1 million Euros) is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and the Board of Education in 20 pilot schools in 10 provinces throughout Turkey. In his opening address, Education Minister Ömer Dinçer said the overhaul of the curriculum would be an “important step toward strengthening [education on] human rights, democracy and equal opportunity for men and women.” (full speech) EU Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert announced that the budget allocated for the project was one of the largest in Europe in this realm, adding that “teaching democracy and human rights in school is an important part of creating a democratic society”. (full speech) The Head of the Council of Europe’s Education Department, Sjur Bergan, emphasized that democratic citizenship and human rights education cannot be reduced to a subject but should be considered as a whole school approach - not a subject studied for 2 hours a week but a set of attitudes and behaviours that follow us 24 hours a day. (full speech).

      The launching event received wide media coverage.


      Group Specific Training for building capacity of Capacity Development Working Group, Democratic School Culture Working Group and Capacity Building Working Group

      Under the auspices of the EC/CoE Joint Project on “Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Turkey”, Curriculum Development Working Group and Democratic School Culture Working Group strengthened with Capacity Building Working Group successfully completed their four-day capacity building workshop. The workshop was conducted by Professor Edward Huddleston and Professor Olena Stayslavska, senior Council of Europe experts. Prof. Huddleston works with the Citizenship Foundation from London, England and acts as a senior curriculum development expert for the Council of Europe in a number of countries member states of the Council of Europe. Ms Stayslavska is coordinator of the Poland Sumer Academy for Democratic Schools Networks in Europe and a prominent Council of Europe expert. The workshop is held in Ankara, from 12 to 15 March 2012.

      The aim of the workshop was to raise the capacity of the specific working groups (CDWG, DSCWG and CBWG) and help the groups to formulate the first concepts and draft documents for piloting planned for September 2012.

      The working group on curriculum development worked intensively with Prof. Huddleston and developed a concept draft curricular modules (6 modules of 6 lessons) that cover an annual programme for 9th grade EDC/HRE course. The working group members discussed widely the concepts and themes to be taught in the curriculum and brainstormed the ways to organize the modules in the course. The draft paper is the first step towards the efforts in building up the framework of curriculum and it will serve as a basis for the first draft to be produced in April 2012.

      The working groups on Democratic School Culture and Capacity Building worked under the supervision of Prof. Stayslavska on the concepts of Democratic School Culture Framework and ways to support the implementation the reform processes through capacity building. The DSCWG developed the first draft of the DSC framework and agreed on the general principles of the scope of the document they work on.

      A general training was also provided to all other working groups (LRWG, MDWG, CRWG) for two days. All WGs had the opportunity to extend their knowledge on the EDC/HRE learning objectives and assessment procedures and participated actively in the group discussions.

      A very important part of the training was dedicated to the coordination procedures and ways the groups can help and learn from each other. The groups offered to support at specific areas (e.g. MDWG offered to provide materials for CBWG) and also noted where they need and expect support from the sister WGs.

      The overall atmosphere of the training was very positive in which the participants highly appreciated the methods offered.

      The workshop was formally closed by Mr Emir Adzovic, CD/HRE Team Leader and Mr Zafer Çelik, Head of Education Systems and Policies Department following the presentations made on the experiences of the study visits that took place in London and Zurich.

      London Study Visit

      Under the auspices of the EC/CoE Joint Project on “Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Turkey”, Curriculum Development Working Group and Curriculum Review Working Group successfully completed their five-day training in London, which was hosted by Prof. David Kerr, Director of the Citizenship Foundation in London, from 19 to 25 February 2012.

      The aim of the training was to build capacity of the working groups in a better understanding of different perspectives including political and practical implementations in curriculum development and the ongoin review process in the field of citizenship education. The Citizenship Foundation, as the hosting institution of the study-visit, provided extensive information on the context of citizenship in the UK and presented various projects and specific programmes which concern different aspects of citizenship education.

      The delegation also visited the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) and where they were informed about the assessment and inspection process of the national curriculum with a special focus on citizenship curriculum in the UK. As one of the highlights of the training, they had the opportunity to learn in depth about the inspiring initiatives and work done by the Parliamentary Education Service on citizenship education in the UK.

      The study visit was also useful in terms of following the recent developments of the new curriculum review discussions in the UK context. The delegation visited the Department for Education and Government Policy in Westminster and they were informed about the department’s engagement in Europe and the current trends in the national curriculum and curriculum review.

      The Working Groups also became more acquainted with the implementations in UK schools and observed EDC practices closely in 3 schools in different locations of London.

      As the final part of the study-visit, Curriculum Development Working Group and Curriculum Review Working Group participated in a session in the Institute of Education and University of London which was founded in 1902 as a teacher training college. During the training, Prof. Hugh Starkey, the programme leader for the online MA Citizenship and History Education (University of London International Programmes), and Jeremy Hayward, Senior Lecturer in Citizenship Education, provided valuable insight to the working groups on the current state-of-art in human rights and citizenship education. They touched upon the importance of teacher's training and discussed how teachers could deal with controversial issues in the classroom environment.

      On the last day of the programme, Prof. David Kerr led the group debriefing session and the groups had the opportunity to reflect the main learning points and identified the follow-up work for the upcoming period with respect to their group-specific tasks.


      Zurich Study Visit

      Within the scope of EU/CoE Joint Project on “Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education”, Council of Europe Programme Office in Ankara organised a five-day study visit to Zurich University of Teacher Education in Switzerland, between 12-18 February 2012. The study visit was hosted by Prof. Rolf Gollob, Co-head of Center IPE-International Projects in Education.

      The aim of the training was to update the knowledge of participants on best practices of teacher training programmes in the field of EDC/HRE, as well as to observe educational and awareness-raising materials abroad. Members of Capacity Building and Material Development Working Groups, which were established within the scope of the project attended the study visit.

      The study visit contributed to the understanding of new trends in teacher training in Canton Zurich and methods and tools for developing and designing educational and awareness-raising materials.

      Working Group Members participated in seminars on school system of the Canton Zurich; approaches and models in in-service training for teachers; digital learning and digital assesment; cooperative approach in textbook writing; goals, standards and competences in education; competences and textbooks for democratic citizenship; and inclusive education as a core value of democratic schools.

      The delegation visited a primary school in Maennedorf, Zurich. They observed the classroom environment, interviewed the teachers and had a discussion session with Claude Saladin,school principal.

      A visit was orginized to cantonal publishing house. Mr Robert Fuchs, director of the publishing house gave a presentation on the methods, processes and tools of textbook development. Ms Reneta Minoretti explained production process of primary level english textbook form scracth to the bookshelf.

      On last day of the study visit, a wrap-up meeting was organized with all participants to discuss the subjects covered during the visit. In this meeting, Working Group Members presented their views and discussed them in detail.