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Summary of some interesting tools regarding citizenship

Context: Catholic Dialogue school Inspiring citizenship

At the crossing of education, Church and society, the catholic dialogue school warmly welcomes everyone, whatever his religious or ideological background may be. Pupils (including those attending boarding school, adult education, college or university students), parents, members of staff, administrators, all of them and without exception are invited to participate in its educational project. Throughout the dialogue the catholic dialogue school enriches itself and in a contemporary context recontextualises its Christian inspiration.

Proceeding from the tradition to which the school belongs and in dialogue with its environment, the catholic dialogue school intends to be a training ground for living (together) in a world that is characterized by diversity and difference. Critically-creatively learning to get along with what is familiar and what is different, with what unites and what distinguishes, enables people to contribute to an open, meaningful, tolerant and enduring society.

-the importance of identity, dialogue and diversity

-‘inspiring citizenship’: people do not only feel responsible for and connected with society, they also know ‘why’ they are socially engaged. Participation always implies a conscious and empathetic relation towards the other and the society.

Curriculum: general core curriculum

Personal development of the student in dialogue with the other and the society (catholic dialogue school).

Every student, including VET- students (A stroom and B stroom), involves every teacher of the school teams

Realising citizenship education and specific teams as diversity, discrimination, vulnerability, human rights etc. Attitudes, competences and knowledge

Some examples of learning goals:

  1. LPD 1: Pupils experience the classroom and the school as a place where they are given plenty of opportunities to develop as pupils and as persons.

  2. LPD 2: The pupils are aware of their feelings and learn to recognise and name them.

  3. LPD 6 * Pupils take care of the physical and mental limits of themselves and others.

  4. LPD 9 * The pupils take responsibility for preventing and responding to bullying and exclusionary behaviour.

  5. LPD 10 * The pupils are prepared to adjust their opinions about themselves, others and society.

How realising this learning goals? By connecting them to different methodologies regarding citizenship!

General tools about diversity :

- dialogue circle. General tool to explore the reasons of polarisation (tool for teachers)

- Tools about the dealing with adversity: iceberg principle!

Developing tools about ‘intersectional thinking’ (for us important): the identity of a person depends upon different perspectives, crossroads of identity ashes: race, social background, age, skin colour, family, etc. Discrimination is not about ‘one’ cause, but includes many intertwingled factors, ‘sections’.


Proactive circles with ‘emotion cards’: pupils learn not only to express their emotions, but also to explain why they are living them. Rules: circle, the one who speaks got a certain ‘object’, the others listen and do not react, the one who wants to respond asks for the object

General tool, very accessible. Differences and sometimes tensions between students become visible.

How to deal with polarization in the classroom

Samuel Pathy, etc.

Priviledge walk

Starting point : dealing with diversity in the classroom, confronting our students/pupils with the differences in race, social background, gender behind every individual. Due to these different factors, some groups of people are more vulnerable than others because they miss some privileges. The tool of the priviledge walk obliges us to examin the factors making people extra vulnerable.

-Experience-orientated methodology where pupils reflect in the whole classroom about their place in society

-‘life stories’: each student got a little fiche with a life story

-‘walk’: by hearing a certain situation, every student walks forward or backward, whether or not he or she is privileged in the situation

-Goal: not every one has the same opportunities in life, and is confronted with discrimination

-Needs: a big classroom, all the students need to stand on a row, they need to be able to walk 7 meters forwards, of 7 meters backwards

1) Pupils empathize with a character on the basis of a chit (story of that character, his or her background, character, age, appearance, etc.)

2) to ensure that they are really ‘into their character’, you can provide them with some extra guiding questions

3) After the preparation, you put the students on one row. They can move 7 meter forwards, and 5 meter backwards, in an ideal situation

4) The students give each other a hand and close their eyes

5) You explain the rules: you will read some ‘theses’: they can go one big step forward if they agree, they need to go one step backward if they disagree

6) You read this theses carefully and in a very slow tempo, the students can move and loose the hand of their peer if they are in a very opposite direction

7) When every thesis has been read, the students need to open their eyes again and discover ‘literally’ their place in society

After this, you provide them with a reflection exercise where you write down the privileges and disadvantages for them in the following categories:


Sexual orientation

Family situation





You let them write down on different sheets and go over everything with them afterwards.

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