DEO. The Democracy in Europe Organisation DEOEDUCATION

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1 DEO The Democracy in Europe Organisation DEOEDUCATION

2 What is DEO? The Democracy in Europe Organisation (DEO) is a Danish liberal adult education and debate organisation focusing on European issues. Since it s founding in 2005 our objective has been to further democracy in Europe. We wish to engage the general public in a nuanced debate on the politics and workings of the European Union as well as the broader topic of European integration and we do this by promoting participation for all members of society in EU politics through open and interesting debates on current EU topics. DEO is an independent organization with no links to political parties and without any political agenda. We build our organisation on voluntary work and contributions from private and public funds. DEO education Since 2009 DEO has been a key player in promoting problem-oriented and active EU-learning in secondary education in Denmark. The primary goal is to support and qualify teaching about the EU by providing learning materials and didactical tools, which makes teaching about the EU inspiring for the students. DEOeducation offers a series of teaching activities, ranging from training of teachers, student workshops, and democratic cafés to presentations at schools. We also provide a broad range of high quality teaching materials for secondary education. EU-Network for teachers The EU-network is a joint effort between DEO and more than 100 participating schools and educational institutions. The network functions as a platform for exchanging experiences and knowledge on EU-related topics and EU learning and gives teachers the latest updates from DEOeducation. Moreover it provides information about relevant conferences, seminars, projects and new learning materials. The network currently has more than 230 individual teachers from 137 schools and educational institutions. The pamphlet is published by the Democracy in Europe Organisation (2014) 2

3 Teaching materials: Theme packages Students often find it hard to relate to EU-issues presented in the classroom. In our experience this can be remedied by engaging them in real-life issues, where they work analytically and didactically with a EUrelevant case that already interests them. This could be topics as varied as climate change, human rights, lobbyism and democracy. All these themes can be approached with the EU in mind. The theme packages themselves are theme-based, problem-oriented online packages for both students and teachers to learn more about the EU. They include tools suitable for both interdisciplinary teaching as well as project/ essay assignments. DEO offers more than 30 different theme packages, each with a different set of problems, research questions and up-to-date material from the daily press. YOUR VOTE GAY RIGHTS NATIONALISM THE ELECTED EU POLITICIANS AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES GLOBAL CHANGE 3

4 Teacher training and post education Teacher training conferences Each year DEO arranges four teacher training conferences in cooperation with Danish universities, leading EU-experts and DEO s well-established EU-network for teachers. The aim of the conferences is to strengthen EU-teaching by bringing teachers up to date with important EU-themes and showing them how to do case-based and corporate teaching. The conferences of last year focused on the European-Parliamentary elections and on how to teach the economic crisis. The conferences moreover focused on how to do cross-disciplinary and active learning and how to apply role-play in teaching about the EU. Each year more than 400 teachers participate in our post education conferences, additionally encouraging networking among teachers, which leads to further improved teaching methods. Teacher s workshops and Roundtable meetings DEO education provides a number of seminars and workshops in collaboration with universities, schools and the Danish Ministry of Education. The main objective is to provide teachers with didactical material on relevant EU subjects and give concrete suggestions on how to make learning plans and teaching on the EU that inspires the students. The roundtable seminar gives teachers the opportunity to work together and share valuable input and knowledge about EU education. The Roundtable meetings most often alternate between professional presentation, presentations of DEO s teaching materials, and discussions of ideas and challenges in teaching about the EU. 4

5 School events Role play Using role-play in EU-education provides a more colourful way of learning about the EU, while maintaining a high degree of subject relevance. The role-play is a learning tool, where the students work analytically with a relevant, real life EU-issue. The students takes on different roles, as EUinstitutions, member states, journalists etc. and must then formulate strategies and pursue certain goals and make alliances to achieve them. By making the students act as different actors they gain valuable insight into the difficulty of reaching an agreement because of the conflicts of interests. The role-play also strengthens student s awareness of power structures and alliances within the EU-system. More than 600 students have participated in DEO s role plays. So far DEO has developed three different role-plays that deal with the economic crises, the European- Parliamentary elections and strategies to reduce climate changes. Democracy Café DEO offers an event called the Democratic Café as a more vivid experience of EU debates than the ordinary teacher-student seminar model. At the Democratic Café guest speakers, which can be either an EUexpert or a politician, are invited into the classroom to give a presentation on a relevant EU-issue. We find that the Democratic Cafe serves as a great supplement to the working methods normally used in secondary schools. DEO has an extensive network of experts, researchers, professors, journalists etc. that all contributes to the Democratic cafés. 5

6 DEO projects with EU funding Teaching Europe /2013 The Teaching Europe project was a joint effort with two Danish Universities. The main aim was to give EU-teaching a higher priority in secondary schools and to make EU education easier and more accessible for students to grasp. The main activities were two teachers conferences with a combined attendance of over 200 teachers, on how to teach the EU. The project also consisted of smaller workshops and presentations and provided an interactive website with 30 comprehensive theme-packages with different EU-relevant themes. Engage and learn Europe 2013/2014 Engage and Learn Europe built on our experiences from Teaching Europe conducted in This time the focus was on corporative learning methods, especially on how to use role-play in teaching the EU. Engage and Learn Europe also focused on how to teach the current economic crisis as well as engaging students in the European Parliamentary Elections in We did this by providing teachers with up-to-date teaching materials as well as inspiring teachers to enhance their use of didactical methods in the classroom. Learning in a New Europe 2014/2015 Our next endeavor it the Learning in a new Europa conferences. The overall aim is to develop and inform the teaching of European integration and EU politics. A new European Parliament, a new Commission, a postcrisis situation in Europe with an alarming rise in poverty levels and a new strain in EU/Russia relations after the events in Ukraine. Learning in a new Europe focuses on interdisciplinary teaching and aims to build bridge between history classes and social science. Another new element is the founding of a Teachers Award given to a teacher who has excelled in making the European Union an engaging and inspiring topic for students. The projects have received support from the Jean Monnet Learning school programme. 6

7 Other activities in DEO Public EU-debates DEO s core activity is our public EU-debate meetings. We arrange about 40 debates each year many of these in close cooperation with Danish and European civil society groups and organisations. We also arrange debate meetings with EU-experts, politicians as well as bigger international conferences on EU-issues and politics. Besides these activities a range of less formal events such as city walks, excursions and film screenings are also a part of out program. Study trips DEO offers intensive study trips to EU-rich destinations like Brussels and Strasbourg and a number of longer study trips to Poland, Germany, France, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. All in all between 5 and10 trips each year. EU-magazine NOTAT NOTAT is a monthly EU-magazine written, edited and published by DEO. Its primary purpose is to inform Danish citizens about EU-relevant issues topics. Our journalism is critical of the mainstream approach and try to see things from different angles, staying free of all party-political ties. Each month deals with a new theme for instance youth unemployment in the EU, tax havens, the European Parliamentary elections and free trade policy in the EU. The Democracy Baton The Democracy Baton is a yearly event held on the 5 th of June, Day of the Danish constitution. On this occasion a baton is given to a public figure who solemnly swears on receiving it to uphold the values of democracy and public debate, and in the year to come, to positively contribute to developing the democratic debate in Denmark. 7

8 Contact DEO Oplysningsforbundet DEO Nordkystvejen 2F 8961 Allingåbro Mail: Phone number: Office in Copenhagen Oplysningsforbundet DEO Fælledvej København N. Phone number: Rasmus Nørlem Sørensen Secretary Director Founder of DEO Education Caroline Bindslev Project coordinator for DEO Education Homepages

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