Young ArcHers: Learning to defend architectural heritage in primary schools

Project Details

Description

As communities across Europe grow increasingly complex, the way they manage social inclusion and promote civic education becomes a matter of major importance. In this context, it is claimed that, “cultural heritage has a big role to play in building the future of Europe” (The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018), and that encouraging more people to discover and engage with it is expected to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. Education being the area through which key elements of both the individual identity and social awareness of younger citizens can be shaped, the Council of Europe proposes an edu-cultural approach, recommending to "incorporate heritage education more effectively in school curricular activities” (“European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century”, K1, COE, 2017).

However, cultural education in schools is commonly perceived as discipline-bound, unidirectional and academic, not consistent with the Universal Design for Learning Guidelines (udlguidelines.cast.org), which favours a symbolic, learnercentric, identity-oriented, interdisciplinary and critical approach. Departing from the fact that schools constitute safe and inclusive spaces for children with diverse competences and skills, coming from equally diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, “Young ArcHers” proposes a mindset shift that advocates the use of cultural heritage as a valuable tool for teachers to efficiently mediate civic education, and regards school communities as ideal environments for promoting intercultural dialog and social inclusion. Further elaborating on this approach, the project draws inspiration from EU policies with a strong focus on preserving built European heritage (cf. the INTERREG policy on the Built Heritage, announced in June 2020) and aspires to direct the attention of school communities towards heritage buildings in order to serve a dual purpose: raise awareness of European cultural continuity and our shared values, as well as motivate community members to engage in collective action for built heritage preservation. In order to further promote social integration and inclusion, the partnership will make sure that all project’s materials destined for student participants will be accessible to as many children as possible, including children with disabilities and with a migrant/refugee background.

Concurrently, responding to the increasing need for digital literacy in contemporary societies, “Young ArcHers” proposes a set of activities that will offer student participants an opportunity to apply in practice and enhance skills that are necessary for the Digital Era, using everyday technology. According to the above needs analysis and approach adopted by the project, Young ArcHers demonstrates its strong focus on the below priorities set by this year’s Erasmus+ KA2 horizontal priorities: Common values, civic engagement and participation Inclusion and diversity in all fields of education, training, youth and sport Addressing digital transformation through development of digital readiness, resilience and capacity.
Short titleYoung ArcHers
AcronymYoung ArcHers
StatusActive
Effective start/end date3/01/222/01/24

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