Why Radicalisation Prevention in School?

In the initial research of the PRACTICE project, it was remarkable that the majority of school informants claimed to have no experience in terms of cases of violent radicalisation and extremism among students. In general, the informants did not recognize radicalisation among students as a visible, let alone intrusive problem. Other schools and teachers will probably be able to join this experience. Seen in this light, many teachers and youth workers might ask whether radicalisation processes in school is a myth or a reality.

During these last 3 years, partners have worked for clarifying and promoting the importance role of the school as laboratory of democracy and as a part of the prevention chain aimed at addressing the risk and vulnerability factor that can lead vulnerable youngster toward violent radicalisation processes.

The school must build a strong democratic ethos, where school leadership, teachers and students always credibly adhere to values such as equality, solidarity and community, respect for diversity and differences, anti-discrimination and inclusive behavior.

Radicalisation prevention in School: How?

PRACTICE has addressed this challenge through different directions:

  • The development of an innovative CPD programme on prevention of radicalization in schools.
  • The empowerment of teachers through capacity-building training aimed to equip them with methods and tools addressing diversity in the classroom, and furthermore to increases teachers´ understanding of radicalization processes and their management in educational settings.
  • The enhancement among students of critical thinking skills, as well as the strengthening of students´ understanding of citizenship and common values such as freedom, tolerance and anti-discrimination.
  • The fostering of a safe space in schooling settings in terms of ensuring mutual respect for equality across religious, socio-economic and socio-cultural affiliations among the students.

Radicalisation prevention in PRACTICE: the project’s results

Despite all the difficulties faced because of COVID-19 pandemic and the related restrictions, PRACTICE managed to involve more than 100 teachers from around 35 schools in 6 EU countries, together with secondary-school students involved in the piloting activities, school leaders, education professionals, policy makers and stakeholders at National and European level.

The main project’s output is the RADICALISATION PREVENTION PROGRAMME, which represents an innovative tool for teachers and educational support staff for strengthening critical thinking skills and resilience of students, discussing controversial issues openly. Together with this training programme, a TEACHERS’ MANUAL provides GUIDELINES and supporting materials and analysis for equipping educational staff in the prevention’s task.

Along with this, an initial COMPARATIVE RESEACH REPORT analyse the situation of the Educational sector in Europe related to these topics, and the needs of teachers for improving the CPD offer; and the final POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS PAPER collects the lesson learned and our suggestions for building a coherent strategy at EU level for strengthening the educational sector.

All the PRACTICE outputs have been developed in strict cooperation between the project partners and with the support of teachers, stakeholders and experts in the field from 6 EU partner countries. All results, output and publications are available in 5 languages (English, Italian, Danish, German, Greek) in our website https://practice-school.eu/ and they will remain at disposal of teachers, educators and stakeholders in Europe.

We hope the PRACTICE resources will be helpful for supporting teachers in their daily work, for inspiring professionals working in the educational sector, for stimulating policy makers and relevant stakeholders in understanding the needs of teachers and students, driving a social change!

We strongly believe that critical thinking, together with the practice of the value of diversity and democracy, can be a real shield against radicalisation processes.

For more information, please contact antonella.alessi@danilodolci.org

PRACTICE is cofinanced by Erasmus+; KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for school education.

Partners