Democratic citizenship and human rights education

Intercultural Education and Democratic Citizenship in Schools

This major principle at the basis of our activities – approaching intercultural and civic education together – also catered for a series of activities implemented since the spring of 2002 in partnership with the British Council Romania. These activities aimed at integrating education for democratic citizenship and intercultural education as transversal elements of school life, changing not only the content and the methods of teaching and of the out-of-school activities, but also the general organizational culture of schools, including the way students are involved in the decision-making process.


  • To foster a school ethos based on democratic participation, appreciation of diversity, and openness towards community;
  • To promote intercultural education and democratic citizenship through curricular and extracurricular activities;
  • To develop interactive teaching methods and new education materials that can help teachers explore issues of diversity, citizenship and human rights.

In the framework of this project, in its initial phase, a network of eight schools from Timis County was created. In 2003, the project was expanded at the level of Cluj and Salaj Counties, in the northwestern part of Romania, and involved 10 more schools. The schools were very diverse and situated in different locations – some of them were prestigious, others were from little villages. The activities benefited from the support of the educational activities in the three regions involved.

The main activities were:

  • an assessment of the schools involved
  • training sessions for teachers and principals from these schools
  • setting-up a multidisciplinary team of teachers in each school
  • elaboration of school action-plans, including the application of specific methods within the compulsory curriculum, extracurricular activities, activities realized in partnership with Pupils’ Council and complex activities realized in cross-curricular perspective
  • implementation of these action-plans under the monitoring of the team at the Intercultural Institute of Timisoara
  • collecting materials and compiling resource-files as a result of the work in classes and that might serve as examples of good practice for other teachers and schools.

The main result of this project was the creation of a network of resource-schools and teachers trained in using innovative methods for intercultural education and education for democratic citizenship, methods that promote the active participation of the pupils and the school-community partnership. The final conference of this project took place in March 2004 in Sinaia and offered participants the opportunity to share and discuss their experience and to reflect on future plans for their schools. Besides the representatives of the schools involved in the project, the conference was also attended by other teachers that had been involved in activities in this field.