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Citizenship Websites

John Simkin

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DfES Citizenship


This government website has been designed as a source of information about education for Citizenship in the curriculum for young people in schools and colleges in England. Information on the site has been arranged in three main areas for teachers, pupils, and parents and governors. There are sections on Curriculum Issues, Assessment, Training & Development, Teaching Resources and Case-Studies.

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Citizenship Foundation


The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity working to promote more effective citizenship through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, it encourages understanding of the rights and duties of citizenship, the workings of the political, social, and legal systems and the democratic process. It also advocates the provision of experiences which enable citizens to become caring, confident and effective members of society. In particular, the Foundation seeks ways of enriching provision for those for whom the quality of citizenship would otherwise be poor.

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Speak Out!


This is a pan-European project that aims to get young people thinking and talking about European issues in the classroom and online. It is now in its third year and has proved very popular with teachers and students across Europe. The website hosts discussion for about nine European issues. A teacher guide accompanies the project, which gives informative briefings on the issues as well as ideas for classroom activities and discussion topics.

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I think that one of the objectives or our project should be to organise a good commented collection of web sites to teach Citizenship. It should be multilingual in, at least, partners' mother tongues.

I am adding up some links in English:

Council of Europe - Education for Democratic Citizenship


The Council of Europe’s EDC project was set up in February 1997 with the aim to find out which values and skills individuals require in order to become participating citizens, how they can acquire these skills and how they can learn to pass them on to others.

The project was officially launched in October 1997 by the Heads of States and Governments of the Council's of Europe Member States at their Second Summit in Strasbourg held on 10-11 October 1997.

Since then, the Council of Europe has provided a forum of discussion between EDC experts and practitioners from all over Europe, who defined concepts, developed strategies and collected good practices on EDC.

On the basis of their findings and recommendations the Council of Europe has set policy standards in the field of EDC and advocated their implementation by member States

Edited by Juan Carlos
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Council of Europe - 2005 European Year of Citizenship through Education


European Year of Citizenship through Education marks the culmination of eight years' work by the Council of Europe to define concepts, policies and strategies for applying good practices in the area of education for democratic citizenship (EDC).

The Council of Europe is launching the European Year for Citizenship through Education in order to encourage the practical implementation of pledges by political decision-makers who undertook to adapt the Recommendation to their states' education systems.

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European Citizen action service


ECAS was created in 1990 as an international non-profit organization, independent of political parties, commercial interests and the EU Institutions. The association’s mission is to enable NGOs and individuals to make their voice heard with the EU.

What are its objectives?

1. To strengthen the European Strategy of NGOs in member states and applicant countries of the EU.

2. To defend free movement rights and promote a more inclusive European citizenship

3. To campaign for transparency and reform of the EU Institutions

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Promoting the European Dimension through Geography teaching


Teaching European citizenship is about establishing a curriculum that will encourage an awareness of: the geographical diversity of Europe and its regions. In particular with its natural, social and economic features, the political and social structures in Europe, the forces that shaped Europe and the patterns of development and characteristic features of European culture in its unity and diversity.

In the Teaching Citizenship section a ‘Teachers Handbook’ is available to help guide you through teaching citizenship through Geography, therefore giving you a guided experience. Within the teachers Handbook a number of topics are further developed as case studies, providing additional ideas and useful Web sites which are gathered for you to use within the classroom

Citizenship materials can take many forms online, teachers can use Teaching Resources on the Euro.Geo Web site to search for and enrich the Geography curriculum with lesson materials and online information on the European Dimension.

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The British Film Institute has an excellent website that includes these resources that advise on how film might be used in the teaching of citizenship:

A major theme in citizenship education is the role of the media in society. While most citizenship teaching tends to focus very much on the news and how the news is produced, films provide a rich source of material with which to deepen and extend students understanding of issue that are raised in the news. Furthermore, examining the way films represent the world to us can enhance young people's understanding of the role of the media in society more broadly. The section on Film and the curriculum outlines some of the citizenship themes you can explore with films. The ideas are presented within the framework of the National Curriculum for Citizenship for England, but could be easily adapted to other curricula.


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Parallel to the making of this newsletter, a number of referenda were being held on the European constitution. The Spanish have spoken out in favour of the European constitution, the French and the Dutch have rejected it. An interesting website to keep up-to-date on the progress of ratification of the EU constitution in all the member states is www.democracy-international.org. Per country one can find information on the current position and the status of a referendum.

This newly founded Democracy network advocates a more democratic Europe, starting with as many referenda as possible in the European states. They have an ambitious agenda for the future however, you can read in the founding statement that the network has expansion plans to promote world democracy at the UN level.


Sociumi, the Flemish Centre for active Citizenship, has a new website. The people of Sociumi have set as their goal to let citizens participate in society and politics. They argue that participation is the building brick of democracy. Since 2003 they have transformed into a ‘movement’ working on different themes: active citizenship, European citizenship, voluntary work and lifelong learning.

Sociumi is a very locally based organisation, focusing exclusively on small projects in Flanders and Brussels. The website is in Dutch, but you can also contact the staff for more information on their projects.


Open Democracy wants to use the full potential of the Internet to create an open debate between everyone in the world who wants to participate. Free thinking and debating in a democratic space is their mission. The topics dealt with on the website are related to politics or culture and are organised by theme ranging from art or conflicts to media and power politics. There is a wealth of information on any topic.

The strength of the website is that it can utilise a vast database of gifted and knowledgeable writers and pundits, coming from different fields (e.g. journalists, scholars, artists, politicians), but also has a debate function so that anyone can participate. Use the search function at the top to find relevant articles and debates on for example citizenship or empowerment.


Currently we are revising, updating and improving the Politeia website. Especially when the printed newsletter will no longer be published it is essential to the Politeia network to use the opportunities of the Internet more than at the present.

The layout will stay similar, but more functions will be added such as the possibility to post reactions to articles or to post news facts (e.g. events or projects your organisation is working on). Also, the content will be revised with a clearer outline of what Politeia is about and what its goals are. The news page will be updated more regularly to keep our readers updated with interesting websites or articles. So please come and visit us more often!

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myEUROPE is a web-based project developed by European Schoolnet ( http://www.eun.org). It aims at helping teachers raise their pupils’ awareness of what it means to be a young citizen in Europe. It is a network of more than 4000 schools that work together, exchange and share information relating to European themes. In this way they bring the diversity of Europe into the classroom via the Internet, proving that the path to living together in Europe starts at school.


Since its launch in May 2000, the project has focused on European citizenship and intercultural education through online activities and classroom practice examples at primary and secondary level. During the past five years, myEUROPE has become one of the largest networks of schools in Europe. It has encouraged contacts between teachers and their classes from Member States, new Member States and Candidate Countries, involving students in collaborative educational projects and activities.


The myEUROPE website provides content in three languages (English, French and German), but contributions to the activities are available in all European languages. The project audience are classes with students from 5 to 20 years old.

Petru Dumitru from the European Schoolnet staff in Brussels is in charge of the project.

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21st Century Citizen: the online resource for Citizenship


'This is a very interesting site and supports the new subject of Citizenship most appropriately. The designers have drawn on the vast resources of the British Library to provide many fascinating antique documents, books and maps and have presented them in a fresh and interesting way.

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Forum members might be interested in this website. It provides materials for history, politics and citizenship:



Simulations are educational exercises that provide students the opportunity to "role-play" the concerns of stakeholders in a given scenario. Students will gain greater insight into the dynamics of peacemaking, and will be better able to raise pertinent questions and concerns. The simulations included here enable participants to practice the skills of conflict management, and to test policy options to determine the preferred response to a given set of circumstances.

For instructions on running simulations in your classroom please see our Guide on Using Simulations

The Cambodia Peace Settlement

Participants role-play negotiators at a peace settlement conference, where, due to international pressure, the Cambodian government has agreed to negotiate with opposition leaders over implementation of a peace settlement and past accountability for genocide and war crimes.

The Case of "Palmyra"

This simulation focuses on a conflict in the territory of "Palmyra" in the fictional country of "Siwa." The aim of the simulation is to demonstrate for the participants some of the challenges facing peacemakers in their efforts to resolve violent international conflicts.

Colombia: U.S. Response to the Changing Nature of International Conflict

For the purpose of this exercise, students will be simulating the United States government as it confronts a deteriorating situation in Colombia as a way to deepen their understanding of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and conflict resolution.

Conflict Prevention in the Greater Horn of Africa

Students will participate in a simulation of the ad hoc OAU committee that the secretary general of the Organization of African Unity—Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim—has organized to deal with the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

This simulation focuses on a U.S.-led effort to bring together many elements of both Israeli and Palestinian society to hold discussions about the needs and interests of both sides before entering into formal negotiations.

Northern Ireland: One Step at a Time—The Derry March and Prospects for Peace

The simulation deals with a specific issue in the Northern Ireland conflict: that of the marches which serve as a microcosm of the larger conflict between Catholics and Protestants.

The Paris Peace Talks of December 1972–January 1973

This simulation focuses on a brief phase in the Paris Peace Talks when the U.S., North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the Soviet Union are meeting in Paris to salvage peace in Vietnam.

Peacekeeping in Kashmir: An American Choice

This simulation focuses on a meeting of the U.S. National Security Council debating the possible use of peacekeeping forces on the ground in Kashmir. In this fictional case, the U.S. government must consider a peace proposal negotiated between India, Pakistan, and China and put forward by a former U.S. assistant secretary of state acting as mediator.

Sri Lanka: Setting the Agenda for Peace

Students will simulate the meeting in Geneva to explore possibilities for the resolution of the Sri Lankan conflict and the subsequent reconstruction of Sri Lankan society.

The Use of Force in Chechnya: An Exploration through Track-Two Diplomacy

This simulation focuses on the conflict in Chechnya and provides an opportunity to take part in a problem-solving workshop involving Russian and Chechen representatives of civil society.

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Other interesting websites:



A section of the great American public TVs website, PBS, this site through documentary segments and interviews with original thinkers, NOW goes beyond the noisy churn of the news cycle and gives viewers the context to explore their relationship with the larger world.


Free thinking for the world


openDemocracy.net is pioneering a new type of independent media based on exchange and participation.

Our readers and writers span all continents. We cover the key questions of our time with contributions from renowned authors and marginalised voices.

We publish clarifying debates which help people make up their own minds.

We use the web to build and map intelligent discussions, which we accumulate and expand daily.

openDemocracy stands for human rights and democracy. We support these concepts as an opening, rather than with closed definition.

It's in our name: openDemocracy.net is dedicated to opening up a democratic space - free thinking for the world.

Elsewhere on this site we hope you will find ideas and arguments that engage, annoy, stimulate and surprise you.

You can take part - in the forums, or by sending your own material to the editors. You can engage with all sides of the argument, not just the ones that are popular - or promoted by the corporate media. You will be encouraged to draw on your own experience.

Blogs, newsletter...

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