Explaining the European Union and Its Opportunities to Your Students

Table of Contents

Description

The European Union (EU) is a unique experiment in world history: a few independent states that, in times of peace, voluntarily ceded part of their sovereignty to create a new international organization. Their point of departure was the achievement of economic cooperation, which allowed them to become increasingly interconnected and to avoid future wars in the continent.

Even though the Union has obtained significant achievements in many different fields, there is still a general lack of information about how it actually functions and a lot of misinformation, all despite the fact that the EU affects our daily lives in so many different ways. This is why it is crucial for young learners to be provided with the tools to understand the Union’s values and how they inform its actions.

In this one-week course, participants will learn about the inner workings of the EU, and how to frame its mission. They will learn new strategies to raise awareness of the Union’s role in the European context through the analysis of the common values and historical heritage of the member states.

Using creative and interactive tools, participants will also learn how to make the most of the opportunities offered by EU-funded programs, how to write a project, and how to build EU-wide networks across borders. Moreover, they will explore a variety of useful learning materials about the EU.

Through the sharing of best practices as well as role-playing activities and classroom debate methodology, they will create activities that foster effective debate and critical thinking about European policies.

By the end of the course, participants will achieve a better understanding of the EU’s core mission and long-term objectives, allowing them to easily spot fake news concerning the EU and help their students to debunk it. Participants will also become familiar with the most relevant European Union programs (Erasmus+)  and with the main opportunities for young learners and schools. 

Concept by David Baroni

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:

  • Explain the historical process of integration of the European Union through engaging and innovative activities;
  • Have a better understanding of EU’s institutions and how it functions;
  • Spot fake news about the EU and help students to deconstruct it;
  • Raise awareness of the EU’s impact on the daily life of its citizens;
  • Make the most of opportunities provided by EU-funded programmes;
  • Promote common European values and heritage.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external activities during the week;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools;
  • Introduction to the European Union.

Day 2 – Understanding the EU

  • How to effectively explain the European integration process;
  • Breaking down stereotypes about the EU;
  • Understanding the functioning of EU institutions.

Day 3 – The EU debate

  • Spotting fake news about the EU;
  • Fostering effective debate and developing critical thinking about European policies;
  • How to promote common European values and heritage.

Day 4 – European Union’s opportunities

  • What the EU can do for you – most relevant programmes and opportunities;
  • How to write EU-funded projects.

Day 5 – The European Union’s future

  • How to build EU-wide networks across borders;
  • EU priorities for the next years.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: recap of acquired skills, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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