Rediscovering the Roots of Democracy: From Ancient Greece to the European Union

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  • Activities: Our courses usually include two cultural activities. Further information is available on the page of each location.
  • Certificate: Certificate of Attendance guaranteed for participants who attend at least 80% of the course.
  • Lessons: Upon the decision of the course provider, classes take place in the Morning (9:00 – 14:00) or in the Afternoon (14:00 – 19:00).
  • OID: Discover our OIDs
  • Price: 480 €


In a rapidly globalized world, where students are expected to be citizens of a multicultural society, democracy is a vital prerequisite. It is also considered one of the fundamental values of the European Union in consideration of its further capacity to promote sustainable development and equity for all.

In the late 6th century B.C., the Greek city-state of Athens began to lay the foundations for a new kind of political system. The Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reforms that was called demokratia, which means “rule by the people” (from demos, “the people,” and Kratos, or “power”). It is known as the first democracy in the world.

The ancient Greek idea of democracy was different from present-day democracy, and the democratic political system has been transformed a lot through the centuries.

By looking back to the first democracy of the world, this course aims to:

  • Detect the differences between Greek democracy and modern democratic systems;
  • Show how ancient Greek democracy contributed to modern societies, cities and way of life;
  • Examine the values and the principles that are vivid in contemporary diverse societies;
  • Conceptualize the framework of democratic culture proposed by the European Council and possible ways to promote it in our everyday school practices;
  • Offer ways to support all students in becoming active members of inclusive and participatory societies.

During the course, participants will also be engaged in activities, games, group work, and exercises that can promote a more democratic culture in the classroom. By using these group activities, teachers will be able to improve the building process of relationships among students, teachers, and the whole educational community in order to create a welcoming and reinforcing classroom environment.

Included in the course: guided tours to archaeological sites.

Concept by: Cynthia Rodopoulou

Learning outcomes

By examining notable tangible and intangible representations of ancient Greek culture, the course will enable participants to: 

  • Enhance their knowledge on the historical context that led to the birth of democracy;
  • Comprehend the value and relevance of ancient democratic regimes for modern societies;
  • Overview the evolution of democratic political systems through time;
  • Familiarize themselves with the “Competences for democratic culture” (CDC) model of the European Council;
  • Promote values, skills, attitudes and knowledge that comprise the EU democratic culture by using education as a vehicle;
  • Design activities that engage students in learning about democratic values, attitudes and skills;
  • Use group dynamics to coordinate groups in emotional and creative education.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – A glimpse into Greek culture

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools;
  • Course overview;
  • Introduction to ancient Greek culture.

Day 2 – A journey through time

  • The first signs of social organization;
  • The first systems of government in ancient Greece (monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny);
  • Engaging activities and games for students;
  • The birth of democracy;
  • Visit to Mycenae (for courses in Nafplio).

Day 3 – Athenian democracy

  • The growth of the democratic system and the Athenian democracy;
  • The differences among modern democratic societies;
  • Engaging activities, games and exercises for students by incorporating “place” into the lesson;
  • Visit to Pnyx, the meeting place of the Athenian Ecclesia, the world’s earliest known democratic assembly (for courses in Athens).

Day 4 – The CDC model

  • Connecting the past with contemporary culturally diverse classrooms;
  • Understanding the “Competences for democratic culture” (CDC) model through experiential learning.

Day 5 – From theory to practice

  • Promoting values, skills, attitudes and knowledge of a democratic culture;
  • Activities, games and exercises that prepare students to effectively participate in a democratic society as active citizens.

Day 6 – Course closure & cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

Please note:

The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the trainer delivering the specific session and the requests of the participants.

If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion.

The number and schedule of the cultural activities depend on the location, not the course; further information is available on each location webpage. The trainer will send you the definitive course schedule approximately two weeks before the course.

Next Courses

= Confirmed date

  • 27 Dec - 1 Jan 2022
  • 24-29 Jan 2022
  • 28 Feb - 5 Mar 2022
  • 28 Mar - 2 Apr 2022
  • 25-30 Apr 2022
  • 23-28 May 2022
  • 27 Jun - 2 Jul 2022
  • 25-30 Jul 2022
  • 22-27 Aug 2022
  • 26 Sep - 1 Oct 2022
  • 24-29 Oct 2022
  • 28 Nov - 3 Dec 2022

*Course sessions of July and August will be offered in Nafplio

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