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

Table of Contents


In a rapidly globalizing world, where students are expected to be citizens of a multicultural society, democracy is a vital prerequisite. Significantly, democracy is also one of the fundamental values of the European Union. Moreover, it is listed among the priorities of Erasmus+ for the school sector.

If teachers are to illustrate vividly the value of democracy to their students, they must be able to handle this concept properly, and be ready to discuss its fundamental components.

This course aims to familiarize teachers with the concept of democracy by looking back at its history, starting from its first appearing in ancient Athens.

During the course, participants will discuss the differences between Greek democracy and modern democratic systems, and learn how ancient Greek democracy contributed to modern societies, cities, and way of life.

They will also examine the values and principles that are vivid in contemporary diverse societies with the assistance of the reference framework of democratic culture proposed by the European Council.

Furthermore, participants will analyze how to promote democracy within everyday school practices. Finally, they will learn how 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.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Enhance their knowledge of the historical context that led to the birth of democracy;
  • Comprehend the value and relevance of ancient democratic regimes for modern societies;
  • Overview of 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 – What’s democracy: 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.

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 Pnyx, the meeting place of the Athenian Ecclesia, the world’s earliest known democratic assembly.

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 – Democracy: 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.

Confirmed Sessions

Starting DateCityStatusEnrol
17 April 2023AthensFully Booked
15 May 2023AthensConfirmedBook »

All Available Dates

= confirmed date / = fully booked


Price*: 480€
OID: E10287039

*A 60 € late registration fee will be applied if you register less than 8 weeks before the course start date.

Discover all courses and activities in Athens

Search for similar courses