Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education
Erasmus+ program as a tool to reinforce democracy at schools
Maria Dalamitrou, Christos Tegas
Erasmus+ is the EU program in the field of education that, among others, aims to equip participants with the skills needed for their coexistence in democratic and inclusive society. A partnership of four schools from four countries within the Erasmus program has been formed to study the history of the Holocaust in the past two years. The Greek school is the coordinating school, and schools from Italy, Romania and Hungary are the participating schools. Two meetings have taken place so far, with a total of 21 pupils attending the first meeting in Iasi, Romania (onset of project activities) and 44 pupils attending the second meeting in Sarkad, Hungary (midterm project activities). The Barometre was used in both meetings to assess the democratic profile of all participants before and after their participation in the Erasmus+ project and to measure any change towards them coexisting in a more or less democratic way at their schools. The Barometre is a tool designed by the Institute of Educational Policy in Greece in the Likert Scale, gauging democratic tendencies in a scale from +3 (strongly agree) to -1 (the opposite happens). Our findings show that participation in the Erasmus+ project improved each school’s democratic profile, except for the school in Romania which had achieved better scores before its participation in the project. More research is needed to pinpoint factors affecting democracy in classrooms, such as governmental policies and the effect of the pandemic.
keywords: Erasmus; democracy; Barometre; school; project.