Civic competence can be defined as ‘the ability and willingness to engage in active participation, based on an attitude of trust in other people, in all the contexts of social life: school, local community, working place, recreational activities’. From an individual point of view, civic competence is a tool for empowering the individual and giving them the motivation, autonomy and responsibility to control their own lives beyond the social circumstances in which they find themselves. From a social point of view civic competence, by helping to create social capital, underpins democracy and social and economic development. For its importance, The European Commission has listed civic competence as one of the key competences to be developed under EU Lifelong Learning strategy. In specific, each Member State should ensure initial education and training that offers all young people the means to develop it. Following the Recommendation, many Member states have started to incorporate civic competence development in their schools’ curricula.


The Project CIVICO wants to foster this trend by producing a Guide on developing civic competence in students. The project started in January 2011 and will continue till the end of 2012. The consortium is formed by 4 main partners (the Faculty of Education of two universities and two organizations whose mission is to support schools in raising the quality of education) plus 10 schools who will pilot the Guide.

The first project meetings already took place in the last months. The kick off meeting of CIVICO was in Empoli (Italy) on the 12th and 13th of April this year where representatives of the five main partners got to know each other, discussed the development of the project, the time schedule and the proper method of working. The next meeting was a virtual one and took place on the 24th of May.


CIVICO will allow partners to share their different expertise on civic competence and to gain advantage on what is currently being implemented in their countries on this topic. As each of the five main partners will produce 10 lessons plan, and the first version of the Guide will be piloted with schools, teachers and students of five different EU countries, the Guide will take in consideration cultural differences between partner countries. The pilot phase should last till December 2011. To allow exploitation in 2012 at European level, once validated the Guide will be translated in other 5 European languages and directly promoted, thanks also to an FAQ, with over 1500 teachers and stakeholders and used by other 35 schools in Europe. A virtual resource centre on civic competence will be also developed and maintained after the end of the Project.


The Guide on developing civic competence is addressed to European teachers and based on active didactics. The 50 lesson plans will be used with students aged 14 and above. Two thorough dissemination and exploitation plans will make the Guide known and used by European teachers and other interested stakeholders (schools, head teachers, organizations training teachers, teachers’ associations, researchers, politicians, volunteers, third sector associations). More than 1500 teachers and other stakeholders will be informed of the Guide and about 3000 students (400 during pilot plus 1400 during exploitation) and 100 teachers (20 during pilot and 70 during exploitation) will use the Guide. The partners expect a significant impact by this project.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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