|Title||CitizenSchool : Serious Gaming for a Better Europe|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Authors||Monteiro J., O'Reilly D., Bollaert H, P. P|
|Conference Name||12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation|
|Conference Location||Saville, Spain|
Racism and discrimination are, unfortunately, very much present in modern European societies. Young people often do not appear to be too much concerned by such issues. This represents a formidable educational challenge. This view-point is also shared by the Ministers of Education of the European Union. In fact, as the European Commission refers, “the Paris Declaration was adopted in March 2015 to promote citizenship, and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education”. In this context it is very important for teachers and students to have access to educational tools that help to inform, educate, explain and question issues of national and European citizenship, such as inter-culturalism, tolerance and mutual respect. Thus, youngsters may become more aware of their roles and responsibilities, a mandatory pre-condition for the creation of a more inclusive and tolerant European society.
Three non-governmental associations – le Partenariat (France), Studio Globo (Belgium) and Stedenband Haarlem-Mutare (Netherlands) – and three higher education institutions - Dundalk Institute of Technology (Ireland), Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen (Belgium) and ISPGaya - Instituto Superior Politécnico (Portugal) – were awarded a grant, under KA203 Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership, to contribute to the creation of a European society which is more inclusive and respectful of all, by educating and empowering young people and their teachers about interculturalism.
The project, started in September 2016, implied the achievement of several operational objectives. The first, and most relevant one, involved the creation of a serious game for students in secondary schools to use in class. The second was directed towards the training of teachers, so that they themselves can bring awareness to their students and thus increase the impact of the project. The third was to link and empower high-school students, university students and teachers in the different partner countries, so that they can discuss relevant topics and create, if needed, new game content. Finally, all three objectives needed to be disseminated to potential users, so that the entire project can continue to evolve.
In order to achieve this, two international project camps were organised. In these short-term mobilities, international and interdisciplinary teams of students - from the above mentioned higher education institutions - with proper supervision from mentors/professors/experts, were challenged to design and develop a serious game. After its completion, the serious game was presented to the interested parties, students and teachers from secondary schools. Students and teachers played the game during proper lessons, where the teachers were supported by the teacher’s project manual. Additional insights/feedback/comments were used in order to improve both game and manual. Finally, the content produced was made available to all for use.
In the present article, with the project just finished, it is provided a detailed game description and a thorough project narrative. A description of its main objectives, the methodology used to implement it and to monitor it, the tools used to assess it, and the main outcomes stemming from it.