As part of the Schools for Future Youth Project, a major report has been published in January 2016 on the importance and relevance of a youth participatory approach to global citizenship education in Europe.
The report produced by Dr. Douglas Bourn, Director of the Development Education Research Centre, Institute of Education, UCL in the UK reviews current literature, policy and practice across Europe on how educational institutions are addressing the engagement of young people in global issues. It looks in depth at the evidence from the four partner countries in the Schools for Future Youth Project, Cyprus, Italy, Poland and the UK.
Global Citizenship has been recognised as an important component of education by UNESCO through the Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015 and the recent Global Education Congress in Croatia.
A main theme of the report is the call for policy-makers and civil society organisations to recognise the different ways in which young people wish to engage in learning and taking action on global issues.
Whilst there has been considerable activity across Europe in encouraging youth engagement in democratic institutions, this report suggests that insufficient attention has been given to the linkages young people make between their outlook on the world, their personal and social identity and the ways they use areas such as social networking to engage in societies.
The report also suggests to teachers that they need to address and respond to the interests of young people in issues such as refugees and migration, climate change and global terrorism by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to effectively engage in these debates.