PARTICIPATION is a Horizon 2020 funded project aimed at preventing extremism, radicalization and polarization that can lead to violence through more effective social and education policies and interventions.
As part of the project a practical guide for Teachers and Schools has been developed, intended to support school teachers and education professionals address radicalisation, polarisation and social inclusion in schools.
According to Van Alstein (2019), dealing with polarisation, radicalisation, and extreme viewpoints is part of the challenges teachers face in the classroom and ‘the first challenge for teachers when this happens is find out how deeply rooted these convictions are’. The notion that schools and educational institutions can play an important role in the prevention of violent radicalisation and extremism has gained increasing ground in recent years.
One step along the way was the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, which emphasised the significance of schooling and education in building the resilience of children and young people.
This guide draws, amongst others, on the rich findings of the PARTICIPATION project, including consolidated lessons, best practices, tips and links to online resources and further supporting materials from relevant studies, organisations and events, including those produced in the framework of RAN, the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, which since 2011 has been the central body for the EU Member States’ coordinated efforts to prevent and counter radicalisation and extremism of both political and religious observance and furthermore, with both Islamist, right-wing extremist and left-wing extremist signs, as they appeared in Europe and the rest of the world for decades.