Images and Identity: Improving Citizenship Education through Digital Art


Comenius Multilateral project

The project linked the disciplines of Art and Citizenship education, using digital technology as a means of expression and communication across Europe. It explored ways in which discussion and production of visual images pertaining to identity can contribute to Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC).


Project coordinator
Roehampton University, United Kingdom

Partner countries
United Kingdom, Finland, Greece, Romania, Spain

Target group
Teacher and students

To link the disciplines of Art and Citizenship education
To produce the following materials:
• Guidelines and strategies for engaging school children in reflection and critical discussion of images that represent their personal and collective identifications
• Suggestions for facilitating lessons in which school children represent and explore their own personal and group identifications using digital media;
• Case studies, examples of schemes of work and lesson plans that integrate citizenship education content, resources and methods (including a political dimension and human rights) into discussion of visual images;
• An image bank and support materials for facilitating teaching about European citizenship in Art and Citizenship lessons.

Project description
The link between art and citizenship education has not previously been investigated in the European context and this is a new area of curriculum development and research. The project trained teachers and teaching assistants in digital imaging processes, platforms and techniques as a medium of cross national communication. Throughout the project, the photo-sharing website Flickr and the virtual learning platform StudyZone (Moodle) were systematically employed to document the action in each country and facilitate sharing of information, visual resources and evaluation.
The project was conducted within an action research framework. Teams of university professors, teachers and student teachers in each partner country engaged in three cycles of action.
In year 1, a visual education resource of images by contemporary European artists was created, and school children’s visualisations of Europe were investigated.
In the Action Research completed in year 1, the teams planned, implemented and evaluated educational interventions in schools in each partner nation using these resources.
In year 2, a selection of schemes of work was piloted and evaluated for inclusion in a cross-national training product.

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