StoryDeC – Erasmus+

StoryDeC – Storytelling to Develop Civic Competences in Young People

Participation of young people in democratic life

Participation in democratic life is a fundamental right recognized in Article 10.3 TEU of the Lisbon Treaty (2009) and essential for European citizenship. When focusing on young people, Article 165 TEU states that one of the objectives of EU action is to “encouraging the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe”. Based on the EU’s political priorities, Member States should therefore promote a greater participation for all young people in both social and political life and in education field.

Despite these objectives, youth participation and youth inclusion in Europe have alarming numbers, as reported in the “Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)”. 8.7 million young Europeans cannot find work (Eurostat 2014); in total, 13.7 million are neither in employment nor education or training (NEETs) and close to 27 million are at risk of poverty or social exclusion (Rising inequality: youth and poor fall further behind, OECD, 2014).

The gap is widening between young people who study and engage in social, civic and cultural life, on the one hand, and those with little hope of leading a fulfilling life and who are at risk of exclusion and marginalisation, on the other hand. The less educated or less involved they are in social activities, the less they take part in voting, volunteering or cultural activities (Flash Eurobarometer survey 408, 2014). As the Commission states in the renewed Social Agenda “The future of Europe depends on its young people” but for many young people the chances of making their way in life are scarce (COM 2008/412).

Autobiographical and digital storytelling methodologies

The StoryDeC project aims to respond to needs described above by creating innovative paths of civic education through non formal educational paths based on methodologies that we consider particularly effective with respect to the educational purpose of the project, ie autobiographical methodologies and digital storytelling.

The choice of these methodologies is linked to different factors:

  • the autobiographical methodologies are a powerful tool to activate personal reflection but also empathy (through the collection of stories of others), as well as knowledge of social and civic competences (through the collection of experiences concerning the recent European history, and the struggles for social and political achievements);
  • digital storytelling is seen as an educational opportunity that combines ICT and creative learning methods to actively involve students.

Through these methodologies, and the educational tools and paths created by StoryDeC project, the students can:

  • explore its relationship with the issue of participation and social change;
  • knowing actively, through the voice of other people, important aspects of the social life, as well as recent history at national, European and international level, to develop critical knowledge, and encourage active participation in the community;
  • develop a series of key competences, such as the ability to create texts and narratives, the ability to use ICT tools. Gain skills related to the historical context, and above all civic and social skills.

Target Groups

  • Youth trainers
  • Youth training associations / social promotion association
  • Policy makers in the education field

at national and European level

Project Outputs and Other Activities

The project intends to create completely innovative products in the field of civic and social education, such as:

O2 – StoryDeC Educational paths: The definition of some non-formal education paths through autobiographical writing and Digital Storytelling, for the development of civic and social skills of young people and the development of young active participation.

O3 – StoryDeC Game: A game, in digital and board version, for the development of civic and social skills in young people, through the stories of social change.

O4 – StoryDeC Training Module: A short training module for trainers, to assure the correct application of the educational paths created by StoryDeC project.

O5 – StoryDeC Digital Archive: Creation of digital archive of stories of social committment and participation, collected by young participants.

C1 – StoryDeC Joint Staff training: The Training activity, addressed to the staff of the organizations, to test the outputs and contribute to producing stories for StoryDeC Digital Archive.