We feel Europe: approaches for improving positive attitudes towards the European Union in Slovenia
Author: Urška Štremfel, Meta Novak, Damjan Lajh
The European Union (EU) is increasingly faced with the problem of a lack of positive attitudes of its citizens towards its institutions and processes. Consequently, the EU pays careful attention to the various activities and projects that contribute to the development of the concept of European citizenship, especially among youth. These activities gain a high priority on the EU policy agenda and also the agendas of member states, and they challenge political science and educational research to provide the best approaches for implementation of the EU dimension in national education policy and practice in a quality and effective manner. The article discusses how the previously elaborated theoretical discussions (e.g. community-based learning, multicultural learning and non-formal learning) and empirical evidence regarding effective EU civic education have been considered when developing innovative approaches for improving knowledge about and positive attitudes towards the EU among Slovenian youth in the two Jean Monnet projects “EU at school” conducted in the last two school years at the University of Ljubljana. Based on the project results, the article concludes with implications for successful implementation of the EU dimension in the educational policies and practices in EU member states.
Key words: EU, knowledge, positive attitudes, education practice, Sloveni
Simulation games: powerful learning tools in the field of European Studies?
Author: MÉSZÁROS Edina Lilla
In our paper, we wish to present the use of simulation games and exercises, as innovative, alternative and problem-based learning methods of European Studies, implementing David Kolb’s experiential learning theory and the constructivist learning paradigm. After a detailed presentation of the simulation exercises as experiential learning methods and in-depth theoretical framing, our research also aims to assess various EU simulation games organized at the level of the Union with a special focus on our country, Romania. The topic of this article originates from a personal experience, because it is based on the know-how gathered as a participant at the EU Applied Decision Making Simulation Game held in Brussels in 2010, where we have renegotiated an EU regulation concerning the Setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles. In the end, we will try to present the benefits and challenges of this experiential learning method, deciphering whether it honours its purpose of turning students form passive to active learners, fostering their more effective participation, once they are adults in community issues, contributing to the formation of future professionals, proficient in EU decision-making, or not.
Keywords: Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, EuroSim, Model United Nations, constructivism, problem based learning