The Romanian Review of European Governance Studies
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We feel Europe: approaches for improving positive attitudes towards the European Union in Slovenia

Frontpage calendar image December 1, 2014

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

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Simulation games: powerful learning tools in the field of European Studies?

Frontpage calendar image December 1, 2014

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

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Teaching EU at school: the case study of “European dimension of language teaching in secondary school” in service training

Frontpage calendar image January 12, 2014

Author: Dilyana Pavlova
This paper aims to present the one year in-service training course titled “European dimensions of language teaching in secondary school” offered by the Department of European studies of Sofia university. The methodology includes document analysis as regards to the references to knowledge related to European union in legislative acts in the sphere of education and the legal base and provisions for the qualification of teachers in Bulgaria. Furthermore, the paper employs a case study based approach on the design, curriculum, implementation and short term results of the in-service training course. Data was primarily collected through document analysis, insights and feedback offered by department members who participated in the creation of the course and observations on the learning products developed by the teachers in the course of their training. There has been little research aimed at analyzing results of formal qualification of teachers on European issues outside of different project results. The present paper addresses this issue and presents the practical considerations of the implementation of this initiative. The paper has practical implications for university staff, teachers and public administration involved in promoting European studies at school.

Keywords: Bulgarian educational system; EU studies; EU teaching/learning; school education; teacher training;