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Published: 17 June 2016

Professor plays leading role in European education policy

One of Surrey’s leading academics has played a crucial role in helping shape teaching programmes in school across Europe on the themes of democracy and democratic values.

Emeritus professor Martyn Barrett is the main author the Council of Europe’s ‘Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture’ that was recently accepted unanimously at a Council of European conference by 50 education ministers across the continent and the UK.

It sets out a series of 20 key competences needed to play an active role in democratic society and explains how these can be defined and measured in different settings. 

Participants will also consider how to strengthen education for democratic citizenship more generally, as a way of helping to tackle violent radicalisation and prevent terrorism, as well as the Council of Europe’s role in global efforts to promote citizenship education.

Professor Barrett said: “The goal of the project is to provide guidance to educational policymakers and practitioners on how education can be harnessed to encourage respect for human rights, cultural diversity and democratic processes and to enhance levels of active democratic citizenship among young people.

“The project will also provide guidance on how education can be used to equip young people with the competences required to identify and deconstruct propaganda and hate speech encountered on the internet and in broadcast and print media.”

Professor Derek Moore, Head of the School of Psychology, congratulated Professor Barrett on his involvement. He said: “I think we can safely say that this is Surrey Psychology having a clear, significant and positive impact. A big thank-you and well done to Martyn for his fantastic work that hopefully will significantly change the democratic culture of Europe for generations to come.”

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