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“Contested Narratives and Controversial Issues in Citizenship Education”: New research project expected to deliver impact on national, EU and global level

The Open University of Cyprus (OUC) is proud to join a research consortium, which has secured funding under the Erasmus+ Programme, for a research project entitled Contested Narratives and Controversial Issues in Citizenship Education” (acronym: ConCitizen). Citizenship Education is paramount in today’s complex world facing a variety of interconnected global issues, such as widespread inequality, political polarization, humanitarian and refugee crises, and more. The ConCitizen project aims to develop new pedagogical methods for teaching controversial issues and contested narratives relating to intra-societal conflicts and as such it relates very well to horizontal priorities such as common values, inclusion and diversity as well as digital transformation.

While the project mainly targets HEI students and staff, it also focusses on student teachers and thus has the potential for creating synergies between multiple different fields of education. It is expected to deliver impact on national, EU and international level due to a) the development of potential novel and effective pedagogies for teaching contesting narratives, and b) the fact that partners come from countries that have faced past conflicts or are currently facing them (Cyprus, Lebanon and Northern Ireland) and from countries not facing direct conflicts (Denmark and Norway).

Principal investigator for OUC is Professor Michalinos Zembylas, Academic Coordinator of the MA Programme in “Educational Sciences”. The project consortium involves four Universities, i.e. University College Copenhagen (Københavns Professionshøjskole, Denmark, project coordinator), Open University of Cyprus (Cyprus), Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway) and Queen’s University of Belfast (Northern Ireland), and one NGO, the Adyan Foundation (Lebanon).