Democracy in Poland, as elsewhere, will not succeed unless having responsible and active citizens. We believe that an active citizen participation forms the basis of democratic country and that schools play an important role in effective education of young citizens.
Established in 1994, the Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej (Center for Citizenship Education, CCE) is a non-governmental educational foundation. CCE works to promote values of civic knowledge, practical skills and attitudes that are necessary for democratic state founded on the rules of law and civil society. CCE also operates as a non-profit teacher-training institute registered with the Ministry of National Education.
CCE believes that a quality education in schools will:
→ Provide knowledge about social, political and economic life;
→ Develop creativity and build critical thinking skills;
→ Help students develop higher self-esteem;
→ Allow students undertake teamwork and other important social activities;
→ Teach responsibility and regard for a common good.
In addition, Center for Citizenship Education develops and introduces into Polish schools the most innovative school curricula in the fields of civic engagement, history, law and economic education, and it is responsible for many activities targeting teachers, students and local authorities. Currently, CCE runs over 25 nationwide educational programs in elementary and higher secondary schools.
CCE has started with a strong focus on civic education, the foundation has created the first civic education curriculum in the early 1990s. We have soon realized that it is much more than civic curriculum that needs changes. Gradually the scope of CCE’s activities has been widened to embrace teaching methodologies (such as formative assessment and project-based learning), theme based educations linked with civics (such as environmental education, global education, art education, entrepreneurship) and other issues (among others school management and student councils).
CCE’s work is now divided into six departments that are responsible for a range of activities:
⇒ Learning school – the program implemented in co-operation and with Polish-American Freedom Foundation, which assists teachers in improving their teaching skills and headmasters in developing their managing skills. It promotes a project-based teaching, formative assessment, peer-learning in schools, as well as school evaluation techniques.
⇒ Culture and Heritage – the department is focused on art education, education for heritage and regional education. These programs help teachers find attractive and engaging methods of teaching local history, promoting local and national heritage, and encouraging critical reflection about Polish history and its ethnic minorities.
⇒ Civic programs – is a set of programs designed for the teachers interested in human rights education, European education, civic participation and anti-corruption. Certain programs here were established only to address special events from political and social life in Poland e.g. the Polish Presidency in the Council of European Union or anniversary of the Solidarity movement.
⇒ Youth Programs – support many school initiatives developed and implemented by young students. These programs also show teachers different ways to explain youngsters the way the contemporary world functions (through global education and education for sustainable development). The department serves as a support center for student councils and youth leaders and as a resource center for teachers, who are looking for teaching materials about global issues. It also runs a nationwide campaign Young People Vote.
⇒ School With Class – The department promotes quality standards in teaching practice. It encourages teachers to use ICT wisely, promotes reading skills and offers supports to sports teachers who have been previously left with no professional development opportunities. These programs are run with the biggest Polish daily (Gazeta Wyborcza).
⇒ Students’ Academy – the program promotes the use of research methodologies in schools. It offers teachers professional development courses that facilitate the use of peer-learning and students experiments in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
CCE in an owner of a private publishing house (CIVITAS) which publishes textbooks and teaching guides for civics and entrepreneurship. It also publishes methodological textbooks for teachers. CCE also runs a training facility (with a capacity to host 48 participants).
CCE is funded by a number of public as well as private institutions, both Polish and international. Revenues from CCE’s own activity also constitutes an important share of organization’s annual budget
The Center for Citizenship Education’s Board is formed by three members:
• Jacek Strzemieczny – President of the Board
• Alicja Pacewicz – Viceprisident of the Board, Director for Programs and Publishing
• Jędrzej Witkowki – Board Member, Head of Youth Programs Department
Partners and Funders
Centre for Citizenship Education co-operates with numerous partners from all three sectors: Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Centre for Development of Education, National Bank of Poland, Orange Foundation, Stefan Batory Foundation, National Geographic, Gazeta Wyborcza, Bank of National Economy, Ashoka Foundation, European Parliament, and others.
Fundacja Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej / Foundation Centre for Citizenship Education
Find more information at: www.ceo.org.pl