The Regional Baltic Summer Academy is a training programme that aims to build the capacity of schools in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to foster an inclusive and democratic culture by training teachers, school leaders and community members in citizenship and human rights education. It also offers support for school development projects.
Organised yearly since 2015, the Academy is a great opportunity to learn practical tools and strategies on how to create a more open, democratic and inclusive school environment for all children through a whole-school approach. The programme allows school teams to analyse school needs and priorities and prepare an action plan to meet the challenges their school is dealing with.
By bringing together participants and institutions from three Baltic countries the Academy also strengthens regional cooperation and dialogue.
Based on the principle of rotation, the Academy takes place in a different Baltic State each year. In 2018, the Academy is organised in Estonia by the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia, the Estonian Institute of Human Rights and the European Wergeland Centre.
The programme focuses on the development of competences which young people need for participation in modern societies, such as cooperation skills, analytical and critical thinking skills, ability to make independent decisions, flexibility and adaptability.
Democratic Competences by Council of Europe (Values-Attitudes-Skills-Knowledge & Critical Understanding):
Such competences can best be developed in an environment where all students can try out the tools of democracy: debating, taking part in decision-making and influencing school policies through, for example, student councils.
Another important tool is the discussion of controversial issues “which arouse strong feelings and divide opinion in communities and society.” (Teaching Controversial Issues, Council of Europe Manual)
Such issues are increasingly brought up in classrooms all over Europe and are not easy to tackle. However, when conducted in safes spaces, disscussion of controversial issues teach students how to engage in dialogue with people whose values are different from their own and to respect them, which is central to the democratic process.
The Academy, therefore aims to help teachers and schools develop strategies for addressing such issues.
The training is in English. All participants need to have good knowledge of English to be able to participate actively in the training.
BRIEF TIMELINE FOR SCHOOLS – 2018/2019
SPRING 2018: APPLY (until March 25 th )
JUNE 28 TH – JULY 1 ST : FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING (Baltic Academy)
SEPTEMBER- APRIL 2019: IMPLEMENTATION
APRIL/ MAY 2019: EVALUATION & REPORTING
AFTER COMPLETION OF ACADEMY – PLAN FUTURE STEPS