The project “systemic UPscaling of Peace Education pRactices – UPPER”, aims at bringing the values of peace, intercultural dialogue and civic participation to the core of educational policies and school practices with the objective of producing significant improvements in learning life skills for youngsters living in Europe.
The project, which falls within the framework of the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union, has been developed by a partnership coordinated by the Fondation des Régions Européennes pour la Recherche, l’Éducation et la Formation (FREREF) which includes the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE), the Ministry of Education and Employment of Malta (MEDE), the European School Heads Association (ESHA) and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL).
The project proposes an analytical review of good practices on peace education worldwide, suggesting a comparative approach for public policies and good practices at school level and promotes the establishment of the “Education inspiring peace Lab”, a permanent international laboratory in Sanremo (Italy) to enhance research, policy collaboration and cross-country uptake and mainstreaming of good practice elements. The main objectives of UPPER are:
- the development, the analysis and the evaluation of scaling up the potential of identified “good practices”;
- the organization of data and narratives based on the good practices selected;
- the piloting and evaluation of different sets of combined good practice elements in twenty schools;
- the proposal of self-assessment and benchmarking tools freely accessible to all interested schools;
- the mobilization of education stakeholders and the digital media world in a converging effort to innovate education towards a “dialogue society for peace”;
- the promotion of synergies with similar initiatives;
- the establishment of a permanent laboratory on transferability of good practices in Sanremo (Italy).
As part of the activities of the project an international workshop on “Education inspiring peace, from fragments and silos to a systemic approach” was organised in Sanremo by the Institute on 23 November 2018, under the auspices of the Municipality of Sanremo and the Liguria Region, in collaboration with the other project partners.
The workshop gathered together policy makers at different institutional levels, schools, local communities, representatives from civil society and cultural institutions committed to enhancing the positive role of education in creating conditions for peace and respect for cultural differences.
The workshop presented a synopsis of the good practices identified by the UPPER partners and introduced the concept of “international collaborative benchmarking”. It also proposed the activity plan of the “Peace Education Laboratory” to be established in Sanremo as a project spin-off and discussed strategies for capacity building and international networking to maximize the impact of existing initiatives.