ConCitizen addresses a key issue in citizenship education: how do we teach controversial issues particularly related to contested narratives in post-conflict and diverse societies? European education systems share a strong tradition of democratic formation, focusing on coexistence, critical stance and respect for diverse opinions and outlooks. However, new challenges for democracy have emerged such as populism, right-wing and Islamist extremism. In addition, digitalization of society has evoked a polarized debate culture on social media characterized by echo chambers and filter bubbles. ConCitizen explores how contested narratives and controversial issues are included – or avoided – in the school subjects of history, religious education, and citizenship education.

ConCitizen seeks to stimulate innovative learning and teaching practices by developing pedagogical models that encourage self-reflection, awareness of power relations, and critical thinking when teaching contested narratives. The aim is to strengthen the student teachers’ ability to create an inclusive learning environment by addressing stereotypes and highlighting common vulnerability. To promote digital readiness in education, ConCitizen will develop digital teaching materials and a virtual exchange format with student teachers as co-creators. An innovative element of the project is to explore the use of eTwinning as a platform for cooperation in higher education. eTwinning will be the primary tool to plan, implement and disseminate the project results. 


Citizenship and Peacebuilding, Quality education, Reduced Inequalities, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions



Bachelors and Masters student, schoolteachers and trainers


November 2021 – November 2024


Lebanon, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) & Cyprus 

Impact and Outcomes

Impact: New approaches to teaching contested narratives can become a key opportunity for students to critically review different discourses including their own community, to train themselves to accept new ideas, to accept difference of opinion, to accept others from different sects or political fractions as equal co-citizens and partners in the project of building their common country.

Outcome 1: To strengthen students’ democratic competences and to develop citizenship education through a transnational virtual exchange format and teaching tutorials in different national and democratic contexts and across participating institutions.

Outcome 2: To develop new pedagogical models for teaching contested and controversial narratives that will improve pupils’ ability to think critically, reflect on differences, and contribute to peaceful coexistence.

Outcome 3: To combine theoretical perspectives with pedagogical approaches, through an open access textbook, that strengthens student teachers’ and schoolteachers’ ability to facilitate inclusion, dialogue, and mutual understanding in classrooms, when topics are controversial, contested, and/or sensitive to some pupils.



Ana Maria DaouActing Director of The Institute of Citizenship & Diversity Management

Leave a Reply