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Living with Controversy: Teaching Controversial Issues through Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights (EDC/HRE) Training Pack for Teachers

United Kingdom
Target Audience
Youth/pupils/studentsEducators/academicsLocal community organisations/NGOs
key themes association
Formal/informal educationTraining
Peer Reviewed practice


Young Citizens (YC), (formerly the Citizenship Foundation (CF))

Is the leading NGO in the field of citizenship and legal education in the UK. YC inspires young people to take part in society as equal members. It helps them to understand the law, politics and democratic life. YC promotes participation, helps teachers to teach citizenship and works with young people on issues that concern them.

It strives for a democracy in which everyone has the knowledge, skills and confidence to engage as effective citizens. This practice was jointly funded by the Council of Europe (CoE) and European Commission as part of an Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) Pilot Projects Scheme.

Type of Organisation: NGO

Project description

This training pack is a professional development programme for use primarily by teachers and school leaders, but also by NGOs, community organisations and others in education settings.

It is designed to support and promote the teaching of controversial issues to young people across Europe. The pack is a response to urgent calls from policymakers and practitioners in a number of European countries for more effective teacher training in teaching controversial issues.

The pack contains:

  • a scoping paper, which provides the rationale for teaching controversial issues;
  • a supporting programme of training activities that form a continuous two-day course of practical training, but can also be used flexibly as stand-alone sessions.

The pack helps strengthen the role of education in promoting the core values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It also advances the concept of education being on the frontline in countering social evils such as violent extremism and the radicalisation of youth, xenophobia and discrimination, as well as violence and hate-speech.


Concrete deliverables from the practice include:

  • training pack, available online from the Council of Europe website;
  • training pack translated into several European languages, available online;
  • training pack adapted for Nordic countries and translated into the main Nordic languages;
  • series of training sessions organised by the Council of Europe and the European Wergeland Centre (EWC) across a number of European countries, as part of efforts to combat extremism, hate speech, xenophobia and racism;
  • supporting website at the Council of Europe with further details on the practice, its origins, aims and outcomes.

Contact details


Universal House
88–94 Wentworth Street
London E1 7SA

Contact person: David Kerr
Telephone: (+44) 2075664141
Email | Website

Read the full practice

Living with Controversy: Teaching Controversial Issues through Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights (EDC/HRE) Training Pack for Teachers
(167.82 KB - PDF)