ART4DEM explores new ways of working on citizenship education with a focus on artistic practices (drama and media). Citizenship education in schools faces considerable challenges. Despite the persistently low scores for democratic attitudes among Flemish students, the world of education is hesitating and struggling with its approach. Schools, for instance, give varying meanings to citizenship and many only work on it sporadically. Furthermore, research indicates a gap between young people, depending on their level of education and social background, which is particularly evident in cities. Some authors therefore stress the importance of new forms of citizenship education, which are more in touch with the environment and the participation preferences of children and young people. Schools, for their part, are asking for an intra-muros offer.
The multidisciplinary project sets up an experiment in 6 schools. The experiments include two theatre forms (Mantle of the Expert and participatory drama) and a visual interactive method (Interactive Design). ART4DEM uses a design-based methodology to follow up on the interventions in schools. This involves a qualitative and quantitative assessment of what the trajectory means for all those involved (pupils, teachers, school policy), what the influence is on democratic skills, attitudes and behaviours among pupils and on democratic school culture.