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E...U... European Identity

Type of tool: 
Activity
Duration: 
120+ min
Topics addressed: 
Citizenship
Human rights
Participation

Team quiz on anecdotes and fun facts about European Union history, to discover values of european identity and stimulate a personal and group reflection that could lead to raise more awareness and activation as European citizens.

Aim: 

The tool here presented has the goal to foster intercultural dialogue, starting from reflection on concepts such as identity and citizenship and in particular on the European ones, nowadays more and more precarious and hard to assimilate. A feeling of disaffection from the idea of Europe is more and more spread. The politic and social scenario is creating a strong intolerance and a huge wave of euroskepticism, from popular referendum to exit European Union, until the negation of principle of subsidiarity among member countries on complex topics such as migrations and economical crisis.
Through this tool participants will have the chance to discuss in a safe and playful context their misconceptions and prejudices towards Europe and other European citizens.

Methodology: 

The various steps of the activity develop according non formal Education methodology, shaped in different ways, above all the experiential Learning and the peer one:
1. The game/the quiz: competition among teams, although far away from the conflicting dynamics, will guarantee the active involvement of participants, easing the dialogue and the fun.
2. Individual reflection: the second step of the activity will allow participants to face their own conception of Europe: reading and thinking about European values will help them to understand their own perception of the concept of European citizenship.
3. Team thoughts sharing: it is the occasion to share and compare opinions, to find out differences taking advantage of the safe environment. The confrontantion will develop every participant's negotiation capacity first, then the ability to sum up and resume what the group and a whole share.
4. Collective debriefing: the whole activity facilitation is one of the most relevant aspects in pedagogical key. The debriefing becomes a shared and mediated occasion to evaluate reactions and considerate the individual involvement in the activity context, in the group and after that in the society.

Step by step process: 

The tool is articulated in 5 main phases:

1) Team Game: quiz on European Union.
- Creation of the teams (any method will do).
- Definition, for each team, of: name, slogan, spokeperson, sound to book answers to questions.
- Choice of the team who will play first (sorting or other methods).
- The team that starts the game chooses a star from the poster (the stars are 12 in total, as on the European Union flag). Each star corresponds to a multiple-choice question on the European Union, including anecdotes about the history of birth and development of the Union, questions and curiosity about what the Union represents today for the member countries. The question with the relative answers will be made visible through flipchart/projected, to all teams playing, who will have a few moments to consult and then to book and give the answer; the importance of consulting before booking and not vice versa will be underlined.
- Each star, and therefore each question, also corresponds to one of the rights highlighted in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, namely: DIGNITY, FREEDOM, EQUITY, SOLIDARITY, CITIZENSHIP, JUSTICE. The team that first answers the question correctly acquires the corresponding star and gains the ability to choose the next star.
- Every 4 stars selected and won, and so every 4 questions, the teams are involved in a short activity/energiser which is meant to make all participants to cooperate, regardless of the team they belong to. With this passage the principle of subsidiarity is highlighted.
- At the end of the 12 questions, after having celebrated the team that has obtained the highest amount stars, each spokeperson reads aloud what values their team obtained.

2) Personal reflection.
- This phase is foreseen as an individual moment: each participant is given a piece of paper and a pen.
- Everyone is asked to draw a star on it and then asks the question "what are the founding values for an ideal society?".
- Each must identify 6 values, 5 of which can be chosen from those that emerged during the first phase of the game and write them on a single point of their star; the sixth must instead be "new", added by each according to his personal experience and written in the center of the star.

3) Sharing and reflection within the team.
- A moment of confrontation within each team, in which participants are asked to share their personal stars with others, motivating the choice of the value placed at the center of the same.
- The common values will be identified and 6 will be selected among them (voted by a majority among those written at the center of individual stars) with which defining a "team" star, which represents the most important values for each team.

4) Collective sharing with the whole group of participants.
- Each team lists the values established for their star, while the facilitator takes notes of what is said on a flipchart (or similar) visible to everyone.
- A list of values will thus be obtained, which will be compared with those enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The comparison between real and ideal society will be the starting point for a reflection on the European identity, regulated by the facilitator and articulated with targeted questions where necessary.

5) Debriefing.
The analysis and evaluation phase of the experience will be articulated according to some key questions:
- How do you feel? How was the experience?
- What happened?
- Why? What would you have changed?
- What link does this have with your daily life?
- What do I bring home from this experience?
- What weight do the European values have in your daily life?
- What can you do now?
An important part of the debriefing will be left for comments and identification of strengths and weaknesses, while in conclusion we will leave open spaces for individual reflection (to be continued even after the activity) on the lived experience and on the practical application in everyday life.

Materials and resources: 

- Poster with graphics representing the 12 European stars (it can be a card, a sheet, a blackboard, etc...)
- 12 removable stars
- Quiz with questions and solutions (12 questions, 2 for each value of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union)
- Billboards with written questions
- Basic stationery: sufficient sheets and pens for the number of participants (at least one per person)
- 1 facilitator who takes care of conducting the game phase and the following debriefing phase

Outcomes: 

- The creation of conditions for a real dialogue and confrontation between the participants. The final part of the tool, in fact, provides a debriefing and reflection moment, during which the "players" will be called in first person to express what is the value they give to European principles, which values would add and how this can be concrete in the their daily life.
- Increase awareness and knowledge about fundamental values about the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
- Promote the European Union as a container of opportunities.

Evaluation: 

At the end of the activity, participants are involved in a final debriefing about their general appreciation of the activity itself. Through that we collect feedbacks and suggestions from participants which could be very useful for the tool further implementation.

According to feedbacks collected at the end of the tool test, carried out on a heterogeneous group of participants coming from different countries, the following strengths emerged:
- the competition substantially helped to increase the motivation and involvement of the participants;
- to provide informations during the first phase of the game, on which to work later, is an effective choice;
- in general, the activity works because it has the perfect mix of action, reflection and communication.
The following critical issues were also highlighted:
- not enough time to share and debate within the group;
- also more time would have been preferred to reflect at the end of the activity;
- the duration of the activity, if too short, can be a limit for the carrying out of the activity itself.

Notes for further use: 

We observed that the ultimate limit of the activity concerns the duration: make sure you have enough time before suggesting this activity to a group, it will be important to allow the sharing of the values that every participant consider essentials for a society and so they could be the basis to create a collective identity, starting from every individual’s thoughts and personal experiences.
Maybe, if you have the possibility, it could be great to split the activity and give short break time after the individual star creation; also change the setting could be a good way to give new energy to the group and take high the attention level.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is a source of inspiration and gives the reader the chance to express their personal view about its content: the quiz questions could be adapted to the previous knowledge of those who will lead the game and also, above all, based on the characteristics and needs of the group itself. The version we proposed was based on the kit made by organizations such as IFALL, Integration För Alla (Sweden), Bluebook LTD (Italy), FAAL (Turkey), AIJU research centredai (Spain), partners in the European project “NETNET” – New Tools for New Targets: a challenge for youth workers”. The questions can be found on the website of the project https://netnet-project.eu/netnet-kit-english/ , on which the quiz is available in several languages.

Rating: 
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Average: 4 (2 votes)
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