Civics Education

Civics education has made its way back to the center of public and media attention. This is mainly a result of the recent threats to consolidated democracies as well as to ongoing prevalence of political extremism. Civics education in this context is seen as a preventive means to foster democratic values and to prevent radical polarization. The ways in which we can resolve societal conflicts in general and how to prevent radical polarization and extremism more specifically are amongst the PRIF’s research priorities. A variety of PRIF projects aim at identifying the causes of extremism and use this knowledge to develop effective preventive approaches. Today’s societal conflicts often have a global core, even if they appear in locally specific ways. Our conflicts often cluster around issues related to globalization such as economic interdependence, the global climate crises or pandemics, global mobility and migration, or cultural diversity. More than ever, today’s youth is required to navigate the global political sphere, to build knowledge on dynamic global crises, and to understand how they can have an impact on their own local contexts. Throughout its history PRIF has shown outstanding research and engagement around resolving global conflicts and crises. It is our mission to equip youth with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to to understand their globally interconnected world and its conflicts as well as the approaches to solve them. Thus, we aim at working with educators and schools to bring peace- oriented civics education into the classrooms.

With PRIF@School we support schools with establishing global perspectives and Global Citizenship Education in their civics programs.Through regular meetings we foster dialogue among researchers, educators, and students around the needs and conflicts schools face. These structured conversations also help us identifying and developing proper ways to address these needs through official curricula, extra-curricular activities, pedagogical approaches, and school culture. It finally provides us with rich impulse on relevant and solution oriented research on civics learning. It enables us to consider these demands in research and outreach projects.

PRIF offers a variety of formats related to civics education. Our experts are engaged in facilitating workshops, presentations and professional development at schools and other providers of civics programs. Students are welcome to visit the PRIF’s library throughout the opening hours. For a library tour as well as conversations with our researchers, and more customized solutions, please contact schule-prif@hsfk.de.

Our open access publications such as the blog series, as well as our free eLearning modules provide educators and students with accessible content on timely civics issues. PRIF@Schule teachers appreciate to use these resources for their course preps.

PRIF’s first children’s book "Die Wutbanane" (“The Rage Banana”), published in 2020 by Springer Verlag, addresses different forms of government framed by an amusing narrative suitable for children in elementary schools.