Module - Civic education
Challenges, Opportunities & PrerequisitesCivic education empowers us to be well-informed, active citizens and gives us the opportunity to change the world around us. It should be accessible to everyone in order to build all together a cohesive society where everyone can grow and flourish. But sometimes access to civic education can be difficult for a variety of reasons.
In this part of the module, we will introduce you to selected prerequisites that can affect access to civic education and individual learning success. It should be noted that these can also be relevant in other educational areas and not only for access to civic education.
In the meaning of a resource- and diversity-oriented approach, however, we do not want to understand the individual prerequisites of the learners as a problem but as a resource and stage them accordingly in the learning process - i.e. make them usable. Conversely, learners should become aware of their prerequisites and learn to assess and deal with them. Particularly in political education, this requires a high degree of sensitivity since the discourse here can be particularly shaped by individual prerequisites.
Learning challenges affect how people understand information, communicate, or learn new skills, and include difficulty in reading, difficulty in writing, and difficulty with mathematics. Learning challenges affect people of all ages. They are neurologically based, which means they have roots in the neurological system. The difference between a learning challenge and a l earning disability is the severity. The severity of a learning challenge varies from one person to another, and they can after the person one at a time or could be a mix of many challenges that complicates the learning process
In Education, the term Special Needs is a short form of Special Education Needs and is a way to refer to students with disabilities, in which their learning may be altered or delayed
compared to other students. The term Special Needs in the education setting comes into play whenever a student’s education program is officially altered from what would normally be
provided to students through an “classical education plan”.
People with special needs are individuals who suffer as a result of genetic or environmental factors from an inability to acquire learning, experience, skills and performance in different domain that could be usually done by the normal healthy individual in the cultural, economic or social domains.
People with special needs are usually suffering from one or more disabilities in the different following categories that create to participation in the normal life.
- Physical: Loss of one part or more of the body parts that affect movement, or malfunction, such as paralysis.
- Sensory: Loss of sense or lack of sense, such as deafness and blindness.
- Mental: Loss of mind, or a shortage in it (Retardation).
- Psychic: With visible effects and disorders such as: OCD, Schism, Anxiety, PTSD, etc.
According to the European Commission, a person with a migration background could be a person who has:
- migrated into their present country of residence.
- previously had a different nationality from their present country of residence.
- at least one of their parents previously entered their present country of residence as a migrant.
Social & Cultural background
The very act of learning in a classroom environment involves interacting with other students, talking through problems, and finding solutions. A person’s ability to interact socially
with their peers in an educational environment has a significant impact on how they progress in their learning process.
One of the social obstacles that a person can face in a learning environment is peer pressure. Peer pressure can affect any aspect of someone's life, including their education. People may be directly teased for being smart or earning good grades, leading to less effort or pride in their learning process.
On another level, cultural barriers include situations based on cultural factors that impede the functioning of educational programmes. These barriers are often very complex and are based on the values and beliefs of groups of people.
On a practical level, the access to education of a person can be affected by several issues, among them the following:
- accessibility of transport
- availability of time
- financial resources
- access to childcare
- access to elderly care
- access to information.
Emotion and Motivation
The last types of prerequisites we will introduce in this module are emotions and motivation. The individual's handling of emotions determines whether and how a person communicates his or her thoughts and feelings. It also contributes to self-perception and self-control. Emotions directly influence people's motivation, which is why their perception and reflection is so important. Also, the previously mentioned prerequisites can have an impact on a person's emotional and thus motivational situation.