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“Citizens of the World” and “United” Nations

Youth Civic Involvement and Cultural Identities


Group 1 – whole school approach


16-year-old high school students (1ère = second year of High school in France) + whole school


AURA (Auvergne Rhône-Alpes) region + high school Claude Fauriel in Saint-Etienne

Cross-curricular project: English and Moral and Civic Education


  • Developing debating skills and knowledge of the world’s political institutions (EU/US/UN)
  • Tolerance, valuing / respect of cultural differences and diversity


8 months

Step 1 Project opening: hosting of American students in France (partner school), getting to know each other + discussions on intercultural learning
Step 2 Lesson plans in English dealing with the unity of nations = The EU, what’s that? + The Brexit, hard or soft? + American Melting Pot or Salad Bowl? Lesson plans in Moral and Civic Education
Step 3 One-day conference and visit at the UN offices in Geneva: visit of the Palais des Nations + conference by UN officials on racial discrimination + human rights.
Step 4 Public viewing at the assembly of the Ardèche department + meeting with a local member of parliament
Step 5 School trip to Salt Lake City (USA): attending Debating Societies at Skyline High School (partner school) + Utah State Capitol visit with state officials
Step 6 Creation of High School newspaper board to report on the project
Step 7 Radio show « We are citizens ! » + Public debates
Step 8 Project Closing with Celebration of Europe Day, May 9th



Presidential elections, the Brexit, these recent changes are challenging the unity of our nations. As educators we must give our students access to the political institutions ruling our countries and empower them with strong civic and cultural values.

High school students are voters-to-be and wish to develop their knowledge of our political institutions in order to get a better understanding of the issues at stake, more specifically through their civic identity and cultural diversity.

Along this international collective mobility project, students first attend a one-day visit and conference at the UNO in Geneva and then take part in an exchange programme with an American high school where they learn debating skills with their foreign partners (by attending debating societies). Once back home, they report on their experience and organise a public debate within the school (open to all students, staff, local partners,…) on the issues of youth civic involvement and national identities. Local policy makers are invited to attend the debate (mayors, deputies…) as well as university researchers.

The final outputs to the project are the public debates (in April, broadcasted on the local radio and reported in the high school newspaper) and the activities offered by students within the school to celebrate Europe Day on May 9th. To open the debates students act out intercultural role plays, enhancing intercultural values and attitudes. These role plays and other intercultural learning activities are acted on May 9th.


This project is offered to French AURA high schools every year. Teachers from at least two different subjects must apply in April/May to the AURA Citizens Debate project and attend the training in Lyon in June to prepare it for the coming year. Debates can range from a variety of topics (Literature, Languages, History, Art, Science,…). Project leaders emphasize on the outreach of the debates: teachers must implement them in their school so as to get the whole school community (staff and pupils) involved.


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