Children as Resources and Agents of Change (EN – CUR – 759)

In our increasingly high-tech, globalised world, the nature of conflict has changed drastically, but still there are too many casualties among civilians, including children. Most of the world refugees are children, many of them are fleeing armed conflict in their home country. The effect of war on children is devastating and total, wounding their bodies and spirits and destroying their families and communities. 

All societies strive to achieve social cohesion, reinforcing the things that bind people together and fighting the disruptive forces that drive them apart. One of the principal factors of division in any society is an excessive gap between the immigrants and the residents. Many immigrants, refugees, and Roma children are subject to poor education, insufficient health services and child labour in addition to social exclusion.

Thus, addressing inclusion not only enhances the lives of the newcomers, but also contributes to a culture of human rights and improves social cohesion for the whole society. The barriers created by the social and physical environment that inhibit people’s ability to participate in society and exercise their rights should be eliminated. This includes promoting positive attitudes and modifying mental barriers. Educators recognise the need to develop in every child a tolerant, non-discriminatory attitude and create a learning environment that acknowledges and benefits from diversity instead of ignoring or excluding it. As part of this development, those who work with children, as well as children themselves, should become aware of their own and others’ rights. Activities that encourage role-playing and empathy help children to develop awareness as well as developing resilience and assertiveness.


During the 4 classes, students are envisaged to develop comparative and contrastive skills, encouraged to think about their own identity, attempt explanation of social phenomena and relationships, reflect on ethnic issues, and raise awareness of their peers’ rights to equal opportunities. Given that the language of communication is English, I believe that this learning scenario will enhance students’ enthusiasm for improving the language competences, activate students’ imagination and creativity through using the digital resources and interactive teaching strategies.

What I seek with this learning scenario is to prepare students to face the world outside the classroom framework, to treat others with respect, tolerate the views of those whose origins and background are different from their own and ensure that students are as well integrated as possible in future contexts. Meaningful participation processes develop a wide range of skills and competencies. Children gain new information, learn about their rights and get to know others’ points of view by active listening. Forming and articulating their opinion, they improve their communication, critical thinking and organisational and life skills. They experience that they can make a real difference.

Author: Alina Ramona Vlad

Age of students: 11-15

Subject and topic: Civics Education, Social Studies, History,  ICT, Foreign Languages

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

This learning scenario has been developed during the “ Digital Education with Cultural heritage 2023″ online course. The course aimed to improve teachers’ understanding of cultural heritage in order to efficiently integrate it into their lessons and practices. The course can be accessed here.

Public Domain 1.0 : the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Slovak National Gallery.

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