What is aula

aula is a completely new way of thinking about what participation means, offering young people the chance to play an active part in shaping the world around them. Our online platform and learning resources (click here) promote a better understanding of democracy and develop the skills needed to participate in it.

Preparing good, deliverable proposals and building majority support among your peers is the way to achieve real change. By doing this, young people learn that, by taking responsibility and showing commitment, they can be creators and influencers of their own (school) environments. aula brings together learning about the media and politics and lays the foundations for responsible political participation in a digital world.

aula was developed for schools, but has also been adapted to other contexts outside education, such as community decision-making.

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Who is involved?

aula is a politik-digital e.V project. It was developed with the generous support of the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (the German Federal Agency for Civic Education).

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The goal of the project

Above all, aula aims to allow secondary school students to develop their own ideas about their school environment, to gather support for them and to decide how they will be implemented, all within a safe, regulated framework. As they go along, students are given the chance to reflect on the process in a classroom context and explore the links between everyday life decisions and democratic responsibility. In addition to reconsidering their own priorities, this challenges young people to think about their own abilities and limits, as well as what other people can do.

What skills does aula develop?

What skills does aula develop?

aula is a complex project which can develop a broad range of skills. To do this, students must have the chance to reflect thoughtfully on their experiences in a structured setting such as a lesson. The skills and competencies developed by working with aula are easily mapped onto other curriculum assessment objectives, particularly in subjects such as politics, English and PSHE/social studies. In addition to this, students develop a range of social and personal skills which transcend individual subjects, most powerfully in students’ understanding of democracy and the media.

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

aula is designed for use in secondary and high schools with pupils aged 11-18. At present four schools are taking part in our pilot scheme, in which they receive detailed support, workshops and monthly visits up to summer 2018. aula works best when it is integrated into every part of school life and includes all members of the school community. It is possible to use aula with a smaller group of students, year groups or individual subjects, and the number of participants can be expanded at any stage. [How do I take part?]

How much does it cost?

How much does it cost?

The software and all learning resources (click here to view) will be made available as free educational resources at the end of the pilot phase under the AGPLv3 and  CC-BY licences.

An important part of aula’s philosophy is that, if students put forward ideas which have cost implications, then it is up to them to secure the necessary funding.

Successfully implimenting aula in a school context will incur some technical and human resource costs, such as installation, hosting and technical support, as well as providing the introductory workshops, support for initial aula lessons and reflection workshops. We do not want to demand that schools should pay for all these costs alone, so we are looking for partners who can help us provide a central hosting solution and in-person support for schools.

If you can offer support for this, please e-mail us at info@aula.de.

 

How much time will it take?

How much time will it take?

aula works best as part of a regular timetable. The ideal amount of time is an hour a week for students in all year groups when they can discuss ideas, identify patterns and themes, ‘campaign’ for their ideas and consider how they might be implemented in their school. This could take place in lesson time or as part of co-curricular activities. These lessons can also be scheduled less frequently, such as at monthly intervals.

How does aula work in practice?

The process

The first step is for the school’s leadership team to draw up a contract which governs all participants. Then students can begin using the aula platform to submit, discuss, develop and vote on their ideas. Click here→ for a detailed discussion of how this works.

 

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