DESC (Democratic Education in Schools)


30 months, from the 28th of February 2022 to the 31th of July 2024.


DESC’s general objective (GO) is to promote the integration of democratic education methodology into the European education systems as a way of fostering life competences and citizenship competences in schools. The DESC general objective is supported by a number of specific objectives (SOs):

– SO1: Promotion of the professionalization of teachers in the field of democratic education, by an innovative cross-country Research Report that will divulge democratic school methodology in Europe;
: Empowerment of teachers in promoting students’ talents, motivation to learn, Life comp & citizenship competencies through the participation in a Teacher Training on democratic education, and the use of the DESC OER Platform in which they can find resources in a Knowledge Center, and exchange competences in an Agora forum;
: Open up the school to local communities through cooperation with external stakeholders that will be identified through a Community Mapping tool, invited to use the OER Platform and connected to the school through a National Transferability Action Plan;
: Foster changes in education policy development, through Policy Recommendations that will generate awareness, scale up and disseminate the use of democratic education methodology at European and National level.


The project starts from the consideration that traditional educational models are scarcely adapted to equip students with 21st century skills. 

At the same time, statistics show that schools are generally not suited to help students to be satisfied in their life, in their job and to develop a strong sense of belonging in their school community.

For these reasons, the project aims at promoting the integration of democratic educational approach into the European education systems,  as a way of fostering life and citizenship competences in schools to take up their responsibilities and social commitments, and to fulfill their talents.

Target Groups:

Democratic Schools, State Schools, Schools Networks, Universities in Europe.


The activities are grouped into four major Project Results (PR), combined with project meetings, learning, teaching and training activity and multiplier events.

PR1: Research Report
DESC has developed an innovative cross-country research on democratic education in Europe. Partners have analyzed the main drivers and barriers for implementation of this approach in respective national contexts and map local stakeholders interested

in developing cross-sectoral collaborations.

PR2: Teacher Training
Based on the Research Report elaborated in PR1, all partners has contributed to develop a DESC Teacher Training and an impact assessment framework to evaluate training effectiveness on participating schools.

PR3: DESC OER Platform
Has been created, to host:

  • The validated and translated teacher training;
  • A Knowledge Center with educational resources uploaded by partners;
  • An Agora where educational practitioners and external stakeholder can communicate;
  • A DESC interactive map that will identify all the schools and practitioner’s following the DESC methodology.

PR4: Transferability and Policy Recommendations:
DESC has produced transferability guidelines to support project partners in scaling up the democratic education approach by engaging all relevant stakeholders. Partners  developed national transferability action plans to adapt the transferability guidelines into their context. Policy recommendations are produced to raise awareness on democratic education at local, regional, national and European contexts.


The partnership is composed by nine partners in five European countries as Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia Italy and Spain, including democratic schools, state schools, school networks and universities:

  • QUEST (Belgium)
  • GO! Basisschool Carolus Magnus Schaarbeek (Belgium)
  • OU “Nicola Vaptsarov” (Bulgaria)
  • Community for Democratic Education (Bulgaria)
  • Varstu Kool (Estonia)
  • MTÜ Sänna Kultuurimõis (Estonia)
  • Instituto Comprensivo Carducci di Busca (Italy)
  • Io vivo dentro di me (Italy)


This project is under the KA2 COOPERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT n° 2021-BE02-KA220-SCH-000032620 call.

“This project is funded with the support of the European Commission. This publication reflects only the personal views of its author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for the use of the information contained therein.”


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