Educational Spaces 21. Open up!
on-line course


Module 1. Social capital in schools

The school is an ideal place for developing social capital. It provides a safe space for activity in which young people and children can learn how to trust others, organise groups, meetings and events, work in mixed groups, and use adults’ support if necessary. Participation is the best tool here: it strengthens the relationships between the participants, gives the the sense of self-agency and teaches responsibility.

Nevertheless, not enough attention is still paid to teamwork, mutual help, open discussions on sensitive matters, joint undertakings for the local community, student initiatives and autonomy.

For this reason, participation needs to be examined more closely and better understood.



Did you know?

According to the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study conducted in over 20 countries around the world, there is a large gap between how students and teachers view the school in Poland. The teachers think that students are very autonomous and that their opinions are heard, whereas young people feel they have little influence on school life and learning processes. Reports from internal school evaluation suggest that only 6% of students feel that they can suggest how to decorate the classroom, and only 4% of children think they can influence the rules or the evaluation system. There is a big difference between what students experience and what the principal or the teachers think of their participation in the school’s life.