For years we have been running the Projektor nationwide programme based on student volunteering work, but recently we have observed a decline in the number of individuals willing to participate in such ventures. According to a 2020 study conducted by Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej, as many as 43% of all students do not engage in any civic initiatives. According to the 2018 One Million Voices 2 report, this is due to associating such activities with politics and politicians whom young people do not trust. Such a low level of trust results, among others, from the lack of space for involvement, no opportunities to cut through with one’s own initiatives, and no sense of agency. The 2017 Eurydice Brief report indicates that citizenship education competencies include 4 fundamental areas: critical thinking, effective and constructive interaction with others, acting in a socially responsible manner, and acting democratically. In our activities, we will focus on critical thinking, treating it as a competence that is fundamental against other ones, namely constructive communication, as well as acting responsibly and democratically. Such a mindset is the key to mature participation in the democratic society.
We will organise a course for students and teachers working with children to help them develop critical thinking skills. We will invite them to workshops to jointly design an educational model for developing critical thinking competencies in pupils. Lesson scenarios prepared will be tested by trained volunteers in 45 classes in various parts of Poland. We will monitor and evaluate the model, to formulate recommendations for the future. We will popularise the developed solutions by creating an educational clip for children and parents, organising 2 open webinars and a conferences for teachers, and publishing a report on the developed model and tools, along with expert articles on critical thinking in education and its significance in civic activities.