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The CVS Curriculum for Children also includes evaluation and assessment (RFCDC, Volume 3).

  • Evaluation: the observation and measurement of the effectiveness of a specific activity and the whole programme of study whose aim includes the development of children’s DI competences. Evaluation of both teaching and learning.
  • Assessment: the measurement or systematic description of a child’s degree of proficiency in DI competences.

All the evaluation and assessment procedures are integrated in the CVS App.

Evaluation of teaching and learning processes

Teaching evaluation

Timing At the end of each activity
Assessor (Core) Teacher

Learning evaluation

Two kinds of learning evaluation are foreseen, depending on the activity realized:

  • Learning evaluation of CVS activities (A3@M1 and A3@M2): the evaluation procedure is suggested at the end of the description of each CVS activity.
  • Learning evaluation of other activities: The Telegraph (see below).
Timing At the end of each activity
Assessor Every child
Questions The Telegraph or the specific CVS activity evaluation

Assessment of children’s democratic and intercultural competences

Timing Pre-test, at the beginning of the school year, before starting the Curriculum activities
Post-test, at the end of the school year, after ending the Curriculum activities
Assessing system Self-assessment

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The CVS Curriculum includes a series of activities that allow pupils to actively exercise their democratic and intercultural (DI) competences through urban regeneration activities, making their voices heard about their needs, views and dreams regarding their closest “urban” spaces. Pupils belong to different groups and communities and they have to take on the responsibility of each of them; adults caring for pupils have to help them in doing that. Adults can help pupils to adequately manage this responsibility starting from closer contexts (for example, the school) to further contexts (for example, the town).

Children are not the citizens of the future, they are already citizens, and their voices need to be heard by policy-makers. They need to be protagonists able to express their needs, views and dreams about urban spaces in dialogue with local administrations. In order to do that, the CVS Curriculum foresees the involvement of local policy-makers dealing with the urban sector with whom pupils can discuss their own proposals.

The Curriculum has been developed on the basis of some general, theoretical and methodological considerations; they are described below.

1. General considerations underlying the CVS Curriculum

The Curriculum has been developed on the basis of some general considerations:

  • article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC),
  • article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

1.1 Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

  1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

“Article 12 of the UNCRC establishes the right of children to be involved in decisions that affect them, both as individuals and as a group. This right to be heard and taken seriously is one of the fundamental values of the Convention (…). Article 12 (is) one of its four general principles. In other words, it must be considered in the implementation of all other rights, and as one of the general measures of implementation of the UNCRC.

Article 12 (…) recognises the child as an active agent in the exercise of his or her rights.

This right of active engagement has been broadly conceptualised as ‘participation’ (…) (t)he term participation (…) is now very widely used, as a shorthand term to describe the process of children expressing their views and having them taken seriously.

Participation can be defined as an ongoing process of children’s expression and active involvement in decision-making at different levels in matters that concern them. It requires information-sharing and dialogue between children and adults based on mutual respect, and requires that full consideration of their views be given, taking into account the child’s age and maturity.

Children can form and express views from the earliest age, but the nature of their participation, and the range of decisions in which they are involved, will necessarily increase in accordance with their age and evolving capacities. Young children’s participation will be largely limited to issues relating to their immediate environment within the family, care facilities and their local community. However, as they grow older and their capacities develop, their horizons broaden and they are entitled to be involved in the wide range of issues that affect them from the immediate family to the international level.

(T)he UN General Assembly Omnibus resolution in November 2009 (…) urged governments to:

“Assure that children are given the opportunity to be heard on all matters affecting them, without discrimination on any grounds, by adopting and/or continuing to implement regulations and arrangements that provide for and encourage, as appropriate, children’s participation in all settings, including within the family, in school and in their communities, and that are firmly anchored in laws and institutional codes and that are regularly evaluated with regard to their effectiveness.”

Across the world, (…) thousands of initiatives have been introduced, and spaces for children’s voices have been created, from the school to the global community.

The last 20 years have been a period of advocacy to promote and legitimate the concept of participation, and of exploration of strategies for translating it into practice. Indeed, for many people, children’s rights have become synonymous with participation.

Nevertheless, the right to be heard and taken seriously remains elusive for most children across the world. And even where it is implemented, it is often only in limited aspects of a child’s life and largely through short-term projects and programmes. Full implementation of Article 12 continues to be impeded by many long-standing practices, cultures and attitudes, and by political and economic obstacles. Furthermore, younger children and girls, as well as many other marginalised and minority groups, face particular barriers in the realisation of this right. There is also concern about the quality of much of the practice that does exist. There is a need for better understanding of what Article 12 involves; the benefits of its implementation; how to implement it for children of all ages; and the approaches needed to achieve meaningful and ethical participation in decision-making.

The real challenge now is to apply the learning from the past 20 years to embed participation as a sustainable right for all children, in all areas of their lives.”

(Save the Children, 2011, pp.3-4).

“The experience of child participation (provides evidence) that participation has a widespread positive impact. If adults are to fulfil their obligations to promote the best interests of children, they need to listen to children themselves. The Committee on the Rights of the Child considers that recognising the right of the child to express views and to participate in various activities, according to her or his evolving capacities, is beneficial for the child, the family, the community, the school, the state and democracy”

(Save the Children, 2011, p. 5).


  • Contributes to personal development
  • Leads to better decision-making and outcomes
  • Serves to protect children
  • Contributes top reparation for civil society development, tolerance and respect for others
  • Strengthens accountability

1.2 Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

“It is (…) important to recognise the strong concept of community, mutuality and responsibility embodied within the human rights discourse. (…) The significance of the word ‘alone’ (…) is that it recognises that individuals do not exist as isolated beings but live in societies, towards which they must act responsibly if they are to develop their true humanity”

(Save the Children, 2011, p.16).

2. The theoretical framework of the CVS Curriculum

The CVS Curriculum has been developed on the basis of some theoretical considerations:

  • the Council of Europe’s RFCDC (Barrett et al., 2018a, b, c),
  • the relation between civic engagement and child development,
  • the participatory urban planning,
  • the relation between urban planning and immigrant children.

2.1 The relation between civic engagement and child development

(to do)

2.2 The participatory urban planning

The verb “to participate” means:

  • “to take part” (do with others) to a specific action or process;
  • “to be part of” an organism, a group, a community[1].

The “participatory planning” is a methodological perspective that foresees the collaboration of several actors of a community (citizens, administrators and technicians) involved in territorial planning or implementing a common project.

It is a bottom-up approach, particularly successful in urban areas since it provides the administrators with a useful support for improving the quality of urban services

Decision-making processes initiated with this methodology contribute to creating in citizens a sense of belonging to places and facilitate the implementation of projects in fragile or difficult contexts

Planning activities attentive to the sustainable development of the territory must be based on actions not suffered or imposed, but the result of a process concerted and shared.

The participatory planning thus comes to design a framework of cohesion that unites citizens, administrators and several stakeholders, integrating them with the territory and local resources.

Participatory planning is based on the following principles:

  • People can produce change
  • Changes made by social groups are more likely to be lasting than those imposed from the outside
  • Communities can develop the skills to face their problems without necessarily having to delegate this task to the outside
  • If the problem to be faced is complex, the intervention of several subjects is necessary
  • To tackle some problems, it is important to activate the resources of the territory
  • Democratic processes require that people participate in the production and control of changes that affect them

Participatory planning is a particularly appreciated method because:

  • it contrasts the current tendency towards the isolation of urban realities and is oriented to re-establish a sense of common life
  • it allows to take into account the plurality of interests present in a territory and the normal conflict that is triggered in the processes of change.

The initiatives that consider young people as resources for the programs in the territory (for example, by giving them the opportunity to contribute to the definition and the change of social reality) have:

  • increased the sense of self-awareness and self-efficacy,
  • improved mental well-being and school results,
  • decreased rates of school dropout, delinquency and use of substances (WHO, 2006).

2.3 The relation between urban planning and immigrant children

(to do)

3. The methodological framework of the CVS Curriculum

The Curriculum has been developed on the basis of some methodolocial considerations:

  • the curriculum is a plan for learning,
  • a projet-based and a service-based learning approach,
  • cooperative approach in teaching and learning processes,
  • redundant teaching/learning methodology,
  • experiential learning,
  • a cross-curricolar approach,
  • communicative skills,
  • use of poetry,
  • use of descriptors for assessing children’s DI competeces,
  • co-assessment of children’s DI competences,
  • the active involvement of senior citizens in their community.

3.1 The CVS Curriculum is “a plan for learning”

It has been developed in the form of the description of learning outcomes, of learning content and of learning processes for a specified period of study. (to do; see Volume 3 of the RFCDC)

3.2 Project-based and service-based learning approaches

The CVS Curriculum has been developed according to a project-based learning approach for Module 1 and a service-based learning approach for Module 2. (to do; see Volume 3 of the RFCDC)

3.3 Cooperative approach in teaching and learning processes

The cooperative approach both at teachers and children level. (to do; see Volume 3 of the RFCDC)

3.4 Redundant teaching/learning methodology

The CVS Curriculum makes use of a “redundant” (and so stable and predictable by teachers and children) teaching/learning methodology in order to favor the development of teachers’ and children’s confidence in teaching/learning process. (to do)

3.5 The experiential learning

The curriculum reflects and is clearly aligned to everyday, real-life issues. (to do; see Volume 3 of the RFCDC)

3.6 Communicative skills

The curriculum also has a special focus on the “knowledge and critical understanding of language and cmmunictaion” (children’voices) competence. To help children develop their communication skills.

“In democratic cultures, individuals often realise their competences in interaction with others and therefore an important competence is that of “knowledge and critical understanding of language and cmmunictaion”, meaning that individuals are awre of, and can implement, socially appropriate verbal and non-verbal communicative conventiens in the languages or language variets they nedd for a specifi situation” (RFCDC, Vol. 3, p. 17). (to do)

3.7 Cross-curricolar approach

Using a cross-curricolar approach; in doing that, several activities can be integrated in differenct school subjects. For instance,

  • English teacher can select texts dealing with the issues of democracy, inteculturlity, and participation;
  • Geometry teacher could link his/her activities to the creation of the maps and the planning for real,
  • History and Geography teacher could link his/her activities to the issues of the CVS Curriculum.

(to do)

3.8 Use of poetry

Using poetry as a tool to promote mutual understanding of common European values. (to do)

3.9 Use of descriptors for assessing children’s DI competeces

The use of descriptors allows not only to recognize what children can do, but also the future lines of his/her educational intervention. (to do; see Volume 2 of the RFCDC)

3.10 Co-assessment of children’s DI competences

Use of self-report and teachers’ assessment. (to do; see Volume 2 and 3 of the RFCDC)

3.11 The active involvement of senior citizens in their community

The CVS Curriculum foresees the active involvement of senior citizens in their community. The aim was to get elderly people actively engaged both in their community to foster intergenerational learning and dialogue, and to improve young people’s knowledge and enhance their understanding of how the past can impact on today’s society. Intergenerational learning activities were developed to enable senior citizens to share their experiences with children, including stories of their life. The activities has also been designed to bridge the intergenerational gap between the two.

(to do)

[1] A community is a group of persons who share some common elements:

  • the place of life (inhabitants of the same neighbourhood, of the same city, of the same school…),
  • identity (persons belonging to the same ethnic group, who are of the same age or occupation…),
  • the sphere of interests or affinities (individuals sharing the same faith…),
  • or other common circumstances.

It is a multidimensional concept that recalls a complexity of horizontal and vertical relationships between people and organizations.


(UN)CRC (United Nations) Convention on the Rights of the Child
UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights
CoE Cuncil of Europe
CVS Children’s Voices for a new Human Space
CTT Class Teacher Team
DI Democratic and Intercultural
KC Key Classes
RFCDC Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture


Some sections of the curriculum are still in preparation (those indicated with the words “to do”). They will be available in Version 3.0 (due on May 31 2020).


The CVS Curriculum for Children was delevoped by:
Beathe-Kathrine Aasheim Moe
Maria Magdalena Bordas
Rosanna Balistreri
Miriam Barrachina Peris
Martyn Barrett
Silvia Blasco
Veneta Chobova
Maria Asunta D’Aleo
Martina Di Marco
Nicolò Iannello
Sonia Ingoglia
Cristiano Inguglia
Borislava Ivancheva
Vasilka Kolovska
Francesca Liga
Alida Lo Coco
Maria Grazia Lo Cricchio
Anamaria Marina
George Marina
Cornelia Melcu
Maria Andrada Muntean
Pietro Sardina
Giovanna Sciortino
Anita Shepherd
Henrik Skjerlie Daae
Harriet Tenenbaum
Nora Wiium



  • To make children evaluate the Curriculum they were involved in
  • To write down what they have learned and what they think they can use in their life

Source of the activity

Contributed by Ildikó Lázár (TASKs for democracy)

Type of activity

Discussion, writing, peer reading

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Openness to cultural otherness
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Empathy
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self


Children review their experiences and write a letter to the next generation of students


  • A blank A4 sheet for each pair of participants
  • Pictures or cards cut into two for pairing

Group size

Work in pairs

Time needed

45 minutes


  • Think about the evaluation criteria you would like your participants to keep in mind as they write their letters

Step-by-step instructions

  • Explain why it is important to review what has been done and discussed in the previous activities or sessions. Tell children that their evaluation will take the form of a letter to the next set of participants.
  • Children form pairs or you pair them up randomly with pictures or cards with expressions on them cut into two. The two halves have to find each other in order to form a whole and complement each other. If you have an odd number of children, it is better to have a group of three rather than to have someone work alone.
  • You may provide a few ideas on what to write about and how to organize the writing into a letter. Project the relevant bullet points or write them on the board. For example:
    • aims of the activity/session/course
    • atmosphere
    • content
    • understanding of terminology
    • activities and assignments
    • timing and pacing
    • achieved learning outcomes
    • Children’s evaluation of their own progress, effort and commitment
    • Children’s plans for using the knowledge, skills and attitudes that have been developed
    • Children’s plans for using concrete activities or materials
    • problems, risks, dangers
    • general advice for future children
  • Children discuss their ideas in pairs and write their letters together to the next set of children so that they know what to expect.
  • When the time is up, the letters are passed around. If possible, everybody reads everybody else’s letters.
  • Everybody should take notes to be able to quote one or two interesting points from some of the letters.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • A discussion follows with questions for clarification, and suggestions for action and/or improvement based on the bullet points on the board and the quotes you and children want to read out from some of the letters.
  • Make your criteria for evaluating their comments very clear and explicit.
  • Letters should be pinned to a board for future children to read and later they can actually be used as an introductory activity with the next group of children.

Tips for the teacher

  • Warn children that they can use their sense of humour but they should write letters that truly reflect their evaluation of the session and of their own learning.
  • In addition, perhaps it is useful to remind them that this should not turn into a round of compliments but into the kind of letter we all expect to receive from a critical but supportive friend or colleague.


Let’s tell the world about our town!


  • To develop critical thinking skills about advertising and the media
  • To practice creativity and communications skills
  • To develop ideas on how to promote children’s human rights
  • To deepen understanding about human rights

Source of the activity

Derived from “COMPASITO”

Type of activity

Storytelling, drawing, writing

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Openness to cultural otherness
  • Self-efficacy
  • Civic mindedness
  • Autonomous learning skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Skills of listening and observing
  • Linguistic, communicative and plurilingual skills
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of language and communication
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world


Children develop a TV advertisement for children’s intervention of regeneration intervention in the town/district


  • Paper and art supplies

Group size

1 class

Time needed

120-180 minutes


  • If possible, arrange video equipment to record the advertisements

Step-by-step instructions

  • Divide children into groups of three or four. Explain that their group has been asked to advertise their intervention of regeneration at school. They will make an advertisement for television that lasts from one to three minutes that makes people aware of and/or understand that work.
  • Ask children to describe some advertisements on TV that have caught their attention. Brainstorm features of good advertisements (e.g. clever phrases, sound effects, music, humour, serious message).
  • Discuss the audience for their advertisement. Is it aimed at children, parents, teachers, the general public or all of these? Discuss ways in which the advertisement can be made attractive to their chosen audience.
  • Explain that each group should choose an aspect of the intervention they want to advertise and the audience(s) they want to address. Ask someone from each group to report their right to you, and what audience they have decided upon.
  • Once groups have chosen the work, they should develop an idea to advertise it. Encourage them to consider many different ways to present the work (e.g. a story that they act out, a song they sing, a cartoon for which they draw the storyboard). Remind them that this will be a video for TV so it should be visually interesting and have action, not just ‘talking heads’. It should not be too complex to be presented in less than three minutes.
  • Circulate among the groups to monitor their progress. Once a group has completed its advertisement, ask them to give it a title and begin to practice.
  • When all the groups have planned their advertisements, bring the whole group together to share their ideas and get feedback from others. Ask each group to explain their work, their audience, and their ideas. If they are ready, they may try to perform it as well. After each description or performance, encourage constructive suggestions and feedback, asking questions such as:
    • Will this idea appeal to the chosen audience?
    • Will it get the idea of the work across clearly?
    • Do you like about these ideas?
    • Can you offer any suggestions for improvement?
  • Give the groups time to improve and practice their advertisements.
  • Ask each group to present their advertisement and plans to each other.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • Debrief the activity, asking questions such as:
    • Were any parts of this activity especially challenging? Especially fun?
    • Did you learn something about how advertisements are made?
    • Was it hard to think in images rather than just words?
    • Was it hard to think about how to reach a particular audience?
    • Are advertisements always positive? Why or why not?
    • What did you learn from the other storyboards?
    • Will this activity change the way you look at TV?
  • Relate the activity to human rights, asking questions such as:
    • Why did your group choose that particular aspect of the activity?
    • Why did your group choose that particular aspect of the activity?
    • What kind of reaction or action do you think your advertisement would produce?
    • Is a TV advertisement a good way to send people a message about your regeneration activity? Why or why not?
    • Did your advertisement involve other issues besides the one you focused on?
    • Who needs education about children’s human rights?

Tips for the teacher

  • This is a complex activity that may challenge children to use new skills (e.g. writing dialogue or songs, developing a story board). The teacher needs to monitor the children’s progress carefully, helping them keep on track.
  • Some groups will move faster through the process than other. If a group has completed one task, give them instructions individually for the next step. Give them plenty to time to practice and to revise after feedback.
  • Use the activity to encourage critical thinking about advertising and its purposes.
  • Use the activity to practice giving and receiving constructive criticism.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.