Learning in Stadiums - Civic Education at Learning Centers in Soccer Stadiums
The idea of using soccer stadiums as places of learning is based on the British "Study Support Centre" model, which utilizes young people’s enthusiasm for the sport to encourage them to take up educational offers. Since 2010 the Robert Bosch Stiftung has been working in conjunction with the Bundesliga-Stiftung (German federal soccer league foundation) to fund centers of civic education in soccer stadiums in towns and cities such as Dortmund, Bochum, Bremen, Berlin, Bielefeld, Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt, Dresden, Rostock, Braunschweig, and Nürnberg.
These learning centers are aimed at school students, particularly from Hauptschulen, in grades seven to ten and young soccer fans in general. The idea is to use the atmosphere of the stadium to appeal to the types of young people on whom traditional educational services generally have little impact.
Audio Slide Show: Learning Center in Braunschweig (German)
- The "Learning in Stadiums" project utilizes people’s enthusiasm for soccer in order to encourage interest in civic education among young people, both indigenous and from ethnic minorities, and to strengthen their social skills.
- Low-threshold, action-centered and practically based educational activities are used to reach out to young people who are distant from education and socially disadvantaged.
- Special emphasis is placed on civic education - workshops and project days are used to familiarize participants with issues such as violence, racism, homophobia, discrimination, and prejudice, as well as teaching them about their personal rights and ways of integrating into and participating in society.
- The work in the learning centers makes the young people who take part sensitive to socio-political issues and helps them to take responsibility for themselves and for society.
The Bundesliga-Stiftung has been collaborating with the Robert Bosch Stiftung on the "Learning in Stadiums" project since May 2010.
The Bundesliga-Stiftung is based in Frankfurt am Main and was established in 2009 by Ligaverband e.V. and the German Soccer League. It picks up on the social responsibility of professional soccer, and utilizes the power of the game to promote better opportunities for children, people with disabilities, and those who practice other sports. It also helps with integration and the prevention of violence.
"The Bundesliga has an enormous allure. We are using this appeal to motivate teenagers and young adults from socially disadvantaged families to take part in non-school education. We focus especially on young people from ethnic minorities," explains Tom Bender, chairman of the Bundesliga-Stiftung.