The "Civic Education" Magazine (13/2012)

Letter from the Editor
Two Sesame Street puppets joke around about the US election. And that’s supposed to be civic education? Yes, it is. In fact, the puppets Bla and Keks are one of the main factors behind the success of the Internet project "Du hast die Macht" (You have the power), which recently won the Berlin media award Mediamax.

"Du hast die Macht" shows that civic education today does not have much to do with earlier institutional teaching that used complicated texts and graphics to explain how the different parts of government work together.

For many young people, politics is a foreign world that they even partly shy away from. Anyone who wants to reach these young people needs believable protagonists (like Bla and Keks), understandable language, and topics that are actually related to things going on in the everyday lives of the youth. Like soccer. At their club’s stadium, not only can fans discuss tactics and goals, but also topics such as tolerance and equality - as you will read about in a report from Gelsenkirchen on page 18.

Whether online or at the stadium - in various projects, young people learn to debate with one another and respect other people’s views. This is often the first time they discover that others are interested in their opinions, and that they can play an active role in shaping their environment.

But our civic education projects abroad focus on political discourse and active participation as well. In fact, the Robert Bosch Stiftung particularly relies on young opinion-makers in countries at the beginning of their democratic development. For example, as Theodor Heuss scholarship recipients, young people gain experience that shapes their own lives as well as the lives of others. Civic education is always an investment in the minds of the younger generation.

We will introduce you to many of them in this issue. And their stories show that this is an investment that offers excellent long-term returns.

The Magazine "Civic Education" (German)

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