How to prevent violent radicalisation in school? The power of education: final conference of the practice project

Sep 3, 2021News

The PRACTICE project is coming to an end. After 3 years of work, development of many useful tools for secondary school’s teachers and students, guidelines and researches about radicalisation prevention in schools, it is time for dissemination!

Last 13th of July, a final online conference has been organised by the partner KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre, for presenting the final project’s results and discussing the phenomenon of violent radicalisation and the ways to prevent it from the school environment, together with the project partners, external experts and a large audience made up of teachers and educators from all Europe.

The discussion, that was coordinated by the project manager of KMOP Afroditi Azari, was attended by more than 370 people. During the online event terms such as racism, polarisation, social exclusion, radicalisation and violent radicalisation were analysed.

Antonella Alessi, head of the PRACTICE project from CSC, pointed out that the ultimate goal of the project was to fulfil two basic needs: on the one hand, to provide teachers with the necessary tools in order to develop students’ critical thinking about controversial and sensitive issues, as well as to better understand values ​​such as diversity and acceptance. On the other hand, it aims to strengthen teachers in order to become the “mediators” in reconciling the different views of students. Alberto Biondo, EU department coordinator of CSC, focused on the roots of PRACTICE project saying: “To have a nonviolent relation means to learn how to communicate: if you want to communicate you need to understand your counterpart, the other. You need to see the other as a collaborator”.

Afroditi Azari reviewed the findings of the comparative report, emphasising in the factors that may lead to violent radicalisation such as social, religious, trauma, identity crisis. “Results indicated that education professionals believe that there is a connection between critical thinking and radicalism prevention; however, there are no official methods for the prevention of extremism through critical thinking development. Thus, Continuing Professional Development programmes on the use of critical thinking skills for the prevention and combating of extremism, support from the State and NGOs, tools, strategies, materials and resources are needed”, Ms. Azari said.

Margit Helle Thomsen, owner and director of development at MHT, presented The Teacher’s Handbook that was created as part of the project. As she explained, it aims to provide advices and guidelines in terms of:
1) Testing peer-based learning processes, where students through their collaboration show mutual recognition and respect for differences.
2) Strengthening awareness of signs in the classroom of lack of wellbeing, exclusion and alienation.
3) Introduction of radicalisation and other sensitive phenomena in the classroom.

Stacey Robinson, psychologist and European project manager at MEH, presented the policy recommendations resulting from the project.

Dr. Vasiliki Artinopoulou, professor at the Department of Sociology of Panteion University, referred to mmodern approaches to prevent radicalisation in education. She pointed out that the concept of radicalisation is full of misinterpretations, with the most typical example being defined as radicalisation a predictable bad behaviour. However, she added, radicalisation remains a rather problematic term because it depends on how we define three contexts: politics, security and the context of integration.

Naya Boemi, coordinator of the Theatrical Education project, referred to the school’s role in preventing violent radicalisation and highlighted methods related to critical pedagogical theory and social theatre – such as the Theatre of the Oppressed.

Sebastian Schwäbe, project manager from BLINC Germany, explained how the theoretical background of the research was linked to the students. About the innovative training also referred the project manager from Villa Montesca (Italy), Valeria Puletti, as well as the project manager from Compass (Austria), Silvia Desheva.

Would you like to watch the event live again? Click here:

Watch the video

The PRACTICE project will end on October the 31st.
Do you want to know more about the project’s activities and results? Visit the website

PRACTICE is cofinanced by Erasmus+; KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for school education.


For further information contact Antonella Alessi: