From April 2021 through June 2022, the Transatlantic Exchange of Civic Educators (TECE), led by the Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungsstätten (AdB) and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, will bring together German and U.S.-American civic learning professionals with the goal of reintroducing a transatlantic dimension to the field, unlocking opportunities for deeper dialogue and mutual learning through an investigation of common challenges and respective approaches, and identifying promising new concepts. This effort comes at a critical time as both Germany and the United States experience similar societal challenges: structural racism, right-wing populism, polarization and mistrust of democratic institutions and the media, not to mention a strained transatlantic relationship, all exacerbated further by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fellowship will bring together ten participants from Germany and ten from the United States to engage in dialogue in the field of youth and young adult civic education, youth work and civic engagement. From July 2021 through March 2022, fellows will participate in interactive online programming and in-person exchange activities in Germany and the U.S., to include peer-learning seminars, site-visits, and thematic small-group work.
The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, housed at Tufts University, promotes the civic and political engagement of young people, studies civic life and its intersections with public and private institutions, and promotes practices that strengthen civic life in the U.S. and the world. With a focus on active citizenship, Tisch College offers leadership programs, service earning programs, and a broad spectrum of internships, courses and events. Tisch College is also home to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), the nation’s leading source of research on youth civic engagement and the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE), which conducts research on student political agency and democratic participation on college campuses. CIRCLE is a leading resource for formal civic educators and an array of nonprofit civics-focused organizations across the country and has helped lead the effort to build a more cohesive field.
The Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungstätten (AdB) is a working group of German non-formal educational institutions that focus on youth and adult education for democratic citizenship in Germany, Europe and worldwide. The diverse set of member organizations include youth education centers, international meeting places and foundation academies that focus on political and international education. Since it’s conception in 1959, the non-partisan organization has offered a forum for expert exchange, training, and policy advocacy. Moreover, AdB is a hub for international work, connecting German member organisations with a larger international sphere of experts in the field of non-formal civic and human rights education. It serves as the headquarters of the European DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) network and has conducted numerous bilateral partnerships and qualification programs with countries like Greece, Mongolia, Poland, Czechia, Tunisia, etc. As an integral part of youth welfare infrastructure at the federal level, the Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungstätten is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.