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DeCRIT - Critical Democracy: Using Critical Thinking as an Educational Tool to Build a More Democratic, Inclusive and Sustainable Society.


Proyecto n.º: 2020-1-ES01-KA201-082482


Critical Democracy: Using Critical Thinking as an Educational Tool to Build a More Democratic, Inclusive and Sustainable Society.





León's "Decreta" [es] of the year 1188 were recognised by UNESCO as the most ancient reference to a European parliamentary system. These documents ensured the participation of the common people in general decision making and, therefore, DeCRIT project ("Critical Democracy: Using Critical Thinking as a Tool to Build a More Democratic, Inclusive and Sustainable Society") was intended to pay tribute to this piece of European heritage by placing CRITICAL THINKING skills at the heart of innovative competence-based educational methodologies.  

This project idea stemmed from the conviction that present-day challenges for European democracy make it crucial for citizens to develop specific COMPETENCES in order to think and act in a more critical way. This need was attested by DeCRIT members in the coordinating institution (IES Legio VII, León, SP), who performed a needs analysis within the school community (questionnaires for around 300 students and 40 teachers) showing that there is a profound lack of reasoning, debating and interpersonal skills among secondary students. DeCRIT is based on this need to encourage critical thinking as a nuclear strategy or meta-competence required to promote personal development, foster social inclusion and enhance the acquisition of other specific transversal skills required for DEMOCRATIC ENGAGEMENT and ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP. 


DeCRIT involved two specific GOALS:

1) to provide TEACHERS with the appropriate skills and resources to apply critical thinking as a cross-curricular training strategy in their daily activity within the framework of innovative learning methods.

2) to provide secondary STUDENTS and young people with the appropriate skills to use critical thinking as an essential life competence. 

Broken down from this two-fold perspective, the specific OBJECTIVES addressed through DeCRIT were to offer target users with the capacities to:

  • develop democratic attitudes within the context of civil society, promoting social inclusion in all aspects of life.
  • actively use critical thinking in decision-making processes, analysing contrasting views to form one’s own opinion.
  • show empathy and respect towards other people’s views, avoiding discrimination and segregation.
  • differentiate between reliable and unreliable information, using smart technologies and social media wisely and safely.
  • raise awareness on the need to reduce our environmental footprint and develop a sustainable lifestyle.
  • appreciate the need to use and create innovative educational resources to foster students' acquisition of critical thinking skills and social competences.


This Strategic Partnership was made up of a diverse consortium of 6 ORGANISATIONS:

  • three High Schools (Spain, Lithuania, Turkey), responsible for the pedagogical implementation and piloting of tangible outputs;
  • one Private University (Poland), responsible for coordinating IO1 and project monitoring;
  • one Vocational Training Centre (Portugal), responsible for coordinating IO2 and the digital creation of contents;
  • one NGO (Italy), in charge of creating the Dissemination Plan and supporting output creation in terms of inclusion and diversity.

Around 20 trainers and researchers worked as project developers, and some 500 Students and 30 teachers were involved as target users and/or participants in the pedagogical implementation of contents and in pilot stages.


The activities leading to the achievement of objectives and the attainment of results were divided into five main categories:

  1. Preparation: Research and Needs Analysis; Bilateral Agreements; Work Plan; Further Administrative Documents and Information; Search for Stakeholders and Synergies.
  2. Management: Financial monitoring (Timesheets and Declaration of Expenses); four Transnational Project Meetings to check project development; 18 Monitoring Online Meetings to check specific assigned tasks, which were especially significant in COVID times; communication activities (emailing, social messaging, Google Drive use); progress, interim and final reports; Gantt Charts.
  3. Implementation: Teaching-learning content creation by partners; two Learning, Teaching and Training mobilities to train project participants on the creation of outputs; activities leading to the production of IO1 (Training Curriculum) and IO2 (e-Learning MOOC space): methodological framework, teacher’s manual, additional resources; content transfer from IO1 to IO2; piloting of outputs with teachers and students; feedback provision; translation of all contents to 7 languages.
  4. Dissemination: Dissemination Plan and Tracker; Project Website; exploitation of project results on Social Media accounts and local events; design and translation of promotional materials; six Multiplier Events.
  5. Evaluation: evaluation surveys after milestones, project meetings, pilot phases and training activities; final evaluation report.

Accordingly, DeCRIT methodology was based on active engagement of participants, high-quality educational content, evidence-based implementation, cooperative development of outputs and wide dissemination of results.


The materialisation of DeCRIT objectives is represented by the effective development of two INTELLECTUAL OUTPUTS (IOs) or TANGIBLE/CONCRETE RESULTS:

  • IO1: an innovative TRAINING CURRICULUM for teachers in the shape of an interactive e-book, divided into 5 different MODULES, in which Critical Thinking skills appear as its central strategy. The thematic contents of this curriculum are marked by present-day challenges for democratic societies (M1: debating techniques; M2: decision-making skills; M3: disinformation, fake news and ethical journalism; M4: freedom of speech, hate speech and (cyber)bullying; M5: sustainability awareness). These five modules follow a logical sequence and use a diversity of teaching-learning methodologies (gamification, digital storytelling, visual thinking, problem-based learning, etc.). Each module contains a detailed step-by-step Teacher’s Manual to successfully implement the lessons in real class settings, as well as worksheets, module resources and assessment instructions. This concrete output has been translated into 7 different languages (EN, ES, PL, PT, LT, TR, IT) to make it reachable to a wider diversity of end-users. Link to English version: https://n9.cl/qptc7.
  • IO2: an E-LEARNING “MOOC” SPACE for secondary students (aged 12-14), built on EdApp Mobile Learning Management System (LMS) and based on IO1 methodology, where IO1 modules have been adapted and integrated into an interactive Massive Online Open Course using the creator tool offered by EdApp and its wide diversity of gamified and user-friendly micro-learning activities. This modular e-course, also translated into 7 different languages, aims to enhance students’ critical thinking skills in an autonomous, challenging, motivating and interactive way, and can be used both as a fully virtual or blended learning resource. Link to DeCRIT’s e-Learning Space on EdApp: https://link.edapp.com/BKTf5fpuLmb (access as learner requires entering “email” and creating a “password”).

Furthermore, to develop these tangible results and meet all project objectives, other CONCRETE ACHIEVEMENTS were produced within the project Work Packages: Gantt Charts; Content Presentations; Introductory Videos; eBook Framework Methodology; Teacher’s Manual; Students Handouts; Pilot Study Protocols; Evaluation surveys; Translated versions (EN, ES, LT, PT, PL, TR, IT); Templates for IO1 content adaptation to IO2 space; Webinars; LTTAs results (training presentations; training talks; workshops documents; improved skills; etc.); project website; 2 project Logos; dissemination videos and pictures; promotional materials; 6 Multiplier Events; project's Twinspace; final evaluation report.

Likewise, the development of these outputs led to other INTANGIBLE RESULTS or OUTCOMES:

  • Acquisition of intrapersonal and interpersonal competences, as well as competences for life-long learning by students.
  • Students’ empowerment for democratic engagement and active citizenship.
  • Improved educators’ pedagogical competences to design innovative training curricula.
  • Building of permanent transnational networks to foster the exchange of critical thinking methodologies applied to education.
  • Contribution towards European 2020 and 2030 agendas, promoting inclusion and social dialogue.


Considering initial COVID-related difficulties, DeCRIT results can be regarded as having exceeded the partnership’ expectations: according to partners’ evaluation, concrete outputs are more advanced than previously imagined in terms of content quality, useful methodology, layout and educational impact. Moreover, participants have learned to use different educational tools, which generates an added value to their didactic competences. Evidence of this is that teachers involved in the project have increased their digital competences according to the SELFIE tool results used at schools. Also, DeCRIT contents are now a key part of the annual plan of cross-curricular activities for different subjects in the three high schools.

As for the project’s long-term benefits, thanks to the nature of its tangible results, as well as its exploitation and dissemination plan, DeCRIT's impact is envisaged as follows:

  • Long-term involvement of a huge number of beneficiaries (around 5000 students / 200 teachers) in Critical Teaching-Learning Methodologies in all institutions involved.
  • Significant acquisition of intrapersonal and interpersonal competences.
  • Widespread practice of democratic values and active citizenship through critical thinking.
  • Creation of permanent transnational networks to foster the exchange of knowledge on CRITICAL THINKING and EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION.


Enlaces Institucionales
Portal de educación Directorio de Centros Recursos Educativos Calendario InfoEduc@
Certificacion CoDice TIC Nivel 4