BRIGHTS Project: Digital Storytelling as a useful tool for promoting Global Citizenship Education

Sara Cella and Federica Funghi, Guglielmo Marconi University1

In order to face the main current challenges linked to globalization in its different facets – economic, social and political –  transversal key competences such as learning to learn, sense of initiative, social, civic and cultural competences are increasingly seen as vital for today’s citizens.

Presented under the ErasmusPlus Programme Key Action on “Social inclusion through education, training and youth”, BRIGHTS Project “Boosting Global Citizenship Education using digital storytelling” contributes to promote social cohesion, intercultural dialogue and democratic values in Europe by fostering Global Citizenship Education (GCE) in formal and non-formal education (http://www.brights-project.eu/en/).

Since BRIGHTS teachers and youth trainers belong to formal and non-formal educational contexts and come from different countries, the use of a blended approach was implemented to meet different learning styles, collaborative learning, possibility to discuss online and face-to-face, flexible access to course material.

The primary target group is composed of secondary school teachers and youth trainers from Italy, Belgium, Greece and Croatia; the youngsters are the final beneficiaries of the whole process. Evidence of the effectiveness of this approach given to the wider audience are the online publication of all BRIGHTS digital stories.


1 – Croatian winner – Kevin Malnar, It is all the same to me; 2- Greek winner – Victoria Ivanova, Christine; 3 – Italian winner – Nicolò Fatone, A special friendship; 4 –Belgian winner – Wannes Hendrik, Wannes

An additional element of this blended path is the use of the Unite-IT platform (http://www.unite-it.eu), which hosts the first European GCE Online Community made of researchers, educators and stakeholders interested in Global Citizenship. Through the Community, the learning experience was enriched with a wide array of perspectives and experiences at international level. The multi-country experimentation of the blended course does not represent the sole innovative component of the BRIGHTS methodology.

One of the key elements of the project is the educational use of Digital Storytelling, a technique taught through the MOOC and finally tested with the youngsters. This choice is linked to one of the main objectives of the project: the implementation of innovative ways of working with youth-at-risk. Around the 30% of young people participating in the BRIGHTS training are at risk of marginalization, especially for the place of residence and/or for their migrant background, parental socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, etc. These factors notoriously may have an impact on social exclusion and unemployment. In order to better address youngsters at risk of exclusion, the project focuses on both strategies of formal and non-formal education, the latter conceived for those with fewer educational opportunities.

An innovative aspect of BRIGHTS use of Digital Storytelling is strictly related to the topics of the stories. Teachers, trainers and students create digital narrations about the umbrella concept of Global Citizenship, including sustainable development and lifestyle, social inclusion and cultural diversity, gender equality, peace and human rights, active citizenship and democracy. The definition of narrations on these topics implies an inner process to explore the universality of personal stories and contributes to promote inclusiveness both during the creation and publishing of stories. Throughout this process, BRIGHTS digital stories contribute to enhance the debate on inclusiveness via innovative and creative digital techniques. An additional element of innovation in BRIGHTS lies on the main topic taught throughout the project: Global Citizenship is a subject that crosses different crucial issues, like human rights, democracy, peace, environment, cultural differences, economic and social justice. It is an extremely relevant subject, not officially recognized in schools’ curricula, that equips learners with essential skills to tackle current and future challenges and that strengthens their perception of citizenship in a global dimension.

The BRIGHTS project, through an engaging, creative digital methodology, contributes to address the pivotal challenge of shaping together a shared civic ethos, starting from the dialogue among different cultures that makes possible living together in a cohesive society. In order to address teachers and trainers needs raised during the BRIGHTS research, five main topics have been selected to be investigated in the MOOC and as subjects of the digital stories; specifically they are sustainable development and lifestyle, social inclusion and cultural diversity, gender equality, peace and human rights, active citizenship and democracy


Cite this article as: Sara Cella, Federica Funghi, BRIGHTS Project: Digital Storytelling as a useful tool for promoting Global Citizenship Education. in Guglielmo Marconi University – magazine, 30/04/2019, Link: https://gmu.hypotheses.org/232

  1. The printed version of this article is in the “International Conference Proceedings. The Future of Education”, 8th Edition, Florence, Italy 28-29 June 2018, edited by Pixel, p. 192-196, [ISBN 978-88-3359-020-2] []

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