Schools together: enhancing the citizenship curriculum through a non-formal education programme

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In divided societies education for diversity, often introduced via the combinedapproaches of civic education, citizenship education and community-relationsactivity, is advocated as a core element of the school curriculum. Its delivery,through formal and non-formal educational approaches, has been routinelyrecognised as an opportunity for interactive learning, offering intellectual, socialand emotional advantages to all involved. From its roots in the non-formalyouth sector, the work of the Spirit of Enniskillen (SOE) Trust now encompassesformal partnerships with schools through a ‘dealing with differencetogether’ programme involving groups of sixth-form students (17–18 years) in aprogramme for citizenship education as a complementary and/or supplementaryoption to the subject area of Local and Global Citizenship.Based on a developmental evaluation of the Schools Together programme,this paper presents a case study of a collaborative schools-based programme fordiversity in Northern Ireland. In particular, it outlines the unique characteristicsof collaboration between the formal and non-formal education sectors; highlightsthe intrinsic value of such programmes for capacity-building and sustainabilityin schools; and identifies the contribution of such initiatives to educationalreform and wider social change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-48
JournalJournal of Peace Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2012


  • Citizenship
  • formal and informal education
  • peer mediation
  • conflict
  • resolution


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