The EU-funded project ’Pride of Place’ aims at developing an up-to-date and sustainable educational program for secondary education in rural areas across Europe. The project is unique in the purpose of raising awareness on the importance of development of Pride of Place and offering a ready-to-use and tested curriculum. Moreover the project aims at developing a parallel curriculum for teachers which will support and increase pupils’ 21st century competences while promoting and enhancing PoP.
Our 26 month during project has four objectives:
- Development of an innovative and tested curriculum for secondary schools in rural areas about cultural / place identity to enhance place attachment and foster pride of place.
- Set up a network of partners that have similar interest in promotion of Pride of Place in rural areas.
- Improve teaching competences of school teachers (21st century competences)
- Raise awareness and improve involvement of schools in European rural areas in Erasmus+ activities.
To reach our objectives our project will create three outputs:
1. An advocacy document with background reading on the relevance of the Pride of Place for rural development and for the empowerment of young people and consequently for the empowerment of rural communities.
2. An educational program of 10-14 weeks (2/3 hours weekly) for secondary education (pupils aged 12-16y) supporting the development of PoP in rural youth, enhancing the pupils 21st century skills, and;
3. A training course for educators in secondary education who will use the educational program in rural areas with a focus on improving teachers’ 21st century teaching competences.
We believe that when young people and indirectly their relatives get reconnected to their local cultural heritage the emotional attachment to their place is being promoted. A stronger emotional attachment to place will encourage a pride of place (being proud of where you live and/or come from) and hence promote more social engagement and active citizenship in rural areas. We believe that both more pride of place and an active citizenship will prevent people from moving out of rural areas as a result of lack of place attachment and need for entertainment. Scientific results have also shown that increased place attachment is a good prevention against risk factors of mental health. We also expect that by using our curriculum schools and societies can foster the social integration of newcomers to societies.
Furthermore promoting Pride of Place will result in job creation and increased local economic welfare on the long term on a local and regional level. If people remain to live in rural areas, local economic development will stay up. An increased interest in rural areas will support local development, local small scale entrepreneurship and tourism. Rural life and its nature are a core product of touristic activities and are new trends of tourism sector. Rural areas will get more income from this sector as a result of increased PoP in its society.