Educational toolkit and toolbox:
Global citizenship workshop – For loop is better than while and do-while loop!

Introduction – Nourishing Global citizenship during STEM activities

Responsibility and ability to resolve conflict: Classrooms are highly social and involve complex relationships between students and the teacher. In order to maintain a healthy and productive environment, teachers should be able to teach their students the importance of taking responsibility for their actions and should be able to resolve conflicts.

Tolerance and respect for diversity: Recent studies show that intolerance and social exclusion are increasing, with some migrant groups feeling alienated. This is leading to incidences of social tensions and unrest. Education has a key role to play in preparing societies for dealing with these phenomena. It also plays a vital role in the political socialisation of European citizens from cradle to grave.

Awareness and openness: In the context of education, “open(ness)” has become the watermark for a fast growing number of learning materials and associated platforms and practices from a variety of institutions and individuals. “Open” in education is currently mostly debated in the context of the technological developments that allowed it to emerge in its current forms. (Peter, Deimann, 2013)

Brief Description of the workshop: (Workshop duration 50 minutes)

The workshop consists of three parts:

  • present the domains and the basic transversal skills related to each domain
  • classroom activity: debate
  • discussion

Part 1 (5 min): Introduction

Present the domains and the basic transversal skills related to each domain, focusing on the domain of global citizenship.

Part 2 (30 min): Classroom activity: Hands-on and minds-on activity

During the workshop participants get a statement: For loop is better than while and do-while loop! Participants are divided into four groups. One is pro and the other one contra the given statement. Using debate groups give arguments supporting their statement. Also, a group of three judges finally picks a winner based on the power of their persuasion.

Part 3 (15 min): Discussion

After the debate discuss:

  • how debate could help your students in the classroom
  • which topics are suitable for the debate
  • when is it best to use debate: when you start a new lesson or for repetition
  • which transversal skills are used when debating

Accompanying files:

  • PRESENTATION Global_citizenship _workshop

Preparation before the workshop:

  • Read the all the accompanying documentation on the workshop.
  • Prepare the materials needed.

Materials and infrastructure needed:

  • Computer with internet connection and projector
  • A microphone, but it is not necessary

Per group:

  • x1 Computer/smartphone with internet connection
  • Pen and paper
  • Sources of knowledge (books, internet) regarding the chosen topic of the debate

Workshop description

  1. INTRODUCTION: Welcome and introduction to the workshop (5min)

Welcome the participants and tell them that in this workshop we are going to discuss and have a hands-on activity related to transversal skills. Take some time to present the domains and the basic transversal skills related to each domain, focusing on the domain of global citizenship. Explain that the present workshop is about developing global citizenship skills, which are connected to the skills in the other domains. Inform them that the workshop is focusing on tolerance and responsibility and the ability to resolve conflict.

Let the participants keep in mind, that the topic of the program loops – as engaging as it might be – is not the main topic of the workshop, and that gaining global citizenship skills can eventually be useful in addressing many other problems.

  1. CLASSROOM ACTIVITY: Hands-on and minds-on activity (30 min)

For loop is better than while and do-while loop?!– hands-on activity

Participants are asked if they know what debate is. If they don’t know, tell them the definition of debate and explain how debate is organized.

Debate is an organized argument or contest of ideas in which the participants discuss a topic from two opposing sides.

Participants are divided into 4 groups (affirmation team, negation team, 3 judges, audience)

The presenter can be the moderator.

Both, the affirmation and the negation team need to prepare for the debate – find information which support their thesis (they can use books, notebooks, material found on the Internet,…).

Participants are:


Affirmation team – at least 2

Negation team – at least 2



Number of participants: At least 8

The debate could go like this:

  • First speaker from the affirmation team
  • First speaker from the negation team
  • Second speaker from the affirmation team
  • Second speaker from the negation team
  • Questions from the audience or affirmation and negation team can ask each other questions
  • Conclusion from the negation team
  • Conclusion from the affirmation team
  • Announcing the winning team

The debate lasts approximately 30 minutes.


During the presentations of the teams (groups) and the following discussion, keep the guidelines below in mind:

  • When the participants present their ideas, try and remain neutral, welcoming each good argument and reasonable thinking, even if it might lead to a wrong conclusion. Make sure, you keep all possibilities open.
  • Keep in mind that all ideas are valuable and encourage the participants to back up their ideas – right or wrong, it doesn’t matter – with good arguments.
  • If you spot a logical mistake, ask a question to help the group discover it, but don’t point it out directly, as it might rather discourage the participants.
  • Make sure different participants from the different groups remain active during the task.
  • Be aware of your own reactions and comments, as you might use them as examples, when discussing the activity on the meta-level.
  1. DISCUSSION of the hands-on and minds-on activity (15 min)

Ask the participants to reflect on the different steps of the classroom-activity and think about which skills they applied. Give them 5 minutes to think and share their thoughts. Here are some questions for the different parts of the activity, with suggested answers:

  • What skills did you use to support your thesis that for loop is/ is not better than while and do-while loop ? (Resourcefulness)
  • What skills did you use to persuade the judges? (Application skills, Reflective thinking)
  • What skills did you use to search online for information on loops? (Reasoned-decision making, Flexibility & adaptivity, Ability to learn independently)
  • Is it hard to work in a group? What are the possible challenges when working in a group? (Responsibility and ability to solve conflict, Tolerance and respect for diversity, Awareness and openness, Teamwork & collaboration, Flexibility and adaptability, Democratic participation)
  • What skills do you need to convince someone in what you are saying? (Reasoned decision-making, Communication skills)

Examples of transversal skills used in the Global citizenship activity:

Go back to the DOTS mind map of Transversal skills and focus on the list of different basic skills. Compare these skills to the list provided by the participants. Global citizenship helps develop skills form different skill domains. If some skills don’t get mentioned invite the participants to think which of these skills they deployed during the exercise and how. Give some examples.

Application skills – applying the ideas to the real-life problems where you have to use a loop

Ability to learn independently – motivating them through a personal experience and them giving the participants a chance to discover on their own and in their own time examples when each loop is used

Responsibility and ability to resolve conflict – when working in a group students have to be aware of the importance of taking responsibility for their actions, and should be able to resolve conflicts

Tolerance and respect for diversity – more and more people are aware that they live in a multicultural environment and should reflect on their own cultural backgrounds and hearing from others how their experience differs in academic and societal contexts

Awareness and openness – be open-minded to other people’s ideas

Keep in mind that skills are fluent and interconnected. The reflection round on the transversal is not so much about their correct classification, but about their identification and recognition. As usual – there are multiple “correct” answers, as long as everybody applies their own critical thinking and understanding of the matter.

Check what your participant think on each point (Part 2: GUIDELINES). Which concerns or ideas they might have as experienced professionals?

To finish, thank the participants and invite them to give feedback on the workshop.

Open inquiry can facilitate students a lot more compared to a guided experimentation model.

Degrees of freedom and making their own decisions will help students learn how to make informed decision using rational arguments and by exploring multiple options.

Offer students an array of instruments to choose from and little guidance and only when needed instead of predesigned experimental setups and step-by-step detailed guides.

Putting the teachers in hypotetic situations which require them to take different opinions into account in order to de-escalate a possible quarrel.

Having activities which will raise the teachers awareness of the benefits of multiculturality in

tackeling challenges laid before them. Such an activity could have the participants reflect on

their own cultural backgrounds and hearing from others how their experience differs in academic and social contexts. A well informed teacher should be aware that she or he has a multitude of tools and resources at their disposal, especially on the Internet. An activity exemplifying this should demonstrate to the teachers the vast number of open resources, and, consequently, raise their students awareness of being able to utilise these resources for their own development.

Teacher learning outcomes:

  • Will be able to see if students included all the facts about the topic they are debating about
  • Will see how students explain the main idea
  • Will see how students prepare for the debate, can they find the necessary information in books or on-line
  • Will see which transversal skills students used
  • Will be able to plan their next teaching session

Student learning outcomes:

  • Will develop critical thinking
  • Will find information from different sources of knowledge (books, Internet)
  • Will be able to explain main ideas
  • Will enhance their communication skills
  • Will work in a team and learn how to work together to complete a shared goal
  • Will develop tolerance and respect for diversity
  • Will develop responsibility and the ability to resolve conflict when working in a group

A teacher should choose an appropriate topic for the debate (e.g. Computer science, programming:  For loop is better than while and do-while loop; Computer science, programming: The sieve of Eratosthenes is the best algorithm for finding all prime numbers up to any given limit, Mathematics: Slope-intercept equation is better than general equation or intercept-intercept when speaking about equations of a straight line,…).


Tolerance and respect for diversity:

Van Driel, B., Darmody, M., Kerzil, J., ‘Education policies and practices to foster tolerance, respect for diversity and civic responsibility in children and young people in the EU’, NESET II report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2016. doi: 10.2766/797305

Awareness and openness:

Peter, Sandra and Deimann, Markus (2013), On the role of openness in education: A historical reconstruction, Open Praxis

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