Within the TERRA II program, UCR developed educational tools to foster emotional and social skills as well as mutual understanding among young people. TERRA II program is funded by the European Commission and brings together four international institutions and researchers working on different aspects of radicalization.
In a society that is becoming increasingly multicultural, the development of citizenship skills and an appreciation for others are vital. The TERRA II project team at UCR developed the UCARE curriculum for high school students to increase their social and citizenship competences and at the same time to prevent processes of radicalization by providing young people an alternative skill set to violent behaviors. It is a unique intervention, as it aims to tackle radicalization at its source without singling out or stigmatizing individuals at risk. The program provides teachers of secondary schools with the opportunity to teach citizenship skills, which often fall outside the regular curriculum and counteracts the threat of political or religious radicalization in European societies.
The intervention has a solid theoretical and empirical foundation. UCR instructors Dr. Marcin Sklad and Dr. Eri Park have developed this innovative curriculum using a framework of citizenship education drawing on many established theories and empirical findings from the discipline of Social Psychology. This curriculum provides school teachers with material, which they can implement in their classes. These materials are designed to foster empowerment, to stimulate empathy and an understanding of different perspectives and world views and to increase citizenship competences, which would ultimately delegitimize intergroup violence and contribute to a peaceful coexistence with others. This project is also in line with the core objective of UCR education, which is stimulating critical global citizenship. Also in accordance with the spirit of the ‘Going Glocal’ program carried out at UCR, the TERRA II project provides an opportunity for university college students to gain pedagogical experience whilst implementing the pilot interventions in secondary schools which participate in the project, strengthening the link between academic and secondary education in the region.