CHRIS guide extended version

A guide pack on radicalisation prevention in schools across Europe



1.   Intro: Countering Human Radicalisation in Schools

Intro: Countering Human Radicalisation in SchoolsDownload CHRISguide printer friendly versionDOWNLOAD CHRISguide printer friendly version  

How do schools prevent the radicalisation of the students later in life? This is the main question in the Erasmus+ project, Countering Human Radicalisation in Schools, CHRIS (2016-18). The CHRISguide is one of the key outcomes of CHRIS; it consists in a collection of suggestions of approaches, work methods and specific exercises in the prevention of radicalisation in schools. The activities and working methods have been tried out by groups of students in five partner schools (practice partners) in Lithuania, Hungary, Turkey, Greece and Italy and been further developed by these students in collaboration with their teachers. The elaboration of approaches and work methods was supported by three knowledge partners from Denmark, Romania and Poland and by an evaluation partner from Spain. 

In the CHRISguide we share our experiences of working with the subject, and of cooperating across countries and school cultures, with the aim of taking prevention of radicalisation to a didactic level. If you follow the links, you will find worksheets to activities and exercises that were done in the process and others that we recommend doing on the backdrop of lessons learned in the process. We hope teachers and other professionals working with children and youth will find inspiration to initiate and engage in a process of their own, a process that makes sense and proves productive in their settings.

Intro: Countering Human Radicalisation in SchoolsThe purpose of the CHRIS project

The purpose is to engage school students aged 12-16 years in counteracting processes of radicalisation by finding ways to encourage young people to become active citizens who wish and are capable of participation in forming society in a productive and legitimate way.   

Follow the link for experiential exercises to kick-start the process with the students: Icebreakers and introductory activities (Press click + Ctrl and the link will take you directly to the activity.)



The CHRIS project builds on the assumptions

  • that current processes of radicalisation of young people is multi-causal and diverse and can take many directions,
  • that radicalised individuals and groups do not share a profile or have a certain background, culture or belief,
  • that processes of radicalisation of youth are implicated in common identity processes conditioned by matters as belonging, having a mission and opportunities and capability to express oneself,
  • that radicalisation manifest itself as a destructive force targeting society at large,
  • that radicalisation, never the less, might appear as an attractive identity offer to some individuals, and
  • that personal and common group narratives on feelings of injustice are essential to processes of radicalization.

The CHRIS strategy builds on

  • co-creation of preventive didactics with the school students as the key-players,
  • linking the prevention of radicalisation to the formation of identities of young students as politically aware and reflective citizens with the emergence of a school culture that promote such identities, and
  • as a precondition to the above intentions, promoting capacity building of teachers in order reflect to scaffold the co-creation and the formation of active citizen identities.

The CHRIS take on radicalisation

In the CHRISguide we understand radicalisation as:

“A process in which a person takes up narratives of un-just assaults, and engages in undemocratic, discriminating and/or dehumanizing actions, violent as well as non-violent, in order to change political decisions”.

2.   Setting the stage: A shared understanding of radicalisation

Why is it important to share an understanding of the notion of radicalisation if to engage in a process like the one CHRIS set in motion? The short answer is that having a shared definition or understanding is important because it ensures that students, teachers and schools are exploring the same field. One of the lessons learned from the CHRIS project is that it is worthwhile to engage in discussions and exchanges on definitions of and approaches to radicalisation. In CHRIS, partners 

from no less than eight countries took part; these are countries with different experiences of radicalisation, different political realities and different school cultures. We did not realise from the beginning the importance of reaching a common ground, which did in turn lead to scattered activities and confusion about what we were looking for in some periods of the project.

Therefore, we suggest to initiate discussion among the participants that stir reflections on and make it possible to challenge dominant understandings of radicalisation, but also of other questions such as “what is a good school culture” or “what qualities do we want to evoke in students”.  

Follow the link for a way of initiating reflections among teachers on “what is a good student” and “how do we promote critical thinking” (Press click + Ctrl and the link will take you directly to the activity.)

In CHRIS the shared understanding of radicalisation takes departure in identity processes and a narrative approach.

Why this understanding and not another?

The approach to radicalisation in the CHRIS project draws on the understanding of radicalisation put forward in the RAN collection 2016 (RAN Collection - Preventing Radicalisation to Terrorism and Violent Extremism - European Commission, 2016). Here radicalisation is linked to identity processes and the challenges to identity formation in late modernity. In current times, young people are allegedly free to create their own identities as they like, and they are said to having all opportunities to do so. At the same time, inequality and injustice persist; opportunities are plenty for some, whereas limited for others. The contrast between postulated freedom to choose individually and the unequal access to opportunities makes an impact on most young people, though in different ways.

Unequal opportunities due to social, ethnic or religious background might jeopardize young people´s feelings of belonging to the communities and country they live in. Experiences of injustice due to these same or other differences might stir anger – on behalf of oneself, of a group one feels he or she belong to, or a person or a group one feels solidarity with. 

Youth today react to these challenges in many different ways. Some cope by working hard to adjust and “fit in”, others by activism and rebellion, others again settle into resignation. For the very few radicalisation can seem attractive, as radicalised groups and networks offer an opportunity to act on the feelings of unjust treatment and at the same time provide a strong sense of belonging and identity.

See CHRIS webpage for instructions on how to engage students in reflecting upon identity and belonging:

Focal points: Identity, Belonging, Mission and Expression

Focal points: Identity, Belonging, Mission and ExpressionAccording to RAN (European commission) the attractions of radicalisation is explained by three simple modes of engagement and understanding: A sense of Identity - A sense of belonging - A sense of loyalty/duty”, (RAN Collection - Preventing Radicalisation to Terrorism and Violent Extremism - European Commission, 2016). In the CHRIS project, we therefore consider the basic challenge in prevention of radicalisation to be the promotion of other paths to identity, belonging and loyalty/duty in order to strengthen identity processes that make young people capable of navigating between various identity offers. The form of identity that we pursue is an active citizenship identity that offers belonging to the community one is part of as well of loyalty to the global society we all share. In the CHRIS project, we consider the sense of loyalty/duty of being presupposed by being allowed to and supported in having a mission in life and to be allowed to express your opinion.

On this background, we set out the CHRIS project with focussing on four focal points: Identity, Belonging, Mission and Expression and, to understand the processes around these points, we applied a narrative approach.

The importance of identifying personal and common narratives

Creating narratives is very basic to all human beings, as you create these to inform yourself and your surroundings about how you see the world. Moreover, our self-made narratives often and very early in life come to express, how we think others expect us to be and act. Thus individual narratives are both personal and common. The CHRISguide is meant to engage the students in a “hunt” for narratives - narratives of their own as well as those told by others. This in turn, is supposed to make the students able to look into which meaning they themselves and others attach to their common world.

When the students are identifying narratives - their own and those of others – a space opens up for relating their personal experiences to others. This is also true for experiences of being exposed to unjust assaults. Narratives of being exposed to un-justice are common to radicalised individuals and might serve as a justification for retaliate in harmful ways. When opening up a space for sharing such experiences, other ways to address un-justice can be found. These narratives of unjust assaults can be personal narratives, formed by an individual. The unjust assaults can also be formed on a group level, resulting in-group narratives. Both types of narratives of assaults and injustices can be experienced in several different ways: as intellectual, ideological, social, emotional or spiritual assaults, often connected to feelings of inferiority, insecurity and lack of self-confidence. The CHRISguide “in-school” activities guides the students to articulate their own narratives on processes of identity, belonging, mission and expression and experiences of injustice related hereto.

There are always other influential actors in society, who are creating the dominating narratives of radicalisation. The CHRISguide “out-of-school” activities guide the students to achieve an understanding of the forces and institutions around the school, which can have an impact on the narratives dominating in society. One way to investigate which forces can be at play in creating a ground for radicalisation is to listen to the narratives (what is said) and observing (what is done), - hereby identifying the narratives that individuals or groups associate themselves with, both in the students´ own schools, at other schools and in the community.

The CHRISguide

We therefore want to make the students explore how school practices in different ways – in learning, teacher-student relations, authority patterns etc. - influence the identity making of children, 

Thus, the main task of the project is twofold: their belonging, mission and expression

To do this, in the CHRISguide, we take our departure in a shared understanding of radicalisation, which is related to a broad range of possible narratives, and which allow us to explore all the forces and institutions around the students, which can have an impact on these narratives. and, as indicated in the figure above, how other actors and forces in society can have an impact on these matters. We want the implicated students to realize how these matters have different impacts on how they as students choose to live their lives now and in the future.

Thus, the main task of the project is two fold:

  • engaging students in exploring the processes around identity, belonging, mission and expression and to explore how the school and other institutions have an impact on these processes, as well as
  • engaging students in exploring narratives of radicalisation, both dominating narratives in society and their individual narratives linking own experiences to what they find is right and wrong in the world.

In short the CHRIS question is: What does my school do to me and to society and how can we as students and citizens change schools and society in a way that can help prevent radicalisation?

3. The students as key players

The students as key players

In the CHRIS project, students are the key players. The students were to explore processes regarding identity, belonging, mission and expression and to explore narratives on radicalisation, their own and those of others. Furthermore, based on the project experiences, they were to co-create didactics that could have a preventive effect.

When looking back at the process and the participating students it is clear that they on the one hand, have been very active and engaged, yet on the other hand, little innovation of new didactics has taken place.

That leads us to ask; how could innovation of new didactics be engendered? What would it take to prepare teachers to scaffold reflections and innovations of the students?   

In a similar vein, we retrospectively point out that as having a mission and being able to express your opinion are purposes of the project, critical thinking is central. That made us ask; how could students become more independent in their point of view and more outspoken when doing activities like those of the CHRIS project?

Follow the link to see how the CHRIS partners worked with the questions regarding critical thinking: The Good Student section C and D

Lessons learned in the CHRIS project suggest that these and similar considerations should be taken into account in the beginning of the process. Students seemed merely to “find out” what they thought teachers wanted to hear. This often took the form of moralizing statements like “We are all alike” and “Those who bully are idiots”. Whereas most of these statements were not wrong in any sense, they do not carry any deeper understanding of what is at stake when somebody feels different and somebody bullies somebody else.

See CHRIS webpage to see how the students reflect upon having strong opinions:, See also teacher’s guide:  

If students are to become key players, we, teachers who initiate the process, might have to go through reflections, discussions and capacity building ourselves, in order to substitute moralizing with exploration and critical thinking. During the project we as CHRIS partners gained capacity regarding ways of asking the students in ways that stirred their reflections.

The students as key players


4.  Working on the understanding of the focal points

In this section, the CHRISguide offers work methods to explore processes regarding Identity, Belonging, Mission and Expression. In focus are issues such as

  • The impact of school on the identity of the students involved and how they experience belonging.
  • The conditions that school provides for the students having a mission and being allowed to and capable of expressing their own points of view.

4.	Working on the understanding of the focal points The purpose is to involve students in exploring how school might influence themselves and other students and their opportunities. In CHRIS we took departure in four cases, all incidents that took place in or around schools in or immediately prior to the project period, that is in 2015-16. Two of the cases stem from classroom observation in a Danish school, and two cases that were covered extensively by the Danish media. We suggest that you take departure in incidents that takes place close to participants in time and place. From observations in school or reported by others. The work with the cases do not have a simple or correct answer, but is meant to stir reflections on how processes of identity and belonging and opportunities and capacity to have a mission and to express yourself might relate to processes of radicalisation. Schoolteachers or others involved in the process might identify relevant cases to work with. The students might also be involved in finding relevant cases. 

The cases invited students to discuss questions like

  • Is there an “US and THEM” in this class? - or any other problem with people being different from each other? What should the teacher have done to solve this situation?
  • Should there be a limit to what expressions are allowed in the classroom? If so, how to draw the limit?

See CHRIS webpage and read the four cases - and

See CHRIS webpage for ideas of activities working with Identity and Belonging (a part of the Feeling Me, Feeling School phase of the project:


5.  Hunting all sorts of dominating narratives out of school

In this section, the CHRISguide offers work methods to engage the students in a “hunt” for dominating narratives of radicalisation. This is mainly out of school activities.

The purpose is identifying master narratives of injustice, related to radicalisation processes and activities. Examples of where these narratives are created and how they seem to work can be experienced by exploring narratives in family relationships, in civil society institutions, in the police or military forces, in law institutions, in news media and in politics. Examples of day to day practice; how the right to religious freedom is practiced, how sexual freedom is talked about, how young people engaged in radical activities explain their motives for their actions, and not the least, how the majority community react to such actions  - that is in most environments, which the students are related to.

Hunting all sorts of dominating narratives out of school

Thus, when students are hunting dominating narratives in these more or less unfamiliar contexts and environments, they have to be concerned with catching the inside or self-understandings of the actors in these environments as to be able to grasp the inner logic of the narrative which dominate here. The students therefore have to prepare questions beforehand concerning the informants’ feelings of belonging, identity, felt mission and his or hers ideas of acceptable means of actions for change. In order to be able to identify why and how the narrative of their informant represent a view in a certain society or subgroup, for example a family, the students also have to identify how these views are legalized or becoming powerful in the society in case. That is to say, that the students have to be made aware by the teachers before the meetings with representatives of powerful narratives, that the aim of hunting these narratives is to find out what people without power might act against by creating other narratives on what is just and what is not.

Let´s move out of school!

Many different visits were made in CHRIS

  • Students meeting with Police Commander
  • Students meeting with Juvenile curator the Court of Justice of the region
  • Meeting-discussion with a professional boxer, national and international prizes winner, black belt owner.

See CHRIS webpage for Open Schooling activities:

  • It is very important that any hunt on dominating narratives in different settings is followed by a summing up meeting among the  students, identifying:
  • Which dominating narrative did we encounter?
  • Who were promoting this narrative?
  • Why can we say the narrative might by dominating in which part of society?
  • What kind of un-justice can we identify? – who are the perpetrators and who are the victims?
  • What could or can be the possible and acceptable reactions to this felt un-justice?
  • What critique can we eventually formulate of this narrative of identity, belonging, mission, expressions possibilities and felt un-justice?
  • If not this afterward summing up is taking place, the hunting of dominating narratives will seem as without purpose to the students.

5.	Hunting all sorts of dominating narratives out of school

City hunt

A city hunt (scavenger hunt) is a game in which players - either individuals or teams - compete to see who can obtain the most of specific items and successfully finish various tasks. It is usually played outdoor, players receive information or hints about further locations, which they need to reach, and here they get another task to complete. The winner of a scavenger hunt is usually either the first person or team to obtain all items and complete successfully all tasks in a given period. Often a scavenger hunt scenario is based on a story or refers to one, particular issue. Tasks as well as locations are related to the story, which has its ending at the final meeting point. The motto of the city hunt is explore and learn as you play, play as you explore and learn.

A scavenger hunt has been organised during the meeting in Poland in order to create an attractive to young people environment for learning, as well as for sharing individuals’ knowledge and experience. Students were split into international teams of 4-5 young people accompanied by teachers. Teams were instructed to reach five locations. At each location, they received various tasks as well as clues and hints about next place they need to find.

The story of the game was based on a legend of Sidonia von Borck (1548–1620), a noblewoman who was tried and executed for witchcraft (which can be regarded as a radical behaviour that was common in Middle Ages). Students received a short summary of the story before arrival.

Sidonia lived in the city of Szczecin, where the scavenger hunt took place. Therefore, some locations, which students had to reach, were related to the legend, for example museums (in one of them there is a painting of Sidonia) or castle, where according to the legend the soul of Sidonia can be seen. By visiting this places and completing tasks young people were supposed to free the soul of Sidonia.

Main goals of the game

  • Sharing and widening knowledge about radicalisation prevention that have been implemented in team members’ schools and local environment

Before coming to Szczecin, practice partners summarised shortly radicalisation problems, which they are facing in their local environment, as well as policies that have been implemented in order to prevent radicalisation among students. Types of radicalisation presented by practice partners: bullying, emigration, racism, exclusion because of national differences or being different in any other way. Later, teachers and students discussed problems presented by other participants in the project and prepared for sharing thoughts and ideas during the meeting in Poland.

  • Problem solving

Knowledge partners prepared five case studies and problem solving tasks related to types of radicalisation presented by practice partners. Tasks were set in the context of the legend about Sidonia von Borck. Students were solving problems and creating solutions to issues using knowledge they acquired during previous stages of the CHRIS project as well as their creativity.

  • Preparing materials for further work

Young people were completing tasks in writing, by drawing or making short videos. These materials became a good background for further discussions and analysis. Furthermore, students could use these materials when preparing a 30 minutes video, which is one of the outcomes of the CHRIS project.

Additional goals of the game

  • Positive experience, enjoyment

Attractive activities raise motivation for work, make it more effective and creative. In addition, people are more likely to remember information and skills they learned if their experience is linked to positive emotions.

Therefore, apart from problem solving cases about radicalisation, students had to complete extra tasks (funny riddles, surprising activities, objects collection).

The scavenger hunt took place in Szczecin. Therefore, it was natural, that students and teachers had a possibility to see the city while moving between locations and visiting tourist attractions.

  • Integration

One of important aspects of international mobility meetings is allowing young people from various countries to meet and share differences. By making friends with students from other countries, young people have a chance to confront prejudice and stereotypes they have about other nationalities, which is extremely important in radicalisation prevention.

Therefore, work in international teams in order to reach common goal is a good way for students to get to know each other, learn about cultural differences and similarities, but also cooperate despite difficulties.

Follow the link to see instructions for the city hunt: Worksheets for the city hunt (Press click + Ctrl and the link will take you directly to the activity.)

Hunting all sorts of dominating narratives out of school

6. Challenging stereotypes on processes of radicalisation

In this section, the CHRISguide offers work methods in the form of challenges for the students to work with in their groups in their own school. For them to be able to exchange their new insight on dominating narratives with their co-groups, we attempted to make them share their insights with students in the other projects countries. The local/national stereotypes might be challenged when being exposed and discussed transnationally. You can work with these challenges at your own school without partners. Yet, if possible, we recommend you to team up with partner schools in settings different from your own. Not necessarily in other countries, you might find schools with a majority of students having another social or ethnic background than your own in the very same city.

The aim of the student teams’ engagement with the challenges is to allow them to get deeper into what radicalisation means and who might be radicalised and how. The aim is also to take the team discussions to a deeper level, so to speak – to force them to think, imagine, identify and reflect.

The purpose is to support the students, not only in understanding the radicalisation process and the radicalised actors, but also to help students formulate and express their own opinion of these matters as to develop citizenship skills. Citizenship skills such as being critical to dominating narratives, being able to express this critique or just to insist to have a certain opinion, even when this might seem controversial. 

Follow the link to find the challenges in form of following cases: and

Here are some guidelines and ideas about how to work with the challenges:


The idea is to let the students work with the missing middle part of the stories: what happened between the general description of the situation and the consequences some months or years after. The challenges give no answers to this. This will require imagination and in particularly identification with the young person in the story. The aim of working with the missing part and identifying with the young person is to avoid simple and quick moralistic response to the challenges.

Even if they end up condemning the action of the young person, they might benefit from trying to see the line of actions from the point of view of the “radicalised”.

The diversity of the challenges aims to give them a strong impression of the many and unpredictable ways that might lead to radicalisation.


It might be a good idea for the teams to work with the challenges in two steps: one day the challenges are presented and discussed in general, including some first reactions; then, perhaps a day or a few days later the teams might enter into a deeper discussion of the challenge – and create their response. This offers the teams some time of reflection and informal discussion between the two steps – and this might prove very constructive.


Don’t let them get away with short-cutting; force them to go deeper, in particular into the motivation of the young person in the story, and into the last question: what might have prevented this in school?

From time to time, the discussions might be somewhat “tough” or “difficult”, as the challenges are about very serious things – and might create strong reactions from some of the students.

Do not avoid this – talk it through, work it through, but do not avoid it.

Even more important: let the teams describe such emotional reactions!


In some cases, you might invite the student teams to create their own challenges, their own stories.

If this is possible, it will most likely contribute a lot to their understanding of radicalisation and what might lead to radicalisation. Perhaps the stories could be an alternative version of the stories as they look now: what if certain things had happened in the school and another kind of ending would be the result.


The challenges might be used to produce new activities linked to the stories and to the response from the teams: they can turn the story and their response into a role-play, into a small video or even into a game.

Follow the link for experiential exercises on stereotypes and prejudice: Stereotypes. (Press click + Ctrl and the link will take you directly to the activity.)

7.  Co-creation of preventive didactics

In this section, the CHRISguide offers work methods to engage students in developing didactics to support processes regarding the key points – the co-creation. The co-creation requires careful scaffolding of the students work to ensure that students are not just repeating what teachers and other authorities have told them and to ensure that the students do come forward with their own experiences and ideas. Scaffolding in turn, requires capacity building of the teachers involved. This section put forward some suggestions for activities that are meant to inspire the students and spur the development of further activities.

Co-creation of preventive didacticsThe purpose is to engage students in a process that accumulate experiences and knowledge of the project and do not just replicate what teachers or other authorities have preached.

Processes regarding identity, belonging, mission and expression are central to the CHRIS approach to prevention of radicalisation in schools. At this stage of the project students had carried out many activities and we had invited them to reflect upon the outcome in roundtable activities.

See CHRIS webpage for instructions for two roundtables:

We used these roundtable exercises to move from initial activities to further exploration and the co-creation of didactics to prevent radicalisation. The roundtable (or “meeting at the middle” as it is sometimes called) offers a room to the participating students for individual reflections and for sharing reflections.

In the CHRIS project, the reflections of the students formed the point of departure of the co-creation activities in the final stages of the project. You might find inspiration in the questions we put to the students in two roundtables. These questions, though, were developed were based on earlier activities, so you might as well develop the appropriate questions out of experiences with your participants.

In order to engage students in developing or shaping didactics the following three activities can be carried out. Other activities might be as helpful as these might. It is important to provide students with some forms or frames as inspiration for further developing or shaping the activities that they find useful. To ensure that experiences and knowledge acquired during the CHRIS project, the activities took as its starting point the reflections from the roundtable.

We used various methods to inspire the further development of didactics:

  • Forum play was used to work with Identity

Forum play or (forum theatre) is a way of working with social justice, that has empowerment of the participants as a goal. Participants are urged to find solutions to problems that they target in a play in which they are both spectators and actors. By taking part in shaping the play, the characters and their acts the participants are urged to explore solutions to oppression and injustice.

Distribute the various characters among you – everybody in the group has to be someone in your play. 

Prepare yourself to show it to another group!”

See CHRIS webpage for full instruction on how forum play was used in CHRIS to raise questions about identity: See also a teacher’s guide for the exercise:

  • A norm critical approach to belonging

The word ”norm” means everything that we consider to be normal. Norms can be ideas and imaginations that determine how we behave and what we consider right or wrong. We adjust to most norms without even thinking about it. A norm critical approach will draw attention to norms that are given and usually not questioned. The purpose in CHRIS was to question why we categorize people out of religion, ethnicity, skin colour, family situation, values and style of the person, for example, and, in addition, to draw attention to how ones feeling of belonging can be jeopardized by being defined by others as being “not normal”.

See CHRIS webpage for full instruction to how a norm critical approach was used in CHRIS to raise questions about norms and belonging in CHRIS: See also teacher’s guide:

Co-creation of preventive didacticsimage015

  • 4 Corner exercise – expression and mission

The 4 corner exercise promotes listening, verbal communication, critical thinking, and decision-making. In the exercise 4 different positions on a controversial topic is developed and written on a poster in four corners of the class room. Students are to position themselves by standing in the corner with the opinion that come closest to their own. Each corner has to argue for their position. In CHRIS the purpose of the 4 corner approach was to legitimate disagreement and to urge students to listen to each other, being open to arguments, yet at the same time stand by your opinion even if it is controversial to others.  

Follow the link to get the full instruction to how the 4 corner exercise was used in CHRIS to raise questions about mission and expression in CHRIS: See also teacher’s guide:

8.  A school of the future?

In this section, the CHRISguide offers our experiences from working with a future workshop.A school of the future?

How to involve students in imagining the school of the future, and articulate their wishes and propose a new direction? It takes a lot of preparation, yet, a process like the one we went through in CHRIS might prepare for it.

The purpose of a future workshop is to engage participants in the development of suggestions for making a better future

Ideally, a future workshop has 3 phases

  • Critique phase – the participants are allowed to be as critical as they can. Through a critical brainstorm, the workshop participants identify what are the main problems and challenges.
  • Visionary phase: All participants try to work out a vision of the future, to draw a picture of future possibilities. It is important to stress to the participants that they should not restrict their ideas. You might introduce the visionary phase with the questions: “What would you do if you had all means and all power in the world ….”?
  • Implementation phase: The ideas found are checked and evaluated in regard to their practicability.

When we did a future workshop with the participating students in CHRIS we went straight to the visionary phase. Yet, that was only possible because we had formerly in roundtable touch upon the critical points, and identified the problems.

We did not engage in the implementation phase, as it was of more importance to squeeze out all possible ideas and visions of the students. Ideas and suggestions are, however, to be taken to the right places, the headmaster of the school, the student council, the classroom meeting, for example, but also in some cases, the major or the national politicians.

We introduce or future workshop with the questions:

“How do school become a place

  • that supports you – all of you - in belonging?
  • that makes it possible for you to form your own identity as you like?
  • that enables you to express yourself and feeling good about having a mission in life?

These are the aims of this workshop and for the CHRIS project as a whole”.

We divided the work into two steps as follows:

STEP 1 What has to change? 

You now have to work with your ideas to make a better school in these respects and thereby counter radicalisation later in life.

STEP 2 How to change school?

You now have to come up with your suggestions for things that could make things better.

Build your ideal classroom. How does it have to be organized to support the aims? You can add some considerations about the social relations and the distribution of responsibility and power to decide between the different actors in school. 

Make a drawing of your ideal teacher. How does he or she have to act if to support the aims? Besides the drawing you write your recommendations for the teacher to support the aims.

Develop a constitution for your ideal school. The constitution has to regulate decisions, responsibility and social interaction in a way that support the aims. 

Make up an activity – a drill, an exercise, a trip, a city hunt, an interview, a school event or what ever you can think of – that will support the aims.

See CHRIS webpage for full instructions for the future workshop we did at the final stage of the CHRIS project:

A  school of the future?


Icebreakers and introductory activities

Name of the event/activity:

Activities with candies

Description of the event/activity:

The members of the team will get to know each other, “ice braker”, the presentation of members to the rest of the team.


·    to create the working teams,

·    to let the members of each team to get to know each other, in order to create an atmosphere of trust and security,

·    to set and express the basic rules for the operation of the team and to define the activities.


The psychologist – coordinator of the team presents and mentions the purpose of the project. Then she informed the team that the meetings have experiential content and that the participation of all the members is very important.  The members of the team will participate by working in either couples or in small teams chatting, drawing or playing. The aim is the students themselves to produce knowledge to be active participants in the process and to be the carriers of the information to the other students of the school.

Name of the event/activity:

The expectations

Description of the event/activity:

In this framework experiential exercises were used to make it easier for the participants to express their desires, expectations from the team and to interact with each other.


Getting to know each other, the emergence of subjects – desires, clarifying the objectives.


A discussion and comments on the results of each team is what followed.

The coordinator underlined the contribution of each team, showed the connections, presented the desires and expectations of the members about the team, clarified the objectives and the group limits and finally together with the students she determined the group operating framework.


The Good Student in CHRIS

A: What is your interpretation of the picture?

The Good Student in CHRISBiesta about the frontpage:

”I interpreted the picture as a picture about citizenship, raising the question whether ”the good citizen” is a citizen who fits in, who goes with the flow and is just a part of the whole? Or is the good citizen the one who goes against the flow and can be said to be a little out of order..?”  (our  translation)


One who just fits in? – or one who goes against the flow?

One who is able to speak up? - and capable of critical thinking?

B: Critical thinking as a purpose and a practice?

Having a mission and being able to express your opinion are purposes of the project. This presupposes critical thinking.

  • How could we elaborate on this purpose in the presentation of the outcomes of the CHRIS project?
  • How could students become more independent in their point of view and more outspoken when doing activities like those of the CHRIS project?

C: Co-Creation and the role of the teacher

The project is build on the idea that the students are to develop didactics. On the one hand, the participating students have been very active and engaged, on the other hand, to our knowledge, little innovation of new didactics has taken place.

  • How could more innovation of new didactics be ensured?
  • What would it take to prepare teachers to scaffold reflections and innovations of the students?   

D: Round TableThe Good Student in CHRIS

What could teachers do to promote ”the good student” – one who is able to speak up, and capable of critical thinking?

Choose one of the activities that you have carried out. What could have been done by the teacher in this acitivity to promote ”the good student”?

  • 10 minutes  individual reflections
  • 2 minutes each to present individual reflections to the group
  • 10 minutes to discuss and agree upon what should be in the middle:

General ideas of how teachers could promote ”the good student”.One or more CHRIS activity with teachers instruction.



Name of the event/activity:

How do you choose your friends?

Description of the event/activity:

1st phase: brainstorming about friendship – my ideal friend

Target: why some teenagers are popular with friends and groups and why others aren’t

Working on stereotypes – I like him/her because; I don’t like him/her because....

Target group:

students aged 13-14

Time frame:

3 lessons – 60 min each


·    Make the students be fully aware of the differences among them, and to accept themselves and the others how they really are.

·    Making  the differences a strenght point and not a weak one

·    Reflections on the words ”stereotype” and ”normal” in a  critical way

·    Work on the word: prejudice

·    Understanding  how young people feel being a member of group


Students are divdied in groups of 4 and try to answer following questions:

1. Have you ever judged a person because he/she was of a differetn race, religion or looked different?

2. Have you ever being judged for one of these reasons?

Students surf the net searching stories of teenagers being emerginated

Then they completed a chart with information about: name, stereotype and advice “If I were you I’d ….”


Name of the event/activity:

The train of Europe

Description of the event/activity:

Experiential activity in the groups of students for the group's empowerment and consistency.


Intercultural learning and reflection on the influence of prejudice in the crisis of group members.


The team was divided into subgroups. The participants were passengers on a train crossing Europe and are asked to choose from a specific list of those who want to accompany them on their journey. The photocopies of the activity were shared and each person had ten minutes to choose three holidaymakers as the first choices and three to the last. Then, within the subgroup, each person's personal choices were examined, until there was an unanimous decision on the three preferred choices as well as on the three less desirable. Finally, the conclusions of the subgroups were presented.


The students had the opportunity to recognize and evaluate their own prejudices, the factors that led them to these choices. They also entered the place of people no one would want to travel with and evaluate their personal positions. Finally, they were given the opportunity to work with the rest of the team and to resort to group decision-making.


In order to recognize stereotypes and prejudices and to be able to interact openly in all its social relationships.


Name of the event/activity:

Who do you think this is?

Description of the event/activity:

Questioning and explorations – to enhance students’ own emotional literacy and responses to content, to share different perspectives and viewpoints.

Narrative exercises – setting the record straight.

Problem solving – exercises to be delivered or carried out in a large or small groups. These are included to encourage students to think about doing things differently, entertaining new possibilities and exploring alternatives.

Moral reasoning – scenarios and situations to encourage critical thinking and the consideration of what makes up our own core values and shared beliefs.

Choices and consequences – the impact of actions and decisions, including considering the impact on victims.

‘Get Active’ – what can you do? ‘We need you to….’ Exercises to explore the next steps for individuals and communities and consider practical steps to achieving that.


·    Evaluating why individuals become motivated to join extreme groups and commit violence.

·    Analysing the consequences and effects of violent extremism.

·    Developing the skills to think critically.

·    Considering how young people can be involved in influencing and affecting change.

·    Understanding  how do people feel being a member of group

o   what attracts people to being in a radical group

o   what are the different groups of people in Turkey

·    Increasing young people’s knowledge and understanding of radicalisation and its roots


Students were asked to divide into small groups and given easch group one sheet of paper and one pen.

Two images of Baran were shown to the group on the board. (it is obvious that, Baran looks like Kurdish but still never mentioned yet).

1.What could this person’s name be?

2. Does anyone know anybody like this?

3. What would you like to ask this person?

4. How do we arrive at opinions about people?

After completed all students were asked to respond the following questions:

1.What was that activity like?

2. What did other students do?

3. Did anybody think something but not say it? 

4. Do you think people responded differently because they were in a group than how they would if on their own?


The objective of this exercise was to prepare the students for the film showing during the next step


It helped them get to know the main subject.

The activity also linking to the conversations developed from groups of and identity, gave an opportunity to see how we may make judgements based on very little information.


Name of the event/activity:

Draw me a picture

Description of the event/activity:

Questioning and explorations – to enhance students’ own emotional literacy and responses to content, to share different perspectives and viewpoints.

Problem solving – exercises to be delivered or carried out in a large or small groups. These are included to encourage students to think about doing things differently, entertaining new possibilities and exploring alternatives.

Moral reasoning – scenarios and situations to encourage critical thinking and the consideration of what makes up our own core values and shared beliefs.

Choices and consequences – the impact of actions and decisions, including considering the impact on victims.

‘Get Active’ – what can you do? ‘We need you to….’ Exercises to explore the next steps for individuals and communities and consider practical steps to achieving that.


·    Exploring aspects of our identity which define us

·    Evaluating why individuals become motivated to join extreme groups and commit violence.

·    Considering how young people can be involved in influencing and affecting change.

·    Increasing young people’s knowledge and understanding of radicalisation and its roots.


Students were asked for six volunteers and given a paper and a pen.

Then they sat in a line facing away the teacher.

The rules were told so the first students in the line turned around, and was briefly shown the picture by the teacher, they were then told to quickly draw it. The second volunteer was then asked to turn around and they can only look at the picture the first st has drawn and the process went to last student.

Each reproduction was only shown to one person, who then draws their own version of it and shows it to the next person and so on until everybody in the line has drawn a picture.

At the end the teacher places the pictures in a line in the order they were drawn. The whole group were invited to look at the work and comment on the differences between pictures.

All students were asked to respond  the following questions:

1. What changed about the image?

2. When you were drawing your own version, what details did you remember the most?

3. How does the original compare to your version?

4. Now that you have seen the other pictures, would you change anything?

5. What was it like looking at the original?

6.What did you learn from the exercise?

7.How easy or difficult is it for information to become changed and misrepresented?

8. What are the consequences of that?

This activity wass intended to catalyse a conversation about rumours and how details can be forgotten or exaggerated and it worked perfect.


Name of the event/activity:

Let’s make a poster together!

Description of the event/activity:

We formed groups and had talks together and later with foreign students who study psychology in a University of Budapest about radicalization.

We never insist on giving definitions to the phrases but by questioning and playing we could point out the meanings of the words.


We had to explore what young people have in mind about all these themes, and their own approach or own experiences.


Small groups students got the task to make a poster together about saving our environment. But everybody got a written stigma on a small paper glued on the forhead what only the others can read.

Examples for stigmas:

„Never listened to me, I am stupid!”

„I am very smart, always accept my ideas!”

„Speak to me as I was a child from kindergarten, age 4.”

„Give me a dirty look always if I speak!” etc.

After they made the poster we discussed about their impressions and feelings.

·         What did they feel?

·         How could they handle their frustrations?

·         What kind of feeling did exclusion cause to them? etc.


Name of the event/activity:

Step forward if you can!

Description of the event/activity:

We formed groups and had talks together and later with foreign students who study psychology in a University of Budapest about radicalization.

We never insist on giving definitions to the phrases but by questioning and playing we could point out the meanings of the words.


We had to explore what young people have in mind about all these themes, and their own approach or own experiences.


Everybody has a person and role on card. The card give a short description like:

”You are a 14 years old boy from a family with 1 members, living in the countryside, in a small farm, far from the first neighbour.” or

”You are a student at a famous university of he capital city, your father is an attorney and your mother is a doctor.” or

”You are a physically disabled young man with a pensioner father living together.” or

”I am an afghan migrant in this country without any job.”

Everybody stay besides each other in one line. The teacher is standing in front of them and read out certain sentences. If somebody could say „yes”, then move one step forward, if would say no, then doesn’t move.

Some example for the sentences:

„I can go for holiday and travel abroad at least once a year.”

„I have support to solve my problems, and a lot of people ask me for advice.”

„You are never afraid of getting hurt or bullied on the street or in the media.”

At the end there is a map of the society by people standing in distance to each other. Then we discussed about the reason of the steps or non stepping. What does that mean? Is it up to their will or how can we define the reason? (lots of topics came out as traditions, habits, exclusion, religions, cultures, etc.)


Name of the event/activity:

Unfold my arms

Description of the event/activity:

Questioning and explorations – to enhance students’ own emotional literacy and responses to content, to share different perspectives and viewpoints.

Problem solving – exercises to be delivered or carried out in a large or small groups. These are included to encourage students to think about doing things differently, entertaining new possibilities and exploring alternatives.

Moral reasoning – scenarios and situations to encourage critical thinking and the consideration of what makes up our own core values and shared beliefs.


·    Realizing the differences between judging about people and  criticizing their behaviour and actions.

·    Increasing contact with individuals and their stories, building empathy and association.

·    Developing the skills to think critically.


·         What did we do exactly?

The teacher stoods in front of the group and folded his arms.

Then the teacher told the group that they must try to get  him to unfold this arms. Students tried a range of tactics, but that they were not allowed physical contact in any way.

Some of students tried to do some of behaviours and strategies, the teacher resisted beacuse it didnt work to unfold hands.

Finally the teacher  opened his arms when a students hold their hand out to shake hands.

Once unfolding has been achieved, teachers congratulated the group on success and explain that the handshake offer was the key.

Students were asked the following questions:

1.What happened during the exercise?

2.What tactics were used? And why?

3.What assumptions did people make about how to solve the problem?

4.When did change occur?

6.Where do we see people getting frustrated for not getting what they want?


Worksheets for the city hunt

Rules of the game

Rules of the game have been distributed among students and teachers before the game started.

  • Your goal is to free the soul of Sidonia von Borck that was imprisoned in the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes.
  • To free Sidonia’s soul, you have to get pieces of paintings of Sidonia and put them together. Pieces of these paintings are now in different locations, you have to visit this places and complete certain tasks that refer to radicalisation issue.
  • You will be challenged to do additional tasks, which are an important part of your mission.
  • During the game you will be receiving information about five locations important for the mission. Path of each team will be a different way to complete the same mission, just varying the order of locations and clues.
  • At each location you will meet a person, who will provide you with challenges and information for further game.
  • You have to collect all the items you will be receiving during the game and write answers to the questions on your answer sheet.
  • You mustn’t use GPS or any other navigation system.
  • Through the game you need to take pictures and make short videos presenting your work.
  • There is no time pressure – only the quality of your work counts. You must arrive to the fifth location by ………………. .
  • You can take lunch break any time you want.
  • While walking around the city remember about traffic rules.
  • At the end of the mission we will all meet in one place. You will share with us results of your work so that we can check if the mission has been accomplished.

Good luck!

Problem solving tasks about radicalisation


Welcome in our country!


·    To empathize with immigrants.

·    To identify difficulties immigrants have to deal with when arriving to another country.


Sidonia, since she was eight (after her mother has died) was often changing her places of living. As a child she was sent to stay in the castle in Wołogoszcz (far from her father and siblings), and when her father died and her brother got married she lost her home forever. What’s more, she didn’t receive any inheritance, and her brother didn’t support her financially (in Middle Ages women weren’t allowed to work), so she became a poor person.

Think and discuss what Sidonia was thinking about herself and her life. How could she feel? What were her main problems? Did she have any dreams or hopes?

The time has passed, but the problem of migration of people is present. Think about immigrants that are coming to your countries: children, teenagers, and adults.

Make a video with a message to immigrants arriving to your countries. What could you tell them to help them feel good and welcomed?


Against radicalisation


·    To learn the concept of unconditional self/other acceptance.

·    To develop the skills of unconditional self/ other acceptance.


You just found a necklace and a letter from Sidonia. On the other piece of paper you can find translation of the letter to English. The letter is addressed to you. Please read it carefully.

Each of you needs to wear the necklace for 2-3 minutes and tell a story about a person he or she knows that was judged by others or was judging someone. Talk about feelings, thoughts and acts of this person and other people. How the message of the necklace could change peoples’ thoughts towards openness to others, acceptance and tolerance?

After sharing this experience, think of one activity, or game for colleagues from other teams. In this activity or game you have to tell them Sidonia’s message and teach them openness to people, acceptance and tolerance.

This activity could address also people who could get radicalised or can become victims of the terrorists recruiters.

You can present the activity or rules of the game in a way you want using paper, markers, camera.

Translation of the letter from Sidonia

My dear Friends, I want to give you my charming necklace. I made it thinking how I could help people. It is a necklace that cures us of hatred, envy, rage, and violence. If all people would always believe in the message of this necklace, the world would be better.

I know how it is to be judged. When I became poor, some people saw me as being inferior to them. And you know, they labelled me a witch because I wanted to find remedies for health, because I believed in phytotherapy principles. I was never unconditionally accepted by others and I suffered a lot in my life.

Beyond the differences between me and them in physical beauty and beliefs, I was a human being like the others, a person with qualities and limits, doing good and bad deeds.

Thank you so much for helping me changing the world for better.

Sidonia von Borck



The national anthem


·    To identify the common elements of national anthems.

·    To discover the values about the national anthems are spoken.

·    To talk about specific elements of each nationality anthem.


We invite each of you to sing or declaim your national anthem. If you know it all, sing it all. If you do not know it all, look for the lyrics online (if possible) and read them. After you sing or declaim your national anthem, please tell the others what it is about. What is the message of your national anthem?

Discuss and try to answer following questions:

1.       What are the common elements of all national anthems you sang?

2.       Can you group them in categories?

3.       What are the specific elements for each national anthem?

4.       What each of this specific elements tell us about your own people?

5.       What are the common and universal values in national anthems of your countries?

6.       What is the most important value?

7.       What can you say about the national heroes mentioned in all anthems?

8.       Is the idea of migration revealed in national anthems?

9.       Present your conclusions in a way you want – on paper, on a video.


Accommodating cultural diversity in an international environment


·    To find differences and similarities between nations.

·    To approach friendly environment for different natons.


In order to free Sidonia’s soul, you have to create a wedding scenario. It is a scenario of a wedding that never took place –of Sidonia with Ernest Ludwik.

Often organizers of such events have to plan everything in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable, so that they can enjoy their time.

People are invited from all over the world, so the problem of arranging and managing guests is very serious. Imagine that people are invited from the Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Middle East. What do you have to do to ensure a successful event?

Think of all aspects of the wedding, from the first meeting with guests to their leave. Take into consideration what you've learned about radicalization and national differences.

Present your scenario on a large piece of paper or in a video.


Campaign against bullying at school


·    To become aware of the aggression and bullying among school students.

·    To identify thoughts such as “I can’t stand him/her”.

·    To be able to portray the abuser and the victim.


When Sidonia stayed in Marianowo Abbey, she wasn’t accepted by other women who lived there. Sidonia was different, she was fighting for her rights, she was also interested in phytotheraphy. What is more, she got accused of cursing the Gryfits dynasty.

What massage should people, who treated Sidonia badly, receive?

Imagine that in your schools campaigns against bullying are organized. You, as a team, were asked to create a poster for the event. The poster will be put up all over the school. The poster should be addressed to bullies or students, who think that bullying is not harmful to others.

·    Which types of bullying are most common in your schools?

·    What is the main message about bullying that students from your school should get?

·    How can you make students understand that bullying is a serious problem?

·    How can you convince bullies and students, who think that bullying is not harmful to others, to change their behaviour and attitudes?

Examples of additional tasks

Fake magic

Sometimes we misinterpret things that we don’t understand and we search for explanation, which doesn’t have to be correct.

Your task now is to do some magic.

When you mix water, vinegar and baking soda, a small explosion is produced. Take these substances and make a short video of you doing the experiment.

In a video you have to pretend that you are doing real magic.

Riddles – collecting items

  • I’m tall when I’m young and short when I’m old. Find me and take me with you!
  • Do you remember the song about Sidonia? Go to the place where you can meet her soul. Find there a proof that White Lady really exists and take it with you.

A tongue twist

Make a short video of all team members reading a tongue twist about witches.

Three Swedish switched witches watch three Swiss Swatch watch switches. Which Swedish switched witch watch which Swiss Swatch watch switch?

A crossword

Answer the clues to complete the crossword. Write the answer on your answer sheet.

  4. SIDONIA WAS ACCUSED OF _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  5. SIDONIA WAS BORN IN _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A crossword

A crosswordPainting of Sidonia

Find a painting of Sidonia in the museum.

Under the painting you will find letters form Sidonia and her necklaces. Take both items with you.



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