Each school will work with some or all of the following themes during the 4-week course. These include:
- Innovation and entrepreneurship;
- Environmental affairs;
- Multiculturalism and multiliteracy;
- Creativity, cultural heritage and arts;
- Well-being, self-realization and regulation;
- Democratic participation, human rights, interaction and expression of own opinions and ideas;
- Working life competences and employment.
The course content can be combined with the teaching of core subjects such as, natural and social sciences, art, languages, history and math.
The ENGAGE training course is designed as four modules to be implemented in four weekly modules, each including 3-4 sessions (each 40-60 minutes long). The length of the course (4 weeks) and time spent (number of sessions) is, however, only put forward as a reference. A teacher can thus decide to implement the course in a shorter or longer timespan or use more class hours:
- Presentation and discussion on identified course topics/themes and key concepts to enhance participants´ knowledge and understanding in preparation of the development of their own solutions to a challenge or a problem in their own communities. While each teacher/class of pupils can decide on their own what topics/themes to focus on, it is all participating schools should focus a session or two on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs), the concept behind them and meaning as well as their potential impact on communities and individuals.
- Individual work, each pupil defines an idea or a solution to a challenge or a problem for a community initiative. Pupils will be encouraged to engage with local stakeholders within the community in developing their idea in order to be able to address real needs and situations within their communities. Pupils will then present their idea to their class using different ICT formats like powerpoint, videos, essays and storytelling etc.
- Following the presentation of individual ideas, the class selects 3-5 ideas to work on in groups using public participatory approaches. Groups will then work with and develop these ideas into viable solutions which they will then present to local stakeholders and community leaders. Group projects should involve work towards a viable solution to challenges/problems a specific community (the one the pupils live in or the local region) is faced with and should be able to implement without substantial costs to the community.
- Following the completion of the group work (viable solution) the pupils and their teachers will organize and facilitate a public event where they will present the outcome of their group work. The event will be open to everyone in the community. A panel consisting of community stakeholders and decision makers will select at least one solution they would like to see realized in their community and are willing to support the implementation of. “The winning proposal” will also be presented at a youth council/board within each school which will be organized following the end of the course.
The ENGAGE training course is based upon the application of public participation in planning and policy formulation towards sustainable development as it is presented in UN’s SDG goals. It is a process in which all concerned parties including the affected young people in the rural communities are involved in decision making about development works and delivery of public goods and services.