Why participatory methods?

Participatory methods constitute an essential part of this manual and are included in all the sessions.


The learning is a social process


Through group work and exercises, the students are encouraged to cooperate and share experiences, opinions and reflections. The learning is a social process in which knowledge, values, attitudes and responsibility are assimilated through group-based activities. Ideas and values are learned in context, not only through individual processes. Education based on participatory pedagogy develops communication skills, awareness and mutual responsibility. The learning leads to self-realization and identity building and contributes to individual growth. This is “democracy in practice”, and the students (as well as the teacher) learn more.

If participatory methods are to function optimally, they must be valued as relevant and meaningful by the participants. Therefore, when designing a workshop and preparing for the different sessions, keep in mind that certain perspectives should be integrated.

  • The training should be experience-oriented. The students are to learn from participating directly in the exercise, whether this is group work, role-play, investigation, discussion, reflection or other activities. When personal competence is activated and made relevant, it is easier to gain new understanding.
  • The training should be reality-oriented and make clear connections to the participants’ everyday lives.
  • The training should be future-oriented as it may improve the readiness to act. Even difficult themes should be linked to possibilities for positive change.

Practice over time will help you to move seamlessly from one technique to another. If you find that some of the activities do not work well, you may modify  or exclude them the next time round.


An online manual on intercultural understanding, ethics and human rights to be used by teachers and students in journalism education. Read more.

Email : post@journalism-edu.org

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