FRANCE: Practical guide for teachers and first-line practitioners

13 November 2018

In France, as elsewhere, teachers, educators, and social workers play a crucial role in helping protect young people from extremism and recruitment. Whilst significant efforts across the EU have focused on spotting the signs of radicalisation in the classroom, or on training teachers on how to deal with general controversial issues, to date minimal effort has been put to offer practical guidance to teachers and first-line practitioners on how to respond to specific challenges and concrete controversial questions posed by young people.

The handbook, entitled “Laïcité et prévention de la radicalisation. Guide pratique pour les enseignants et les professionnels de terrain” intends to fill this gap.

Authored by Toufik Bouarfa and Francesco Farinelli on behalf of the European Foundation for Democracy, the handbook is a joint initiative with the Counter Extremism Project.  It is drafted in a Q&A style ("What do I have to do if...?") and provides practical examples and answers.

Questions and answers have been validated through direct engagement with teachers and other front-line professionals across France, the study of the existing literature, the support of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Prevention of Delinquency and Radicalisation (CIPDR), and the School and Education Directorate-General (DGESCO) of the Ministry of National Education.

This guide has a pragmatic approach, suggesting a response to every actual, concrete case. It also uses cross-references to other sources of information and provides useful documents, contact points for reporting cases of radicalisation and a list of trusted NGOs to which teachers and social workers can refer.

We have previously developed similar guides for Germany and Kosovo (with the support of the UNDP), and we are currently finalising equivalent handbooks for Italy and Belgium.

The handbook is written in French and is available for download here.