PAM-IMA, "Perception, Attitude, Movement - Identity Needs Action"

Submitting Institution

St Mary's University College, Belfast

Unit of Assessment

Politics and International Studies

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy, Specialist Studies In Education

Download original


Summary of the impact

PAM-INA was a multilateral project funded by the European Commission's Lifelong Learning programme with a consortium of eight European universities. It led to one international symposium, one international conference, the publication of peer-reviewed articles, two peer-reviewed book volumes in English, a multilingual educational toolkit on the dimension of Europe in post-primary education syllabi (based on research results), a website ( and a training unit for in-service teachers and teacher education students. Close-working contacts were established between project participants and educational practitioners using the project material throughout the project's lifespan and beyond. The main impact has been achieved by the toolkit.

Underpinning research

The project's original research, which comprises quantitative and qualitative surveys and a comparative examination of the social science curricula of the relevant countries concerning `Europe', focused predominantly on the identification of perceptions of Europe held by 12-18 year-old students across the participant EU countries. The research was carried out throughout the lifespan of the project (2009-2012). As a result of this research, two book volumes were published on the national results within the monograph series Europa Lernen: Perspektiven für eine Didaktik europäischer Kulturstudien by academic publisher LIT Verlag, Berlin. Additionally, individual academics of the PAM-INA consortium published peer-reviewed articles within their national contexts which were also taken into consideration when making comparisons with the Northern Ireland context.

The toolkit — which by now has been published and distributed to international schools, ministries of education and other educational organisations — has been developed on the basis of this original research, comprising a teacher manual, a glossary of relevant terms and a study booklet for students (as part of an interactive DVD):

  • Toolkit A on "Europe In My Everyday Life" targets Key Stage 3 and predominantly focuses on students' observations of `European traces' in their home environment;
  • Toolkit B on "Cultural Questions" targets Key Stage 4 and introduces students to relevant theories (e.g. the Iceberg Model of Culture) to explore the concept of visual and hidden levels of European culture(s);
  • Toolkit C on "Active European Citizenship" targets Key Stage 5 and encourages students to research the topic of national and European citizenship by studying Internet sources and undertaking research exercises (e.g. conducting interviews).

The toolkit enhances students' knowledge of European matters and fosters students' reflection on `European identities' and identity-building in general. It focuses in particular on the relationship(s) within `Europe' as a spatial, civic and cultural entity, which the project has identified as one of the key issues in the young people's perceptions of `Europe'. The toolkit is progressive both in terms of the intellectual levels of the study material as well as with regards to learning methodology. Its student-led tasks are flexible enough to be used within different learning environments and groups to accommodate the different national educational contexts.

Regarding the processing of data collection and methodological aspects in the comparative analysis of educational curricula and syllabi, earlier research undertaken by Vaupel on curricula as political texts also informed the research undertaken for PAM-INA. Furthermore, research on the role of intercultural learning and the development of intercultural competence (as one of the toolkit's key aims) by Vaupel has informed the development of the PAM-INA toolkit on a more general level.

The overall coordinator of the project has been Prof. Olivier Mentz, director of the Europabüro (European Office) and the Europalehramt (European Teacher Education Degree) at the University of Education Freiburg, Germany. The participating academic staff at St Mary's (project partner) have been Dr Angela Vaupel, Senior Lecturer in European Studies (Liberal Arts), and Dr Tracey McKay, Senior Lecturer in Geography (Education).

References to the research

Vaupel, A., Sitting at the Edge of Europe? Perceptions of and Attitudes towards Europe among Post-Primary Students in Northern Ireland, (2013). In Klonari, A.I. and Resnik Planinc, T. (Eds.) European Identity at the Crossroads. (Europa Lernen: Perspektiven für eine Didaktik europäischer Kulturstudien, vol. 3) Berlin: LIT Verlag, pp75-98. ISBN: 978 3643904362. (listed in REF2)

Vaupel, A. and McKay, T., The Place of the European Dimension in Post-Primary Curricula of Northern Ireland, (2012). In Philippou, S. (Ed.) `Europe' turned local - the local turned European? Constructions of `Europe' in social studies curricula across Europe (Europa Lernen: Perspektiven für eine Didaktik europäischer Kulturstudien, vol. 2) Berlin: LIT Verlag, pp92-119. ISBN: 978 3643902580. (listed in REF2)

Vaupel, A., `There is no "normal" way of doing things ...': Interculturality and the Development of Intercultural Competence, (2012). In Hogan, C., Rentel, N. and Schwerter, S. (Eds.) Bridging Cultures: Intercultural Mediation in Literature, Linguistics and the Arts (Stuttgart: Ibidem), pp21-37. ISBN: 978 3838203522. (can be supplied by the HEI on request)

Vaupel, A., Zur Rezeption von Exilliteratur und Lion Feuchtwangers Werk in Deutschland: 1945 bis heute, (2007). Oxford/Bern/Berlin: Peter Lang. ISBN: 978 3039110773. (can be supplied by the HEI on request)

Details of the impact

The contribution of the PAM-INA project outcomes, with its multilingual and bottom-up approach, has a significant international impact in contributing to the discourse on European identity and citizenship in academic and educational contexts. As the EU is ever-expanding, it is important to develop common study material on the critical issues of European identities to encourage young generations to reflect upon similarities, differences and otherness in Europe. The project outcomes have brought the issues pertinent to European identity and citizenship to a broader stage and have achieved international recognition.

The impact was multiple. The research brought together diverse interests working in the area of social science and citizenship education. It ensured a practical linkage between academics working in traditional western EU member states, new EU member states and educational practitioners in Europe (and beyond). The multilingual nature of the toolkit ensured not only a bigger international audience but greater acceptance among practitioners and students alike by overcoming language barriers. The toolkit assists in the enhancement of awareness as well as of factual knowledge of European cultural and civic identities and citizenship. For instance, in Northern Ireland it has helped to strengthen the Learning for Life and Work (LLW) programme at Key Stage 4.

The European Commission's project evaluation report (February 2013) has recognized the project as highly successful (with overall 9 out of 10 marks) and states that "PAM-INA materials are a valuable addition to the stock of resources available to European teachers on an issue of ever- increasing relevance" (LLP Final Report Assessment Sheet, 2013: 4).

Forty-one international post-primary schools have worked with and evaluated the toolkit in the piloting phase and the published toolkit Living in and Reflecting on Europe: The PAM-INA Teacher Manual and Resources has by now been distributed to over sixty post-primary schools in Northern Ireland, forty schools in France, 110 schools in Cyprus, 200 schools in Greece, 500 (primary and post-primary) schools in Slovenia and 120 schools (plus 100 additional teachers on staff development courses) in Poland. In Germany, 250 copies have been distributed to the sixteen federal ministries of education and to teacher organisation institutions; the toolkit has been circulated to all Swedish agencies of education. Furthermore, the project website ( will remain working until at least 2018. The established network of academics, educational practitioners and cultural organisations will continue to cooperate after the end of the project's lifespan. International exchange on the European Dimension in Education and European Citizenship, promoting the PAM-INA toolkit, is therefore ongoing and by 2012 had included ten countries, twelve universities, and forty-one European schools. Furthermore, the project's teacher- training unit PAM-INA ITT, which uses and promotes the toolkit, has been presented and piloted at international professional meetings of an academic and non-academic nature. For instance, it has been piloted at

Also, the EYP headquarters in Berlin has participated in the project's 2012 international conference in Ljubljana and has decided to include PAM-INA ITT workshops in future EYP events. Additional PAM-INA ITT courses, which will promote the toolkit, are planned: March 2014 in Freiburg (Germany); autumn 2014 in Eskilstuna (Sweden); 2015 in Lesbos/Athens (Greece) and Belfast (NI) and 2016 in Nicosia (Cyprus).

To conclude, the significance of the toolkit Living in and Reflecting on Europe: The PAM-INA Teacher Manual and Resources (Ljubljana: Ljubljana University Press & University of Education Freiburg, pp. 52 (including DVD); ISBN 9789612375348) plus PAM-INA ITT, and the difference they have made to the beneficiaries is evidenced

  • By the extent to which the research and toolkit have been used at an international level
  • By the way in which it has contributed to and consolidated the discourse around European identities beyond academia
  • By the way it included local feedback groups' real needs in the development of the toolkit, with their influence on the project evident from the outset (bottom-up approach)
  • By the way it has permitted the authors to become advisors to educational practitioners and related institutions/individuals
  • By the recommendation of the European Commission to upload the final PAM-INA project report (public part) on the agency's website as an example of best practice (LLP Final Report Assessment Sheet, 2013: 3).

Sources to corroborate the impact