Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management
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Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management


Transforming Education for Democracy through Aesthetic and Embodied Learning, Responsive Pedagogies and Democracy-as-becoming

  • Project acronym: AECED
  • Project number: 101094052
  • Call: HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01
  • Topic: HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01-04
  • Type of action: HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
  • Granting authority: European Research Executive Agency
  • Grant managed through EU Funding & Tenders Portal: Yes (eGrants)
  • Project budget: 2 138 281.25 EUR
  • Keywords: Education: systems and institutions, teaching and learning
  • Project starting date: 1 April 2023
  • Project end date: 31 March 2026
  • Project duration: 36 months

Project summary

Democracy is a lived experience. To flourish, democracy needs healthy roots in people’s engaged feelings, awareness and sensibilities as embodied beings connected with each other and their localities, communities, and the natural world. Democracy cannot be understood and enacted simply through cognitive learning or technical interactive skills. Yet, education for democracy gives little attention to nurturing those aesthetic, affective and embodied roots of democracy. This is because the learning theory on which most education for democracy is based omits a fundamental dimension of learning – that is, the aesthetic and embodied nature of learning. The ambition of this project is to remedy this omission.

The project will:

  • design an innovative, evidence-based aesthetic and embodied pedagogical framework which has an impact on the practice of education for democracy through associated guides to practice (toolkits) that support responsive, participatory pedagogies
  • test, through participatory action research, a prototype of the framework and guides in differing phases of education and national contexts
  • refine the framework and guides
  • disseminate and activate exploitation of the pedagogical framework and guides by ‘trailblazer users’.
  • The project’s scientific impact will be achieved through groundbreaking, transdisciplinary research that shows how aesthetic and embodied learning and responsive pedagogies for democracy facilitate new ways of ‘seeing’ and exploring self and others, enabling truly democratic relations and nurturing predispositions and capabilities for active democratic citizenship and deepening democracy. Societal impact will be achieved through new pedagogical approaches that engage learners’ and educators’ hearts as well as minds, increase capacity for democratic citizenship that connects and evolves locally, and strengthen affective predispositions for challenging social injustices, engaging with conflict and seeking mutual understanding.

Project coordinator

  • Lapin Yliopisto (University of Lapland, Finland)


  • Rīgas Tehniskā universitāte (Riga Technical University, Latvia)
  • Ben Unizg Sveuciliste u Zagrebu, Uciteljski Fakultet (Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Croatia)
  • Philipps-Universität Marburg (The Philipps University of Marburg, Germany)
  • Universidade Aberta (Open University, Portugal)

Associate partner

  • The University of Hertfordshire Higher Education Corporation, UK

The administrative manager of the RTU project group

  • Zanda Pavasare, Project Manager in the Department for Research Projects, RTU

The Riga Technical University Researchers’ Team

  • Dr. paed. Prof. Karine Oganisjana, Leading Researcher and Scientific Manager of the project
  • Dr. oec., Prof. Nataļja Lāce, Leading Researcher and Financial Manager of the project
  • Dr. oec., assoc. prof. Konstantins Kozlovskis, researcher
  • Bc. paed. Rolands Ozols, scientific assistant