This contribution offers a pedagogical reflection on the methodology adopted within the training experience "Just YOUth. Having a say is a sustainable action' [Just YOUth. Prendere parola è un’azione sostenibile]. It was promoted within the orientation program of the University of Milan Bicocca (Italy) addressed to secondary school students. The aim was to promote a learning process around the meanings and possibilities of ‘having a say’, the first step for participation in decision-making processes. In fact, learning to ‘have a say’ is a crucial ability to orient one’s own decisions in relation to the self and the community one is part of. These decisions include choosing how to build one’s own life project, also in relation to the choice of an educational path. Moreover, acknowledging the role of young people in public decision-making processes, together with adults, assumes a specific pedagogical, ethical and political value (Bertolini, 2003). In fact, learning to have a say is a crucial starting point for the development of a sustainable, just, equitable world (Riva, 2018; UN, 2018). Within this framework, Just YOUth gave the young people the opportunity to meet local but also international youth realities, including, for example, collectives, representative bodies, and peer tutoring realities working in the field of children’s and young people’s rights, activism, social and political participation. They orientate decisions in collaboration with adults, showing how participation is an intergenerational process. The proposal included classes, workshops, discussions and meetings, where university lecturers and professionals from the public and third sectors and young people showcased their work and allowed the participants themselves to actively experience different ways of taking the floor. Another crucial aspect is related to the variety of languages that can be used for having a say. The participants were able to experiment with the use of different languages to express their perspectives such as photography, the creation of multimedia and artistic content, music. In fact, the methodology adopted in the training experience is underpinned by a child-rights framework: in particular Article 31 of the UNCRC, which underlines the right of the child “to participate fully in cultural and artistic life”; and General Comment No. 12 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child which mentions the need to value different forms of communication – that allow children to express their choices, preferences and demonstrate understanding – such as drawing and painting, so the use artistic languages (Zuccoli, et Al, 2019). Finally, the training proposal wanted to be a space in which the participants could develop a 'reflective' posture, at the base of lifelong learning, in which orientation, rights and responsibilities are intertwined. Therefore, the participants were asked to use the ‘langue’ of writing –in a personal journal– to document and gain awareness of this learning experience. In fact, “education can build lasting change because it is owned and affected by participant stakeholders” (Sterling, 2016:11).

Montà, C., Carriera, L., Biffi, E., Malatesta, S. (2022). The "Just youth. Having a say is a sustainable action" experience: first reflections on the methodology of a University orientation program. In L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, J. Lees (a cura di), ICERI2022 Proceedings - 15th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (pp. 3848-3852). Valencia : IATED Academy [10.21125/iceri.2022.0936].

The "Just youth. Having a say is a sustainable action" experience: first reflections on the methodology of a University orientation program

Montà, Chiara Carla
;
Carriera, Lucia
;
Biffi, Elisabetta
;
Malatesta, Stefano
2022

Abstract

This contribution offers a pedagogical reflection on the methodology adopted within the training experience "Just YOUth. Having a say is a sustainable action' [Just YOUth. Prendere parola è un’azione sostenibile]. It was promoted within the orientation program of the University of Milan Bicocca (Italy) addressed to secondary school students. The aim was to promote a learning process around the meanings and possibilities of ‘having a say’, the first step for participation in decision-making processes. In fact, learning to ‘have a say’ is a crucial ability to orient one’s own decisions in relation to the self and the community one is part of. These decisions include choosing how to build one’s own life project, also in relation to the choice of an educational path. Moreover, acknowledging the role of young people in public decision-making processes, together with adults, assumes a specific pedagogical, ethical and political value (Bertolini, 2003). In fact, learning to have a say is a crucial starting point for the development of a sustainable, just, equitable world (Riva, 2018; UN, 2018). Within this framework, Just YOUth gave the young people the opportunity to meet local but also international youth realities, including, for example, collectives, representative bodies, and peer tutoring realities working in the field of children’s and young people’s rights, activism, social and political participation. They orientate decisions in collaboration with adults, showing how participation is an intergenerational process. The proposal included classes, workshops, discussions and meetings, where university lecturers and professionals from the public and third sectors and young people showcased their work and allowed the participants themselves to actively experience different ways of taking the floor. Another crucial aspect is related to the variety of languages that can be used for having a say. The participants were able to experiment with the use of different languages to express their perspectives such as photography, the creation of multimedia and artistic content, music. In fact, the methodology adopted in the training experience is underpinned by a child-rights framework: in particular Article 31 of the UNCRC, which underlines the right of the child “to participate fully in cultural and artistic life”; and General Comment No. 12 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child which mentions the need to value different forms of communication – that allow children to express their choices, preferences and demonstrate understanding – such as drawing and painting, so the use artistic languages (Zuccoli, et Al, 2019). Finally, the training proposal wanted to be a space in which the participants could develop a 'reflective' posture, at the base of lifelong learning, in which orientation, rights and responsibilities are intertwined. Therefore, the participants were asked to use the ‘langue’ of writing –in a personal journal– to document and gain awareness of this learning experience. In fact, “education can build lasting change because it is owned and affected by participant stakeholders” (Sterling, 2016:11).
Capitolo o saggio
participation, having a say, orientation, methodology, active and experiential learning, sustainability
English
ICERI2022 Proceedings - 15th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
978-84-09-45476-1
Montà, C., Carriera, L., Biffi, E., Malatesta, S. (2022). The "Just youth. Having a say is a sustainable action" experience: first reflections on the methodology of a University orientation program. In L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, J. Lees (a cura di), ICERI2022 Proceedings - 15th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (pp. 3848-3852). Valencia : IATED Academy [10.21125/iceri.2022.0936].
Montà, C; Carriera, L; Biffi, E; Malatesta, S
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/397908
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