Practical Guide

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Children

In the SiS Catalyst project, "listening" is intended as a dialogue between young people and a higher education institution or a science and society activity organiser. It is intended as the first, essential step to empower young people and drive institutional change. It involves both a state of mind and a set of concrete actions. This is why we are exploring it from a very theoretical to a very practical point of view, to identify what makes listening and dialoguing possible: from Plato to the arrangement of the tables in a room.

Children and young people: listening and empowering

In the SiS Catalyst project, "listening" is intended as a dialogue between young people and a higher education institution or a science and society activity organiser. It is intended as the first, essential step to empower young people and drive institutional change. It involves both a state of mind and a set of concrete actions. This is why we are exploring it from a very theoretical to a very practical point of view, to identify what makes listening and dialoguing possible: from Plato to the arrangement of the tables in a room.

The objective of this chapter is to gain insights into the pathways that, starting from a moment of dialogue, lead to an institutional change. This should lead to the development of some sort of ergonomics of listening and empowering, that is, sharable best practices identifying the factors that favour or impede a dialogue with young people, and enable such dialogue to drive institutional change.

The first step is to understand how our current societies define children: who they are, which rights they have, what is their role, their expertise, etc. The freedom of expression of a child is stated in the UN Convention on the right of the child: we should therefore analyse if we are building the institutional setting allowing for this right to be expressed.

We should then ask ourselves why we want to engage in a dialogue with young people: what is our agenda? What is their agenda? Are we on slippery ground when we speak in terms of “us” and “them”? For a HEI or in a science in society event, dialoguing with children can be triggered by marketing issues, by evaluation needs, by a desire of change, by emotional needs, etc. These are all valid motivations, but do we always call them by their name? And for the young people: what triggers their willingness to engage in a dialogue?

Then comes the question of “how”. It is interesting to analyse case studies that can indicate obstacles and enablers to a real dialogue. This concerns a wide set of issues, ranging from the institutional role given to children (for example, as full member of an advisory board), to the communication choices, from the training of scientists that interact with young people, to the choice of the setting in which the dialogue can take place.

Finally, the issue of empowerment and institutional change needs to be tackled. In many cases, listening and dialoguing with young people is not planned and occurs only through good interpersonal relations. However, in order for a dialogue to trigger an empowerment process, it is important that it is somehow institutionalized, that is, an official space is devoted to it, and the institution is prepared to accept its impact.

WHO (who are the children)?

WHO (who are the children)?

Who is a child?

Does age/social background/gender/location etc. matter?

Family: in or out? (parents, bros & sis, gd parents)

WHAT (what is listening)?

WHAT (what is listening)?

How to define listening?

What type of activities favour listening?

Why do I want to talk about science?

Why do I want to talk about science?

What is my role?

Why do I do what I do?

Why do I want to listen?

Why do I want to listen?

Why listening?

What's in there for me ?

Why is it important to do what I want to do?

Practicalities of working with Children

Practicalities of working with Children

How do I need to set the room?

Where is the best place for which type of activities? (in school? out of school? At home? In uni? On the field?)

How long an interaction is needed to obtain a result?

What type of posture should I take (eye-to-eye, parent-like, teacher-like, friend-like...)?

Who should be the intermediaries for listening?

What does freedom mean in listening?

What changes as a consequence of listening?

What changes as a consequence of listening?

How can listening be useful for me (the organizer of sis activity) in the long run?

How can listening induce institutional change?

Chapter 3 - Minimum Quality Threshold and Targeting

Chapter 3 - Minimum Quality Threshold and Targeting

Chapter 3 - Minimum Quality Threshold and Targeting

Social Inclusion

Social Inclusion

What is social inclusion and why is it important?

What (who) are underrepresented groups?

What is the SiS Catalyst MQT?

Requirements for inclusion

Requirements for inclusion

How to define the underrepresented groups?

What are the challenges for social inclusion?

CASE

Best practices

Policy and awareness

Policy and awareness

Social inclusion - who to involve?

What are institutional requirements?

Awareness among organisers, volunteers…and administrators and benefactors

Working with the community

How (why) to raise awareness

Sustainability & Measuring the impact

Sustainability & Measuring the impact

Gathering data: are the participants a mirror of your community?

Working with data: how charting successful targeting can be helpful for funding

Showing results: by visualizing results one can continue in raising awareness

Chapter 4 - Who is Doing It?

“Who is doing it” is the name of this chapter, but it is not only aimed on the question who is already involved in science and society activities, it is much more asking who could or should be included in such activities. Science and society activities are providing a broad range of activities, but also chances to include different groups.

Who is doing it?

“Who is doing it” is the name of this chapter, but it is not only aimed on the question who is already involved in science and society activities, it is much more asking who could or should be included in such activities. Science and society activities are providing a broad range of activities, but also chances to include different groups.

As a lot of these activities are taking place in higher education institutes or in organisations which are close to higher education, two important groups which should be included are academics and students. Both groups can be  included on an individual level, but also on a institutional or organisational level. The exciting question is how is it possible to motivate these people to be active, as the tend to have quite limited capacities. Nevertheless their engagement is important as this opens the chance to recruit the next generation of students and academics and to ensure a that widening participation is not just taking place on policy papers. This could be seen as a part of the social responsibility of higher education, but nevertheless it is not easy as it might sound as such activities could easily provoke the need for an institutional change and/ or  the often restricted resources needs to be used for activities which are not that beneficial on the first view.

This chapter has the aim to show different ways of involvements and to give reasons why an engagement is beneficial. Science and education are an ongoing development, but this development can just take place if there is space for it and if the needs for the development or change are recognized. The question “who” is not only about “who is doing it” it includes also the question who should or must be part of a mutual learning process for change.

It is nearly impossible to give a general answer on the question who is or who should doing it as this is related to a lof of factors. And the same appears while trying to answer the question who should do it in which way. Nevertheless the chapter tries to give various possibilities and examples how this could look like, but depending on the aims of a science and society and the given circumstances this needs to be decided case by case. Moreover it is not only the aim of the activity it is also related to localisation of the activity as the freedom of design is different on e.g. a European level or a local institutional level. Another aspect that needs to be considered are legal and cultural differences, for example not in any context unpaid voluntary work is the best solution, even if it might be that the budget for an activity would support this. However for students and academics there are several ways to recognize their engagement with or without a payment.

To expect that engagement or even change will be driven from the beginning by organisations would be a way to far. Therefore it is so much important to strengthen the individual engagement to permit step by step the engagement of a whole institution or structure. In the end of the this chapter we are raising the question who is still missing in these kind of activities, but should be considered.

Context

Context

What do we mean by "doing the work"?

WHO

WHO

List of Who is doing the work

Academics

Academics

Individual Involvement

Institutional Involvement

Students

Students

Individual Involvement

Students Associations / Unions / Networks

Types of involvement

Types of involvement

Support vs direct involvement

Who are the supporters

Working as and employee vs volunteering

Recruitment (and on-going involvement)

Recruitment (and on-going involvement)

Who are the new people that have to be involved

Mentoring Potential

Conclusion

Conclusion

How to continue the involvement past 2014?

Chapter 5 – Gatekeepers

Who are the gatekeepers?  We call gatekeepers persons, professional groups, organizations or communities that can help us to get in touch with particular groups of children, teenagers or young people. School teachers, for example, are gatekeepers. If persuaded of the quality of our programmes, teachers organise the participation of their pupils, among whom, maybe, some would have never come in touch with our organization without this mediation. 

Who are the gatekeepers?  We call gatekeepers persons, professional groups, organizations or communities that can help us to get in touch with particular groups of children, teenagers or young people. School teachers, for example, are gatekeepers. If persuaded of the quality of our programmes, teachers organise the participation of their pupils, among whom, maybe, some would have never come in touch with our organization without this mediation.

Gatekeepers have a key role in the inclusion agenda, especially when considering ethnic, religious minority groups or similar communities that sometimes can be reached only through facilitators (i.e. gatekeepers), such as communities’ leaders.

However, working with gatekeepers present also challenges and risks. For example teachers may select or favour, consciously or unconsciously, the “good” pupils; teachers’ presence can also inhibit pupils’ spontaneous behaviour, because pupils feel judged or are afraid to be judged. In order to overcame those risks specific actions should be planned, e.g. to organise meetings with teachers in order to make them aware of the nature of our mission and the peculiarities of our pedagogical approach.

Some gatekeepers have a more indirect role: e.g. public administrators and policy makers are not in direct contact with children and young people, but they can open (or close) the doors of cultural and children centres and welfare services; they can back our work not only with funding but making locations accessible, giving permissions and public support. To contact public administrators and policy makers, though, is very time consuming, and an effective communication of our project is essential to catch their attention.

Chapter 5 aims to present different kinds of gatekeepers, and the experiences of the organizations that have dealt with them. How to identify the relevant gatekeepers, which doors they may open, what goals we may expect to achieve with their help, how better to contact them and stay in touch with them, what difficulties we may face in dealing with them, how to better address those difficulties: these are the among the issues this chapter will explore.

Who are the gatekeepers?

Who are the gatekeepers?

Who are the gatekeeper you might be dealing with?

Which kinds of children or groups of children they open the door to?

Dedicated programmes and materials

Dedicated programmes and materials

In order to get in touch with them, are there specific procedures and dedicated programmes?

Are there example of special materials or channels (such as websites) you might use to stay in touch with them?

Are there specific procedures to collect their feedback?

Opportunities

Opportunities

Which are the opportunities working with the different gatekeepers presents?

Challenge and risks

Challenge and risks

Which are the challenges and risks working with the different gatekeepers presents?

Which are the solutions you might use to deal with the risks and challenges of working with particular gatekeepers?

Success stories

Success stories

Examples of successful stories about the interactions with particular gatekeepers

Conclusions: how to address gatekeepers: basic things to remember

Conclusions: how to address gatekeepers: basic things to remember

10 questions to ask yourself when starting a new project: about their habits and needs you can consult?

Identifying. Who are the gatekeepers you will be dealing with in the project?

What do you know about these groups of people? There is a source of information

Pros and contras. Which are opportunities and challenges you will face working with them?

Chapter 6 - Who Can Support Us

This chapter includes questions and thoughts for exploration of practical information on potential supports.

While the types of supports may be different, going through the list of questions, analyzing paths and answers could place a new prospective on how the activities could be developed.

This chapter includes questions and thoughts for exploration of practical information on potential supports.

While the types of supports may be different, going through the list of questions, analyzing paths and answers could place a new prospective on how the activities could be developed.

“Who Can Support Us?” is a chapter that should be explored in sequence – after going through the initial steps of defining the work (or having a clearer picture of the intended work) as clarity could ease finding different answers. While some answers might not be evident initially and could seem difficult, having a step by step approach could very well emphasize the existing gaps in the process. At the same time, some of the questions might be easier to answer with the project progression.

Each process needs supporters and supports and hopefully finding who they are could lead to success in short and long term.

Context

Context

What is the socio-political context?

Why this work should be supported?

What is a legal entity for this type of work?

Types of Support

Types of Support

Who are the Key Players?

Different levels of support

Time frames attached to support offered (examples of long running programs)

Mentoring

Mentoring

Who do we learn from?

What is the best practice model for replication?

Institutional Mentoring

Individual Mentoring

Sustainability

Sustainability

How do we leverage current opportunities and resources?

Role of partnerships and collaborations

List of relevant EU funds

Scaling Up

Role of Students as Supporters

Corporate Responsibility / Sponsors

Conclusion

Conclusion

How do we make sure that SiS work continues past 2014?

What can I do to support?

National Case Studies

Chapter 7 - What Will Success Look Like?

Chapter 7 - What Will Success Look Like?

Chapter 7 - What Will Success Look Like?

Chapter 8 – Ethics

In this chapter you will find information about ethics and ethical questions on working with children. The main questions on why and how the ethics are involved in our everyday work with children.

Ethics in Science in Society activities involving children

In this chapter you will find information about ethics and ethical questions on working with children. The main questions on why and how the ethics are involved in our everyday work with children.

The ethics principles that apply to research with adults – such as that of ensuring freely given fully informed consent, and the right to withdraw from research participation – apply equally to children, but there are some specific points that one should keep in mind while promoting children’s participation and inclusion in educational projects. The underlying ethical principles follow the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child especially Article 3.

The main points to be considered in working with children are the following:

  • Ensure that the best interests of the child will be your primary consideration.
  • You should obtain initial consent from gatekeepers – parents and/or teachers or others with a duty of care for the child. This initial consent allows you to seek consent from the child.
  • Children should be facilitated to give fully informed consent. You should get consent from each individual child (not from children as a group).
  • Ensure that all personnell and any collaborators or students under their supervision comply with legal requirements in relation to working with children or vulnerable young people.
  • It is crucial to respect the privacy of the project participants.
  • Researchers must ensure that data collected in the projects is kept securely.
  • Special attention should be paid when making photos, audio and video recordings and other communication materials produced in the projects. Ensure that the participants (and/or their legal representatives) have consented to the use of these recordings.
  • You enter into the lives of the children by promoting their interest in science. You should be careful not to raise false expectations. If possible, you should follow what happens with the children/young adults after the end of the project.

Ethics

Ethics

Why ethics?

What does ethics give to practitioners?

Children’s rights and UN conventions?

What are the peculiarities with working with children?

What are the new trends in working with children?

Why?

Why?

What are the objectives of education?

Individual happiness? (flourishing life) Protect the children’s right to education/better future? Identify their talents and empower them?

Flourishing society: change institutions: promote equal opportunities, tolerance, and secure trust in science?

Meet global challenges?

How?

How?

How are participants recruited of participants (payment)?

What are the inclusion/exclusion criteria?

The process of obtaining informed consent (consent of parents, assent of children)

What are the possible harms (incl. incidental findings (e.g. in what to do if in the research on prostitutes or you find out that people violate criminal law))?

Data protection, privacy and confidentiality?

Long term effects

Long term effects

Changing children’s lives?

Well-being of child, not to cause stress (incl. avoiding raising false expectations). Psychological support?

How far do the obligations of the researchers go? What if the children will face conflicts in families? What if they will feel left alone after the end of the project?

Relations with teachers and parents after the project?

Chapter 9 – Reflections

Chapter 9 – Reflections

Chapter 9 – Reflections