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Their Hopes, Fears and Reality

Working with Children and Youth for the Future

Melinda Ann Dooly Owenby

Based on a research project supported by the European Foundation, this book explores how primary and secondary students in four different European countries view theirs and the world’s future. The results indicate that there is a gap between students’ perspectives about the future and a clear pedagogical base for helping students confront many issues that are significant to them. The importance of ensuring students become critically aware citizens and helping them develop the ability and skills necessary for facing the challenges of the future are patent. This book spells out specific ways in which the issues which emerged from the study can be approached from diverse fields (geography, language learning and arts and crafts). It also discusses some cross-disciplinary educational issues relevant to all teachers – general education and cross-disciplinary, as well as offering two proposals on how teachers can count on sufficient psychological support to face the challenges of teaching in an increasingly complex environment and promote cooperative behaviour in the classroom.

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Developing Art Projects as a Medium for Exploring Children and Youth’s Hopes and Fears Esther Collados 75

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Developing Art Projects as a Medium for Exploring Children and Youth’s Hopes and Fears ESTHER COLLADOS No matter what you call it, regardless of the adjective that comp- lements the action, the final objective of education must be the over- all holistic development of individuals. Education must provide all the resources and strategies available so that children and youth understand their surroundings, achieve their full potential as human beings and are integrated in society as individuals able to live in har- mony together. As the research described in the introductory chapter to this book highlights, children of all ages yearn for this harmony – at local, national and world levels. In the data gathered in 2009 in Barcelona, all of the children and youth (ages 10–11, 13–14 and 16– 17) mentioned their desire for social justice (end of wars, end of poverty, equality of circumstances for all, etc.) as their top priority. Out of 144 questionnaires from the youngest age group, answers that fall into the category of social justice came to 34.7% of the answers, out of 195 questionnaires from the middle group, social justice came to 32.3% and for the oldest group it reached 30%. Children and youth of all ages and nationalities – in this parti- cular study, students from four different countries – are not only aware of the conflicts, controversies and challenges of a society in which there are world conflicts, local conflicts, growing alarm at environmental and economic crisis and pandemic viruses, they are acutely...

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