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Their Hopes, Fears and Reality

Working with Children and Youth for the Future

Edited By 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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Dealing with Citizens of the Future’s Needs through the Promotion of Self-Efficacy in Teaching Elena Briones & Carmen Tabernero 209


Dealing with Citizens of the Future’s Needs through the Promotion of Self-Efficacy in Teaching ELENA BRIONES & CARMEN TABERNERO One of the main aims of the ESF Research1 is to explore the extent to which young people’s home and school experiences have helped them understand their attitudes towards current European and global issues, such as democratic processes, poverty, unemployment, and human rights. Significantly, the qualitative and quantitative data from the four European countries (England, Poland, Turkey and Spain) – encom- passing respondents with varying social, economic and political back- ground – showed that students considered their teachers as one of the most important sources of information about those issues. When the research project was designed, a potential impact ex- pected for the professional community of education stakeholders (e.g. teachers, youth workers, and NGOs) was to provide some guidelines for those working in the field of education on how they can approach global issues and engage children and youth in de- mocratic processes. The role of these stakeholders is paramount to the success or failure of such endeavours. Quoted below are several extracts from the qualitative data recompiled during focus group di- cussions between Spanish students and interviews. All of these ex- tracts highlight how the students understand the importance of the role of the teacher when the students are learning about issues such as violence, health, tolerance, and employment: 1 In addition to the EUROCORES Project: “Citizens of the future: the con- cerns and actions of young people around current European and global...

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