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Community Action Project Beyond Education

Live and Learn through Community Connection

Roxie Reyes

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Community Action Project Beyond Education

Our intention is to provide a mechanism for change that can be used by schools as a learning opportunity while still managing the business of the school and connecting with the broader community.
Our objective is to provide the tools to connect them and the school to the community and in the process create an environment for learning about society and social issues through the eyes and experiences of their community.
When Community Engagement Fails
Summary of Project
A community action project focused on developing a wise, constructive, proactive, productive and inclusive future society of people.
Project Objectives
Information sourced from websites:
Exploring Possibilities
Our Ideas Were Many
Community Connection
Support a Link in the Chain
| Matthew
| Greg
Diagnosing the
Gathering Information
Learnings from Others
How can we take what kids already know, grow it and build on it?
Children are keepers of knowledge, they seek out to understand, they are not jaded by defeat, and they have a vision and desire that is unique. We want to tap into this passion and drive. We want to nourish the curiosity, the creativity and the natural citizenship of a child.
Live and Learn through Community Connection
Personal Objectives
A big part of this GLF and CAP journey is our own professional and personal journeys.
The questions we were asking at the beginning:
What if we had a world
whereby all people know about the
benefits of social inclusion and equality, they
are aware of their impact on climate change, they
understand the history and the present of the Aboriginal
and Torres Straight Islanders community and other communities, they are appreciative of the world and the economy, they know the impact that their behaviors have on others, and they understand that it was an individual responsibility, not the governments, to create the change needed to ensure all people are included and our world is respected?
What would that world look like?
Would we still be experiencing
racism, bigotry, apathy and worse?
Would we still walk past people living on the street and blame the government for not doing something about it?
What can we do now to future proof our world against social, economic and environmental disasters?
How can we work with young people (children to young adults) to create an environment and/or methodology that is sustainable and will provide the skills, knowledge and wisdom needed for future generations to live as world citizens who contribute productively and positively?
ur top three individual personal objectives are listed below:
...you could turn back time and teach them these principles when they were kids and still agile in learning, would the world behave differently?
...is to start working with kids early so they are able to absorb essential life information and allow them to question the world around. We would like to see a future where adaptive leadership is the norm, and therefore problems are mitigated and solved.
To date we have consulted with:
• Principles at private schools
• Principles at public schools
• GLF colleagues involved in Education
• Representative from DECS
• Representative from Teachers Union
• Teaching staff
• Coordinator from Children's Centre
• School board members
• Current University students studying Education
• Local Government
Understand the Problem
Exploring From An Integral Approach
The problem that we face it complex and won’t be solved with one activity, however our focus has always been to start a process that will be a link in the complexity and assist us to move towards our goal. Using the integral approach model assisted us to understand the deep complexities from the feedback we were gathering.
Exploring Further
Other Resources And Stakeholders Researched
We contacted many education organisation, professional bodies and undertook research on and offline about the theory and practice relating to our project objective. The research to date was focused on diagnosing the problem. Part of our solution will include researching methods that have worked and those that have failed.
Part of our evaluation process will include a review of our personal objectives and whether they have been achieved and also any other unknown benefits we have taken from this process.
Gathering Information
• Need to educate the children about their rights and how they take control of their own lives.

• Children have a voice in your community. They are a citizens too.

• Restorative justice, great concept - what has my action and how did it impact others/society? Ie: you've taken something for society so how do you bring it back to community.

• Double feedback loop for ideas and engagement. Important for them to understand that they have contributed, they learn how to have a voice and how to make a difference.

• Be proud of the effort and not the outcome.
Feedback, questions and comments that helped us formulate our ideas
• How can schools know or understand what is important for their community?

• Education is burdened with rules, compliance and regulation.

• Lots of programs around teaching children social skills but not sure if they are meeting the mark.

• Diversity groups don't have a strong voice and can be misrepresented in communities.
• Can the kids learn about other communities and social issues directly from their community?

• AIFS website, articles about childhood social inclusion.

• If the nurturing support is not there in the early stages it can affect learning and behaviour as adults.

• Teaching parent skills - circle of security (attachment theory), bring up great kids, CAFS provide support but it's not enough.

• Promotion of services of Children's Centres - how to get the information in and out?
Learning from the experts in the field is essential
Some of the Articles and TED talks:
• Education Department

• Kids Matter

• Early Childhood Australia

• Principles Australia Institute

• Australian Education Union

• About Children’s Centers
• Young Children’s Voices about their local communities, Pauline Harris, University of SA and Harry Manatakis, SA Department for Education and Child Development

• TED talk by Ken Robinson

• TED talk by Shane Koyczan
Our team was small but determined to change the world. We discovered that we were all ideas people (Plants in the Belbin World) and therefore needed to be mindful of lots of ideas and no follow through.
We started dreaming during a
workshop at the State Library
using pictures to describe our
Not surprisingly the ideas came thick and fast!
• Community connection/partnerships how to create this
• Wellbeing- Martin Seligman
• Use of school space after hours
• Connect to parents
• 38 Children High School to primary school
- Information to parents
- Create environment to bring services to one place i.e. health, social services, etc.
- Quality parent child time
- Make it easier for parents
• “World peace game”
• Online gaming site on social awareness
• Creating resources for schools
• Creating resources for schools
• Acting/ theatre on social justice topics
• Parents respect for what teachers do
• Resolution of issues – theft and bullying
• Parents as volunteers
• “Parent’s guide to primary school”
• Primary School
• Connecting kids to something bigger
• Tangible outcome
• Failure is ok
• Raise awareness in a way that engages
• Providing an opportunity for involvement
• Leadership in students (recognizing/giving a voice)
• How do we engage parents?
• Case studies on what has already been done
• Celebrating successes
• Clear pitch connected to purpose
• Not one size fits all
• Identify behaviors to be expected
• Intro broader issues to kids
• Interschool forums
• Ability to challenge authority and ask questions
• Book, video, short story, kids discussing “My Story”
• Educate the teachers on technology
• Whatever they are introducing
• Bring parents into the learning
• The challenge the comfort zone
• Influence of the child in the program
However the idea that stood out the most was:
“Connecting the Child to Social Issues
through Their Own Community”
So the journey of connecting child and community has begun…
Recently, a group of kids started to work together to build a bike track. They worked every weekend building hills, making tracks and pathways. They negotiated together to plan the track. After 18 months and significant effort, the bike track was established. A vacant piece of land became a haven for local kids.
Neighbour and community members watched for months while this vacant land was built into something real, enjoyable and practical. The community saw the pride of the kids. Watched them reap the rewards of their effort.
The problem was the council didn't provide permission for this bike track, and they didn't appear to give consideration to the pride and effort felt by the kids, nor the devastation when they bulldozed
the vacant block flat.
An unfortunate example of a community
need that was not realised. Perhaps if the kids understood how to use the support of the community to appeal to the council they may have gotten their bike track rather than the devastation of a destroyed effort.
Our project is aligned with the objectives of the Centres. We have chosen to partner with one of them to provide a much needed resource, and develop an innovative concept that will assist them and the school to achieve their goals.
building the community
focus of the strengths of the community
connecting schools and community
Four Key Principles
Two Key Areas
learning about life
contributing and having a voice
Support children and families achieve the best possible learning, health and well-being outcomes in a universal setting.
Children have optimal health and development
Parents provide strong foundations for their children's healthy development and well-being
Communities are child and family friendly
Aboriginal children are safe, healthy, culturally strong and confident.
The Key Question
What if...
Our project focus...
Children's Centres aspire to the following outcomes for children:
Taking Action
“To design an engagement process/framework for children to administer enabling them to connect and understand their community wants and needs and contribute to change in their community.”
So start your engines…………
Potential Outcomes
Learnings for the Children

The intention of getting the children involved in community engagement for their school is to create a positive and productive space of learning for the children and the school.
• Every chance for every child
• What motivates parents to get involved with school?
• What do we do with the other kids?
• How do we make it safe for the kids to challenge?
• What would you do in the space of ‘raising awareness’ and ‘community connection’?
• What do parents need when they go to school Map Education?
“Connecting the Children
with Their Community”
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