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Learning Locally

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Blaise Guenard

on 22 February 2014

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Transcript of Learning Locally

Learning Locally
Thinking Globally

"How to extend our mutual thinking about each other's local context and scale to a global perspective?"
Global thinking
Common field of action and public led us to a quicker identification of our needs for this cooperation
Mutual awareness of possibilities in our own local contexts (partnerships, institutional supports, communication..)
Different opinions and ideas between partners are a necessary and fertile ground for grand projects
Necessity to open the dialogue about science communication in Croatia (with participants, media, mentors, civil and political society)
Gain public and institutional support is crucial in both countries.
Some words of French and Croatian…
Local Learning
Global thinking
Local Learning
Global thinking
Local Learning
Global thinking
Local Learning
Local learning sets the foundation for global understanding
Building upon that foundation, large scale cultural learning is made possible
Local opportunities for learning must allow for education regarding career and educational opportunities both at home and abroad
Through the promotion of local education, children can realize their full potential in a variety of ways and tap into their potential in order to contribute to their community on both a local and global scale.
Mentoring, educational exchanges, and community interaction highlight the importance of diversity and collaboration as a catalyst for global thinking and learning
Global thinking as the means for generating empathy and cultural understanding
Global perspectives allow for solutions to local problems, which ultimately impact larger scale issues
Collaboration amongst children of various origins as inspirational and motivating, diversity bringing individuals together rather than dividing
These collaborative opportunities often provide a different perspective than the American experience
Participating children exemplify the possibilities and positive impact of global thinking
Global thinking
Local Learning
Communication is important
MA needs two partners
MA partners must pull together
Exchange of ideas and information between meetings is essential
Communication can transcend the differences
MA needs two partners
Exchange of ideas and information between the meetings can help to keep a MA vital
How could communication in SiS Catalyst - Mentoring Partnerships be improved?
SciFest as an example for cooperation between science and schools
Finnish school class – traditional (overhead) and modern (ibook) methods are used
Global thinking
Local Learning
The transfer of a model to another place is a very valuable experience for both partners.

systematic reflection of the own model
critical questions from the taking partner
new ideas for further development

very concrete and practical inputs save time and foster high-quality implementation from the beginning
awareness that talking to children is an art (of design) from what to talk to how and where to talk
When you transfer one model to another place you have to adapt the content to the local, cultural and political setting

But how to approach children, seems to be the same everywhere:
Take them seriously
Address their senses
Try to involve them emotionally
Communicate with them
Be enthusiastic and witty
The MA partnership was very fruitful and has led to new projects!

Is a continuation after April 2014 intended?

We already have many new project-ideas...$$$
Pleasant and productive meeting in Istanbul
Science lectures for children: from Vienna to Istanbul
Global thinking
Local Learning
Global thinking
Local Learning
Re-shaping boring routines into touching ceremonies transforms learning path into memorable journey
Looking from the visitor’s point of view changes the perspective. Frequent live visits are vital for true MA work
Local environment sets the scene and borderlines
Learning in a democracy is dynamic and has two sides, structure and process
The basis should be group-oriented
Reflection on what has been done is a monologue, sharing reciprocal thoughts, ideas, mistakes is a dialogue which is the basis of democracy
Learning is an active state – mind, body, people around, things that surround us – are all available resources which can be used while delivering learning.
Joy builds self confidence – emotions should be incorporated into learning path.
Evolving is readiness for unexpected. Sometimes things just happen. Avoiding unexpected – is avoiding to evolve.
Identify horizontal versus vertical relations
Think of Network versus hierarchy
Youth and Children’s University is influencing and being influenced by the degree of openness and transparency in a society
What change do we make?

What do we understand by “the intercultural dialogue”?
Citizens of the World
One Earth
Global thinking
Local Learning
Social Inclusion:
In Hamilton the social backgrounds differ much more than in Tübingen. But for both towns it is still a tough task to improve in social inclusion (which is easier in the rural branches of Tübingen University).
Science Communication Training
for students is a brilliant idea in Hamilton. To open up science for society, students should learn during their studies to communicate scientific topics to a younger audience. This will not only increase the science communication skills of the students but also promote the university in its efforts in science communication.
in Canada differs considerably compared to childhood in Europe.
In Canada, by law, children have to be supervised by an adult the whole day until the age of 12. This has implications on the organization and performance of the Children and Youth University as parents have to attend and enjoy the lectures and workshops, too.
In Tübingen, children are allowed to stay without their parents. That‘s why the offer of the Tübinger Kinder-Uni addresses especially children.

Children’s University
in Canada: a much harder existence than in Germany. Despite the enthusiasm of children and parents, education has in Canada a less important position than in Germany. That‘s why the organizers of McMaster Children & Youth University have to fight for recognition and support within the university and beyond. They face difficulties concerning funding and public relations because for University and society, only financial output counts.

Higher Education:
Bringing more children to higher education should not be the direct aim of Children’s University but to show higher education as an important possibility/opportunity.
Why is the successful example of McMaster Children‘s University not spread throughout Canada?

How could this be changed?
Sex at Children‘s University:
What happens when Mammoth and Elephants mate (what they really did)?
Lecture on 'Mammoth and Genetics' at McMaster University, September 28th
Discussion after the Lecture: Sandy, Claudia, Michael (from right)
Katrin is missing because of a conference in Hongkong, we met her the next day.
Kids' Tech University of Virginia Tech:
Good experience in running a Children University, and in fund raising.
Would like to develop a set of guidelines to give to scientists to better prepare them for interaction with the public.

SISSA Medialab:
Good experience in training scientists for science communication.
Would like to expand SISSA school visits' programme towards a proper Children University
Together we would like to investigate how the programme is being delivered at other universities, and how parents and kids react to such a programme
Which schemes are used to achieve sustainability?
Global thinking
Local Learning
Reflections on local contexts from an outside perspective
New insights on contexts in other countries
Putting concepts of pedagogy of excellence into practice
Putting concepts of inclusive education into practice
Developing concepts of Children's Universities
Issues regarding dealing with different communities in a multicultural society
Targeting a young age group to ensure (study) success in secondary or higher education
Awareness of the importance of role models
Since we're both now exploring the concept of Children's Universities and putting this into practice, we're very curious to know:
What kind of activities have been the most successful?

We are currently developing activities for youngsters and want to know:
What topics or workshops have had great response?
Youth Educational Forum
Global thinking
Local Learning
Cooperation with schools can also mean to involve school classes as science communicators to a wider audience – knowledge can trespass a lot of different levels
It was quite inspirational to talk to the science communicators directly and ask them about their personal experiences
still very obvious that Danish people derive from the Vikings – having their science event programs attached close to the sea
Interviews can have a lot more impact than intended (starting a process of self-evaluation and –reflection)
Everything is possible – even to hold a lecture in a language which is not your mother tongue! And: Observing participation is somewhat different from participant observation
The work on social inclusion does seem to make a difference to the kids attending the kinder uni club
The fact that the science activities are brought to the local area instead of bringing the kids to the university all the time seems to work quite well in collaboration with the local youth clubs
The fact that activities go beyond the natural and life sciences, and represent potential to learn and become inspired cross curricular is definitely something University of Copenhagen could pick up from the future strategies for outreach.
Status of education seems to be strongly attached to your social heritage – irrespectively of structural frameworks such as school system

It does acquire quite an investment of time and an open mind to get under the skin of your mentoring partners values and mindset regarding the vision & vision of their work.

The cultural context is a filter that you have to see through and discard whenever you are inspired and try to extract local practice to your own national context. Even if the mission is the same; e.g. to set up the framework for empowering the children that are not gifted with the possibilities to reach for the stars without a helping hand of inspiration, and a gentle push of motivation.
What are the next steps to be taken to include some elements of what we’ve learnt from each other into the project agenda of our own organization?
Torben in Vienna during the "Children's University on Tour"
I fought with my own expectations and stereotype of Africa as a continent and found many of my views to be unfounded
Insight into the Ethiopian educational system: it seems like the teaching style there is much more formal than in Croatia
Our educational methodology can be easily used and adapted to various circumstances and different settings
Organizing and participating in these kind of international activities needs a lot of personal flexibility and openness to other styles of working and cultural differences need to be taken to account
Local initiatives as a main tools of change: they can be used to entertain the issues of children easily
Helps us draw new approaches to the situations we are dealing with in regards to non formal education and children related projects
In my country (Ethiopia) and local areas, new initiatives should be developed to listen to the children
The MA program is a dynamic way of learning and experimenting difference and commonalities between countries, organization, communities and people
Wherever you go, kids will react in a same way to your input
The world is getting smaller and smaller; through new media and modern technology, change can be spread faster than ever
The awareness that education is extremely important is universal
Everywhere, Children love being active participants in educational activities; they are curious and ready to take responsibility for their learning when provided an encouraging environment
Similar issues trouble us all around the world, varying in size rather than content
Education for all and solidarity are key to ensuring a better future of our world
We all sometimes need a change of perspective in order to get more in touch with our everyday life realities
Children everywhere can be models of change, if such environment is created for them to speak
Collaboration and discussion will be continued even after the program 
How can we continue to collaborate sustainably?

How to measure outcomes of development projects, especially when they are focused on personal development?
Universal values, steps and procedures:
Create the motivated and devoted team.
Inspire and motivate teachers working with children.
Be related to cultural, social, traditional, historical or other community foundations, depending on its character.
Identify the specificity of the underserved or underrepresented in higher education target group, and use it to enhance the interrelations inside the group and the motivation to learn
Help in self-identification of the individuals and support them in finding their relations, place and role within the group and society.
Inspire children and offer them an opportunity for discovering their own skills, talents and interests, and then enable children to develop them (provide children with fishing stick, not with a fish).
Offer a rich variety of possibilities and options to enable children to find their original, real and individual way of education and development.
Global thinking
Local Learning
Association Paris Montagne
Society for Out of Frame Education
Constructive Solutions
Eco-ethics International Union, Ethiopia
Faculty of Education, Comenius University
Center for Educational Opportunity Programs, University of Kansas
Foundation of Malopolski University for Children
Youth and Children's University of Greece
First activity of the Neaniko ke Pediko Panepistimio Ellados - Youth and Children's University of Greece
Neaniko ke Pediko Panepistimio Ellados’s logo: little blue human being, found in a cave in the North of Greece; speleologists called it: "A happy human being between the stars”
PH International
ZOOM Children's Museum
University of Hawaii
University of Silesia
SISSA Medialab
Virginia Tech
Partnership starting October 2014
Kinder-Uni, Tübingen
McMaster Children & Youth University
University of Copenhagen 
Children's University, Vienna
SiS Catalyst
Mentoring Associates Programme

University of Innsbruck
Joensuu Science Society
Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool
Children’s University of Lodz
Ania from Lodz:
I have learned how to organize outreach
I have learned how to involve pupils and students at all levels
Helen from Liverpool:
Engagement of parents as a means of engaging young people - the children's university adopts completely different to reaching young people compared with us in Liverpool
Building strategies to combat social exclusion (regards the outreach)
Science as a lifelong learning experience (regarding involvement of all age groups)
Value of a sustained relationship with young people - we tend to engage with larger numbers but on a limited number of occasions
a day with Meseret Humanitarian Organization
a school building project ConSol visited in Ethiopia
Roma Department, University of Pecs
Faculty of Organization and Informatics [FOI] University of Zagreb
Both communities (Medjimurje, Croatia & Baranya, Hungary) have much in common
Both communities are:
a minority in both countries
a minority within the Roma population in the country
Roma in Medjimurje are more isolated but keep the language 'alive'
In Baranya, Romology is well developed but Roma practice traditions less
By expecting the difference we found so many similarities
Kids are losing links to their traditions despite the culture well documented and general education at higher level
Is putting the emphasis on 'passing the heritage' making it more difficult for kids to join the 'dominant culture' education system?
Global thinking
Local Learning
Issues of Policy in the field of Gifted Education are universal, both Anstosse Geben and CTYI have had to deal with policy shifts away from provision to high ability students
Identification of highly able students is difficult in and of itself, the definition of gifted/talented/highly able is complicated by difficulties in identifying students with high ability in untestable areas
Engaging with high ability students whose socio-economic backgrounds mask their ability is difficult as identifying them is a task in and of itself
Students are proactive and enthusiastic across both CTYI and Anstosse Geben projects
External institutions are highly valuable in terms of what provisions you can make for your students, these relationships are essential
Students are often capable of much more than you initially think
How can you encourage students to be socially aware, motivated and engaged in such a way as to use their skills in educating others?
Centre for Talented Youth Ireland
Anstosse Geben
Global thinking
Local Learning
Global thinking
Local Learning
Global thinking
Local Learning
Widening Participation Unit, Queen's University Belfast
La Trobe University, Australia
Global thinking
Local Learning
Mudanca de Cena, Sao Paolo
Hands-On! Universe, Kenya
EAFIT - Children's University, Columbia
ACUP - Public Universities Association, Spain
Children's University of Ankara
Children's University of Cairo
Looking for sustainability…
Looking for arguments to get funding to expand our impact?
We learned that if we focus on widening our contribution with the social transformation that our society needs, new funding will come after it.

There are many factors that contribute to the good development of a Children’s University:
Funding, Model, Key players, social context…any other factor that makes the difference?
We need key players to be enthusiastic with the project, to believe in it. All the difficulties can be overcome with motivated key players.
Local learnings… Conversations between experts and kids over a big map of Medellin. Workshop: How can I transform my city? September 2013.

It is important to stay tuned with good practices from other places in the world…


We cannot “copy-paste” the solutions and the programs from other places…

We have to be quite perceptive with our city/place, we have to read carefully the situation of our local context.
There are many different paths to reach the same aim. Choosing between one or an other depends on the context.
Global learnings… Conversations between kids about the connections between countries. Workshop: How relates Colombia with the world? September 2013.

In Latin America, we are weak concerning networking and making alliances. Still we compete more than collaborate…

So, how to build stronger networks for science and education including public and private sectors?

How to reach more continuity/sustainability in the actions for science and education?
Global thinking
Local Learning
How do we evaluate the impact of what we do?
Egyptian Team got points related to:
Program development and implementation practices
Solutions to administrative and financial issues
Funding alternatives
Target group selection and reaching strategies

Turkish Team had a fresh look and learned about:
Partnership development perspective
Dissemination strategy using NGOs and Educational Institutions
Integration to formal education
Who should be the stakeholders of a nation-wide Children’s University both in the mean of national and local bodies and what should be their roles?
On the implementation, level class teachers were not key players at that stage in the two models
Distinctive similarities between Turkey and Egypt in the means of local governments’ perspective and understanding of science and education

Not a result but as an intermediate output:
Although there are distinctive similarities between Turkey and Egypt in the means of local governments’ perspective and understanding of science and education, common global values and national strategies parallel to European point of view is important to provide concrete contributions not only to our countries but also to global development of SiS activities for children and youth

Adapting national strategies to International standards while conforming to local identities is important to provide concrete contributions not only to local communities but also to global development of SiS activities for children and youth.
Spreading science awareness and Science communication among the whole population including teachers and parents through organizing science festivals, science conferences, and science fairs.
Discussed points:
Solutions related to similarities (cultural background)
Observing results by thinking on differences and similarities (expectations from SiS activities - Programme development)
Re-thinking on problems and finding alternative solutions to sustain activities (funding)
Effects of public perspective on SiS activities (reaching the target groups)
Cultural and political conditions to determine a nation-wide strategy (stakeholders and partnership development)
"School of Soil Science" activity attended at the Ankara children's university venue.
Attendees: a mixture of two groups: one from an urban area and the other from a rural area.
The students from the two groups cooperated perfectly well.
Some members of the Egyptian team

Human Towers - called "Castellers" in Catalan - represent the spirit of team work
Human towers (castellers) represent the importance of teamwork. Each person of the human tower has its role, its importance. The differences in the team (size, age, experience) balance the tower and make it possible. Everyone has to believe in the project to built the tower.
Where do you want to go? Which resources you have to do it? Do you have a bike or are you going by foot? Do you have enough water? Do you have a map? …

All these questions will determine the context and thus, the path you should chose.
Full transcript