Intellectual output O1
Mapping senior leaders’ perceptions of the impact of local and national covid-19 closure/lockdown policies on schools and vulnerable young people and those at risk of exclusion
Start Date | Project start
End date | 31/01/2022
IO1 output produced a first-time mapping of the national and local policy contexts for schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic paying particular attention to both the impact on young people most at risk from exclusion in the pre-pandemic period, including those facing multiple disadvantage e.g. in deprived urban areas of the UK or rural environments in Hungary and those from newly arrived families (e.g. asylum-seekers, refugees, Roma families) and those made newly vulnerable as a direct consequence of the pandemic, for example those experiencing food poverty, economic or housing crisis. School leaders will be recruited from at least five schools in each country (a minimum of 25 schools in total) to participate in interviews and focus groups to discuss their experiences of working with young people during the pandemic.
These activities explore a) School leaders’ perceptions of the impact of national and regional policy on schools and communities b) the role of digital in sustaining learning and or creating divisions between different groups of young people c) any special impacts on those already at risk of exclusion and changing definitions of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘at risk of exclusion’ as a result of the pandemic d) examples and case studies of inspiring practices from each country. A summary report (in English) was completed for each country IO1, A1. These reports were used to undertake comparative analysis which will be summarized in a synoptic report IO1, A2 (in English) that informed discussions in IO2 as well as informing policy briefings in IO5. All templates and resources associated with the production of IO1 will be available on the learning platform produced in IO4 to ensure that the work is replicable in new contexts.
Intellectual output O2
Mapping inter-generational experiences of supporting young people’s learning experience during Covid-19 school closures
Start Date | 01/11/2021
End date | 31/05/2022
IO2 targets young people, aged 10 to 18, who are defined by their school in IO1 as being at risk of exclusion, their parents or caregivers, and their teachers. Participants were invited through their school.
IO2 has brought together into inter-generational conversations the three key groups of stakeholders who have played a role in supporting young people’s engagement with, and participation in learning during periods of school closure: young people themselves; parents and care-givers; and teachers.
Combining an innovative mix of arts-based visual mapping methodologies (described below) with principles of trans-languaging to ensure that the session is accessible to participants who don’t speak the national language as their first language, IO2 delivered digital and print-based visual maps (IO2A1)of young people’s lived experiences of learning during school closures. Making use of visual images, symbolic objects and narratives produced through inter-generational conversations mapping workshops have paid attention to the importance of people, resources, places, spaces and relationships as barriers and enablers to learning and the role of digital technology in supporting or frustrating connections and networks. Seeking to understand the ways that young people have self-mediated their learning and opportunities, or potential opportunities, for young people to exercise agency in their learning will be a particular priority.
The maps produced provide a unique, visual, ‘at a glance’ summative record of these first-time intergenerational conversations and support understanding between groups about barriers and enablers to young people’s learning both at times of school closures and more broadly. This enables participants to recognise both individual and systemic strengths and identify how best to build resilience for the future. Maps were produced either digitally or physically or both depending on resources available in local contexts. Where access to digital technology made it possible workshop participants learned new digital map making skills.
IO2 made use of an applied methodology using a participatory visual method (PVM) approach, based on the model from Pathways through Participation (2010: 1), who defined this approach as: ‘an interactive approach that draws on local people’s knowledge, enabling participants to create visual and non-visual data to explore social problems, opportunities and questions.’ The PVM approach broke down traditional researcher-participant barriers by supporting the three target groups to work collaboratively to lead the mapping, using different visual and textual representations to communicate their experiences. The PVM approach ‘explicitly recognises local people as capable research collaborators’ (Pathways through Participation, 2010: 1) and ‘helps to reduce the power asymmetry between researcher and participant and builds participant confidence and self-awareness’ (Brown et al., 2020: 7). In this way, through the physical mapping the voices of the young people, parents, and teachers will all be amplified and valued equally.
Brown et al. (2020: 6) refer to the importance of PVM approaches for marginalised groups of young people, using the example of refugees and newly arrived children, due to the ways in which visual methods become ‘effective tools for reflection, engagement, and representation by newcomer children.’ IO2 had the following impacts on the target groups:
- The intergenerational, home-school nature of the mapping in IO2 promotes a unified voice of the participants, as such promoting principles of communication and inclusion within a whole-school approach. Such aspects can have positive impact on wellbeing and confidence across all three target groups.
- The maps developed through IO3 will be disseminated to wider schools and countries through the digital platform in IO4.
- Parents/carers will be better informed to support home learning. This will be evaluated through parents’ engagement with the digital platform in IO4.
- The mapping recognises and values the importance of diverse spaces in self-mediated learning across home, school, virtual and outside spaces.
- Map making will provide an opportunity for digital skills development where access to technology allows
IO2 comprises an accessible and cost effective applied methodology process that is easy to replicate and transfer across schools and countries through IO4. IO2 in this project includes two stages: physical mapping and digital mapping.
Intellectual output O3
Start Date | 1st March 2022
End date | 31st August 2022
IO3 made use of the maps produced in IO1 (IO1A1 and IO1A2) and IO2A1 as stimuli for young people aged 10-18 to tell the stories of their lived experiences in creative formats, either comic or animations, to new local, national and international audiences. Participants were the young people who participated in IO2. The consortium has recruited 20 artists to work collaboratively with teachers and project team members to create Maker Spaces that enable young people to develop the skills to tell their stories about learning during the pandemic using comic and animation forms (print and digital as appropriate to context). Young peoplehave published the outcomes of their Maker Space experiences to national audiences through a network of high profile street magazine that have agreed to be associate partners in Co-Map. These include ‘The Big Issue’ (UK) ‘Shedia’ (Greece) and The Hungarian street paper Fedél Nélkül. This partnership with street papers as a strategy for bringing the voices of vulnerable young people to public audiences is a highly innovative dimension of Co-MAP. Depending on the nature of ‘risk’ generated from IO2 local artists in each country will be trained to work with schools. Artists were carefully matched to schools following discussion with young people and their teachers.
The pandemic has already inspired a wide range of comics. ‘Graphic medicine’ notes the role that comics can play in the study and delivery of healthcare (https://www.graphicmedicine.org). Using comics has also become a well-established way of speaking about refugees, as presented on the website ‘Positivenegatives’. Refugee comics are increasingly included in research projects and have been cited by government officials. Graphic narratives are also a valuable medium for exploring the long-term effects of being a refugee. As Davies and Dominic point out in their book Documenting Trauma in Comics: Traumatic Pasts, Embodied Histories, & Graphic Reportage. Similarly In a project lead by Golnar Nabizadeh teenagers from Scotland worked with artists to share experiences of bereavement and contributed to a new comic aiming to help other young people deal with their grief.
The comic, published in 2019, is filled with images, stories and insights that arose from a series of workshops. Using a Maker Space methodology Co-MAP will go beyond these established approaches where artists produce artefacts based on input from participants to empower young people, facilitated by artists, to build the skills and know-how to create their own stories in comic or animated format. Young people will be able to explore their own sense and experiences of learning and risk in safe spaces which is especially important in the current climate where many families are experiencing new levels of precarity and vulnerability due to Covid-19. Teachers will also participate in these workshops, so that they can experience Maker Space philosophy in action, gain confidence using arts-based skills and build new pedagogical knowledge that will feed into their ongoing practice. A key innovation of the project is the involvement of local artists. Artists and teachers were able to exchange knowledge, which will be mutually beneficial. The approach of creating comics and making graphic art as an arts-based practice and skill with the potential to be used subsequently by the teachers involved within their future practice is also a pedagogic innovation.
As an outcome of working in Maker Spaces
Young people will have the opportunity to learn new creative skills, including digital skills, and to tell their stories to a wider public audience. Publishing their work in high profile, high production value, public outlets will raise self-esteem and enable them to see the value and importance of their stories in shaping public debates. It will also give them an insight into the creative process and the pathway from idea to publication.
Teachers will have a better understanding of the importance of art education and more developed pedagogic skills and confidence to deliver arts-based exercises.
Due to the knowledge exchange, artists will become more involved in the local community and education, new possibilities of partnerships and opportunities for future collaborations will open up.
Although parents will not participate directly in Maker Spaces they will have the opportunity to be proud of their children’s artistic achievement through engagement with school exhibitions, which will encourage them to become more involved in community activities and their children’s education. They will see tangible outcomes from the inter-generational conversations they were involved in in IO2 (comic strips, graphic novels, animations, exhibitions of artefacts and digitally accessible materials).
Intellectual output O4
Start Date | 01/05/2022
End date | 28/02/2023
The Co-MAP learning and collaborating platform will be the digital place where the project’s beneficiaries will take full advantages of the produced results of Co-MAP.
In particular, the platform will offer
- The “Educational” section with the learning programme for teachers focusing on self-mediated continuing professional development accompanied by the related resources (produced in IO2) available in all partners languages (EN, GR, DE, NL HU) and it can be downloaded for the facilitation of the reading.
- The “Explore” section with the selected inspiring best practices toward teacher-artist Collaboration and the produced comic/animation content (arisen from IO3).
- The “Share/communicate” section where users will have the means to upload their content, to comment on the uploaded content, to exchange their knowledge and to communicate with other users in private and in public groups (devoted to specific topics).
- Teachers – benefit by all offered sections
- Young people – benefit mostly by the “Share/communicate” section and by the “Explore” section
- Parents – benefit mostly by the “Explore” section and by the “Share/communicate” section
- Artists – benefit mostly by the “Share/communicate” section and by the “Explore” section
The innovative aspects of the Co-MAP platform lies in the fact that the platform will act not only as an educational environment focusing on the principals of self-mediated learning (SML) but also as a digital space where all involved actors can meet, discuss and collaborate in establishing communities of practice for dealing with risky and uncertain situation like the Covid-19 pandemic. The platform will be built in a way which facilitates the creation and establishment of a digital community acting also as a strong tool for the sustainability of the project.
Co-MAP platform will have the following impact on the target groups of the project, namely:
- A. The platform will educate at least 75 teachers (25 school leaders and 50 teachers from 10 schools in total) toward supporting young people to navigate the unpredictable future.
- B. It will also provide the digital space to young people for further practicing their gained creative skills as illustrators, story-tellers, digital makers in collaboration with the artists. It is estimated that at least 100 young people will upload their content and they will digitally collaborate with at least 20 artists.
- C. It will facilitate the inter-generational dialogue and communication of parents and young people by providing dedicated areas for discussion and exchange of experiences. It is estimated that at least 100 young people will interact with at least 50 parents.
Moreover, Co-MAP platform will be open to the public, accessible via project website and via mobile phones allowing any potential beneficiary to use it, therefore, aiming for a high impact for the community.
The transferability of the Co-MAP platform is ensured by the fact that it will be multilingual (in 5 available languages: EN, GR, DE, NL HU). Moreover, the platform will follow a scalable and open design which will allow its expansion to more languages, features, social networking means, aiming towards high exploitability and promoting the sustainability of the platform after the end of the EU funding period.
Intellectual output O5
Policy Advocacy Toolkit
Start Date | 01/12/2023
End Date | 30/06/2023
Sustainability of the Co-MAP approach largely depends on education policy embracing the approach and offering recognition of it as beneficial educational activities as well as allocating human and financial resources with schools and non-formal/informal providers for its implementation. Schools, artists and other stakeholders who wish to continue implementing the programme or wish to introduce it inspired by the project will need tools to advocate for this at different levels.
This intellectual output is designed to support the implementation and exploitation of all other intellectual outputs by offering tools for advocacy. The Toolkit itself is targeting school leaders, parent leaders, community educators that can use the tools for their own advocacy work towards the implementation of the Co-MAP approach, using creative activities for education inclusion, especially of migrants and other marginalised groups.
The secondary target group of the Toolkit is decision makers at all levels of policy and practice with special focus on national and local level policy makers, school leaders and other leading practitioners in the formal and non-formal education areas.
It will combine knowledge and experience in education policy advocacy in general with the Co-MAP approach creating an innovative toolkit not only by the innovative nature of the approach, but also by including tools and methodology that provides an opportunity for the policy maker to experience the power of creative learning as well as putting themselves in the shoes of participants – either through their own role as a parent or professional educator, or the memories of their schooling times.
The Toolkit is aiming at policy change at primarily the level of the school, but also at higher levels, especially by the recognition and remuneration of teachers’ work with artists and other non-formal and informal providers.
It will be based on research evidence, analysis of existing policy and policy experimentation as well as the outcomes of other Intellectual Outputs. It will bring international and European policy together with national, regional and local trends primarily in the fields of open schooling and the role of arts and creativity in learning.
The Toolkit will be developed in English as an online tool and it will be available via the projects site and Co-MAP platform. Its transferability will be based on two factors. First of all it will implement an approach that takes cultural diversity and the different realities of European school systems into consideration. Secondly, there will be a built in AI translator in the tool making it available in other language contexts. Transferability will also be supported by a glossary of terms.
You can find the CoMap platform here.