The last meeting of partners of Schools For The Future Youth project took place at the beginning of May. We met in Oxfam headquarters, in the center of London, beautiful at this time of the year. We spent two days summarizing and evaluating our common project and another two days on participating in the conference “RESEARCH, EVIDENCE AND POLICY LEARNING FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION”, organized in Institute of Education, University College London by the Development Education Research Centre within UCL-IOE and Global Education Network Europe (GENE).
We started the overview of the project with reflection on three years of joint work in coordinating this international project. We have summarized the achievements of the project but also the difficult moments that occurred during its implementation. We have mentioned also the project milestones. On the first day, we also prepared for the conference. It was intended to present the assumptions and main achievements of our joint project.
The next day, the conference started with a cordial welcoming of the participants by Dr. Douglas Bourn, Co-Director of Development Education Research Center. Then, Liam Wegimont, chair of GENE, pointed how important it is to build transnational partnerships for Global Citizenship Education.
Before the break, Lydia Ruprecht, Head of the Global Citizenship Education Program at UNESCO, had a presentation and Professor Annette Scheunpflug from Bamberg University presented in her speech “Evidence and efficacy”, among other things, the results of research on how Global Education affects individuals, but also groups and societies and tried to answer the question "What's at stake for research intend to strengthen the success for GCE?"
After the break, the conference participants had a chance to see the presentation of the project conducted by Nicci Hawkins from Oxfam GB, followed by a debate moderated by Claudia Maffei from Oxfam Italy. The session was meant to share the main outcomes of the Project in terms of knowledge gained by teachers and pupils, to discuss the distinctive features of the Project in terms of youth participation of the youth and global citizenship and to identify particular roles that NGOs have played and their contribution to the Project. Helen Cox, Geography Teacher from Sir John Lawes School, Federica Cicala from Oxfam Italia, Sotiris Themistokleous from CARDET, Tadek Szczepaniak from Polish Humanitarian Action, Fran Hunt from UCL Institute of Education And Dr Maria Zannetou-Papacosta from Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture took part in the debate.
We were discussing, among other things, which factors have influenced teachers and schools interest and engagement in the Project or if there are specific national characteristics of the Project – opportunities and challenges in Cyprus, Italy, Poland and UK – what influence has the external educational environment on projects like this one. Then, the panelists answered many interesting questions. The first day of the conference ended with Launch of Academic Network Facilitated by Professor Massimiliano Tarozzi from the University of Bologna and Dr. Douglas Bourn.
On the next day of the conference, participants had the opportunity to listen to many interesting presentations during the session of Global Learning in Schools, International Education and Global Citizenship and One on Higher Education. After lunch, two more interesting sessions took place. One was about the role of journals in promoting research on Development Education and Global Learning and the other was about the Review of the State of Global Education across Europe.
On the fourth day, the project coordinators met again at Oxfam headquarters to complete the summary of the project and to consider how to ensure the sustainability of the project after its completion. We also shared reflections from the Schools for Future Youth Session and the GENE Conference, and presented some reports from the youth meetings held in the UK, Poland and Cyprus.
At the end of the day, we had a session with Alasdhair Collins; External Evaluator for SFYouth, who looked fresh on the achievements of the team and at the difficulties encountered in the project and helped us draw conclusions for the future. Finally, each participant took part in the recording of a movie in which we shared our thoughts, successes and experiences gained from the project. It was an unforgettable meeting. Three years of joint work has given us all an opportunity to get to know each other and to learn many useful things from each other. We were leaving our hospitable hosts with a strong feeling of the sense of global education and with belief that with young people from all over the world - global citizens - we are able to change the world for better.