Empowerment is a continuous, infinite journey. The circle you will see next aims to be its representation. In it are situated, in the form of coloured circumferences, the different stages of the empowerment process that ten professionals in the field of education have defined with their thoughts and reflections. By selecting them, you will be able to see what stage they refer to and you will discover the materials made to describe it.
The different colours correspond to three types of resources:
The green circumferences contain pages from field journals.
The orange ones, audio-visual pieces on specific topics, recorded by the educators themselves.
The yellow ones contain fragments of four focus groups where participants shared experiences.
Through these materials, you will be able to delve into the meaning of a term as abstract and multifaceted as that of youth empowerment; circulating through its stages, from prior reflection to the evaluation of the results obtained.
In the menu on the top right, you can learn more about the project and also access an archive of the materials, where you can filter them by specific concepts and interests.
This page has been elaborated following the recommendations of the use of non-sexist language. Therefore, as far as possible, we have used generic expressions that include gender diversity.
"I’m Irene Mir i Aiguadé and I work as a teacher of educational guidance and an educational psychologist at the Can Periquet high school in Palau Solità i Plegamans.
My job is to support boys and girls in the field of education in order to care for them in their diversity and to work for an inclusive, open and flexible education, which allows them to achieve rich, competent, motivating learning, along with personal well-being. To reach this goal this view also needs to be shared with the rest of the teaching staff and the educational community. We need to work for the common good, as citizens and as people, with our emotions and our experiences.
For me, my job is passion, intensity and sensitivity towards others and towards myself."
June 10th, 2019
I think that’s obvious to confirm that settings and context have an enormous impact on people’s empowerment. Maybe it’s important to differentiate between a direct setting from an indirect one, nevertheless both are important and have to be kept in mind.
I get that a direct setting is family and friends, school, and extracurricular activities; that is, everything that is directly connected to the person. An indirect setting, in my opinion, are all those agents that intervene indirectly, such as social services, coordination meetings with CSMIJ or centers outside school, like EAP.
I would like to make this difference clear because often, I think, a young person doesn’t know or isn’t aware that there’s a whole team that works and discusses his/her wellbeing. And these agents are present, even if they don’t intervene directly, they know the student, and they guide us, as professionals, in how to act and work with them.
A very important factor is family. To establish a bond with family, we have to invite them to come to school to the activities we organize, to contact them via email or phone to give information on how things are going, to know the things we are working on with their children and in which ways, to ask them to be involved or participate in the things we do or if we need help we can count on them (…).
This way, making our work visible, we create trust and relief both for these families and their children, who see in their parents an interest for what they do.
On one hand, as a professional, I need to know the setting and the resources I have around me. In an ideal situation, the best would be that at the beginning of the course we could invite the people responsible for the youth centers to expose their programs to us (civic centers, sport centers, theaters or other cultural groups, etc). As a school that works by projects, we could also present the activities we will carry out, and we could probably work together and invite them to be with us during the final challenges. This means that we could open our school to the resources out
there. We could even organize activities and meet-ups with other schools in the region. I think this would be great for networking, offering activities to students, improving the relationship among them, creating a range of opportunities and social exchanges, etc.
In the same way, we should work with the social and educational resources that we can offer to families: social services, scholarships, psychology or reeducation centers, etc.
In brief, I think that putting yourself out there, discussing about our needs and how to solve them, and opening our school to the town is key.
When young people see that between “adults” or different services we communicate with each other, they can
also see the work we do for their wellbeing, they notice that we do care for and worry about them, and all of this makes them be more willing to communicate with us and not to lie to us that much (…).
Without this communication between family and school, or school and services from the town, we would hardly know what we have and what we can provide and guide our students and their families. Possibly this contact between family and school was stronger in elementary school (parents would drop and pick up their children, they had a direct contact with the teacher (there was only one, and now there’s a different one for each subject). Currently, the students go alone and their parents miss out on the things we do at school.
That’s why one of our tasks is to make school closer to home, to open it and invite the families to the activities we do (when we have the final presentations of our projects’ challenges or our festivals we try to do them during off-work hours so that they can attend).