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Participation resource guide

Participation in programme areas



Manual: Child friendly schools UNICEF, 2006

Various school models illustrate ways to improve the quality of education. However, it is the CFS models that have emerged as the most comprehensive in their approach and the most widespread, both in the number of countries in which they have been put into practice and the geographical distribution of those countries. As the main proponent of these CFS models, UNICEF has the responsibility of providing a coherent account of them, summarizing their main features so as to create a prototype that can serve as the basis for developing national capacities to design and imp to incorporate CFS standards into their educational plans and realistically estimate the cost of achieving basic education for all with attention to quality standards.
This background that UNICEF embarked on the preparation of this CFS manual, a practical guide that aims to:
(a) Provide an introduction to the child-friendly concept, its underlying ideology and the key principles from which the main characteristics of a child-friendly school can be derived in different contexts and circumstances.
(b) Outline, with supporting arguments, the multiple ways in which CFS models consistently
contribute to quality education in a wide range of national contexts.
(c) Highlight the intrinsic value of CFS models for developing quality in any education system.

Consulting with Children
Plan Togo, June 2006

This manual describes a series of activities designed for children. Many of the activities were conceived as educational activities which enable children to gain particular skills while exploring their own situation. Although working is recommended with all the children aged between 6 and 18 years, it is difficult to work with children from this entire range together. As they develop at different rates and rhythms, it is found that it worked best to divide the children into three age groups (6–9–year–olds, 10–13–year–olds and 14–18–year–olds). It is based on the child-to-child and other participatory approaches, which allow children to take an active part in improving their own well-being, and is designed for facilitators with some experience of such techniques.

UNECSO Guidelines on Intercultural Education
UNESCO guidelines on intercultural education; 2006
UNESCO Section of Education for Peace and Human Rights,Division for the Promotion of Quality Education,Education Sector, 2006

In a world experiencing rapid change, and where cultural, political, economic and social upheaval challenges traditional ways of life, education has a major role to play in promoting social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. Through programs that encourage dialogue between students of different cultures, beliefs and religions, education can make an important and meaningful contribution to sustainable and tolerant societies. Intercultural Education is a response to the challenge to provide quality education for all. These Guidelines have been prepared as a contribution to the understanding of the issues around intercultural education. The document reflects UNESCO’s unique role as international standard setter and convener of diverse cultural and ideological perspectives. It is hoped that it will serve as a valuable practical resource for teachers and learners, curriculum developers, policy makers and community members alike, and all those who wish to promote Intercultural Education in interests of peace and understanding.

UNESCO’s Work on Education for Peace and non-violence Building Peace trough Education

UNESCO promotes the culture of peace through an intersectoral platform. This platform involves all five sectors of UNESCO: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. It seeks to mainstream intercultural dialogue in policies and actions with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, tolerance and respect, all of which are considered to be creative forces for a sustainable future. UNESCO advances peace education activities by providing support to Member States to integrate a holistic vision of quality education that promotes the values of a culture of peace at all levels of their education systems. UNESCO works to mobilize political will and coordinate the efforts of development partners, governments, NGOs, educational institutions and civil society to promote education for peace and non-violence through partnerships, advocacy and the advancement of research.

Learning from Children Families and Communities to increase CP in Primary School
Save the Children US

 Save the Children US is working through Basic Education Strategic Overhaul II/ Strengthening Communities through Partnerships for Education (BESO II/SCOPE) to increase the quality of education and the participation of girls in primary education. One strategy for achieving this objective is training a variety of stakeholders about gender issues in education, thus building their capacity to mobilize communities to serve the needs of girls more effectively through the formal and non-formal educational systems. Save the Children US has decided to take a Behavior Change Approach to address the challenges that have been identified. Behavior Change Approaches have been widely used to increase the impact of Health and Nutrition programs for decades, and sectors such as Food Security and Education are beginning to adopt them. The principle behind Behavior Change Approaches is that in order to successfully change behaviors (such as parents sending girls to school, or teachers supporting girls to succeed in school), programs must reduce barriers to change as well as convince stakeholders of the benefits of change.

Mother Language First – towards achieving EFA for Adivasi children in Bangladesh, Khagrachari Hill District Council, Zabarang Kalyan Samity, and Save the Children, 2007.

The book deals with mother tongue-based multi-lingual education (MLE), in formal or non formal education, in which the children’s mother tongue and Bangla are used in the classroom in Bangladesh. The strategy of mother tongue-based MLE recognises the importance of children beginning their education in their mother tongue (mother language first); the language they speak and understand. Local community ownership, local teachers and an appropriate and relevant curriculum are also important elements of a successful mother tongue-based MLE programme.

Berg, M.J. and D. C. Owens, Empowered Voices: A participatory action research curriculum for girls, Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT, 2000.
This toolkit looks at achieving gender balance in schools by engaging girl students as researchers. It focuses on girls’ development, self-esteem, strengthening relationships and helping build critical thinking and problem solving skills in schools.

Borden, Rebecca, Taking School Design to Students, National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Washington, D.C., 2004.
This document contains information on why and how children should be involved in designing their schools. It shows that, given a chance, students can become active and efficient partners in the decision-making process by expressing excitement, ownership and pride in sharing their ideas.

Clay, Di, Key Stage One: Participation and school councils toolkit, School Councils UK.
This is a toolkit on establishing and running school councils. The website contains other resources on school councils.

Fletcher, Adam, Meaningful Student Involvement Resource Guide, The Freechild Project, Washington, USA, 2003.
This resource guide was developed to support the movement for Meaningful Student Involvement. This movement is calling for deliberate empowerment of the experiences, ideas and knowledge of students throughout education. This approach challenges educators to be truly democratic by engaging students in critical reflection for school change. The resources presented in this guide promote students as researchers, planners, teachers, evaluators, decision makers and advocates throughout education.

Fletcher, Adam, Meaningful Student Involvement: Guide to students as partners in school change, SoundOut.org and Human Links Foundation, 2005.
This guide is the first publication in a series that supports meaningful student involvement in school change. It includes information on the elements of meaningful student involvement, its benefits and various ways that students can get involved, and it explores students’ roles at various grade levels.

Freire, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin Books, Hammondsworth, UK, 1970.
This publication by one of the most influential thinkers in education of the 20th century is required reading for anyone who links education to social change.

John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, A Handbook for Supporting Community Youth Researchers, Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning (Y.E.L.L.) Curriculum, Stanford, CA, 2001.
This manual is intended for teachers to help train students to become active contributors in decision-making processes in their school. It contains lessons on different research methods, analytical tools and presentation skills that can be adapted by teachers in various contexts.

Johnson, Kaye, Children’s Voices: Pupil leadership in primary schools, National College for School Leadership, South Australia, 2004.
This research report focuses on understanding pupil participation, how it is enacted in schools and what abilities, attitudes and dispositions enable pupil participation. It also looks at what factors impede the creation of a culture of working in partnership with children in schools.

Marques, Elder C., Youth Involvement in Policy-Making: Lessons from Ontario school boards, Institute on Governance, Ottawa, 1999.
This document addresses the importance of involving students in school governance. It lists resources on student participation and provides a critical analysis of Canadian laws and the progress towards supporting active student involvement in school management. It contains practical suggestions for strengthening student participation in decision-making processes.

Midttun, K. Eldrid, Make Learning Relevant, Say Young People, Norwegian Refugee Council, 2005.
As thousands of Rwandans were killed or fled to neighbouring countries in 1994, the international community provided primary school education in exile camps and local communities. Surveys by the Norwegian Refugee Council found that young people wanted to learn but felt that education was not available and that subjects taught were not relevant. This report presents the children’s point of view on education, especially among displaced and refugee children.

Piran, Parviz, School Mayors of Iran: World’s youngest mayors learning social participation, Allameh Tabatabaie University and School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran, no date.
School Mayors of Iran, a project involving over 1,000 middle school girls and boys, was designed, experimentally executed and researched by the author and sponsored by Tehran municipality. The paper gives details of the development and implementation of a project encouraging children’s active involvement in school management.

Rajani, Rakesh, The Participation Rights of Adolescents: A strategic approach, UNICEF, New York, 2001.
This is a resource for policy makers, programmers, advocates and activists interested in promoting the meaningful participation of young people at the global, country and community levels. The author argues that a development approach that emphasizes investing in young people’s assets and protective factors is more effective than focusing only on fixing young people’s problems. Section 5 of the report examines effective entry points for adolescent participation in schools and how it can be encouraged.

Save the Children, Having a Say: A young person’s guide to exclusion, Save the Children and Advisory Centre for Education, London, 2005.
This guide aims to help young pupils make informed choices after permanent exclusion from school. This refers to those whose voice often goes unheard at meetings with school governors, in appeal hearings and when decisions are made about a child’s future.

UNICEF, A Guideline for Assessing Child-Friendly Schools: Why, How, Processes and Outcomes, UNICEF, EAPRO, Bangkok, 2006.
These guidelines promote the understanding of the Child-Friendly Schools approach to creating child-friendly learning environments. The assessment tools make repeated reference to children’s participation and their civil rights in schools and in classrooms.
Email: eapro@unicef.org

Webb, Z., National Assessment of Student Involvement in School Policy-Making: Meeting Kentucky’s educational needs: proficiency, achievement gaps, and the potential of student involvement, Kentucky Education Department, Lexington, KY, 2002.
This research report studies student involvement in state-level education decision making in the US. It provides a comprehensive, state-by-state summary of student roles in school governance. It highlights the lack of capacities and knowledge in many schools to accommodate students’ inputs and concerns.

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