Reset Adolescence for Success!
Start date: Sep 1, 2015,
End date: Jan 31, 2016
Adolescence is almost always perceived like a critical age. On the one hand, the beauty of the age (ideals, honesty, courage, devotion) is unanimously recognized. On the other hand, parents, teachers or other persons who get in contact with teenagers often complain about their attitudes and behavior. This is because adolescence means also irritability, anxiety, depression, vulnerability towards risk factors (smoking, drug abuse, suicide) and many other unfortunate problems.
In these conditions teenagers need help. The serious problem that we identified and which was the premise of the project “Reset adolescence for success” (REAS) is the insufficient and inadequate counseling of many teenagers in their families, schools and communities.
REAS goal was to diminish the dramatic effect of this phenomenon (inadaptability, tensioned relationships in the family, school and community, early school leaving, reclusion in vulnerable groups, teenagers becoming victims of all kinds of abuses) by developing the competences and key-skills in non-formal education framework, for 26 persons who work with youth (youth workers, counselors, trainers, teachers, parents) from 10 organizations (3 NGOs, 1 SME, 3 informal groups of youths, 1 school and a parents’ association) from 8 Programme Countries (Slovakia, Portugal, Poland, UK, Macedonia, Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic) for offering the teenagers viable and attractive alternatives to their problems.
The objectives were: developing a profound and global vision upon adolescence, identifying the typology of behaviors and their causes; knowledge and experimentation of methods/instruments used in psychology which can be adapted in non-formal education for diminishing or solving the teenagers problems; developing creativity in the field of non-formal education by designing and experimenting an original KIT; developing a proactive behavior by planning and putting into act an Intervention Programme to support the teenagers.
We developed a mobility activity of 26 youth workers, who attended, at Vatra-Moldovitei, between 4 and 10 October 2015, a training course on the topic of teenagers’ problems. We organized the course as a journey with four stages: exploration – experimentation- creation - action.
The selected methods helped the experiential learning: icebreaking exercises, getting-to-know-each-other and trust exercises, energizers; reflection exercises (3+3) in small groups or large groups; oral presentations, PP presentations; group discussions; seminar, open space, round table, workshops on groups, learning café, simulations, autobiographical method; watching short movies; making a film and a blog of the project. Some other methods and instruments used during the course were borrowed from psychology (a questionnaire of evaluation of teenagers’ symptoms, the technique of behavioral activation, a training of non-aggressive communication, a training of decisions for diminishing the problem of cognitive ambivalence) and were “translated” in methods of non-formal education.
We consider that the results of the project are significant, both on short and long term: a superior and holistic knowledge of adolescence age, mostly from the point of view of its critical problems, the ability of working with instrument able to diminish the teenagers’ problems, the development of the youth workers’ creativity by designing new methods, instruments and non-formal learning activities on adolescence topic, the development of proactive behavior towards the teenagers problems, according to the principle “ Any help, even a small one, can generate an improvement” and many others.
We believe we established the premises of a real impact of REAS. On the local level, the participant organizations influenced positively the work with youths (teenagers) by applying the model of the Intervention Program designed by REAS. 72 teenagers were already counseled; their number will grow in the future, on the long term. The local community will become more sensitive to the stringent problem of the adolescence crisis and will develop more programs with and for teenagers. The non-formal and formal educational systems were sensitized, as well as other interested actors (psychologists, parents) in order to organize joint actions for teenagers.
REAS improved the quality and efficiency of the youth work by promoting the idea of equality, respect for the others, social cohesion, European citizenship.
We consider that REAS project was original due to its systemic vision upon adolescence problems, due to a better understanding of the relationship between psychology and non-formal education in youth work and due to its high level of creativity. All these will have a significant benefic effect on long term and will contribute to the state of well-being of both the teenagers and the youth workers.
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