YOUTH LEADERSHIP ESSENTIAL #4
Learnspaces are en vogue for giving young people real-world examples of what they study in subjects. Bringing the Education Landscape (Bildungslandschaft) to life gains much attention, but is yet largely unachieved.
Young changemakers and Changemaker Student Clubs show us what teenage youth are capable of and what they love doing.
“When we asked for opportunties to volunteer, we were told to come back when we are old enough.” Feeling belittled and outraged over the loss of potential for a world in need, 12 year old Jake and Simone Bernstein reponded by founding Volunteen Nation, an online platform for early teens to find thousands of opportunities in all fifty states of the USA.
Critical assessments show that in most initiatives for Education Landscapes students are guided by teachers to spaces where they are to listen to lecturers, administrators or practitioners. Students are still treated as passive listeners and viewers. They are not involved in activities, and if so, it is only for exercise, but not in activities that manifest results of relevance to society.
An example of relevant results is an edible school garden that produces edible legumes used in the school canteen. This is not what students are involved in at learnspaces they visit. In fact, youth find very few such opportunities in society. Their creative activities with ‘quality impact’ are limited to sports or music, the impact of which is intangible, fleeting and irrelevant for people and planet.
This leads us to asking the question
Where in town can youth get together, learn solutions for people and planet, and plan and realize projects that change lives and land near and far?
Nowhere? Without such spaces, there cannot be an active citizenry, and no relevant comprehensive positive change in society.
This led us to look more closely at learnspaces and to distinguish between three forms of learnspace.
1. Youth Leadership LearnSpaces
where young people can find inspiration, learn of solutions, contribute to and participate in initiatives, and get together to plan and realize projects.
We can imagine this somewhat similar to a co-working hub but non-formally like teenage hero*ines do.
It is a combination of many activities practiced by young changemakers like you have seen in Youth Leadership examples.
where young people can actively participate to relevant degree.
Relevant means that it is not for getting a feel of it, such as ‘caressing a goat’, but they contribute to shaping the space and its manifest products for people and planet. They can take responsible roles in raising the goats, make goat cheese and sell it on the farmers market.
This is not child labour. It means acquiring life skills, keeping traditional heritage alive, and maybe raising FUNds for families, people or a project (partner) in need.
where young people (and grown-ups) can learn about things. This can be National Parks, historic sights, windmills, permaculture farms etc.
While also industrial steelmill ruins have value as learnspace on our societal past, they have limited or no value at all to enabling young people to evoke positive changes for people and planet.
Hence, we focus on learnspaces that have concrete value for creating a world of peace, joy and abundance. Not the farmer, but the organic farmer that puts no additional poisons into soil and water, that restores soils, replenishes water through agroforestry – and might invite Participation.
We seek to nurture awareness and vision for creating such spaces, and to assist in creating them, and to map them to bring together their purpose-driven creators, passionate young people, as well as caring educators, parents and citizens.
LearnSpaces for Youth Leadership
Our main focus is on spaces where children and youth can get together to get inspired, learn solutions, plan and realize projects; the space is open to supportive adults.
This form of LearnSpace is pioneered by our Competence Partner YOUTH-LEADER.
Examples of Activities, all common sense
Exhibits and tours
for school classes, families, citizens …
Philanthro-Parties, FUNdraisers, book drives ...
Simple activities to involve the community and generate big impact together
Presentations and workshops for school classes with immediate action opportunities
Practical introduction to diverse activities for positive change
Vivid depiction of activities to inform, inspire and give a sense of community and progress
Professionals that teach practical skills that make life and the world better
Positive News Media
Local YL Magazine issue, radio show …
Youth-led multi-day and multi-week programs
Like-minded people with passion and willingness to make contributions for positive change
Hikes, guided tours and micro expeditions by youth teams, for groups, for under-priviledged youth
Changemakers to team up with, reach milestones, shape the future of regions, pay visits