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Building Hope for Brighter Futures

Early Learning Initiative (2017) Building Hope for Brighter Futures. Early Learning Initiative, National College of Ireland, Dublin. ISBN 9780905957364

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Abstract

This report presents the key findings from three different perspectives of a unique child and young people -centred initiative – aimed at empowering children and young people living in Dublin’s North East Inner City, using a restorative practice approach. This initiative has been funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and delivered through the Early Learning Initiative, at the National College of Ireland. Adopting children’s rights perspectives, with particular emphasis on children and young people’s right to have a voice in decision-making in their community, the Brighter Futures Initiative aims to encourage the children and young people in the North East Inner City, to voice their opinions about their community, to devise effective policies relating to the future of their community, and to become active and responsible citizens (Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014, p. 31).

The report, ‘Building Hope for Brighter Futures’, is divided into three sections. The first segment contains a report written by the participating children and young people. It contains their views on what is working well for them in their communities, some of the real difficulties and problems they face, and what their hopes are for the future, in order to make the North East Inner City not only a safe place to live, but one of the best places to grow up in. The second segment contains an independent evaluation report undertaken by Dr. Derick Wilson, Emeritus Reader in Education (Community Relations & Restorative Practices) at the University of Ulster. Dr. Wilson has experience in both restorative practice and community relations research, and has developed action research programmes promoting public policy and learning organisation cultures supportive of a more shared society.

The third segment contains the Early Learning Initiative’s (ELI) own findings. This portion is evaluated by means of assessing programme implementation and through a study of the programme’s impact on participants’ lives – in terms of emotional literacy, self-efficacy, self-esteem, sense of community and conflict resolution capacity development.

In respect of the children and young people, this report clearly demonstrates that they want their voices to be heard by adults, both locally and at policy level, in particular they want the ‘important people’ to hear their story. Their story contains their unique perspectives, expertise and knowledge related to their community. Highlighted within are the positives in the community, especially the community spirit and mutual respect among community members. Also mentioned are their concerns about drug problems, homelessness and recent violent incidences in the area. Young people also acknowledged the impact of restorative practices and restortive approaches on their lives. Furthermore, young people have articulated that through restorative practice education and training they are acquiring the skills and aptitude to manage and resolve conflicts, alongside improving their self-efficacy, self-esteem and sense of community.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform > Community Development
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Early childhood education
Divisions: Early Learning Initiative Publications
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 11:42
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2017 11:42
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2553

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