Andreja Lapuh Maležič
Kersnikova produces interdisciplinary projects that impact art, contemporary society and science. We are joined by Rampa (STEAM learning track-record) and BRAVO (expertise in learning disabilities).
Children and youngsters with learning difficulties have significantly more problems with learning than their peers and are therefor many times left behind in the educational and later social or societal processes.
There is one area where almost all children are on equal ground - creativity - used since the dawn of men to help people convey ideas and progress. Our objective is to impact the participants’ learning and development through play-based and STEAM activities and equip them for life.
Slovenia, Primorje, Gorenjska, Štajerska and Dolenjska region.
The project will be implemented in the 4 rural regions, where organizations are present with their activities and branches. The exclusion of our target group appears even stronger in the less developed regions. Their needs aren't addressed accordingly and their integration into society is weaker.
The reasons for the problem come from: less opportunities developed according to their needs, limited extracurricular activities, lack of knowledge or skills to implement practices of STEAM learning.
By building capacities and giving the less privileged the access to new contents, we tend to improve and develop their skills, knowledge base and learning process in order to improve their opportunities for independent life, to integrate into the society better and become its' active member.
Studies have shown that the education strengthens and regenerates the civil society. It is believed that humans learn best if they take an active role, if they are engaged and if the information is meaningful. Children and young adults learn well if they are mentally active, engaged and can make meaningful connections to their lives. By creating STEAM contents in participation with our focus group and implementing the workshops for our target group on one hand, and developing training programs for mentors, facilitators and educators and training them on the other, we will give the children with learning difficulties opportunity an environment to thrive and become empowered. This will enable the targeted audience to participate in a civil society and contribute to their critical thinking.
First and mostly, we are doing it for the population of children with learning disabilities due to its neurologically or socially conditioned specifics during adolescence. Children from 4 rural Slovenian regions with SUT, PPPU, ADHD, autism or social conditioned, due to unequal access to suitable education and consequently also or due to unadapted teaching methods, show slower learning (25% of the child population).
The other direct target group are the experts - educators, facilitators, mentors or other experts. Childrens’ parents and carers are also included here.
Our indirect target group we are hoping to achieve and influence are the policy makers at local level. We would like to interest them in joining our efforts in capacity building thus ensuring the sustainability of the project
Our focus is on development of content and capacity building in order to transfer STEAM activities (informal learning of science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) to a specific target group and their teachers, professionals, parents. Our approach to tackling the problem is circular. First, we plan to develop the learning contents and materials developed for and by the specific target groups. Than we plan to train the trainers. And finally, implement the workshops using peer-to-peer, DIY, DITOS and similar methods of investigative learning in the presence of the ignorant teacher. Participants will be motivated to explore freely, think critical about art and technology and its use and place in society.
The main results of the project will be STEAM workshops developed in participation and for our specific target group. We will implement at least 16 workshops in a year. We will develop the train the trainer program and train 8 trainers. Outcomes of the project will be the transfer of the knowledge and practices among the partners and also the institutions working with children with learning difficulties. The real impact of the project will be empowered participant encouraged to state out their opinion.
The trans-disciplinary approach and participatory method in developing and implementing STEAM workshops in the rural regions of Slovenia as the projects results will be able to cross Slovenia’s boarders through our European projects and networks. We hope to develop new projects end engage our foreign partners, being universities, educational organizations, science museums or creative platforms. This will give us a chance to evaluate the results and research the possibilities of empowering young population to participate and generate their own solutions for their communities.
At the Kersnikova institute we have a vision of shaping the world in an inclusive, ethical, ecological manner driven by creation and tolerance. We strongly believe we can achieve this through our children. With 8 years of experience in providing and implementing STEAM activities with several thousands participants we hope to reach new audiences that are left behind. Children with learning difficulties are usually more sensible individuals, functioning more intuitively and thus prone to develop new perspectives and ideas to a certain topic/subject. They are creative, a skill very important for present and future (one of top 5 skills in 2020). They can become not only active member of their communities but also future leaders.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
The major expenses are:
- Management of the project 6.400 €
- Developing the STEAM workshops and training programe 18.600 €
- Developing the tools and materials 5.000 €
- Workshop implementation and travel costs 16.000 €
- Materials and equipment for the workshops 6.000 €
- Information and dissemination materials, translation costs 6.000 €
- indirect costs 6.000 €