Written by Andrew Lee
I started my day sat on the train making the three-hour journey to Weymouth from Chichester. I was reading through the UNCRC in preparation for the day’s session with a copy of the metro on the seat beside me. The government had decided, along with America and France to drop bombs on Syria, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the UNCRC articles would be broken by this act.
Our session was held at Weymouth college, an appropriate venue to talk about the UNCRC but also about educating young people with the UNCRC as the foundation of that education. We were joined by David Powell, an educator who utilises the UNCRC as a core part of the schools he has worked with.
David started by taking us through the narrative he uses for introducing young people to the UNCRC, a story following the steps of his wife’s family across Europe during the first and second world war, featuring a delightful melodeon tune. We explored the foundations of the united nations after world war two and the importance of such an organisation, including its flaws.
We explored educational spheres, areas such as the comfort zone, growth zone, and the danger zone, all of which are important in education, leaving the comfort zone encourages growth, whilst retreating to the comfort zone solidifies that new knowledge. One area of knowledge that I gained was the understanding that by having rights, you have a responsibility to uphold those rights for others. This is the foundation of David’s approach in schools, if young people know their own rights then they are more inclined to uphold and protect the rights of others.
We explored rights respecting schools and what must be done to be a rights-respecting school. The first thing an organisation must do to begin the journey to respecting the rights of the child is to listen to the child, and yet, reflecting on my own educational process, this is often not adhered to.
After this session, and through the process of being an [intransit] producer in general, I have been reflecting on my own education its positives, but also the many negatives. I feel like this is an opportunity to create a festival that can counter these negatives, to not only give young people a voice, but to listen to them, to hear what they have to say, and to help them make a platform for their thoughts and voices.