Start The Change

What is the Start The Change project?

Together with partners from Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, we’re working with teachers and schools to understand young people’s views on extremism and turn their ideas for developing and promoting a more cohesive society into active citizenship projects.

Through Start the Change, Think Global is listening to the views of young people and supporting teachers to create safe spaces for discussing often difficult and controversial topics around radicalisation, diversity and tolerance.

The project so far

Research
In the first part of 2017, we carried out a major research project with students in schools across London and North East England to find out what they know and think about extremism, as well as how they want to change the world around them. We will be sharing the results of the research soon so look out for updates.

Training
Together with our partners HEC Global Learning and Durham County Council, we worked with teacher trainers from across Europe to turn the research insights into teacher training and classroom resources exploring themes like identity, discrimination and extremism.

In November 2017, we brought together around 20 teachers from our partner schools with educational professionals for a residential course. Thanks to EU funding, all the teacher training is completely free for schools, with funding provided for cover staff and expenses.

Teachers told us they really valued the chance to share ideas and discuss projects with colleagues from different communities across the UK. While their contexts may be very different, the challenges around extremism and discrimination have many similarities. The course included a session from the Tower Hamlets Prevent Officer and teachers also valued finding out more about how extremist organisations manipulate social media to persuade others to join them.

Diversity Today Award
We are collaborating with NASUWT’s Arts and Minds to run a UK wide art competition. NASUWT has been running this art competition for over 10 years, with the aim of celebrating cultural diversity.

We have a special recognition award within the arts and minds competition, which champions young people celebrating diversity and identity through their creative work. This award will celebrate the intertwined nature of our histories, cultures and multiple identities by acknowledging pieces which inspire a more cohesive society within the UK.

If you would like to get your students involved, visit the NASUWT website for more information and to download an entry form. Deadline for entry is 10 July 2018.

We’re excited to be working with the following schools:

What’s next for Start the Change?

We’re working with our partner schools to support teachers to develop an active citizenship model that means young people can take informed action to develop safe spaces, change their school, community or wider world for the better, and promote peace.

The projects will support the young people participating in the project to develop into critical thinkers with an awareness of global issues, developing their capacity to make informed decisions and take action.

With the same activities happening in several countries across the EU  we’re looking forward to sharing ideas and comparing projects with schools a thousand miles away – discovering how much we all have in common.

To find out more about Start the Change, or to take part, email
faaria.ahmad@think-global.org.uk.