Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) – Greece
1. Enriching alternative prevention approaches for addiction and psychosocial problems with the concept of educational commons (1st and 2nd version)
This case study will explore the relationship between educational commons and prevention of addiction and other psychosocial problems. Specifically, it will examine the implementation of the theory of educational commons in prevention intervention and its impact. The CS will take place in an “ EPAL” (upper secondary vocational education school). Interventions are targeted to first grade EPAL students. The CS will use the principles of participatory action research and co-operative inquiry. Main goal of this intervention will be that students and teachers discuss their needs/problems/interests and take action for them following democratic principles.
2. Dock – Hub for SSE/Mesopotamia Solidarity School (1st and 2nd version)
Empowering students to effectively participate in the co- management of the community on equal terms. This CS will develop an action research process with and by children and youth, that integrates the following aspects: Facilitation of the access of participants (pupils, students and educators) to the design and knowledge needed to develop the case study. Inclusion of commoning tools and adaptability of infrastructures to one’s own circumstances in a creative way. Promoting embeddedness with the local cultural context. Applying convivial tools that enable participants to discover and articulate their own priorities in correlation with the common strategies.
3. Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) (1st)
The main idea of this CS is to promote commoning practices in formal education context, configuring education as a common good, which is collectively governed by its community. Particularly, children (K12) will take responsibility for their learning without the necessary assistance of the teacher(s). Hence, A group of 20 children will learn how to work as self-organized groups and as autonomous beings.
SRL will be based on two crucial principles: the principle of unity and the principle of interdependence.
4. The House in the Forest
The main idea of this CS is to promote common practices in formal education context, and to configure education as a common good, which is collectively governed by its community. Children (K6) will learn the concept of peer-governance through a house in the forest and activities in nature. They will learn how to be autonomous and collective beings and they will come into contact with concepts such as (collective) self, diversity, interdependence, adaptability, unity, recycling, communication, literacy, geometry, health. The children will experiment with games, artistic and creative tools as well as environmental and communication approaches. The workshops will be implemented on a weekly basis in the School of Nature, a private kindergarten in Trilofos, Thessaloniki.
Malmö University (MAU) – Sweden
1. Human beings place in nature: Challenging the nature/culture divide (early childhood centre 1, 2 and 3)
In the case study we will depart from a pedagogy of listening, and the practice of pedagogical documentation, considering that all children are intelligent and full of potentials and that they, already at a very young age, should be carefully listened to. Children are here seen as full-worthy citizens with the right to actively participate and transform culture, knowledge and values – the commons – of their communities (Cagliari et al. 2016; Dahlberg, Moss & Pence 2013; Olsson 2009, 2013; Rinaldi 2006).. Based on observed interest on the part of children in projects related to robots and plants, we will stage a playworld/interactive performance in collaboration with artists, actors and teachers around a common problematic concerning human being’s place in nature, the relation between humans and nature, and the relation between nature and culture.
MOMus – Greece
1.‘In and out of synch’: creative dialogues between Russian Avant- garde art and young people’s music- based experimentations
In this case study, participants will be treated as active creators of music and music-making contexts that are based on their developing and shared interactions with particular works and ideas that spring from the creative interaction between museum collections and the participants. It all started off with a question: How could we initiate a creative dialogue between young people, modern art, and music sound experimentations, building on the values of the educational commons such as collaboration, equitable participation, care, autonomy, responsability, sharing and empathy? To put it differently, we should have rather also considered how we unlearn a role, how we challenge authority, how we confute mastery, and how we give recognition to the rights of the child. During ten, three-hour-long Friday meetings over the course of three months, students from the 1st Stavroupoli epal, a Vocational High School of western Thessaloniki, Greece, have been visiting the museum, occupying almost all its spaces.
More information: https://www.momus.gr/news/apeleftherosi
2. City as commons
The main idea of the proposed CS “City as Commons” is to empower teenage students to experience the urban space of Thessaloniki through the artistic medium of photography, introducing the core values of educational commons. This participatory project is based on the fact that Museums can act as places of commons and can provide safe spaces for negotiation, dialogue and cooperation. The project is based on the premise that a museum visitor is not only a “passive consumer” but an equal participant. The participants will be invited to use the museum-spaces for developing their project, share knowledge and experiences treating the museum as their starting point of exploring and interpreting the city through artistic practices.
3. Common Ground
This case study will be approached as an ongoing workshop between young people with and without (apparent) disabilities. It will explore the “common ground” and the interaction among the participants. They will all delve into a process of sharing and experimenting with art tools, mainly dance and performance, based on values of the commons, such as ‘cooperation’, ‘equal participation’, ‘caring’, ‘self-regulated autonomy’, ‘responsibility’. The research group will deal with issues of identity, self-identification, personal and public space, life values, having as main axes the identities of the ego, the combination of space and identity, and the interpretation of time based on life stations.
The main expectation is to enable inclusion, augment the mutual visibility and interaction of people with and without disabilities.
4. “Hear we go again”
This case study explores the implementation process of the educational commons theory through a creative dialogue between a group of deaf teenagers, contemporary art, and the museum as a site of non-formal education. Having as point of reference a wide range of artworks from the permanent collection of MOMus Museum of Contemporary Art –Collections of Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the commoners will use and develop their specific sensory abilities in order to approach, explore, interpret contemporary art and express themselves. Diversity and variety, as basic elements of contemporary art works which often employ more than one human senses, will act as a starting point for discovering alternative ways of perception and artistic expression. Bodily movement, interdisciplinary art workshops and digital tools will facilitate commoners to experiment and co-create.
NOVA University Lisbon (NOVA) – Portugal
1. RED. Rights, Equity and Diversity (Three schools in Lisbon, Portugal)
The impact of rights, inequalities, racism, and discrimination on the lives of children and adults in formal and non formal educational contexts. This issue addresses a crucial topic that has not been studied in Portugal, at least from a critical, interdisciplinary, and child-centred perspective. It’s about the need to understand children’s conceptions and actions on children’s rights, diversity, differences, racism, and discrimination on their daily lives in preschool (3 to 6 years old) and basic school (6 to 12 years old) in Lisbon, Portugal. To consider that children are not uncritical beings in those matters and to consider them competent in understanding and acting as social actors is to assume that they have the competence to participate in a more democratic and commoning school.
Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) – Estonia
1. Suvemäe MTÜ [TBA as new third-party]
Tallinn Art School is a municipal school located in the Northern area of the Estonian capital. As part of its innovative practice, a new branch (Suvemäe) was founded in 2019 as a pilot project of democratic education within the municipal school. The pedagogical principles applied at Suvemäe intend to build a balance between the State academic requirements and students’ own interests and vocations through self-directed learning, shared decision-making practices, age-mixing and free play, especially for the youngest members of its learning community. Currently, Suvemäe serves 72 children and youth from 7 to 16 years of age (1-9 classes). Its staff is composed of a dynamic and enthusiastic team of 6 full-time paid coaches and 3 part/time specialists (language, science, social pedagogue) who support students in their academic responsibilities, while co-creating non-formal learning activities of their choice. Suvemäe MTÜ, intending to be a third party in the Smooth project, was founded in 2019 together by representatives of the families and teachers of the Suvemäe school in order to canalize funds to purchase art supplies, healthy snacks, guests’ workshop expenses, and books and support the school. In 2020 Suvemäe MTÜ got a grant in collaboration with partners from Ukraine, Poland and Georgia to train 40 youth workers and teachers on media literacy and youth participation. In 2021, Suvemäe gained accreditation by the local Eramus office, Harno, to organize training activities for Estonian teachers and youth camps with participants from other European countries.
2. VIVITA Vista – from idea to prototype in 10 weeks.
Finalised the first round of the case study in cooperation with VIVITA Kids and Youth Creativity Accelerator in Tallinn. Action research included observations in the Social Club educational community where 9-16 years old young people organised a kids and youth festival as part of the Tallinn Music Week, also research activities where young participants took the role as co-researchers to explore how are children and young people able to take part in decisions concerning them, how are children and young people working together and including their peers, how are they managing conflicts, etc. It was a truly impressive learning experience both for the young participants, their educators and the researchers.
University of Cádiz (UCA) – Spain
In Andalusia, the University of Cadiz (UCA) is developing the case study “Agüita” in collaboration with three social entities working in the field of social action and education, with two pedagogical scenarios located in two areas in need of social transformation (ZNTS) in Seville and Jerez de la Frontera. The entity Tekeando, an association based in Seville that develops educational actions based on critical pedagogies in context from artistic action, is in charge of designing and implementing the programme of workshops. The general theme of the workshops and the thematic organisation of the sessions, has revolved around water and wellbeing. The choice of theme and approach links the tradition of the traditional commons. The multidisciplinary approach implies a simultaneous interest in different layers of information, addressing the environmental, social, economic, political and cultural dimensions of water. The sessions are organised around thematic “chapters”. These chapters brought together actions that proposed the use of specific artistic tools.
More information: https://elmanual.tekeando.net/2022/02/17/capitulo-ii-aguita/
1. South Zone Community Process – Young Zone
In Jerez, the entity CEAin, in coordination with the community participation process called Zona Sur, and coordinated by the municipal institution, has facilitated the implementation of weekly activities with young people in the area. This workshops takes place in Marco Marchioni Community Centre. The first round has been carried out from March to June through weekly sessions every Wednesday with occasional encounters with the youngster from Seville case study. And the second round is planned from October 2022 to February 2023. The participants are mainly in secondary education, aged between ten and seventeen. The group has been specifically created to attend the workshops. The diversity present is wide in terms of nationalities, gender, knowledge of the Spanish language, ethnic profile, diversity of abilities, etc.
More information: https://www.yosoyzonasur.com/
2. Save the Children – Child and Adolescent Resource Centre (CRIA)
In Seville, Save the Children develops a wide-ranging action in the Cerro-Ámate district that includes a programme of educational accompaniment with school reinforcement activities and free time with primary and secondary school children. The first round has been carried out from March to June through weekly sessions every monday and occasional encounters with the youngsters from Jerez case study. And the second round is planned from october 2022 to february 2023. The participants belong to the programme of educational and leisure accompaniment of the entity. The youngsters are in secondary education, aged between twelve and sixteen. The diversity present is wide in terms of nationalities, gender, knowlegde of the Spanish language, ethnic profile, diversity of abilities, etc.
More information: https://www.savethechildren.es/sedes-ong/andalucia
Ghent University (UGhent) – Belgium
HTISA is one of five schools that are joining together in ‘Jan Van Eyck-Campus’. Years ago, a few schools in Ghent submitted a candidate file for an ambitious new school in the city. Today, the participating schools are actively working on the pedagogical and didactic content. The school will be ready for use September 1st, 2026. The general project vision has already been developed and has traces of the commons in it, as it puts cooperation at the forefront. This process of change therefore offers many opportunities, but also carries risks. Even though it’s a big part of its vision, very little has been done to let different school actors participate in the process of developing this new school. It’s therefore necessary to implement a commons-based trajectory to give shape to the new campus.
2. Sint-Lievenscollege Business
Sint-Lievenscollege Business is one of five schools that are joining together in ‘Jan Van Eyck-Campus’. Years ago, a few schools in Ghent submitted a candidate file for an ambitious new school in the city. Today, the participating schools are actively working on the pedagogical and didactic content. The school will be ready for use September 1st, 2026. The general project vision has already been developed and has traces of the commons in it, as it puts cooperation at the forefront. This process of change therefore offers many opportunities, but also carries risks. Even though it’s a big part of its vision, very little has been done to let different school actors participate in the process of developing this new school. It’s therefore necessary to implement a commons-based trajectory to give shape to the new campus.
University of Minho (UMinho) – Portugal
1. The Children’s Club
The organization of “The Children’ Club” is developed in an after-school program for children at risk of poverty and social exclusion, aged 6-14, in Guimarães, Portugal. It is a very disadvantaged socio-economic and cultural context, with scarcity of material resources both in community and in school itself, where children show school performance difficulties, indiscipline and precarious health and well-being behaviors.
The project assures a space that could be used to talk about issues related to children’s rights and wellbeing; a place to be used to develop all the activities that children and adults consider relevant to fulfill their needs and help to go through identified problems and promote social inclusion and active citizenship.
The main objectives of this case study are: i)- contributing in reversing inequalities faced by children due to poverty, adultism, enabling their success in education and society; ii)- contributing to their well-being and excellence achievement; iii)- developing children’s social and personal skills of; iv)- create spatial-temporal contexts for the new generation to make sense of and transform culture, knowledge and values – the educational commons- of society; v)- increasing diversity in decision-making processes of social groups; vi)- empower and strengthen children’s agency and participation as commoners; vii)- training teachers and educators in democratic participation and engagement with children, during activities; viii)- promote civic innovation educating and empowering young citizens to self-organize and to participate in co-producing new practices; ix)- and explore alternative ways of pursuing democratic decision-making processes.
2. Porta 7 Children’s Advisory council
The organization of Children’s advisory council is planned within the facilities of Third Party (Porta 7). At this advisory council, children will be involved with adults in the definition of the activities and sharing decision making in the definition and implementation of a plan of socio-educational animation activities, assisted by the Smooth Project Team. It is intended to be a mechanism to ensure sustainability of participatory practices that usually are developed by Porta 7.
The main objectives of this study case are: i)- contributing in reversing inequalities faced by children due to poverty, adultism, enabling their success in education and society; ii)- contributing to their well-being and excellence achievement; iii)- developing children’s social and personal skills; iv)- create spatial-temporal contexts for the new generation to make sense of and transform culture, knowledge and society’s values – the educational commons-; v)- increasing diversity in decision-making processes of social groups; vi)- empower and strengthen children’s agency and participation as commoners; vii)- train technicians in democratic participation and engagement with children; viii)- promote civic innovation educating and empowering young citizens to self-organize and to participate in co-producing new practices; ix)- and explore alternative ways of pursuing democratic decision-making processes.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100079257426333
University of Palermo (UNIPA) – Italy
1. The challenges of Media Education (i.e. Media Literacy) and Digital Commons for youth social inclusion (Palermo & Agrigento)
In the two Italian CSs the young people involved are developing media literacy skills “regarded as one of the key prerequisites for an active and full citizenship in order to prevent and diminish risks of exclusion from community life” (EU Commission Recommendation, 2009/625/EC). Through this “new civic education” young people should progressively mature several competencies aimed at encouraging them to identify the challenges facing their communities, study them through critical analysis of media contents and other sources of evidence, cooperate with one other on creating and sharing their alternative media productions and outspeak their voices to prompt political action and public awareness
Our aim is to develop and experiment an intervention for building youth’s “civic intentionality”, i.e., “a set of design considerations for media literacy initiatives that are based on the value systems of agency, caring, persistence, critical consciousness, and emancipation” (Mihailidis 2018: 2, italics in original). Through such “intentionality” young people will put forth a positive dialog in their community and a “sense of being in the world with others toward common good” (Gordon & Mihailidis 2016: 2).
The two Italian case studies (CSs) are both implemented in a non-formal educational context with some similarities, but with also some specific characteristics. Both are youth clubs and have the common aim to promote initiatives adopting a bottom-up approach. The target group involved in the project activities is the same, i.e. young people aged between 12 and 16. One CS is taking place at the Centro Tau (http://mediatau.it/centrotau/), located in the La Zisa neighbourhood, one of the most at-risk areas of the metropolitan city of Palermo, characterized by high rates of job insecurity and unemployment, early school leaving, child labour and delinquency. The other CS is taking place in Agrigento in the youth club run by Caritas/FondazioneMondoAltro (https://www.caritasagrigento.it/fondazione-mondoaltro/), a Catholic organisation addressing the needs of disadvantaged people in the local community through innovative social and educational initiatives. The young people involved in the CS are mostly with a migration background.
Building on this framework, we articulated our activities for the CSs in three phases:
1) training of the educators (February/April 2022). We organized a 30-hours training on “photography and social media” framing it within an educational-commons and media- education approach. Co-creation, peer-to-peer education and action-research were also part of the training in order to better take into account the contexts as well as the specific needs and desires of the people (educators and young people) involved in the CSs;
2) first round of implementation of the CSs (May/September 2022). After the training, educators started working with young people to develop their “core media literacy competencies” and raise their awareness as “engaged citizens” (Mihailidis and Thevenin 2013). Together with activities of critical analysis of images, young people were asked to take pictures, individually and in group, either at the Centro and during outdoor walks in the neighbourhood. As planned, a blog was also created where these pictures will be uploaded, commented and shared as a way to represent and introduce to the general public their views and opinions on a variety of issues concerning their personal life or the local community where they live in;
3) after a first analysis of preliminary findings from the first round, a second round of implementation is currently being planned (January/June 2023) which will include all possible changes and improvements that are necessary from the analysis of the data.
After the second round, through the content shared on the blog co-created with young people, we plan to engage the general public with the issues regarding the local community chosen by the young people themselves.
University of Osnabrück (UOS) – Germany
1. Planning a Scooter Park
2. Scooter Riding
3. Scooter Workshop
All four case studies at the University of Osnabrück (UOS) have been and will be based around the planning (start 2022) and construction (2022-2023) of a Scooter Park, a new trend sports area, and the sport of stunt scooter.
The first two case studies were carried out in August 2022. The first focused on the planning of a new scooter park with the participation of a group of children and young people who currently use the urban skate park. The case study was carried out as part of a participation workshop organised by the municipality in the course of the planning and construction of the scooter park. Children and young people are involved in the construction process of new leisure areas on the basis of the city’s playground concept, and the researchers were on site to take a closer look at the participation process itself. In this workshop, the scooter riders were to work out together with the expert planner what this park should look like, what needs the children see for themselves and their leisure practice.
The second case study focused on scooter rinding. The children and young people were trained in the sport of scooter riding by an eighteen-year-old scooter rider who has been riding scooter for four and a half years and has also had a sponsor in the meantime.The aim was to find out how the scooter riders share common knowledge and generate new knowledge through the common activities on that day. The researchers observed the interactions and activities of all participants who, with the help of the trainer, set and achieved their own goals throughout the day.
The third case study was also successfully carried out in October 2022. In terms of content, the focus was on repairing as well as disassembling and assembling scooters. Over the course of their time riding stunt scooters, individual scooter riders have acquired knowledge and skills that they pass on to other, often younger, riders in their everyday scooter life, for example by helping them with repairs to their stunt scooters. But the scooter riders share not only repairs, but also life hacks with each other (e.g. Where can I order cheap but high-quality parts? Which tape is suitable for repairing broken grips?).
The idea of the third case study was therefore to offer a scooter workshop together with the scooter riders, in which the children and young people can actively deal with such questions.
As in the previous case studies, the research team was supported by an eighteen-year-old trainer who rides scooters himself. Together with the participants, the aim was to find out, for example, what to look for when assembling a scooter or what parts to use. After the introduction by the trainer, the participants had the opportunity to repair their scooters themselves or exchange parts with his help. Afterwards, they went to the skate park to test the newly installed parts and repaired scooters.
4. Evaluation Workshop
The fourth case study the ‚Evaluation Workshop‘ will be conducted after the opening of the scooter park. All persons who participated in the previous case studies (children and young people, social workers, trainers, workshop leaders, researchers, planners, city representatives, etc.) will be involved (as far as possible). In addition, people who did not participate in the previous case studies but now use the newly constructed place for their sport can also participate. The main focus of the fourth case study is on the evaluation of the measures and offers implemented with regard to the participation of the process surrounding the planning and construction of the Scooter Park. For this purpose, a workshop organised by the researchers will be held.
More information: https://www.paedagogik.uni-osnabrueck.de/abteilungen/allgemeine_erziehungswissenschaft_sozialpaedagogik_und_fruehe_bildung/erziehungswissenschaft_mit_sozialpaedagogischem_forschungsschwerpunkt_florian_esser/forschungsprojekte_research_projects/smooth/smooth_english_version.html
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) – Spain
1. Empowering El Raval
The case study involved the use of participatory audiovisual methodology to implement the educational commons in two groups of young people aged 16 to 18 from the Asociación Educativa Integral del Raval (AEIRaval). In this way, the case study consisted of 5 different stages that sought to explore the young people’s vision of the future, investigate the vision of the future of the youngest members of the organisation and capture their reflections in an audiovisual format. As a result of the elaboration of the audiovisual products, young people were able to make decisions horizontally, negotiate among themselves and experience different types of participation. The end of the case study consisted of an interactive exhibition, “Projecting the future”, where the young people could not only show their audiovisual products, but also the whole process of reflection about the fears, anguish, expectations and aspirations that young people have about the future.
Video podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWF-l7d97YM
Video interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81E1BFOui1c
On 21 September, began the second case study that the UPF is carrying out together with the association elParlante at a secondary school in Barcelona. The case study focuses on working with young migrants who have just arrived in Barcelona and have to adapt to another language, education system and the city in general. In this way, the aim is that, through audiovisual tools, they generate greater bonds and a sense of belonging to their new environment, as well as facilitating their process of settling in. The idea is to generate a co-construction of an audiovisual product in which the young people are the protagonists.
The case study will last until December 2022.
University of Thessaly (UTh) – Greece
1. WΟNDER Schools
WONDER is an educational initiative of the environmental organization Mamagea to cultivate and enhance environmental education. It comes from the acronym “WOrkshops for Nurturing and Developing Environmental Resilience” and it’s addressed to school communities (students, parents, teachers).
WONDER Schools is the 1st WONDER project, an environmental, hands-on, educational program tailored for children, parents and teachers. The project started as an idea in April 2020 and won two 1st prizes in the first ‘Green Ideas Greece’ and the tenth “Balkan Green Ideas” competitions.
The project is implemented in a primary school in the historical city centre of Thessaloniki, Greece. It includes weekly meetings with the participants (12 children, 10 parents, 5 teachers) and public activities from the school community and the neighborhood.
2. Reclaiming PLACE and MATHS as COMMONS through AFFECTIVE SPACES :: ΜOBILE COMMON MATHS :: A double case study across a public school classroom and a university group of students (Athens-Volos)
The purpose of this double case study is to explore how the commons created through a transversal frame of work between a public pre-school classroom and a tertiary education group of students are being practiced through experiences of co-making and peer-to-peer modes of knowledge and artefact production including mathematics. The study’s primary aim is to examine the kind of processes that empower children’s access to their own education and strengthen inter-cultural and inter-generational dialogue. In parallel, the study will also inquiry how an inter-disciplinary team of students who study Pedagogy and Architecture can collaborate as peers around constructions of artifacts that deploy mathematical knowledge and co-design with young children’s models of artefacts that can travel across sites and places (i.e. the school, the university, the community) and, as such, we call them mobile math commons. In this process we investigate how elements of the theory of commons can support students to dialogue amongst themselves and with young children. The main research question is: “How mathematics, as ideas and concepts embodied in materials, tools and artefacts, could contribute to an inter-cultural and inter- generational dialogue by empowering participation toward producing and inventing new meanings around ways of being and becoming?”.
3. I am because we are
This case study aims to bring the children in touch with commons’ values and to investigate how they collectively experience, narrate and construct them in their daily life in the kindergarten or the school. The purpose is to find out how children are experiencing the commons and are collectively constructing them, based on art education, accepting any kind of art children could use to express themselves (music, dance, drama, visual arts). In other words, this case study targets in co-building with children common spaces or ‘nowtopias’ (Bollier & Helfrich, 2019) in the ‘here and now’ where all together can feel safe and change things that dislike around them, such as discrimination, bullying, sexism, racism, social exclusion and marginalization. A participatory form of education will be promoted and children will be seen as -potential- commoners. Considering that, not only do we need to serve our educational purposes but also to create playful and pleasant pedagogical environments (Farmer, 2007).
4. Libertarian education of the commons: collectivization of learning and knowledge by preschool children.
The present case study through pedagogical documentation attempts to examine in depth the ability of children to function as commoners by incorporating the principles of a libertarian framework in which the values of the commons are applied and enforced to a significant degree and on a consistent basis. More specifically, the ways in which children themselves, as subjects of commoning, create conflict resolution tools, produce meanings and create, independently, learning groups, will be explored. As the ages of the children are from 2 to 4 years old it will be possible to explore the intergenerational and intragenerational socialization- from and to themselves- but also the way of adaptation and the “first steps” to the commoning of the learning process, of the younger members in the school community.