An easy to use product based on gamification that teaches high school students how to use critical thinking to become kind and fair adults.
Our social challenge is based on the behaviors and tendencies of youth in Romania, taking into account also the economical, political and social challenges (media manipulation, polarization of opinions, “post-truth”, extremism, discrimination, non-involvement). Youth do not have the necessary tools to make decisions, to adopt behaviors that don’t harm themselves and others, to recognize and fight stereotypes and prejudice.
Less than 1/3 of 18-24 y.o. youth voted in 2016 elections in Romania. Discrimination based on nationality, sexual orientation and gender are highly visible (over 50% of Romanians would not have dinner with a homosexual). Two out of three teens state that they witnessed a violent behaviour in a teen couple.
Right and wrong are two philosophical concepts that are not properly taught in families and schools. Youth have a great potential, given the right tools, to become authentic, to live based on their own values, to make decisions and cherish diversity.
We are looking for a team that can create a complex product, that is both extraordinary in terms of contents as well as attractive for youth. We believe this type of concentrated activity, facilitated/ multiplied through high school teachers and youth workers, can support youth acquire the following skills: how to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, how to recognize cognitive biases and logical fallacies, how to check the validity of information they receive, how to analyse premises, how to make sound decisions in what regards their future, how to relate to different people, work in diverse teams and build on each individual’s unique skills, how to use norm criticism method, how to recognize societal, familial and media “programming”, becoming more aware of what is induced as a fact and is only an opinion (e.g. girls cook, boys hunt) or even manipulative contents.
In current times, we feel the need to focus on youth and provide them the necessary tools that enable them to analyze information, make sound decisions, use critical thinking, cherish diversity, in order for them to become kind and fair adults. Educational tools fall behind our times and cannot support youth. There is a need for an attractive and complex game targeting youth.
Main beneficiaries are teens and youth living in Romania; we will concentrate on high school students. We will train educators working with them to use the product and implement it in a piloting phase targeting students in 10 high schools in urban areas in Romania (Cluj and Bucharest) and then scale it throughout Romania and abroad. We believe the target group can make great progress if guided properly through an attractive learning process. We facilitated learning processes for youth, but were not able so far to concentrate resources for such a focused and well-designed game (or app/methodology).
Go Free Association concentrates on actions targeting teens and youth, in areas such as democracy, human rights, working with minorities, empowering youth to make their voice heard. This year at the Youth National Gala, Go Free won the “Participation of youth in the community” award. We are a young team extremely motivated to discover the best tools that can be used in youth work, in order to help youth progress towards becoming good citizens. We could not create such a tool so far, so this is a great opportunity to match resources in order to reach a great product that can be used by trainers and educators.
Our association has strong skills in disseminating resources and media awareness. We can champion the challenge and the solution so that it reaches teachers and students around Romania, not only in the high schools aimed in the pilot phase.
The mentor for the project from the social challenge owner is Andra Cordos, trainer and activist for youth.
We need a well-thought series of activities using individual and interactive challenges, card games, scenarios, handouts which can help youth make great progress towards becoming kind and fair adults, that are involved in their communities, take assumed decisions by analysing consequences both for themselves and for others, have a behaviour that does not discriminate towards other members of their communities.
We see the product as an app/game/methodology with a series of activities that build on each other, using creative, interactive and challenging components, that keep high school students engaged and in the same time offer real progress for each participant: a critical thinking tool in a nutshell, easy to be learned by educators and easy to be disseminated/multiplied.
We will offer our expertise gained so far in youth work, both in terms of contents as well as in terms of vision (the final product). We want to work together with the solution provider so that at the end of the project we will have: a concrete material (real or virtual game, handouts, scenarios), design of workshops to be implemented by educators, a training of trainers design for educators. We will pilot it with the provider and aim at continuing to produce the product, disseminate it and make it available to be bought – at an affordable price – by organizations, educational institutions and all interested stakeholders (educators that work with teens and youth), in Romanian as well as English, so that it can answer similar needs to educators in other countries.