Professor Sarah Crafter joins ‘Networking the educational world – Across boundaries for community-building’, a research project seeking to address significant educational inequalities, discrimination and barriers to integration faced by children and young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, the project which brings together a consortium of nine EU partner countries and 14 institutions commenced in January 2021 and is led by Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy).
Together, the partner countries will be working with children, young people and other stakeholders to co-create and design innovative activities known as ‘pilot actions’. These activities will lead to the development of resources and materials that can be taken up by other educators in the future. The aim is to create effective grassroots practices drawing on participatory action research approaches, designed by key stakeholders (including children), for key stakeholders (like educators).
In the UK Professor Sarah Crafter will co-lead with Professor Guida de Abreu (Oxford Brookes University) on two ‘pilot actions’ – innovative activities that will lead to the development of resources and materials that can be taken up by other educators in the future:
In ‘Empowering Young Translators’ the team will work with young people (aged between 13-18 years old) who are multilingual and/or translate and interpret for peers, family and the local community. Together the research team and the young people will co-create, develop and design resources to improve the cultural, social, emotional and wellbeing elements of being a young translator.
In ‘The Adventures of the Little Prince in the World’ the UK team will take one of the innovation pilot actions developed by the team in Cyprus and evaluate its usefulness in a school in the UK. Using ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the pilot aims to build the resilience of migration children by reshaping the narratives of their experience, enabling them to feel included in the school environment.
Professor Sarah Crafter says: “Young people can often feel left out or ignored about issues that affect their lives. This year, with the pandemic, life has been particularly isolating. We are concerned that this isolation may be experienced even more strongly for young people and their families who have migrated or do not understand the local language. This is why we are really pleased to be able to work alongside young people in co-creating activities that might also be resources that could be helpful to others in the future.”