They are the change
Be the change was an American educational project which inspired me to develop a similar experience in my Citizenship classroom. I invited my students to make a video which focuses on how to solve several tough problems which are actually affecting to us. One of my teachers told me one day that education is basically a process through the students should discover how to assume more responsibilities. Therefore, it’s necessary to push them to imagine and to achieve a better world.
It’s commonly thought that teenagers are a little superficial and that they are not really concerned about what is being reported in the news. Even it’s accepted as a matter of fact that they want to ignore relevant events such as the gap between rich and poor countries, wars, terrorism or exploitation. But I firmly disagree with this view. Youngsters are really passionate and they normally are engaged with projects which try to denounce unfairness. Their awareness against inequality is the most hopeful seed that we can nowadays cultivate. If we look after it, the next generations will collect a better society.
My students worked in groups. During several classes they completed a script to plan their videos. I allowed them the use of mobile phones to search information, to check the vocabulary and to edit the video, too. They worked with limited resources (no option), but with an unlimited willingness to criticise. Recession won’t stop the civic power of an awareness citizenship. In western democracies, possibly, this generation will face with really hard conditions to get a job and they will protest against clear social inequality, claiming for more political transparency.
I would like to share with you three different videos about the status of women, violence and poverty made by my students. You won’t find on them awesome pictures and amazing effects. You will just watch young students presenting, writing or reflecting on adults’ world.
This is a humble work, but it worked to provide the necessary empowerment to my students. If students can feel real empowerment in educational tasks, they will be better prepared to rule the society in the future. Once, Gandhi said:
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Every day, I can see it in my students’ eyes.