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A service-learning proposal in the district of la Mina, awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya

A small group of students from the bachelor degree of Social Work of the UB has participated for five years in the service-learning proposal Servei Identitats i miralls: com ens veiem i com ens veuen?

A small group of students from the bachelor degree of Social Work of the UB has participated for five years in the service-learning proposal Servei Identitats i miralls: com ens veiem i com ens veuen?

The main objective of this work is to analyze how personal and community identities in such a quarter –highly stigmatized- are created, and to reflect on the importance of the media to project a public image.

The main objective of this work is to analyze how personal and community identities in such a quarter –highly stigmatized- are created, and to reflect on the importance of the media to project a public image.

The entity desdelamina.net establishes contact with different people from the district who will take part in the project.

The entity desdelamina.net establishes contact with different people from the district who will take part in the project.

This project was recently awarded with one of the 21st Civility Awards for Media in the Internet category.

This project was recently awarded with one of the 21st Civility Awards for Media in the Internet category.

23/01/2017

Acadèmic

 A small group of students of Communication and Documentation, from the bachelor degree of Social Work of the UB, has participated for five years in the service-learning proposal Identitats i miralls: com ens veiem i com ens veuen? (Identity and mirrors: how do we see ourselves and how do they see us?), which is carried out in la Mina quarter. The main objective of this work is to analyze how personal and community identities in such a quarter –highly stigmatized- are created, and to reflect on the importance of the media to project a public image which is usually linked to this area with negative and conflictive elements.

This project was recently awarded with one of the 21st Civility Awards for Media in the Internet category. This distinction, awarded by the Directorate-General for Civility and Community Action aims to promote and reward actions, works, innovations, entities and people that, from different professional fields and age ranges, treat civility or propose to reflect and act on and improve their environment.

The determinations of the project are quite diverse. The most outstanding ones are, on the one hand, participating in the social transformation of the neighborhood, promoting the role of the neighbors in those transformation processes. On the other hand, promoting social journalism as a model of communication and recovering the historical memory of the neighbors. And last, encouraging the use of social networks and empower people, entities and projects in the neighborhood regarding the management of their presence online.
 


For each course, a maximum of ten students completes five work sessions in la Mina

The responsibles for Identitats i miralls: com ens veiem i com ens veuen? are professors Núria Prat and Anna M. Falcó, from the Social Work Training and Research Section, and Eva Estereulas, from the Department of Teaching and Learning and Educational Organization, who work in collaboration with the Platform for Social Education la Mina -Salesians Sant Jordi and the team of desdelamina.net.

The selection of students is done at the beginning of each course through self-candidacies in which people have to express their motivations to take part in the proposal. Simultaneously, the entity desdelamina.net establishes contact with different people from the district who will take part in the project, chosen by their implication in the creation of the public image of the neighborhood and trying to reach the maximum number of entities, groups and people.

The students, in pairs, complete a total of five work sessions (two in learning and three for services) in La Mina. The first sessions aim to locate the students in the neighborhood and the project: they review the history and current reality of the place, analyze several news and review the ICT tools to be used during the project and design the work sessions together with the local people of the neighborhood. Here, the student groups that will work together are created so that they can prepare the service sessions. They are given information about the assigned groups of people from the neighborhood, the news they have to work with with each group and the calendar for the work sessions.

Each group has to work on a proposal for the team of desdelamina.net about how to plan the three service sessions, the additional material they might need and how they will collect all the information and will reach conclusions. The service sessions are carried out at the headquarters or meeting points of the assigned local neighbors. Sometimes, they also use community spaces such as the library. All student groups and assigned neighbors have the support from the team of educators from desdelamina.net to solve doubts, difficulties or needs that might come up. Also, they check, with a direct contact, that work sessions are properly carried out.
 

A blog informs about and shares the project

The blog for Identitats i miralls is a basic tool to collect the service-learning experience of the students. It is not used to explain what they do (field journal) but to reflect and express on their experiences (travel journal). The first session already puts emphasis on the objective and use of the blog. During the service sessions the team of desdelamina.net supervises the content all students upload to the blog.


Assessment and closing session

The assessment and closing session is carried out at the headquarters of desdelamina.net and aims to share the experience of all students from each edition. This session follows the guidelines collected on the Rúbrica per a l’autoavaluació i millora dels projectes APS, created by the Research Group on Moral Education of the Faculty of Education of the UB and published by the Centre Promotor d’Aprenentatge Servei de Catalunya. They also use ICT tools and the student assessment is collected in an audiovisual form in a web channel with videos from different editions.


Service-learning, a strategic proposal from the Faculty of Education

Found in the early courses of this study program, service-learning enables students to look and respect an unknown reality and to fully take part in it, through dialogue and consensus with teachers and community experts from the territory entities who accompany them. The results of this experience guarantee this learning experience, which promotes critical judgment regarding what students see and what the media tells, the autonomy and confidence in the actions they carry out and the approach to the complexity of a local community. Students have lots of questions and look for answers.

According to one of the participating lecturers, Núria Prats, “this experience has created bindings between university teaching and internships, reinforcing mutual and creative enrichment of these relations, which remind us that “living together” is for everyone and we still have a lot do to”. The proposal is part of the line promoted by the bachelor degree in Social Work and the Faculty of Education, which regard service-learning as a strategy that enables a critical, civic and ethical training for the future social workers, and helps them reaching the social theory and practice. 
 

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