The next phase of our Erasmus+ project “Real Life” has started. We now have concrete ideas for the first level of the game that we are developing. From September 3-7 we discussed and tested them with the future mentors. The training in Rotterdam was a very inspiring event for all involved.
In April C&C was invited/selected to become one of the founding members of the European Citizens Lab.
Funded by the European Cultural Foundation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Stiftung Mercator, this new initiative links artists, journalists, architects, politicians and change makers from all over Europe. The ambition is to create a common ground for cultural collaboration, showing that there is more that we, people from Europe share, than what divides us.
Citizen Lab will also promote and provide tools and expertise for social change to grass-root initiatives, thus driving participatory processes for change.
To celebrate the great Dutch painter Jheronimusch Bosch, who died 500 years ago, there will be a impressive parade of floating art objects drifting through the city of den Bosch. Working with a group of people who are recovering of their drugs and alcohol addiction, Peer de Rijk, Mirthe Wacki and Ed Santman will be working on a contribution for this parade based upon the Jheronimusch Bosch painting of the Ark of Noach. It is a big project and it will take us much of April, May and June to realize it. The result of the project can be seen in den Bosch on 16, 18 and 19 June.
Lots of dicussions during and after the partnermeeting of the Real Life project in Bologna. There was so much to discuss, two and a half days were hardly enough. But at the last day we really made a lot of progress and we all went home with clear ideas on how to continue with the project. In the next month we will frequently have Skype sessions to prepare the first training, that will take place in September in Rotterdam.
Very applicable, in “de Vrije Wolf” in Utrecht, a building that has been used as a prison from 1856 until very recently, we will be sharing an office with Click F1, our partner in the Real Life Project.
C&C chairman Ed Santman was one of the speakers on the two days conference on the value of arts, organized by the LKCA (landelijk kenniscentrum kunsteducatie en amateurkunst) in Ede. In this interview he talks about his ideas on learning through the arts.
This video is subtitled in English, switch it on it in the menu of YouTube.
C & C is the Dutch partner in the European Project Valmopris. Through the validation of informal learning, a learner in prison can become motivated to nurture this positive reinforcement in an educational setting, pursuing additional education (either formal or informal) or engaging more seriously with career planning. The impact of informal learning validation in a prison setting is clearly something with a significant potential to encourage learning and further competence development.
VALMOPRIS draws upon the tools and techniques developed through the LEVEL5 validation system which has previously been piloted across diverse educational settings, including in prison-based vocational training (see www.reveal-eu.org). VALMO
The project, will measure the effect of validating informal competence development on prisoners’ motivation to engage in further learning. Training prison educators across 8 countries to create and deliver informal learning opportunities and to provide systematic validation of learning outcomes, the project will explore the role of and impact of informal learning validation in prison, as well as examining the process of setting up and implementing activities for informal competence development in this context
RealLife is an innovative project in which serious gaming and virtual reality are used to improve skills needed in the 21st century and skills needed for employability aiming at those at the edge of society, especially prisoners. Training skills in a safe and virtual reality will help prisoners to function in real life, give them new skills and enhance their sense of initiative.
The objective of the project, is to develop an innovative tool, the Real Life game with a certificate that validates the process of informal learning, that takes place while playing the game. Real Life will design a strong tool for disadvantaged groups by implementing seven pilots in six European countries that will include 80 prisoners, 14 mentors and 35 prison guards. Focus will be on different groups, youngsters between 17 and 23, woman and (older) men.
The ultimate target groups of Real Life are those who lack basic skills and failed in the traditional education system. Within this group the focus is on those who have been, or threaten to become in contact with Justice and criminal law.
Not only digital literacy is low among this group, a lack of skills, necessary for finding a job often leads to an existence in the margins of society. Many of them have bad experiences with regular formal education. The innovative approach of Real Life will offer them opportunities for working on the improvement of basic skills and competences. We will use digital tools like Serious Gaming (SG) and Virtual Reality (VR) as an effective strategy to work on their soft skills and thus improve their chances on employability. Another important target group are the future mentors, people working directly with prisoners or other disadvantaged groups), like educational staff within prison or people from local organizations.
The use of gamification is a user-friendly method that can be delivered on an individual basis to promote employability and reduce recidivism for prisoners. To measure effectiveness of the serious game, the partners will study the rate of recidivism in the first 48 hours to two months after prisoners leave detention.
This way the projectpartners are able to measure the impact of the game almost immediately and improve the game. The game will focus on new learning possibilities to be applied in prisons: digital tools, games that educate, train and inform, can provide an alternative sustainable learning tool for disadvantaged groups. Many among the end-users have learning disabilities and reject more traditional teaching approaches.
With the current possibilities digital media offer, it is realistic to expect that a team of experts, like the partners from Nottingham Trent University, will be able to develop a working serious game in a virtual environment during project Real Life.
With our partners from Berlin, the wonderful team of “Tanztangente”, we are working on a dance project in the juvenile prison of Berlin this month. Three days a week, six hours a day.
Sitting next to an inmate he points at the space where we are rehearsing, “This is heaven” he says and than he points in the direction where the cells are, “That is hell”.
We are working towards a performance early October, after ten intensive sessions of rehearsals. Also we hope to be able to give them a certificate, not for their danceskills but for their employabilityskills. For many of them it might be the first time that they are so committed to forfill a task. Impressive to see the focus, concentration and collaboration of these young offenders and so nice to work with inspired people like Nadja and Dani from the Tanztangente Company.