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.
SALIGIA is the name of the magazine, that we made as a catalogue of the exhibition we organized in the Jeroen Boschhuis at Den Bosch.
The word SALIGIA is composed of the first letters of the Latin names of the “Seven Deadly Sins”: Superbia, Avaritia, Luxury, Invidia, Gula, Ira and Acedia. In English known as Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath and Pride. We asked inmates from several European countries to make paintings or drawings inspired by these Seven Deadly Sins. The results can now be be seen in this catalogue.
More good news from Europe, great news. The application for our project on serious gaming for those at the edge of society has been approved. It was one of our biggest ambitions to realise this project this year.
Ed Santman and Veronique Aicha Achoui worked so hard on this application in the first months of this year, we had a really good score: 87 out of 100 point. This will be a great project, we are looking forward to working with professor David Brown and his team from Notthingham University and with the other partners from Italy, Lithouenia, Czech Republic and Turkey the next three years.
Good news from Austria: the European project ‘Valmopris’ on validation of informal learning, in which we were invited to participate, has been approved. For us this is a very important subject. In this project we will be working with partners from the UK, France, Finland, Austria and Romania in the next two years. The project will start in September and will run for two years.