“I want my students’ voices to be heard and their thoughts to be listened to”

Banu Yurtseven, with her way of teaching and thinking, is to be taken as a good reference point.

Let’s keep our ears close to the ground for her story!

 

My name is Banu Yurtseven. I am an English teacher at Çamlıca Theological High School for Girls. I have been teaching English as a second language since 2001. I have worked in some of the EU projects as a local expert. I am interested in social science, too.

Çamlıca Theological High School for Girls is a religious school for secondary and high school students; in Turkey, religious schools have a vocational programme. The school also offers English preparation classes, which means that 9th grade students take 20 additional 1-hour lessons in English. The goal of our school is to make our students responsible for their learning and to motivate them to reflect on how they learn best, to make them look at their own language and culture from a universal point of view by expanding their vision and knowledge of the world, to develop their critical thinking and to enable them to see problems from various points of view.

In addition, they learn about their own religion from a wide range of perspectives.

As a teacher, I want my students’ voices to be heard and their thoughts to be listened to. Since teaching on its own is not enough, we have to nurture their emotions and motivate them to become equipped with the necessary skills required today. They should gain a positive overview of different people and cultures.

To work with girls is very advantageous as they are calm, easy going, hard-working, ambitious, gregarious and considerate. They are mostly able to remain neutral before forming their opinions. They are able to find creative, ingenious solutions to problems. They are good at developing projects and use their creativity to tackle problems.

Nevertheless, teaching in a Theological High School can present the occasional difficulty. Sometimes it is difficult to engage students with political or universal subjects, because of their cultural and religious bias and preconceptions. They need to develop trust in you and talk in a rather cautious manner, as they combine typically adolescent behaviours with conservative lives. Unfortunately, their parents do not let them talk a lot. They are especially very sensitive about Islamophobia and do not want to discuss it. As girls, they want to express themselves but they are confronted with obstacles and dilemmas. This is why at every opportunity I encourage them to voice their opinions, sometimes discuss newspaper columns at break times, ask their thoughts about daily news etc., in order to encourage them to talk so that they can develop more self-confidence. With the help of EU projects, I try to encourage them and teach them to excel at public speaking, project management and ICT skills. On the other hand, I try to engage them with different activities and platforms, in order to start conversations with other young people. The EU project platforms motivate them to have their voices heard, which also strengthens their confidence.

Our lessons include debates and MUN classes (Model of United Nations), which provides them with an opportunity and the confidence to express themselves, as well as hope to be able to become brave, self-confident mothers. In my opinion, young people should learn to express themselves at an early age, for them to be able to make use of those skills during the rest of their lives.

As educators we must support them in the process, teaching is only a small part of our job.

 

Banu Yurtseven

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The positives and the negatives of the cyberspace

Despite their young age, the Northern Ireland WYRED group of children is very clear-headed about the online world.

They were asked to share their thoughts on the positives and the negatives of the cyberspace and that is what came out.

They do like how easy it is to interact with their friends and families through, for example, FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. No matter how far you are, these new means of communication make you able to stay in touch with the people you love.

“You can shop online”, a child says and “it is a great way to pass the time”.

The entire group agrees on it. The online world is very entertaining: you can listen to the music, watch video on YouTube and play online games with your friends.

The cyberspace also satisfies your curiosities: “I like being able to research on google”, “I like that I can see different places around the world and what they are like”, “It gives you an idea of other stuff that is going on around the world”.

Anyway, the children are not deceived by the bright side of the online world. On the contrary, they are aware of the risks hiding behind the computer screen.

They don’t like that personal information concerning them can be easily seen from people they don’t know. They feel their data are exposed to several dangers: “People can find your digital footprint and work out what websites you have visited”, “bad people can put a virus on your device”, “I don’t like that you can get hacked“.

These children don’t feel safe due to the the lack of privacy: “I don’t like that other people can be rude and see where you live”. They fear they can be tricked and, of course, the risk of Cyberbullying is just around the corner.

They can also run into some harmless trouble, such as lagging, a wifi that doesn’t work, or annoying and inappropriate ads coming on during a video.

 

 

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Simona

Is the way cyberbullying is tackled in schools effective and up to date, according to students?

Through the Wyred project, aimed at giving young people a voice, Simona from Roma Tre University carried out a research about this topic and discovered that something is definitely missing

Click here to watch the video on the Wyred YouTube Channel!

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Noemi

What does the audience actually know about critical situations described by the media?
Noemi, a student from Rome Tre University, brings to our attention the research that she carried out through the Wyred Project and its surprising results.

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Maria Chiara

Does it exist a social media awareness amongst digital natives?
Do they actually know where their data are going to be used and how? Maria Chiara, a student from Roma Tre University, urges the institutions and schools to provide a proper social media education.

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The Wyred Project and the voice of young people: Elisabetta

Thanks to the Wyred project, Elisabetta from Rome Tre University had the chance to carry out a research on youth people and employment. The data show that many young people do not find a job easily.

Is it time to advocate for a change in the labour market?

Click here to watch the video on the Wyred YouTube channel!

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The Wyred Conference: a discussion on “Young People and Digital Society”

The Wyred Conference took place in Rome with the aim to present the results of the researches carried out through the project.
The guests invited to the Wyred conference express their points of view on the findings. Members of the academic world, journalists and representatives of the institutions were invited to the discussion on the topic “young people and digital society“.
To find out more on the Wyred conference and discussion, click here and watch the video on the Wyred YouTube channel!

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A Poem on Digital Implants

Jasmin, Anastasia and Patrik from Hertha-Firnberg-Schools in Austria decided to call attention to Digital Implants in an unusual way: they wrote a poem!

The objective of the poem is the sensitization of society for the dangers digital implants may have in the future.

For animals, especially for dogs, it is common practice to implant RFID
(Radion Frequency Identification) chips, in order to easily identify them when getting lost.

Humans use implants (in the size of rice grains) for an “easy” way to open car, house or office-doors, for e-banking, to access the mobile or to provide medical data in case of emergency. These chips are not too expensive and can even be implemented in a piercing-studio. But do we really want a future like that? Is surveillance the consequence of this form of convenience? These are the questions the YP rise in their focussed poem, which invites to reflection on this issue.

 

Roses are red,

implants are small,

we don’t know whether they’re

good at all.

What does the future hold,

Are we just being controlled?

Is surveillance the only goal?

Are we selling our soul?

Only the future will tell,

Well.

©  canstock photo

 

 

 

 

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News in UK about how youth are making their voices been heard

After Brexit referendum in the UK in 2016, some youth didn’t feel represented and civil organisations worked together in focus groups across the UK to find out what young people 13 to 30 think and feel about Brexit, and what they want out of the Brexit process. It was find out that “young people under 18 felt deprived of a voice and overwhelmingly said that if they could, they would have voted to remain. Secondly, young people expressed dissatisfaction that the oldest generations (65+) should have such a disproportionate influence on the futures of the youngest citizens.

The main objective of these initiatives is to ensure that youth visions for post-Brexit Britain are reflected in the process of leaving the European Union. Young British don’t feel thier voices have been taken into consideration during this process and now they want to make sure they take part in future discussions.

This is a good example of a youth platform engaging hundreds of UK-wide young people that demonstrates the importance and impact of young voices. They have initiated relationships with cross-party MPs and Lords, the Department for Exiting the European Union, the European Council Taskforce 50, European Commission, European Parliament and European Youth Forum, and relevant Committees both in the UK and the EU.

WYRED platform provides a safe space for discussions, debates and research where young people can raise their voices not only about politics but any other topics they care about in our constant changing society through a digital world, and brings youth messages to those who need to listen to them.

A Better Brexit for Young People

 

 

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“The most important thing about Cyberbullying”

The Northern Ireland WYRED group, composed of children from 10 to 11 years old, draws our attention to the problem of Cyberbullying.

As part of Cycle 2, one group of children from Tyrone, through their social dialogues and research gave valuable insights into this topic.

The Children were asked if they had a microphone and the whole world was listening, what was the most important thing they discovered about Cyberbullying?

“Not to Cyberbully cause it can hurt and treat people the same”.

“The bully never wins”

“Don’t Cyberbully because you don’t know what affect it will have on them”.

“If you Cyberbully, you probably have low self esteem.”

“ I would tell them, if you ever got into this situation, there is always a way through it, if you get help.”

“The effect on the victim is sad”.

“People look at cyberbullying in different ways”.

“Cyberbullying is hurtful and the wrong thing to do.”

“Lots of people get Cyberbullied when they are young and old.”

This topic challenged the children not only to think about the online world but also the real and lasting impact cyberbullying has on children and young people’s emotional wellbeing. The children decided that they could best reflect their research through a video that depicts the effects of cyberbullying.

We will display the brilliant artefacts of all the Children as part of the Final research phase.

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