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Urban Art Paths [HYP]

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About Course

The main goal of this program is to increase the social skills of the participants in a creative, productive, experiential, and at the same time fun way. The main objectives of the activity are:

To improve the possibilities for young people to be involved in their local community,

To give them the opportunity to discover their neighbourhoods, to speak with their neighbours , and to enhance their citizenship skills in a recreational and joyful way.

For participants to develop a new and innovative methodology on how to explore an unknown area and engage with their local community.

To enhance the participants’ intercultural awareness, tolerance and communication skills and to initiate intercultural dialogue.

To discover the importance of art in shaping the individual society but also universally.

To improve the participants’ engagement and skills as well as the community impact.

To achieve interactive participation, cooperation, consensus building, management, and to build leadership skills.

To help participants realise their self-identity, to enhance community decision-making and to give innovative and creative tools that provide knowledge about local cultural features.

For participants to be able to apply similar activities in other communities after participating in this activity.

Designing a meaningful Place-Based Learning activity

  1. Deciding on a setting

The main characteristic of the Treasure H-art activity is that it tries to engage young people to be active in their local community through culture and mainly through graffiti art. It should take place in an urban neighbourhood where specific street/graffiti artwork exists. It emerges from the attributes of a specific place, each local community depends on where the activity takes place, increasing the skills of the participants concerning communication, observation, inclusion, and experiential learning.

This activity is multidisciplinary because it is designed by a specialist art historian that has chosen all the graffities based on their content and it is already tested. It is also experimental and innovative because it is the first time that something like this takes place in Greece and it includes participatory action and reflective processes as well, in order for the participants to understand the meaning of the process. The Treasure H-art is a creative combination of the self, the place, the community, and other people that belong to the community, giving to that point multicultural and multigenerational dimensions.

  1. Choosing a trainer

The youth worker fitting to facilitate this PBL activity is one that has a good appreciation for developing competences, knowing and applying reflection and (self)evaluation techniques to support the participants in the learning process, and having a knowledge and appreciation of street art/graffiti around their city. Additionally, a good knowledge of their city will be appreciated, a sensitivity towards social issues (discrimination, people with fewer opportunities, minorities), and a willingness to achieve inclusion through art. Lastly, the youth worker should be acquainted with the PBL method or at least be eager to learn and implement it for the activity.

  1. Description of the activity

Participants in this activity will be invited to discover the neighbourhoods of Athens looking to find a specific street/graffiti artwork. They will be given two elements, a map delimiting the wider area in which the graffiti is located and a short image of the graffiti.

Once they discover the exact location of the graffiti they will have the opportunity to take the initiative and talk to the local community, to learn how the “neighbours” of the graffiti experienced its creation, how they welcomed or rejected it, and how the pedestrians deal with it.

Then, they will share their experience from their visit to the specific point with the team, they will discuss what they gained from their discussions with the residents of the neighbourhoods of Athens and they will speak altogether, the participants and the trainers about the main meaning of the chosen graffities. These discussions can be facilitated by the trainer. After each graffiti, the trainer can start by asking the participants what they found interesting about the specific graffiti, what their discussions with the locals revealed, and what emotions the specific graffiti evokes. Then, the trainer can go on by providing the participants with some additional information about the graffiti (you can find an example of that in the example activity at the end of this section).

All visits to street artworks will be open to the public so that there is an opportunity for interaction, exchange of ideas, integration, and inclusion with local people.

This activity is based on place-based learning that consists in formal or non-formal education that engages students/ participants in activities focused on local systems, histories, and interactions in order to make learning more relevant to everyday life, with the aim of encouraging participants to feel “ownership” of elements of their locality, as well as to enhance the “feeling of belonging” which will enable them to become more active citizens. As a result, PBL activities aim at developing specific competences that help the target group deal with the obstacles and become more engaged citizens in their local communities, and as a result, contribute to the social integration process.

You can find an example of the activity here.

  1. Evaluation

The evaluation will be divided in two parts; pre-activity and post-activity evaluation. In the pre-activity evaluation, the trainer will open a conversation with the participants in order to understand their knowledge and perception of the graffities around their city. The questions will be open-ended, allowing the participants to offer their views, knowledge, and perceptions freely, without predispositions, and giving them a chance to warm up and set expectations before diving into the activity. Some examples of questions are: “Do you have prior knowledge of the graffities, their meaning, and the significance of their location?”, “Have you noticed any graffities while walking in the streets of the city?”, “Do you have a sense of belonging in your local community?”.

In the post-activity evaluation, participants will be invited to discuss their perceptions after the completion of the PBL activity, and whether they enjoyed the activity, again using open-ended questions. It is preferable that the trainer conducts the post evaluation outside, near the area where the activity took place so that impressions are reinforced by the surroundings. Some indicative questions can be: “Did you find this activity useful?”. “Do you feel that your perception of your city has changed after this activity or not?”, “Was there something you didn’t like or that you would change in this activity?” “Do you have any feelings that you would like to share?” “Has the activity inspired you to act? If so, how?”

  1. Follow up

This activity can be followed by a focus group where the participants discuss their impressions of the graffities, argue whether street art plays a role in the urban culture of their city, and finally decide on and design the next PBL activity collectively.

The trainer that facilitated the first activity, facilitates this activity as well. It would also be preferable if there is an art historian or street artist helping in the process of selecting the space, the art, or whatever the participants choose to do so that they have all the information they might need in order to design the activity in the most accurate way possible. The participants should have the freedom to plan as they wish and the trainer/expert should be there to facilitate the process and offer insights when needed. The participants can invite their friends, families, and neighbours to participate in the activity they created.

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What Will You Learn?

  • The main competences that the participants of this activity will improve are communication, critical thinking, intercultural skills (mixing groups of local young and immigrant young), and linguistic competences. Specifically, they will gain tools (for example observation, specific knowledge of their neighborhood, etc.) that are going to contribute to their understanding of the affection for the natural environment, the community’s resources, and the interaction with the locals. Also, a very important fact to be mentioned is that all the tasks require collaborative and mutual work, and even the people that are not that socialized, have the opportunity to be active and open. From the other side, participants will explore local issues (all the graffities that are chosen mention facts from real life) and they will be asked for their personal opinions about what is happening in their local community and what exactly each graffiti comments on, giving them the opportunity to raise their voice through the tool of the democratic participation and dialogue and the active listening. This way, they will also have the opportunity to determine, develop or clarify their personal values related to the community, how these values can be improved, and how people can be more interested and aware of the matters that concern the local community. Last but not least, the local community is also a beneficiary of this activity because through that activity the participation of young people at a local level is supported and more visible to the public, increasing in this way engagement, active citizenship, and other skills and competencies of all the target groups.

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7 months ago
Very interesting activity