A Community-Centred Educational Model for developing Social Resilience (ACES): Playfulness towards an inclusive, safe and resilient society

Lead Research Organisation: Coventry University
Department Name: Ctr for Post Digital Cultures


ACES will investigate and establish a transformative educational model for bridging formal and informal educational contexts via playful and participatory methodology towards a more inclusive, safe and resilient society that will empower young people to flourish despite their social localities. ACES will investigate the role of education in mobilising young people towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), taking into account the impact of wellbeing (SDG3), gender (SDG5) and poverty (SDG1) on education (SDG4) and vice-versa in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. ACES will focus on building resilient communities of young people in rural areas or deprived sections of urban communities through education. Young people refers to those in primary and secondary education. ACES will engage teachers and local community groups in the co-creation and ownership of the educational process, fostering an empowering and agentic practice when it comes to marginalised contexts - to motivate, ground and, most importantly, localise the intervention. The upskilling of teachers is considered as one of the most effective and direct means of achieving all of the SDG4 targets.

The effects of quality education are linked to improved development outcomes. In all three countries, access to inclusive and equitable quality education is an impending issue; however, the causes, scope and severity vary from one country to another. In Indonesia, the dominance of political, corporate and bureaucratic elites affects the provision of quality education. In Vietnam, its education system struggles to provide access and quality, although since 2008, its government allocates 20% of its national budget to improve education throughout the nation. In Malaysia, access to quality education is still an issue at remote/rural areas in the country. Even though these countries report the literacy rate of over 90%, the efforts to maintain sustainable growth in their respective economies, to reach developed status, hinge on an updated system of education that is more transformative beyond literacy. While economic growth in these countries brings positive benefits and lifts people out of poverty, societies must be equipped to respond to subsequent changes related to political and social systems. Economic resilience thus depends on social resilience, agency and capabilities to respond, design, implement and support corrective and adaptive measures.

ACES will explore the use of playful and participatory methodology towards developing an inclusive, equitable and transformative educational model that will afford opportunities for young people, teachers and community groups to respond to challenges/changes in their community through creative and innovative practices. To navigate an increasingly uncertain and ambiguous world, young people will need to develop curiosity, imagination, creativity, resilience and self-regulation towards innovative economies that are more productive, resilient and adaptable. ACES will emphasise on collaborative, active and playful/creative 21st-century pedagogies, where the focus of the teaching-learning process is on active dialogue, enquiry based, media literacy and student-centred approaches. Collaborative exploration open up opportunities for social innovation, taking into account the complexity of social problems and foster solutions resilient and cost-effective enough to adapt and survive. The project will explore social innovation through the lenses of frugal approaches to social sustainability to allow the community to thrive despite the lack of resources. ACES will investigate the impact of creative thinking, problem-solving and social-emotional learning beyond literacy afforded by playful pedagogy in these countries to conduct a comparative analysis into the complex relationships between transformational education and SDGs across the countries.

Planned Impact

-Young people
-Practitioners - teachers, curriculum designers, further & higher education educators
-Community actors & groups - parents, community leaders, youth clubs & community centres.
-Policy makers - Department or Ministry of Education, Culture & Youth, Economic and Welfare, local municipalities & city councils
-Schools, further and higher education institutions, teacher training, NGOs/charities related to community initiatives, makerspaces, fab labs and tech hubs
-Local and national industry (social enterprises, creative industry)

How will they benefit:
Young people will benefit from the creative and innovative means for experiencing learning and applying knowledge - an educational experience that is inclusive and equitable, allowing them to develop their interests, knowledge, skills and talents, and contribute to the community. Teachers will be upskilled in the community-centred playful pedagogy. The creative, innovative and frugal approaches will make their teaching more relevant and emphatic to the local community and national development goals. Other practitioners will benefit from the ACES model of education - how education can include social innovation and enterprise as means for contextualising cross-subject teaching. Community actors and groups will be mobilised to respond to local challenges, leading to tangible outcomes that will consequently empower those involved. Makerspaces and the likes can be part of the community-centred educational model. ACES will provide recommendations for how educational institutions, such as schools and universities can redesign the way the curriculum is delivered. The frugal approach to sustainable social innovation will empower the community groups, young people and practitioners to excel despite the lack of resources towards economic diversification, impacting socio-economic value through social entrepreneurship. Creative and innovative capabilities are also crucial assets to the creative economy. ACES' practice and policy recommendations will provide an overarching direction for how this model of education can be situated alongside existing curriculums, recommending future development and redesign of the curriculums to embed social innovation - towards more sustainable poverty alleviation. The advisory board members will be directly involved in the process by reviewing strategy and outcomes from the project, whose practice will also be impacted. Policy makers will have access to the recommendations, informing youth development and education agenda in the countries and beyond.

What will be done to ensure access to benefits:
Beneficiaries will be directly engaged with project activities including workshops associated to the onboarding, practice building and consolidation phases (WP1-WP5). The project meetings will also involve knowledge exchange between the project partners, advisors, local ambassadors and invited beneficiaries. We will use the Online Hub to disseminate outcomes through the official website (including national versions), media resources (video, images, podcasts), adoptable/adaptable OERs, blogs, social media, press releases, conferences, scientific and policy publications at national and international levels. We will inform policy makers, educators and key sectoral stakeholders of impacts and evidence emerging from the research. The ACES model will provide tools, templates and protocols for allowing replicability and reusability, acting as best practice guides for educators, learning/curriculum designers, and community groups. The physical lab at the partners' institutions will serve as the practice and knowledge hub for sustainability. Policy and practice publications will be produced- to be discussed in the consolidation workshop/roundtables - leading to the final consolidated versions to be released at the end of the project to provide overarching direction for future policy at national and international levels


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