Presentation on theme: "Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm Dr. Dermot Stokes Thessaloniki November 26 th 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm Dr. Dermot Stokes Thessaloniki November 26 th 2009
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 1. A changing world Master narratives have broken down The world is increasingly complex: Individualisation globalisation fragmentation of markets, lifestyles and communities Change – itself a central dynamic shift from certainty to contingency and from predictability to impermanence and fluidity
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 2. Looking at the report – challenges for VET & guidance Ongoing innovation and adaptability in VET, flexible, solution-oriented approaches and structures for delivery and qualifications Mismatches (eg between supply and demand) – need for new relationships between educators and trainers and the world of work Lifelong guidance - enabling citizens to have improved access to lifelong learning (Copenhagen Declaration) new modes of participation for key target groups, new roles, new approaches and methodologies adapting existing models to changing circumstances New models developing from marginal or cutting edge contexts
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm Looking at the report (2) Report is an excellent review and many very important points are made, eg: Consequences of early school leaving (set out very well) co-ordination, a strategic overview, long term / sustainable funding are often missing and are too focussed on project based approaches. Early school leavers are an heterogeneous group… Transitions are changing Guidance should not be seen as one of many approaches to supporting transition – it should be seen as an integral part of any approach to tackle this problem. It should also be seen as a continuum – guidance is not about supporting a young person at a specific point in their life only, but is something that extends over time and out into the community and the workplace.
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm Looking at the report (3) elements of successful reintegration guidance environment Tailored, person-centred approach Celebrating achievement Flexibility in delivery Multi-disciplinary teams Collaboration with key partner organisations Starting with life and basic skills and offering a mix of practical and theoretical learning Facilitating access Motivation Supported education to work transition Agreed. We may have grown complacent on the back of the very active labour market. Need to prepare young people AND the receiving places…
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm Looking at the report - Conclusions It is not enough to just to support young people - crucially the front-line support staff need to be appropriately selected, trained, co-ordinated and then supported on an on-going basis. parental involvement plays a key role in motivating and supporting young people in education and training. Another important component underpinning many successful case studies is a multi-agency approach to the delivery of career guidance and personal, social and academic support for young people. NB the involvement of young people in the design of the policies and approaches. Successful guidance policies take into consideration the specific situation of each individual, rather than adopting a blanket or one size fits all approach. Among conclusions on preventive approaches: Area-based approaches have the potential for reducing the level of early school leaving, although the criticism levied at them is that the funding tends to be spread too thinly to make a real impact. True but 50% of esls may not live in disadvantaged areas… Generally, I endorse the recommendations but make the following points…
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 3. What do we mean by at-risk youth? A matrix of factors is in play – Given – eg SENs, ethnic/cultural factors, etc Ecological, eg families, school neighbourhoods peers social class Developmental Susceptibility/Resilience Nothing unusual in many lives, but some have significant difficulties to deal with Social reproduction overarches all Every story is unique
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 4. Early school leaving in Ireland Definitions change… A structural feature of education system National rates 1% from primary school 3%+ no qualifications 18-19% less than upper secondary 25% less than 5Ds in Leaving Certificate (= baccalaureate) Females stay longer than males, outperform in exams Educational retention strongly mirrors social background These are robust figures, sustained over a decade despite heavy investment in preventive measures
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 5. Two prong response In school DEIS – the School Support Programme (SSP) NEWB – the National Educational Welfare Board NEPS – The National Educational Psychological Service NCSE – The National Council for Special Education Needs NBSS – The National Behaviour Support Service Curricula: JCSP, Transition Year, LCA… Extra guidance support in schools with high numbers at risk (Guidance Enhancement Initiative) Out of school YOUTHREACH Non-formal youth services and projects Youth Information Centres, youth cafés, etc Employment measures, incl training and employment services
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 6. Youthreach Principal national response in Ireland targeting those who have left school early Aim: to provide early school leavers (16-20 years) with the knowledge, skills and confidence required to participate fully in society and progress to further education, training and employment. National programme, local delivery – funded by Government, part of suite of lifelong learning actions Delivered in 150 centres for education/training – these are small out-of-school units, fulltime and part-time staff
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 7. International best practice Youthreach based on extensive European experience Model is universal – system contexts differ For example, University of Arizona metastudy: Identifying High Quality Youth programmes Physical and psychological safety Appropriate Structure Supportive relationships Opportunities to belong Positive social norms Support for efficacy and meaning Opportunities for skill building Integration of family, centre and community efforts
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 8. Youthreach: a synthesis of three traditions incorporates best practice from education, training, youth work Guidance is integrated into each phase of the programme
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 9. Programme fundamentals Learner focus - Learners are regarded as resilient and resourceful people, continually consulted Methodology: Education, training, youth-work One centre – one plan: the importance of planning, integration – QF One learner – one plan: coordination, continuity, consistency, collaboration guidance and pathway planning – key worker model and process Progression; future skills needs; literacy Inter-agency collaboration
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 10. Presenting difficulties Total number of participants surveyed2739 Literacy and numeracy problems 864 Dysfunctional family background1377 Substance misuse problems 756 Need for sustained psychological support829 Specific learning needs 490 Physical disability 37 Intellectual disability 136 Poor physical health, eg. persistent illness/poor nutrition 468 Formally cautioned by police 483 On probation 145 Two or more of any of the above704
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 11. From dependence to independence Instability, disorder, dysfunctions, detachment, dependency Foundation Stability, Integration, independence Engagement and attachment ProgressionTransition The four programme phases
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 12. Total guidance model (1) Key working – all fulltime staff (2) Advocacy/mentoring on training and employment options (3) Expert counsellor (if available) (4) psychologist (if available) (5) Other specialist services (if available) (eg (youth mental health) 1 2 3 4 5
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 13. The webwheel A guided self-assessment – Skilled Helper model (Egan, 1998) The core pathway planning mechanism Key features of the Youthreach webwheel process : Mentoring Profiling Individual programme planning Inter-agency work support provision is integrated into the core work of centres
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 14. mentoring Staff members are assigned to learners as their key workers - time is set aside each week or fortnight for mentoring sessions with learners. The key worker acts as the first point of contact with the staff team and engages with the learner in an individual profiling and planning process. Mentoring is a form of pastoral care - it is not counselling.
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 15. The webwheel - profiling 5. Strong 4. Neutral 3. Slight problem 2. Significant problem 1. Very serious problem
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 16. Individual action plan stages Stage 1: The present scenario. Telling their story, describing what their life is like for them and rating it. Stage 2: Developing new preferred scenarios – the what. Thinking about how else it might be and identifying goals. Stage 3: Thinking about what they will do (with the help of the mentor) to achieve these goals and what will go into their plan. informed by the learner's own perceptions of their strengths and needs based on their own expressed personal, educational and vocational goals. The plan describes the actions that will be taken in pursuit of these goals.
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 17. inter-agency working Many of the problems the learners are outside the remit of the centre but significantly affect their participation and progression in the programme Although there are locally-based agencies and services whose function it is to offer help or support in relation to many of these problem areas, learners may fail to engage with them. The key worker can act as the point of contact between the learner and these services and can facilitate them to access and benefit from the supports available outside of the centre When they leave they may need ongoing support…
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 18. The MAGIC touch Focus on the possible not the impossible and on solutions, not diagnosis People own their problems, capacities and solutions Honesty, trust and respect – you are as important as I am High expectations of the young person are communicated Safety and challenge are balanced Partnership is established between practitioner and young person Street knowledge of frontline staff and tutors very valuable
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 19. Does it work? For learners Improved self-esteem Improved participation Improved attendance Greater satisfaction for staff Better outcomes in qualifications (average 1-2 NFQ Levels) and 75% progression to employment or higher level of VET But doesnt work for all
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 20. Challenges for practitioners New roles, new functions Blurred professional definitions and domains of action - formal and informal Commitment and over commitment and consequent disillusionment and burn out young people often present with distressing situations Boundaries difficult to maintain, emotionally difficult Need for professional support and training not always well met Poor management/leadership For providers Availability of suitable practitioners – (skills base, burn out, fatigue, IR issues, commitment, enthusiasm, after heroism…) Resistance, fear, need for training and ongoing support Resources, time, training, support
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 21. Challenges (2) For systems: Macroeconomic and macrosocial forces very influential (demand weak at present) Huge effort made at preventing early school leaving in Ireland, little effect on numbers (not the only measure of success) Progression into employment – good, but what about those for whom it doesnt work? What about Travellers? Employer response is dubious (ie supply is okay, no demand) – need to prepare the receivers too! Resources – structural deficiencies, short termism Recognition of new roles, modes of working, contexts, etc The mainstreaming challenge – to change the mainstream, not shoehorn radical alternatives into the mainstream Innovative approaches must be as good as traditional equivalents - second chance does not mean second class Performance indicators for qualitative outcomes?
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm 22. Challenges (3) The trouble with risk… Risk and prevention - loose and woolly – people can dodge the hard yards too easily Critical issue is what happens when a risk becomes active. Preventive intervention Early warnings, rapid action, solution focus New methods dont replace old systems, they incorporate them - one integrated system, different modes, managed transitions; continuum of care and response
Guidance in uncertain times: new world, new paradigm Websites www.youthreach.ie www.youthreach.ie/webwheel