The idea for the project "Know your Lifestyle - Introducing Sustainable Consumption in Second Chance Education" was based on the fact that development education and issues of globalisation and sustainability are practically not subject of the curricula of Second Chance-education in Europe.
In cooperation with Second Chance-teachers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) engaged in development education, the didactic materials and workshop modules in this publication on different topics of sustainable consumption such as “Renewable Energies”, “Mobile Phones”, “Water as a Global Good”, “Global Good Production in the Textile Industry” and “Human Energy” have been compiled and developed to fill this gap.
Therefore, working meetings with teachers were organised. First teaching concepts and ideas were presented to the teachers to obtain constructive feedback and detailed information regarding the characteristics of the target group and the organisational framework of Second Chance-programmes. At a later stage, in all project countries first teacher workshops were implemented to train an extended number of teachers in the use of the materials. By means of such events the participants were enabled to work with the preliminary materials themselves, to test these and already to work on the basis of the proposed topics of development education on globalisation contexts in their courses. This way, in all project countries already a certain number of project events in Second Chanceprogrammes could be implemented in the course of which it was possible to obtain feedback directly from the young adults enrolled in the programmes as the final target group. It was important for us to find out whether the materials were applicable in the courses and appropriate for the target audience, whether interest on part of the participants in the topics could be sparked and whether the participants enjoyed the events and the chosen methodology. According to this experience gained, the materials could again be revised and optimised.
The aim of the project
The aim of the project is to inform young adults like the participants in Second Chance-programmes about the linkages between personal, local consumption and the global impact connected to it. It provides young adults the opportunity to look critically at individual consumption patterns and to develop alternative and more sustainable patterns of action.
The participants of Second Chance-programmes in Europe are rarely confronted with development issues in their daily lives. They are a special target group with particular learning needs: Most of them are young adults with a migration and/or difficult social background who may often experience merely little support for a sound education by their families. But with their upcoming entrance into working life they are in an important phase of their life. In the Second Chance-programmes they engage in order to improve their chances for their future. With the elaboration of the educational materials at hand we attempted to develop an innovative pedagogical approach for discussing the topic of sustainable consumption and issues of globalisation with participants in Second Chance-programmes. Of course, we hope that the materials will as well appeal to other actors engaged in various fields of education and that also other target groups will be able to work with them.
We are not claiming that the people participating in such events will be educated for becoming entirely informed and enlightened consumers. The events are designed to give participants an impetus for becoming aware of the topic of sustainability, of global connections and of the question of global justice, to put them in an informed position in case they should be in their future everyday lives be again confronted with the issue, and possibly to enable them to act consciously and sustainably in one or another future situation. All this without raising the admonishing trigger finger and appealing to their individual "guilty conscience". Awareness of sustainable consumption is a challenge, almost a science in itself in the face of the bulk of information and the complexity today’s life is providing us with.