ERG SES C 02, Poster Session
This phd-research project deals with the learning experiences of German adolescents who engage in child sponsorship programs for children in developing countries. Child sponsorships are a common option for people in so-called industrialised countries who wish to permanently support a non-governmental developmental organization (NGO) in their work for a child and its environment in a so-called developing country. Child sponsoring is a popular means of contributing to development efforts within many European, North American and Australasian countries. In response to paying monthly contributions the donors receive information about the sponsored child, the superordinate development project and also background information concerning the child’s country. By so connecting people from industrialised and developing countries child sponsorships convey images of developing countries, shape the donor’s understanding of development and are thus an essential way of engaging with developmental questions in the global South. In a broader sense child sponsoring encourages global perspectives on life and influences worldviews as well as attitudes concerning global challenges. For many people in the global North sponsoring programmes are therefore an important resource for dealing with aspects of globalisation and more specifically the development of a world society. For that reason child sponsorships can be considered informal learning opportunities in the global context (Scheunpflug 2005).
Due to its thematic focus, the educational value of child sponsorship programmes is located in the discourse concerning development education, global learning, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development (ESD). These closely linked concepts are of great importance in the era of globalisation and fundamental global challenges, the solutions to which will shape life on earth in the near and distant future. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) emphasized this importance by proclaiming the UN decade for education for sustainable development from 2005 to 2014. In Germany the discourse about global learning and ESD was made concrete in the installation of a nationwide framework for learning in the context of global development which gives curriculum guidance for formal learning institutions (BMZ & KMK 2012). In other European countries such as Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Sweden and Finland national strategies concerning global learning were developed (Scheunpflug 2012). The international educational scientific community as well as the organised civil society are engaging in an intensive discussion about theory and practice of the above named concepts (e.g. VENRO 2000, Scheunpflug & Schröck 2000, Scheunpflug 2012, Bourn 2008, Tallon 2013).
Child sponsoring is a highly controversial matter in this respect since sponsorship programs are often accused of conveying simplified concepts of “development as charity” (Smith & Yanacopulus 2004, p.661) and disguising the global causes of poverty in developing countries (Scheunpflug 2007, Smith & Yanacopulus 2004). Furthermore they are referred to as reinforcing stereotypes as well as feelings of superiority and thus impeding important learning processes regarding a change of perspective and senses of community in the world society. These effects, however, have not yet been the subject of empirical research.
This research project therefore develops a comprehensive picture of the sponsorship-related learning processes with regard to global orientations in the context of the world society. Due to the emphasis on young people in global learning and ESD it focusses on adolescents engaging in child sponsoring. Furthermore it only deals with those adolescents who sponsor a child as a group (e.g. school class or youth club) since this model is highly popular in Germany. The so enabled research of informal learning experiences within rather formal settings is of great interest against the background of the above-mentioned agendas concerning global learning and ESD in formal education in Germany and other European countries.
Asbrand, B. (2007): Partnerschaft – eine Lerngelegenheit? Zeitschrift für internationale Bildungsforschung und Entwicklungspädagogik 30 (3): 8-14. Asbrand, B. (2009): Wissen und Handeln in der Weltgesellschaft. Eine qualitativ-rekonstruktive Studie zum Globalen Lernen in der Schule und in der außerschulischen Jugendarbeit. Münster: Waxmann. Bohnsack, R. (2010): Rekonstruktive Sozialforschung. Einführung in qualitative Methoden. 8th ed. Opladen: Budrich. Bourn, D. (2008) (ed.): Development education. Debates and dialogue. London: Institute of Education. Bourn, D. & Brown, K. (2011): Young People and International Development. Research Paper No.2. London: DERC. Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) & Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (KMK) (ed.) (2012): Orientierungsrahmen für den Lernbereich Globale Entwicklung. 5th ed. Bonn. Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. L. (1967): The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Chicago: Aldine. Loos, P. & Schäffer, B. (2001): Das Gruppendiskussionsverfahren. Theoretische Grundlagen und empirische Anwendung. Opladen: Leske&Budrich. Mannheim (1964): Beiträge zur Theorie der Weltanschauungs-Interpretation. In: Karl Mannheim. Wissenssoziologie. Berlin: Luchterhand. 91-154. Mannheim (1980): Strukturen des Denkens. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Scheunpflug, A. (2005): Die öffentliche Darstellung von Kinderpatenschaften. Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme aus entwicklungspädagogischer Sicht. Nuremberg: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Retrieved January 10, 2014, from http://www.presse.uni-erlangen.de/infocenter/presse/pressemitteilungen/forschung_2005/06_05/Kinderpatenschaften.pdf. Scheunpflug, A. (2007): Partnerschaft oder Patenschaft. Zur Geschichte einer Auseinandersetzung. Zeitschrift für internationale Bildungsforschung und Entwicklungspädagogik 30 (3): 2-7. Scheunpflug, A. (2012): Globales Lernen – Theorie. In: Klemm, U. & Lang-Wojtasik, G. (ed.): Handlexikon Globales Lernen. Münter: Klemm&Oelschläger. 103-107. Scheunpflug, A. (2012): Vortrag. 2nd European Congress on Global Education. University of Lisbon. September 27-28, 2012. Scheunpflug, A. & Schröck, N. (2000): Globales Lernen. Einführung in eine pädagogische Konzeption zur entwicklungsbezogenen Bildung. Stuttgart: Brot für die Welt. Smith, M. & Yanacopulus, H. (2004): The public faces of development: an introduction. Journal of International Development 16 (5): 657-664. Tallon, R. (2012a). Emotion and agency within NGO development education: what is at work and what is at stake in the classroom? International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning 4 (2): 5-22. Tallon, R. (2012b). The impressions left behind by NGO messages concerning the developing world. Policy and Practice - A Development Education Review (15): 8-27. Tallon, R. (2013). What do young people think of development? An exploration into the meanings young people make from NGO media. Doctoral thesis. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. VENRO (2000): Arbeitspapier 10. Globales Lernen als Aufgabe und Handlungsfeld entwicklungspolitischer Nichtregierungsorganisationen. Bonn. Retrieved January 10, 2014, from http://www.venro.org/fileadmin/Publikationen/arbeitspapiere/arbeitspapier_10.pdf.
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