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Educational Proposal

Use them to support leaders in identifying the necessary steps to review or develop your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

Introduction

Creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal document is a complex and participatory process. It is composed of several stages in which different stakeholders at different levels of your NSO participate.

 

Objective

This tool is intended to

  • help your NSO’s leaders identify the necessary steps to create or revise its Educational Proposal.

This tool is intended for

  • members of your NSO’s National Board and Executive Directors.

 

Concept

The creation or revision of your NSO’s Educational Proposal begins with the political decision to undertake this process and ends with the approval of the text by the decision-making body responsible for it (National Assembly or National Board of your NSO). 

It is a complex participatory process in which different people take part at different levels of the organisation. It must be carefully planned and conducted.

Based on experience, we have identified an eight-step process:

 

  • 1. Make the political decision to create or revise your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

Any process of creation or creation must have the explicit approval of your NSO’s political body, either the National Assembly or the National Board. It is a decision that involves not only the educational area, but the whole organisation.

The Educational Proposal should be considered as the second normative document of your NSO; it stipulates the what, for whom, and how your NSO achieves its social purpose.

 

  • 2. Appoint a team.

Once the political decision to create or revise your NSO’s  Educational Proposal has been made, appoint a team that will carry out the process. This team must be diverse and intergenerational and formed of people from different areas of your organisation with a solid experience of Scouting. This team should not be many; nonetheless, it requires gathering some people with the following characteristics:

  • Educational competencies, with a clear understanding of the particularities of the Scout Movement as an advocate of non-formal education.
  • Social research competencies.
  • Communication skills, including the ability to  write and edit texts.
  • Management and planning competencies.

A member of the National Board should also be a part of the team. They will act as a permanent liaison with the political body. Likewise, it is advisable to have the support of external consultants. They will advise the team on various topics that should be considered during the revision or creation process. 

 

  • 3. Define a roadmap to create or revise your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

The roadmap is a document in which a set of actions and procedures is planned to organise the process of creation and approval of the Educational Proposal. This document defines the stages, outcomes, times, and actors involved in the creation process of the Educational Proposal. The roadmap is defined by the appointed team and approved by the National Board. 

 

  • 4. Research, conduct analysis, and provide input.

An NSO cannot expect to attract and maintain its members unless it satisfies their needs and expectations. Therefore, unless your Educational Proposal is perceived as relevant for the community, your NSO will not continue to receive its support. Research should be directed to investigate whether your NSO’s Educational Proposal satisfies the needs and expectations of both young people and the community it serves. 

The main research should be directed both towards young people in general and to the members of your NSO. Enquiring with families, formal educators, national authorities, business, churches, and other civil society organisations should also be considered in a transparent process that should provide feedback at the end.

The results of the research are processed, analysed, and presented. Based on this analysis, reference materials are produced to serve as input for the final draft of your Educational Proposal.

 

  • 5. Have consultations on the research results.

The material produced based on the research done by the team will serve as a basis for a broad and participatory consultation process. The content of your Educational Proposal should be the product of debate, consensus, and the confluence of diverse interests. Therefore, it is very important to include as many members of your NSO as possible in the debate.

 

  • 6. Draft the proposal.

The research and consultation process will produce a set of inputs that will be the basis for drafting the content of your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

  • 7. Share the content of the Educational Proposal.

The content produced by the team should be distributed among the members of your NSO for a final consultation to receive their comments and feedback.

 

  • 8. Get the Educational Proposal content approved.

The final content should be  approved by your NSO’s National Assembly or National Board to later be distributed through your institutional channels.

Use it to control the most important aspects and variables involved in the process and identify the actions to take.

 

Introduction

The complex process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal document must be carefully planned with progress and revisions tracked

 

Objective

This tool is intended to

  • provide a checklist to control the most important aspects and variables involved in the process of creating or  revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • identify the actions to take and follow the progress; use it frequently, ideally at each follow-up meeting to help you keep track of the performed tasks and show what is still pending.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • the National Board.

 

How to use the tool

  • As a team, analyse and answer the following questions.
  • Take note of aspects that are still to be defined or where you find divergences.
  • Define specific actions and set up dates by which each one should be completed. At the beginning, the tool will focus on establishing future actions and their deadlines, but once the indicator is achieved, it will be recorded as accomplished.
  • A. PREVIOUS ASPECTS
No. Aspects to consider Yes No Actions Due dates Observations

 

A.1

 

Is there a need to create or revise our Educational Proposal?

         

 

A.2 

 

Has the need to revise our Educational Proposal been carefully assessed? See Tool EP 05.

 

         

 

A.3

 

Is there an explicit political interest to create or revise our Educational Proposal?

         

 

A.4

 

Is there a person in the political body responsible for the process?

         

 

A.5

 

Has a person been assigned to be technically responsible for the process?

         

 

 

  • B. TEAM
No. Aspects to consider Yes No Actions Due dates Observations

 

B.1

 

Has a team been appointed?

         

 

B.2

 

Does each member of the team have the necessary skills to carry out their assigned tasks?

 

         

 

B.3

 

If the team members do not have the necessary skills, will they be provided with training?

         

 

B.4

 

Are external consultants integrated into the team?

         

 

B.5

 

Does the team have a work plan with defined goals and deadlines?

         

 

 

  • C. ROADMAP

Document describing the creation, consultation, and approval process of our Educational Proposal.

No. Aspects to consider Yes No Actions Due date Observations

 

C.1

 

Has a roadmap to carry out the process of creating or revising our Educational Proposal been developed?

         

 

C.2

 

Will the eight steps proposed in Tool 1 be used?

         

 

C.3

 

Is this roadmap the result of an agreement between the technical team and the political body of our NSO?

         

 

C.4

 

Has the roadmap been approved by the National Board or the political body of our NSO?

         

 

C.5

 

Has this roadmap been communicated with our NSO? 

         

 

C.6

 

Are there material and economic resources to carry out the process?

         

 

 

  • D. ENQUIRY INSTANCES

It is necessary to define the consultation platforms and who will be able to participate in each one.

No. Aspects to consider Yes No Actions Due dates Observations

 

D.1

 

Have consultation, defining, or approval instances for the content of our Educational Proposal been considered?

         

 

D.2

 

Has our NSO been informed of the consultation, defining, or approval instances?

  

         

 

D.3 

 

Do the consultation instances include as many actors as possible?

         

 

D.4

 

Do the consultation instances include all levels of our NSO (unit, group, district, etc.)?

         

 

D.5

 

Has the creation of consultation platforms such as round tables, symposiums, adult training, or seminars considered?

         

 

 

  • E. THE ACTORS

It is necessary to clearly define the actors that will participate in the process and in which stages  involved. Actors are defined as the NSO Scout groups, National Board, National teams, districts, etc., or as individuals, such as unit leaders at the local level, leaders at district level, professional adults, trainers, youth, families, formal educators, cooperators, etc.

No. Consultation instances  Yes No Actions Due date Observations

 

E.1

 

Young people of all genders (Scouts and non-Scouts)

         

 

E.2

 

All the NSO’s volunteers and professional adults

         

 

E.3

 

Our NSO’s young people and parents of non-Scout 

         

 

E.4

 

Representatives of sponsoring entities

         

 

E.5

 

WOSM

         

 

E.6

 

Government agencies linked to education, childhood, and youth concerns

         

 

 

  • F. THE INPUTS

It is necessary to define the necessary inputs, such as drafts with advances in definitions, research results, reflection documents, etc.

No. Inputs Yes No Actions Due date Observations

 

F.1

 

Membership information (by age and gender), territorial coverage, time of permanence, socioeconomic group, ethnic groups, market share, etc. 

         

 

F.2

 

Studies on the reality of children and youth in the country.

         

 

F.3

 

Studies on the educational condition of the country.

         

 

F.4

 

Studies on the perceived image of the Scout movement in the country.

         

 

F.5

 

Studies on the expectations of parents and supporters regarding the Scout Movement. 

         

 

F.6

 

Texts of Educational Proposals of other youth organisations in the country.

         

 

F.7

 

WOSM documents.

         

 

F.8

 

Texts that include the founder’s educational foundations.

         

 

 

  • G. THE PRODUCT

Characteristics of the Educational Proposal content and other secondary products that we want to obtain. 

No. Item Yes No Actions Due dates Observations

 

G.1

 

Have we defined the end result we would like to obtain after creating or revising our Educational Proposal?

         

 

G.2

 

Has the content of our Educational Proposal been defined?

         

 

G.3

 

Have the chapters or sections in our Educational Proposal been defined?

         

Use it to establish a diagnostic to find if the Educational Proposal meets the needs of a wide spectrum of society.

 

Introduction

To achieve its Mission, Scouting must ensure that its Educational Proposal reaches as many young people as possible. One of the World Scout Youth Programme Policy principles is

 

Be open to all: The Youth Programme should meet the needs of all young people. The programme must be designed with the necessary flexibility to adapt to each society’s culture, society, economy, race, religious diversity and gender. It should also include people with disabilities.”1

But there is a significant gap between declaring the intention to grow and actually reaching as many young people as possible, and taking concrete actions so that your Educational Proposal meets the needs of the wide spectrum of society. 

 

Objectives

This tool is intended to

  • establish a diagnostic approach to assessing the state of your Educational Proposal in regard to coverage, scope, accessibility, structure for delivery, relationship with sponsors, and visibility.
  • help define some actions to improve aspects like coverage, scope, accessibility, structure for delivery, relationship with sponsors, and visibility.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • participants of studies or discussions (seminars, workshops, etc.) organised by your NSO during the creation or revision of its Educational Proposal.

 

How to use this tool

The purpose of this tool is to present a set of possible circumstances which, seen as stages, establish a diagnostic approach, and define some actions to reverse undesirable situations.

The tool presents six items to consider for the diagnosis: coverage, scope, accessibility, structure for delivery, relationship with sponsors, and visibility. Three possible scenarios are presented for each item: the ideal scenario is identified in green, an intermediate scenario in yellow, and a critical scenario in red.

  1. The team carefully analyses each item and has a group discussion to determine in which scenario  each item should be placed. When the description of an item does not strictly fit the analysed scenario, it is suggested that the team modify it so it can be described more accurately.
  2. The team defines a set of actions to improve the current situation and moves on to the next stage. The goal is for each item to arrive at the green scenario. At the end of each item, find a space to keep a record of the actions defined.

There could be cases in which the team is not even in the red state. If this happens,  there should be urgent plans to implement actions to overcome the situation.

COVERAGE

Ability to reach the largest possible area in the territory with our Educational Proposal

 

001

 

Our NSO’s educational offer is present throughout the national territory. 

 

Our NSO’s educational offer is concentrated in the major urban centres. Young people in some territories outside of these centres have difficulties accessing the Educational Proposal.

 

Our NSO’s educational offer has little presence throughout the national territory.

COVERAGE – Actions to develop

 

001

 

 

SCOPE

The ability to reach the greatest number of young people from various social sectors, economic groups, cultural groups, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, etc., with our NSO’s Educational Proposal to meet their needs and interests.

 

02

 

Our NSO’s educational offer has a broad scope, reaching out to different sectors of socio-economic groups, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, etc.

 

Our NSO’s educational offer does not reach all social sectors. This is perceived as a difficulty and there is willingness to change this situation.

 

Our NSO’s educational offer has a limited social scope. This is not perceived as a problem and therefore, there is no intention to change this situation.

SCOPE – Actions to develop

 

02

 

 

ACCESSIBILITY

It is easy to join the Movement. For example, it is easy for a young person to join a Scout group or unit because the group or unit is located near that young person’s school or residence, and the cost of participation, including the uniform, is reasonable.

 

03

 

When identifying any barrier that hinders a young person’s access to the Scout Movement, that barrier is studied and, if possible, eliminated.

 

There are barriers that prevent young people accessing the Scout Movement, although an effort is being made to identify them.

 

There are barriers that prevent young people accessing the Scout Movement, which are not perceived as a real problem by our NSO.   

ACCESSIBILITY – Actions to develop

 

03

 

 

STRUCTURE FOR DELIVERY

The structure in which our Educational Proposal is delivered to the children and young people for whom it is intended. For example, through Scout groups, units, or small groups.

 

04

 

Our NSO’s educational offer is delivered through a variety of flexible formats: small groups, units, scout groups, etc. 

 

Our NSO’s educational offer is delivered only through a standard format (mainly Scout groups), although it is recognised that this is a limitation. Modifications are being analysed.

 

Our NSO’s educational offer is delivered through a single standard format, and there are no intentions to change this.

STRUCTURE FOR DELIVERY – Actions to develop

 

04

 

 

SPONSORS

Entities, governmental institutions, or civil societies sponsoring the opening and maintenance of Scout groups or units.

 

05

 

Scout groups in our NSO are sponsored by various organisations of the government and civil society and new sponsorship possibilities are continually explored.

 

The highest percentage of Scout groups in our NSO is sponsored by a single civil society or governmental institution, although this is perceived as a problem.  Actions are being taken to change it.

 

The highest percentage of Scout groups are sponsored by a single civil society or governmental institution resulting in a  significant degree of dependence for our NSO.

SPONSORS – Actions to develop

 

05

 

 

VISIBILITY

Our NSO’s ability to be identified and recognised for its Educational Proposal by young people, families, and other social actors.

 

06

 

The government, companies, and civil society organisations recognise the Scout Movement as an educational agent, and therefore, as a valuable ally.

 

 

The government, companies, and civil society organisations understand that the Scout Movement does something good but does not really know what it does.

 

The government, companies,  and civil society organisations do not know what the Scout Movement does.

07

 

Young people identify the Scout Movement as something challenging and attractive that helps them to grow, and therefore, as something valuable for their lives.

 

Young people identify the Scout Movement as something for young children that begins to lose its charm as they grow older and reach adolescence.

 

Young people perceive Scouting as something “silly” and old-fashioned.

 

08

 

Parents recognise the Scout Movement’s educational offer as a contribution to the growth of their children, and therefore, as a valuable resource.

 

The parents understand that Scouting does something good, but they do not know what it does.

 

Parents do not know what the Scout Movement does.

VISIBILITY – Actions to develop

 

06

 
07  

 

08

 

Use it to get direction on how to create a roadmap. 

 

Introduction

A roadmap is a document that defines the stages, the outcomes, the times, and the actors involved in both the creation and the approval of your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

Objective

This tool is intended to

  • give direction on how to produce a roadmap for the creation of your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • the National Board.

 

How to use the tool

  1. Read the steps for the development of a roadmap and analyse the proposed roadmap model.
  2. Evaluate its usefulness and effectiveness in designing your own roadmap. 
  3. Design a roadmap for the development of your Educational Proposal in which the actions, the responsibilities, the outcomes, and the required times are detailed.
  4. Make a timeline or work schedule in which actions and times are clearly identified.

 

Steps in the development of a roadmap

 

Step1. Reasoning

Write the reason the Educational Proposal is useful and describe its purpose.

 

Step 2. Define the stages

Identify tasks or common actions that will allow you to obtain a specific outcome.

 

Step 3. Plan what’s going to happen at each stage

Define what actions or tasks will be carried out at each stage, the desired outcomes, those responsible, the scopes, and times.

 

ROADMAP MODEL

DEVELOPMENT OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROPOSAL

(The information in this table is for reference only; each NSO should define its own information.)

Stage 1. Forming an Educational Proposal Development Team and designing a roadmap.
Actions/Tasks Responsible Areas/Spaces Time Product

 

Appoint the Educational Proposal Development Team.

Nominate a team coordinator.

 

National Board

 

Meeting of the National Board

 

 

An  Educational Proposal Development Team

 

Define the stages of the roadmap, the products, the times, and the actors that will intervene throughout the process.

 

Project Development Team

 

Team meeting 

 

 

Roadmap of the elaboration of the Educational Proposal

 

Create a timeline that illustrates actions and times from start to finish.

 

Project Development Team

 

Team meeting

 

 

Schedule or timeline

 

Approve the roadmap. 

(The roadmap for the development of the Educational Proposal is presented to the political authority of your NSO for approval.)

 

The project team Coordinator presents the roadmap to the National Board who approves it.

 

Meeting of the National Board

 

 

Approval agreement

 

STAGE 2. Input research and production (carry out some research that will provide you with information on aspects of the social and organisational reality)
Actions/Tasks Responsible Areas/Spaces Time Product

 

Research the needs and interests of young people.

 

Research Group 1

 

Meetings with representatives of the National University, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Education, World Scout Bureau

 

 

Report of findings that will serve as inputs for consultations in the next stage

 

Research family expectations.

 

Research Group 2

 

Research national goals.

 

Research Group 3

 

Research the founder’s educational ideas.

 

Research Group 4

 

Research educational trends.

 

Research Group 5

 

Research inclusion and accessibility.  

 

Research Group 6

 

Research NSO and WOSM documents.

 

Research Group 7


Analyse the findings. 

 

Education Proposal Development Team

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

Document presenting the findings that will serve as material during consultations

 

Stage 3. Consultations on inputs 
Actions/Tasks Responsible Areas/Spaces Time Product

 

Organise the consultations. Define who will be consulted (adults, youth, families, etc.), where  the consultations will take place (Scout groups, training, etc.), and what materials will be used for the consultations.

 

Project Development Team

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

Materials for consultation

 

Consult group councils and district training sessions.

 

Project Development Team

 

Group council meetings

 

District training sessions

 

 

Consultation results

 

Analyse and synthesise the responses produced from the inputs to get relevant information to use in the next stage of the roadmap.

 

Project Development Team

 

Note: Depending on the dimension of the  responses gathered from the consultation, you may require help to synthesise all the information.

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

Documents containing results from the analysis and synthesis of the consultations

 

Stage 4. Drafting the content of the Educational Proposal 
Actions/Tasks Responsible Areas/S or spaces Time Product

 

Write the content for the Educational Proposal.

 

Define the type of content  the document should have. Should it be divided into parts, chapters? What should those parts be?

 

Write the first draft, proofread, format, and copy-edit.

 

Project Development Team

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

First version of the Educational Proposal document

 

Approve the first draft of the Educational Proposal text.

 

Team coordinator presents it to the National Board

 

Approval by the National Board

 

 

Approval agreement

 

Stage 5 – Consultations on the first draft of the Educational Proposal
Actions/Tasks Responsible Areas/Spaces Time Product

 

Organise the consultations. 

 

Define who will be consulted? (All Scout educators, youth, families…?),

 

Where will the consultations take place? (In scout groups, training sessions, special meetings…?).

 

How are you going to share the first draft of the Educational Proposal?

 

Project Development Team

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

Consultation device

 

Carry out the consultations.

 

Project Development Team

 

All Scout groups

 

 

First draft of the Educational Proposal with the comments made during the consultations

 

Analyse the answers from the consultations and make changes to the first draft if necessary.

 

Project Development Team

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

Second draft of the Educational Proposal with the comments incorporated into the text

 

Share feedback on the consultation results and adjustments from the first draft.

 

Project Development Team

 

Virtual work, team meeting

 

 

Release

 

STAGE 6 – Educational Proposal final draft approval
Actions/Tasks Responsible Areas/Spaces Time Product

 

Present the second draft of the Educational Proposal to the political authorities for approval.

 

Project Development Team

 

As defined in the roadmap for the development of the Educational Proposal, this can be

 

  1. the National Committee and endorsed by the National Assembly.

 

  1. endorsed by the National Committee and approved by the National Assembly.
 

 

Final draft of your Educational Proposal

 

Approval agreement

 

Distribution of the updated Educational Proposal.

 

NSO Communication Area

 

External media, official channels of the NSO

 

 

Campaign to distribute the Educational Proposal

Use it to assess the validity of your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

Introduction

Before you start reviewing your NSO’s Youth Programme, assess the validity of its current Educational Proposal.

 

Objective

This tool is intended to

  • offer a series of questions that will help you assess the validity of your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the National Board.
  • National Teams.
  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

How to use the tool

  1. As a team, begin by analysing the validity of the current Educational Proposal and take note of the main conclusions. Use Table A for this task
  2. Use Table B to continue the analysis and note your conclusions.
Table A
No. Questions to reflect on  Things to consider

 

A.1

 

When was your NSO’s Educational Proposal developed, and what was the development process?

 

How long since it was developed?

How was your Educational Proposal developed? (Who participated? What was the outcome of the discussions? Who made up the group? How was the existing proposal adapted?)

 

A.2 

 

How would you describe the status of your NSO when the Educational Proposal was developed?

 

Membership data (quantity, permanence, rotation, distribution of ages and gender, territorial coverage, social groups to which it did not arrive). 

Governance. Participation of young people in decision-making processes.  

Organisational image.

 

A.3

 

How would you describe society at that time?

 

Describe the political, cultural, economic, and social aspects. 

Describe the situation of young people in the country (health, education, work, etc.).

Country issues.

 

 

A.4

 

Do you think that the content of the current Educational Proposal accurately reflects the status of your NSO, your country, and the youth at the time it was developed?

 

Table B
No. Questions to reflect on Things to consider

 

B.1 

 

How would you describe the current status of your NSO? 

 

Membership data (quantity, permanence, rotation, distribution of ages and gender, territorial coverage, social groups our Youth Programme did not reach). 

Governance. Participation of young people in decision-making processes.  

Organisational image.

 

B.2

 

How would you describe society now?

 

Describe the political, cultural, economic, and social aspects. 

Describe the situation of young people in the country (health, education, work, etc.).

Country issues.

 

 

B.3

 

From the analysis carried out,  what aspects of the current Educational Proposal are effective?

B.4

 

What aspects of the situation of your NSO, your country, and the youth at this time should be reflected in the Educational Proposal?

 

Does it reflect the needs and aspirations of today’s youth within your NSO’s Youth Programme?

 

Does it reflect the social, cultural, and political needs within your NSO’s Youth Programme?

Use it to identify situations, difficulties, and solutions that arise during the process.

 

Introduction

Having an updated Educational Proposal is the first step in the review and creation of your NSO’s Youth Programme. It is also an opportunity to review all the ideas that support the main reason for your NSO existing.

To review the Educational Proposal means to investigate the identity of and give meaning to your NSO. It is a process that impacts the life of the entire organisation, if it is well done. 

In this tool, we share Chapter 1 of the Green Island, a book by Dominique Benard and Jacqueline Collier Jespersen, which recounts the development process of the Educational Proposal of an NSO. Using this text, we want to trigger a collective reflection which we hope will be of use to the national leaders.

 

Objectives

This tool is intended to

  • analyse the importance of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal
  • identify situations, difficulties, and the usual solutions that arise in the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • members of the National Board and Executive Office 

 

How to use the tool

  1. In group or individually, read the story of Eve and Vladimir carefully. From the information that the story gives:
    • Recognise the importance of your NSO having an Educational Proposal.
    • Identify similar difficulties that the characters go through in the process of developing their Educational Proposal. Compare them with what you have gone through/are going through.
    • Recognise how they overcome these difficulties and discuss possible situations for your own difficulties.
  2. In a plenary session, discuss their conclusions and, through a debate, reach a consensus on the three preceding points
  •  

Excerpt from The Green Island

Vladimir and Eva live in the capital of a small country in eastern Europe, where the totalitarian regime, which had governed since 1945, has just collapsed. Life is hard for the man in the street. The economy is in ruins. Vladimir has just completed his studies in civil engineering. He is twenty-five years old and is looking for a job. Eva is a nurse. She is twenty-four. They are both full of hope for the future, despite the very difficult situation. 

Like all young people, Vladimir and Eva were once members of the former state-run youth organisation. Based on their experience, they rejected the indoctrination and depersonalisation inherent in that system. Even before democratisation, Vladimir and Eva had discovered Scouting through old books circulating illicitly and by hearing about it at first hand from old Scouts. They then joined the re-emerging Scout Movement.

It was not easy to begin with. Documentation was scarce, as was goodwill. A few old handbooks from the 1930s belonging to old Scouts, some magazines from abroad and plenty of enthusiasm got them started. After a couple of months, they established relations with the several dozen local groups that had sprouted up somewhat haphazardly. A Scout association was re-established after a break of almost half a century. Eva was elected chairman of the programme committee, and Vladimir became her assistant. Their mission: to establish a youth programme adapted to the current situation and needs of young people. Their goal: to propose a revised programme at the next general assembly in one year’s time. The European Scout Office provided documentation and encouragement, and promised to assist them.

Our story begins on the day that Vladimir visits a friend of his father’s, a retired professor of psychology.

 

An Educational Proposal

Wednesday, 9 September, 17.00 hours

The old tram screeched to a halt, and Vladimir jumped down from the step. The rain had stopped, and rays of pale sunshine were piercing the clouds. The puddles on the dirty cobblestones reflected fine shreds of blue sky. Despite the first dead leaves, the month of September had not yet bid farewell to summer.

Vladimir strode towards the large grey, drab buildings across the road, trying to avoid the puddles. Tall and skinny, he was wrapped up in an old leather coat that was too big for him. With his narrow, bony face perched on top of his long neck, his thick brown hair, bright eyes behind small, steel-framed glasses, and thin, wiry legs, he looked like some kind of wading bird.

He dived into the lobby of the building and looked for the professor’s name on the letterboxes – Jan Kessel, fifth floor, left. Taking the stairs two at a time, he quickly reached a landing enclosed by washed-out walls. A door opened, revealing a rather small man with a round face topped with a mass of white hair, dressed simply in woollen trousers and a roll-neck sweater. Vladimir was once again struck by the sparkle in the eyes behind the thick glasses.

“Hello Vladimir. I saw you from the window. Well done, you’re on time. Come in!”

Vladimir shook the professor’s hand and went into the tiny apartment where Jan Kessel lived alone.

“Let me take your coat, Vladimir, and please sit down. Would you like a cup of tea?”

Vladimir accepted the offer and took a look around. Two windows lit the room, which served as both the bedroom and the living room. A door at the back led to a tiny kitchen. Every nook and cranny were full of books and magazines, piled up all over the place. Dozens of envelopes bearing the stamps of various countries were strewn over the table, on which an old Olympia typewriter took pride of place. A grey cat, curled up on the worn sofa, glanced at Vladimir and then returned to its siesta.

Jan Kessel had once been an eminent professor of psychology, whose opposition to the former regime had cost him ten years’ forced labour. Upon his release, he had had no other choice but to work as a skilled worker in a factory to earn a living. The present government had given him a small pension and an apartment. Vladimir held him in great esteem and considered him his mentor.

The professor came back into the room, carrying a tray with two cups, a teapot, a milk jug and a saucer of biscuits on it.

“Please excuse the mess, but I get lots of letters from my university friends in western Europe who want to know what things are like here. Replying to them keeps me very busy. Do you take milk?”

“Yes please”, Vladimir replied.

Vladimir took a sip of his tea and began to explain the reason for his visit.

He had to prepare the programme committee’s first working weekend and was wondering how best to go about it.

“You’ve got to devise a new youth programme, have you?” asked the old professor.

“Yes. Since we started, we’ve been operating based on a few recollections from the 1930s, but now it’s time to modernise the Movement to really meet the needs of today’s youth. We’re full of ideas, but lack a working method. I’m sure you can help us.”

Jan Kessel remained silent for a few moments. He drank some tea before speaking:

“I think you first have to answer a question, which is ‘what is an association?’”

Vladimir was visibly surprised.

“Er… An association? That’s pretty obvious. People get together and join forces to do something together.”

“Yes, but why do they join forces? What makes them do that? Today, people in our country are free at last. Nothing and nobody can force them to join an organisation. Something therefore has to motivate them to do so.”

“Yes, of course. A shared purpose.”

“And what’s that, Vladimir?”

“Pardon?”

Jan Kessel set his cup down on the table.

“What’s the purpose that motivates the members of your association to… ‘join forces’?”

“Scouting, of course. We decided to create a Scout association.”

Vladimir couldn’t quite see what the professor was getting at. Jan Kessel continued:

“When people want to play football, they set up a football club. When people want to be Scouts, they set up a Scout association. It’s the same thing, isn’t it?”

“Well, yes!”

“I don’t think so”, the professor replied after a moment’s silence. “The rules of football, or any other sport, are simple and consistent, but your case is different. The proof is that you have to meet to develop a Scout programme, which would not be necessary for football or basketball.”

Vladimir started to grasp what the professor was getting at.

“Ah, I see what you mean. A sport has precise rules and a simple programme.

All you have to do is form a team and practise in order to play in competitions. In the case of Scouting, on the other hand, things are more complicated; the general principles have to be adapted to a particular situation.”

“Precisely”, confirmed the professor. “The purpose, principles and the method of Scouting are established at international level, but you have to adapt them to the conditions of our country.”

“That is indeed our goal.”

“I may be wrong,” the professor added, “but I get the impression that the main aim of most of those people who were in your association to begin with was to recreate something that existed in the past… a sort of ‘restoration’.”

“That’s clear. Many of us, particularly the old Scouts, are first of all driven by the desire to re-create the Scout association as it existed before. That’s only normal. There are however others, such as Eva and myself, who think that yesterday’s Scouting has to be modernised in order to meet the educational needs of today’s young people.”

“So there are at least two quite different motivations among your members”, the professor noted. “Some want to restore Scouting to what it was before, whereas others want to adapt it to meet present-day needs. But what are those needs? You’ve created an association that people join voluntarily, but with no clear definition, accepted by all, of the common purpose. Isn’t that so? In that case, aren’t the ties uniting your members somewhat weak and fragile? Aren’t they at risk of being ruptured at the slightest tug?”

“You’re saying that our first task should be to clearly state the purpose of the association and to ensure that everybody adheres to it?”

“Or at least the majority. Exactly Vladimir. You see, an association of volunteers is something that we’re no longer familiar with in our country. In order to establish itself on solid foundations, such an association has to ensure that all of its members share the same purpose, ideas and culture. That’s a long and difficult process.”

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

“Right. But to construct a solid house, you have to make sure that the foundations are well-anchored.”

“So it’s not enough to declare that we want to be Scouts, and to keep in mind the purpose, principles and method of Scouting?”

“I don’t think so. What you have to draw up is a type of general proposal, expressing what you want to achieve together, here in our country.”

“I see”, said Vladimir.

“And there’s something else”, Professor Kessel added.

“What’s that?”

“A second important question, which is ‘what’s education?’”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Your purpose is to develop an educational association, isn’t it?”

“Yes, of course it is.”

“Therefore, you have to answer the question ‘what does education mean today, in our country?’ And ‘how can education be carried out through Scouting?’ How would you define education, Vladimir?”

“Education means teaching something, doesn’t it?”

“That’s teaching. Education is something else. You see this small book? It’s

‘Footsteps of the Founder’, a book of quotations by Robert Baden-Powell collected by an Italian Scout leader, Mario Sica. One of my correspondents sent it to me when she found out that I was interested in Scouting. Listen to Baden-Powell’s definition of education: The secret of sound education is to get each pupil to learn for himself, instead of instructing him by driving knowledge into him on a stereotyped system”.

“That’s a very modern concept!”

“Yes. What’s more, Baden-Powell was very critical of the school system in his day. In an article published in the Headquarters Gazette in 1913, he wrote:

The necessary points to develop in our youth in order to evolve good citizens are: 1) Character; 2) Erudition. These are stated in their order of importance. Number 2 is taught in the schools. Number 1 is left to the pupils to pick up for themselves out of school hours, according to their environment. Number 1 is precisely what the Scout Movement endeavours to supply. The two main methods of training are: 1) By Education: that is by ‘drawing out’ the individual boy and giving him the ambition and keenness to learn for himself. 2) By Instruction: that is by impressing and drumming knowledge into the boy. Number 2 of these is still too often the rule. In the Scout Movement we use Number 1”.

“So, Baden-Powell made a radical contrast between the school system and Scouting?” Vladimir asked.

“It would appear so, wouldn’t it? This was certainly well-established at the time that he was writing. Things are different these days, and it’s no longer possible to support such a radical contrast. But that’s not the main point. Like Socrates, Baden-Powell maintained that true knowledge came from within, as a result of a personal process:

The soul is educated — that is, self–expanded — from within; it cannot be developed artificially by the application of book instruction and rules from without”.

“He couldn’t have put it more clearly!” Vladimir exclaimed. “Some of our leaders should read that. I’ve got one question though. Baden-Powell maintains that character development should be the first aim of education. But what exactly does he mean by character?”

“That’s a very interesting question, which will doubtless have to be answered in more depth later. I think that, in Baden-Powell’s view, the term ‘character’ closely corresponded to the terms ‘reason’ or ‘wisdom’ expressed by the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. A man of character is responsible towards himself, trustworthy, capable of confronting difficulties and of taking decisions on his own.”

“Able to guide himself along his own path in everyday life…”

“Correct. And that, I believe, is very important in our country today, don’t you think?”

Vladimir nodded:

“It’s true that many people are completely lost with their rediscovered freedom. Their points of reference have disappeared, so they pounce on any belief. Many strange sects from western Europe and America are turning up here and gaining a foothold.”

“It’s a challenge for the future, Vladimir. A democracy can’t develop without a certain quality of citizen. Therein lies the main task that Scouting should set itself – developing the new citizens that our country needs.”

“That’s rather ambitious!”

“But you need an ambitious proposal if you want to gather high-quality people around you!”

“I can see one problem in that though. Many of our leaders are afraid of the future and daren’t set objectives that they might not be able to achieve.”

“You’re right. There’s no point in frightening people by proposing unrealistic goals. Your proposal has to be coherent with the method and means that you’re able to implement. But it’s needed nevertheless and it has to be appropriate to the situation prevailing in our country.”

Vladimir took out a notebook and pen.

“But doesn’t education also mean passing on a certain number of values to young people? Many of our members, particularly the older ones, set great store by this. What’s more, our last general assembly was marked by extremely lively debates between two tendencies – on the one hand, those who want to simply adopt, as it is, the model presented to us by some western Scout associations, such as the Danes, Swedes or British, and on the other hand, those who reject such influences and want to preserve a national tradition.”

“Yes, you’re right”, acknowledged the professor. “Every society needs to reproduce itself, and the new generations need the experience of their predecessors. They can’t make a clean sweep of the past. Nor can they simply adopt models from abroad just as they are, even if they seem modern. Of course, we now live in an open society. It would be futile and dangerous to close in on ourselves and reject any outside influence. On the other hand, our situation is specific. It would be a mistake to blindly follow Danish, Swedish or British recipes here. We have to realise that all education is set in human history and that our history is specific.

In another respect, if the aim of education is to pass on experience acquired, it nevertheless has to accept that human knowledge changes with the generations.

The philosopher Hegel taught us that history resembles a river. At a given time, the movement of the water is determined by the flow of the river upstream, as well as by the rocks and meanders situated at this precise spot. Young people therefore have to be prepared to not only repeat a taught tradition, but also to adapt to the new conditions that they will inevitably encounter one day or another. That’s why the method is just as important as the content in education. The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget expressed this point of view perfectly:

Neither does a child approaching adulthood tend to receive reason and the rule of good deeds ready prepared, but rather captures them through his own individual effort and experience. In return, society expects new generations which are better than an imitation — an enrichment.” 

“I understand”, said Vladimir. “Education should not only pass on knowledge gained in the past, but also develop young people’s creativity so that they can deal with new situations and, in turn, enrich society. We can’t achieve this result by simply copying ready-made models, whether they stem from tradition or from abroad.”

“That’s right. You could say that education should help man to grow and not only to reproduce. And therein lies the whole interest of Scouting. Scouting doesn’t seek to ‘impress’ something determined in advance on young people, but to help them ‘express’ what they carry within themselves. It’s not only defined by what it gives young people, but also by the method it uses.

It doesn’t seek to give ready-made rules, but to provide each child with a compass allowing him or her to find his or her own way, irrespective of external circumstances.”

“In other words, it’s learning to learn!”

“Right!”

“It’s true that all of this should be supported and understood by everyone who joins the Movement. So you think that the first stage of our work should be to draw up the association’s educational proposal?”

“Yes. I believe this is essential for at least three reasons: firstly, in order to state the purpose around which your youth programme will be built; secondly, in order to call upon the adult leaders to commit themselves to a specific proposal; and thirdly, in order to present the Movement and what it offers young people to the community and to parents. I’m going to make some more tea. Would you like some?”

“Yes please. Meanwhile, I’ll sort my notes.”

When the professor returned with the teapot refilled, Vladimir suggested that they summarise their discussion:

“I’ve grasped the importance of drawing up an educational proposal and now understand that it should cover:

  1. An analysis of the main needs of today’s young people in our country.
  2. How Scouting can meet those needs; in other words, the educational goals that we want to reach in our specific situation.
  3. How we propose to do this in concrete terms, through which activities and through which style of educational relationship between young people and adults.

“I do, however, have one question”, Vladimir added. “What process would you recommend for achieving this result?”

“That was a good summary”, the professor said approvingly. “And it actually provides the answer to your question. The first step is indeed to identify the principal needs of young people. You could bring together a group of leaders who already have extensive experience, and ask them to pool their observations. You could also gather advance documentation to get the discussion going. I’ve got a few press articles on current youth problems that I can give you. But that doesn’t stop you or your friends from looking for other documents yourselves — in the university library, for example.”

“Do you know any experts, like educationalists or researchers, who could help us?”

“Yes, I’ve still got some friends in the Faculty of Education. Analysing the needs of young people is still a very new process in our country, but I think I can come up with a name or two. In any case, it’s essential that you form a small research and analysis team. Don’t forget that it’s your proposal that you’re drawing up, not that of a university or some educational institution or other. It should be written in simple terms that everyone can understand, so that it can easily be conveyed to all interested parties – leaders, parents, friends, etc.”

Vladimir did not want to take up any more of the professor’s time. He emptied his cup, thanked his host warmly and took his leave. It was time to meet Eva, who had finished her shift at the hospital at least an hour before and would be waiting for him at the association’s headquarters. He took the same tramline back to the city centre. The Scout association had found temporary premises in an old bastion, which the city council had made available to them.

It was on the other side of a small park. A light escaped from one of its narrow windows. Eva was already there. Vladimir quickened his pace and pushed the heavy door of the historic bastion, before climbing the steps of the cold stone staircase.

A vast vaulted room occupied most of the first floor. This was the association’s national office, also known as “HQ”. The centre of the room, equipped with thirty or so assorted chairs and an old blackboard, was used for meetings. Around this were several working areas – comprising one or two trestle tables, a cupboard and a few chairs – which had been set up as the various “service desks” of the association. Panels decorated with posters from other Scout associations separated the working areas. The windows, set deep in narrow slits in the thick walls, hardly let in any light. The yellow electric light, sparsely diffused by scarce light bulbs, gave the room a special atmosphere, which Vladimir would have described as either romantic or depressing, depending on his mood.

He passed the desk of the secretariat, that of the administration and then the chairman’s table – adorned with the association’s flag – before joining Eva, who was sitting at the programme committee’s desk in front of a large electric typewriter. Upon hearing his steps, Eva turned towards him and looked at him sternly.

“Hi Vladimir. Late again as usual!”

“Hi Eva. Don’t bare your teeth! I’m sorry, but Professor Kessel kept me longer than anticipated.”

“OK. We’ve got no time to lose. We have to type the invitation for the committee meeting, and I’ll photocopy it at the hospital tomorrow.”

“Where did you unearth this monster?” Vladimir asked, pointing at the typewriter.

“Stefan managed to persuade the chief clerk at the town hall to donate it to us. Apparently, they’ve been given money to buy word processors. It works very well, except for the letter ‘o’, which is blocked up, but a drop of alcohol should clean it out okay.”

Seated close to Eva, Vladimir watched her nimble fingers running over the keys. She was a tiny, determined woman, with a fine, resolute face, framed by short brown hair. She was dressed simply in jeans and a roll-neck sweater. Vladimir greatly appreciated her intelligence and sense of organisation, a significant advantage for their teamwork, as he freely admitted that he himself was a dreamer and somewhat disorganised. He also admired the depth of her commitment. She didn’t hesitate to spend hours at “HQ” after an exhausting day or night shift at the hospital. Night was starting to fall, and the room began to feel damp and cold.

Vladimir took off his leather coat and put it round Eva’s shoulders. She gave him a quick smile.

“So, what did you get out of this old professor? Tell me!”

 

Sunday, 13 September, 16.00 hours 

The programme committee’s meeting had just finished. Vladimir and Eva had stayed behind to tidy the room with the help of Stefan, one of the members of the programme committee who also lived in the capital. The other participants, from the provinces, had hurried off to the station, anxious not to miss their trains home.

“What did you think of the meeting, Stefan?” Vladimir asked, while piling up the chairs.

Stefan was an engineer at the city waterworks, which gave him access to the town hall. He was thirty-one and an unusually strong, red-haired, calm, gentle giant. He had set up one of the first Scout units in the capital and possessed an innate understanding of education.

“I really liked Eva’s suggestion to organise a discussion between two groups, one representing the needs of young people, and the other Scouting’s resources. I think it helped us to come up with quite a few interesting ideas. But not all the committee members are used to this kind of method yet…”

Eva was busy copying the conclusions of the meeting from the blackboard, leaving the two young men to put the room back in order:

“We’ve gone as far as we can for the time being. With the working schedule drawn up by Vladimir with his professor, and the documents that you found in the library, we were able to prepare the meeting well. We now have a basis for an educational proposal. We need to finalise the text, that’s all.”

“Do you think that Piotr will agree to our proposal?” Stefan asked.

Piotr, a fifty-five-year-old grammar-school teacher, had been elected chairman of the association at the last general assembly. Eva considered the question for a moment before replying:

“We’ve been entrusted with preparing a revised youth programme to submit to the next general assembly. We’re not going to seek Piotr’s consent every time we lift a finger. We have to forge ahead. We’ll consult him later.”

“But what’s the next step in the process?”

Vladimir, who had been stacking the pile of chairs against the wall, picked up a broom and spoke:

“Now that we have a general educational proposal, why don’t we take up the elements of the old traditional programme and modernise them? I say, Stefan, are you going to let me do all the work?”

“OK, just a minute! I want to add something. You’re forgetting the age sections. For the moment, we just have Cubs and Scouts, plus an embryonic Rover section, but the British and the Swedes have Beavers from five to seven years of age…”

“Yes and, like the French, the Germans have subdivided the Scout section into two, with the younger ‘Jungpfadfinder’ and the older ‘Pfadfinder’. But you know very well that the older leaders will fight to hang on to the good old traditional system of three age sections! Anyway, it’s probably the only system that we’re capable of running at the moment.”

“That’s no reason not to examine our system of age sections”, Eva interrupted. “We have to work rationally. I don’t see why we should simply respect tradition without first asking ourselves some questions. We at least have to make sure that the way the sections are divided up corresponds to the stages of development of today’s young people!”

“And another thing”, added Stefan, going towards Vladimir, a shovel in one hand and a plastic bin in the other. “What exactly do you mean by modernising the old programme?”

“It’s simple”, Vladimir replied. “If you look at the old programme, you’ll see that there’s a sort of general structure common to all sections; for example, sport, life in the open air, handicrafts and skills, observation, etc. This would allow us to determine what young people should learn whilst, at the same time, providing us with activity ideas. Then we would only have to come up with more modern ideas, corresponding to the needs and interests of young people today.”

“We could certainly make quite quick progress that way”, Stefan admitted.

“It has the merit of simplicity!”

“Yes, but is it really in line with the educational proposal that we’ve just worked out?” Eva retorted. “Does it really cover everything that we want to develop? Why sport rather than self-expression through movement, and why observation rather than logical reasoning? It’s true that the old system has the advantage of being simple, but it’s actually no more than a catalogue of activities or skills to learn.”

“I wonder”, said Vladimir, “if we’re not complicating matters. Our predecessors were more pragmatic…”

“It’s not a question of complexity, Vladimir. It’s a question of concept. The idea of a general structure should be kept, but I think that it should correspond to the educational objectives and not to activities. When young people’s needs change, it’s not enough to just change the activities. Do you see?”

“Eva’s right”, Stefan admitted. “I’ve already thought about this aspect. In the old programme, young people were asked to learn semaphore or Morse code, for example. If, in order to modernise the programme, we suggest replacing these activities with some others that require using the telephone or amateur radio, then they no longer correspond to the same objectives.”

“Don’t they? Why not?” Vladimir asked.

“It’s simple”, said Eva. “Semaphore and radio are both used to communicate, aren’t they? But by learning semaphore, young people develop their visual memory, their observation skills and physical coordination at the same time. You can’t do that with a radio set.”

“It seems to me that it’s a trap that Scouting in western Europe has tended to fall into”, Stefan added. “In Germany last summer, I saw Scouts using computers at camp, but they couldn’t use a compass nor read a map!”

“Perhaps it’s more important for young people in Germany today to learn to use a computer rather than a compass!”

“Yes, but how can they cope at camp and go on hikes?”

“But why do you insist on going on hikes?” Vladimir started to lose his composure.

“That’s the whole point”, Eva interrupted, to calm things down. “You’re both right. It’s not a question of whether or not to modernise activities, but of knowing which educational objective such or such an activity is proposed for! The activity is just a way of achieving an educational objective.”

“That may well be so,” Vladimir interrupted, defending his point of view, “but surely some activities correspond to the fundamental elements of Scouting; those which take place out of doors, in contact with nature, for example.”

“Of course, but what counts is knowing which educational objective these activities correspond to. For example, why is nature so important in Scouting? Failing to answer this kind of question leads to activism – just repeating activities because they are traditional, without asking why. And when the time comes to adapt to new needs, you’re incapable of doing so, because you’ve never thought about what you’re doing!”

“Listen,” Vladimir added, “the weekend’s been long and tiring. I confess that I don’t quite know what to make of all this. What do you suggest, Eva?”

“Two important ideas emerge from what we’ve just said. The first is that we have to try and establish a general structure that’s valid for all the age sections, so that we can organise our educational objectives. This structure shouldn’t just be a catalogue of activities like in the old system. The second idea is that we have to examine whether the present age ranges actually correspond to the different stages of development of today’s young people.”

“That all seems extremely abstract and intellectual to me”, Vladimir grumbled.

“Why are you so disheartened?” Eva retorted. “I’ve got an idea. Let’s ask your old professor for help. The ideas he gave you were really helpful for this weekend. I suggest that we send him the report of our meeting and get his feedback for the next step. What do you think?”

“Why not?” Vladimir replied. “Provided that you see to it. I’ve found myself a little job in a factory for the next two weeks, so I’ll have a lot less time.”

“OK, boys! We’ve made good progress, so don’t despair. Let’s close up shop and go home. I’ll offer you a drink at the Pétofi café. We’ve earned it!”

 

Monday 14 September, 08.00 hours

That day, Eva wasn’t due on duty at the hospital until 10 o’clock. She got up early to write to Professor Jan Kessel.

Dear Professor,

As chairman of the programme committee of the Scout association, I would like to thank you for your valuable assistance, through Vladimir Kosta, which helped make the first stage of our task of defining a new youth programme for our association a success. We have drafted a general educational proposal, which constitutes the “raison d’être” of our association. A copy of the text is enclosed.

Now our committee wants to know how to take it one step further. Should we take up the traditional programme, which dates from the 1930s, and try to modernise it on the basis of the ideas expressed in the educational proposal, or should we be more ambitious and try to define detailed educational objectives for each age range, then propose activities through which to achieve those objectives?

Personally, I would be tempted to adopt the second method, but I confess that I am not exactly sure how to go about it. I was most impressed by the advice that you gave Vladimir for our first step in the process and I was wondering if you would agree to help us once again. I know that your time is limited, but I nevertheless hope that you will be able to advise us.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Eva Barkieta

 

Our Educational Proposal

1. Who Are We?

We are a movement of young people and adults involved voluntarily in promoting non formal education, which complements the family and school.

We are open to all young people, boys and girls, irrespective of social, ethnic, religious or cultural origin.

We focus on holistic development, taking every dimension of the person into account — body and health, intelligence, emotions, character, spirituality and the social dimension.

Our purpose is to help each young person develop his or her full potential, to ensure personal well–being and to enable him or her to become the type of active and responsible citizen that our country needs.

 

2. The Difficulties Young People Face 

We recognise the specific difficulties faced by young people in the transitional period that our country is undergoing:

  • Initially, the market economy has created a race towards material success, dominated by money and individualism. We are experiencing a value crisis. The “West” seems to be exporting its worst products to us first — pornography, wheeling and dealing, corruption, Mafia, etc.
  • Price rises, unemployment and the degradation of social systems have caused feelings of insecurity and anxiety. Many people are obliged to take several jobs in order to survive, and they no longer have any time to devote to social and community activities.
  • Relationships between young people and adults are becoming strained, especially since the family unit is supposed to tackle all the problems even whilst its integrity is threatened by demoralisation and the economic crisis.
  • Budgetary difficulties are causing the quality of the school and university systems to decline. As a result of economic difficulties and unemployment, young people remain dependent on their parents and cannot acquire the independence that they aspire to.
  • The quality of the natural environment in our country has been seriously affected by many years of negligence. This situation threatens the health of children and young people in particular. It is urgent to raise awareness of ecological issues.
  • There is a lack of communication between young people and adults. Young people feel that they are running up against a wall of incomprehension. They feel that today’s society is too rigid and unable to accept individuality. They feel that their skills and aspirations are not recognised and that nothing can be done to resolve the problems of society.
  • Young people are tending to become withdrawn. They fear the future and are afraid of taking on responsibilities in society. Many dream of a different society and would like to emigrate. Others fall into violence and delinquency. We are experiencing a resurgence of irrational beliefs. Sects, some more closed than others, are attracting a large audience.

 

3. Opportunities for Development

We also recognise positive elements in our society, on which we wish to base our approach:

  • In spite of all the difficulties, society is much more open. Individuals or groups with an enterprising spirit can create new, productive social and economic activities.
  • There is now freedom of information, even if books and newspapers are expensive. Young people can move around and access information more easily.
  • We are now discovering that history has been distorted. Our society wants to find the roots of its national culture again and to assert its identity.
  • Our country is not lacking in skills, and there are real intellectual opportunities and plenty of dynamism. With some encouragement, many new initiatives could be launched. International contacts can play the role of a catalyst.
  • Young people are looking for reasons to hope and believe in the future. Many seek to live together, to express themselves and to base their friendships on the principles of a moral lifestyle. They reject superficial conventions and relationships based on immediate interests. Their constant criticism also reflects their deep desire to find a way out of the present crisis.

 

4. What We Want to Do

Through Scouting, and through an educational relationship between young people and adults based on communication and trust, we want to help young people:

  • Discover their abilities, feel recognised as individuals, develop their self-confidence and adopt a value system that they have freely discovered and accepted by themselves, in order to establish a solid basis upon which to build their personal lives.
  • Develop a responsible attitude towards themselves and others.
  • Respect the dignity of each individual and reject racism and xenophobia.
  • Respect the natural environment and fight against any actions that threaten it.
  • Know how to inform themselves and how to discover the realities of society, firstly at local, then at national and international level.
  • Discover the interdependence that exists among different human communities and acquire a sense of justice and cooperation.
  • Prepare themselves to cope with change, by acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to use new technologies, and develop their capacities to adapt.
  • Acquire the motivation and skills needed to integrate themselves into society, to play an active role in society and to contribute to its development.
  • Be able to plan a project in a team and to carry it out in spite of any difficulties.
  • Discover the meaning of life beyond its material aspects and recognise its spiritual dimension.
  • Strengthen the cultural and spiritual roots of their community, whilst remaining open and tolerant towards other communities and other races.

Use it to guide the analysis of the findings obtained and select the topics to be included.

 

Introduction

A fundamental step for revising or creating your NSO’s  Educational Proposal is the analysis of the findings obtained by the research groups and their subsequent prioritisation to determine the topics on which your NSO will focus its educational offer.

 

Objective

This tool is intended to

  • offer a methodology to guide the analysis and weighting of the findings obtained to select the topics to be included in your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • participants of studies or discussions (seminars, workshops, etc.) organised by your NSO in the  process of creating or revising  its Educational Proposal.

 

How to use the tool

  1. In a plenary session, have each research group present 3-5 findings obtained in the investigation stage. Each finding is presented in a short sentence, accompanied by the data that supports the information, reflecting percentages, absolute numbers, etc., which will serve the weighting process.
  2. Record the findings using a record table (Figure 1). The theme refers to the topic investigated by each investigation group (health, education, economy, external image, internal study, etc.).
  3. Once all the findings are written in the table, evaluate them, one by one,  in a plenary session. Assign a value from  1 to 10 in column 1, depending on how relevant the finding is, considering the current situation of the country and the youth. In column 2, give a number to the resources (technical, economic, human) your NSO has to meet that need, 1 being minimum capacity to address the issue and 10 being the means to address the issue. In Column 3, assess the interest of your NSO (specifically its governing body) in addressing this issue, 1 being no interest and 10 being a clear political will to address it.
  4. Once all the findings have been analysed, proceed with the weighting. This requires multiplying the values ​​in columns 1, 2, and 3, and recording the result in column 4.

 

Findings record table Figure. 1

Theme Finding

1

Relevance

(1-10)

NSO capacity 

(1-10)

3

Interest of the NSO 

(1-10)

4

Weighing

(1) X (2) X (3)

           
           

 

5. Map the results. For this, a Cartesian axis can be used on which you graph the results to present them visually. The first analysis is the comparison between relevance and capacity. Each finding is written on a sticky note and located, as appropriate, on the vertical axis that marks the relevance from 0 to 10 (axis A), and from 0 to 10 your NSO’s capacity on the horizontal axis (axis B). In this way, each finding can be located in a quadrant according to the following scheme.

 

6. The same procedure is carried out to compare the relevance with the level of interest. Use axis B to indicate the values ​​of interest. Proceed in the same way as in the previous point, writing each finding on a sticky note and placing it on the graph as appropriate to the values ​​found.

7. Once you have plotted the results, compare the two charts (relevance/capacity and relevance/interest). This makes it easier to identify the findings that your NSO should focus on in its Educational Proposal. The most relevant findings are those located in quadrant 2 of each graph; these are the ones to select. 

8. Analyse the results of quadrant 1, since they are relevant to the country. Reflect on the possibility that such issues could be looked at in the near future. An additional analysis can be done on the findings located in quadrant 4, since your NSO could be focusing resources on issues here that are not relevant to society.

  • Compare the results obtained in the weighting (column 4), with the findings located in quadrant 2 in both graphs in a plenary session and select the findings that the Educational Proposal can focus on. It is recommended that the number of issues chosen is not greater than 5 or 6.

Use it to identify the responsibilities for your NSO to meet the challenges identified in the diagnostic process.

 

Introduction

Your NSO’s  Educational Proposal guides the actions carried out by all areas of the organisation. To achieve this, it is necessary to analyse how each detected challenge will be addressed by the different areas of your NSO.

 

Objective

This tool is intended to

  • offer a methodology that helps your NSO to identify the responsibilities of each area in meeting the challenges identified in the diagnostic process.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • participants of the studies or discussions (seminars, workshops, etc.) organised by your NSO that participated in creating or revising its Educational Proposal.

 

How to use the tool

  1. In a plenary session, present the challenges identified in the previous stage emphasising those selected to be included in your NSO’s educational offer. Ask the participants to propose two types of ideas for each of them:
    1. Leading concepts that your NSO must assume in this area. The leading concept refers to a strategic concept (based on a philosophical-political analysis) that your NSO assumes as the axis of its action. For example, in the face of the challenge of a high proportion of obesity in the population, a guiding concept to use would be to “promote healthy eating habits and physical activity at all levels of the organisation”.
    2. Concrete actions that each area of your NSO (Youth Programme, Adults in Scouting, Institutional Development, Communications, Administration, etc.) should take to meet this challenge. Following the proposed example, concrete actions could be as follows:
      1. Youth Programme ‒ include educational competencies on healthy eating and self-care.
      2. Adults in Scouting ‒ ensure that adults acquire the necessary competencies to promote healthy eating habits in all activities so that they can accompany young people in this area in their personal progression.
      3. Institutional Development ‒ establish strategic alliances with organisations and public institutions dedicated to health and healthy eating.
      4. Communications ‒ create internal and external communication campaigns that disseminate relevant information.
      5. Administration and Finance ‒ allocate resources to promote the theme and establish an internal policy for the purchase of healthy products for all events at the national, zonal, or local level.

To do this, place sheets of paper on a wall, one with the title “Leading Concepts” and others with the titles of each of the areas of your NSO. Ask each participant to write the leading concepts and actions they consider necessary on sticky notes and place them on the respective papers.

 

2. Once all the participants have submitted their proposals for the first challenge, the facilitator uses  the plenary session to review the responses, seeking to synthesise similar ideas to obtain a reduced number of leading concepts and action proposals. The proposed actions must be concrete and feasible during the estimated duration of the Educational Proposal (from 5 to 10 years).

 

3. When you have agreed the guiding concepts and the actions to be carried out, write them in a table and move on to analyse the next challenge.

 

4. At the end of the exercise, review the tasks assigned to each area to identify possible duplications or overlaps of functions. The guiding concepts are those that will be used as the basis for writing the chapter corresponding to the institutional definitions. For example,  “We are an organisation that promotes healthy lifestyle habits in all its processes.”

 

Table 1: Definition of institutional commitments

Challenge Leading Concept Concrete Actions
Youth Programme Adults in Scouting Institutional Development Communications Administration and Finance
             
             
             
             

 

5. As your Educational Proposal is the document that establishes your NSO’s political definitions, at this stage of the process the members of the governing bodies can propose challenges and leading concepts to be incorporated into the proposal.  It is important to note that these proposals must respond to the strategy that your NSO has established.

Use it to understand the concept of departure profile and analyse the criteria to consider. 

 

Introduction

The departure profile is the last element obtained in the process of preparing your  NSO’s Educational Proposal. It summarises, in a specific proposal, all the previous phases. In this sense, the departure profile reflects the educational utopia of your NSO and defines the educational competencies that will be proposed for young people.

 

Objectives

This tool aims to

  • help understand the concept of a departure profile in the context of your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • analyse the criteria to consider when defining the departure profile in your NSO’s Educational Proposal.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • participants of studies or discussions (seminars, workshops, etc.) organised by your NSO when creating or revising its Educational Proposal.

 

How to use this tool

  1. Divide the participants into groups. Ask each group to read the text “Concept of departure profile” and discuss its practical implications.
  2. Each team should then  complete the three tasks corresponding to the criteria on which the departure profile is built.
  3. In a plenary session, analyse the responses of each group and agree on each task.

 

A. Departure profile concept

We define the departure profile as the set of desirable characteristics in a person who has gone through the Scouting experience. These characteristics serve as an ideal point of reference to guide the definition of final and intermediate educational competencies. They constitute a utopian future or reference that visualises the meaning of our educational action.

We affirm that these characteristics are desirable because they do not constitute a pattern or model to be achieved by all people. The departure profile does not attempt to standardise by defining people’s characteristics as if we were referring to a “finished product”. The educational process is not an assembly line, in which our educational action aims to shape a person, based on certain criteria that define the “product” we want to achieve.

Nor can we speak of a “finished product” because education is a process that encompasses all human life, neither limited to a period of life, nor to a specific area.

 

B. Criteria on which the departure profile is built

The departure profile is inspired by:

  • The values that we propose as a Movement and that are made explicit in the principles and expressed in the Scout Promise and Law.

Task 1

How can we express in the departure profile the values that we propose as a Movement?

Let’s brainstorm as a team, and then share it in the plenary session. Afterwards, let’s reach a consensus on what should be expressed.

 

  • The country challenges that we have identified and prioritised based on the diagnostic process of analysis of the current situation.

Task 2

How can we relate the departure profile to the country challenges that we have defined as an NSO?

Let’s brainstorm as a team, and then share it in the plenary session. Afterwards, let’s reach a consensus on what should be expressed.

 

  • The leading concepts derived from the challenges and define the lines of NSO action.

Task 3

How can we interpret the organisation’s leading concepts into desirable characteristics for a person?

Let’s brainstorm as a team, and then share it in the plenary session. Afterwards, let’s reach a consensus on what should be expressed.

Use it to facilitate the process for a collective analysis.

 

Introduction

Your NSO’s Educational Proposal expresses the set of ideas and fundamental definitions that constitute its purpose and identity, specifying its educational intention and the ways this intention  will be carried out. 

The Educational Proposal enables you to explain to a given community how your NSO meets the educational needs of young people, in accordance with the mission, purpose, principles, and method of the Movement. It is an explicit and concise document that provides internal and external guidance on what your NSO offers to the young people in the society in which it operates.

 

Objectives

This tool is intended to

  • facilitate the process of the collective analysis of your NSO’s Educational Proposal document.

 

This tool is intended for

  • the Board of Directors of your NSO.
  • the National Team or Executive Committee of your NSO.
  • the team responsible for the process of creating or revising your NSO’s Educational Proposal.
  • participants of studies or discussions (seminars, workshops, etc.) organised by your NSO when creating or revising its Educational Proposal.

 

How to use this tool

  1. Ask the  facilitator to give a presentation during a plenary session explaining the concept of the Educational Proposal, as well as its purpose.
  2. Divide the participants into teams to do a general reading of the document. Using sticky notes, ask them to briefly point out those aspects about which there are doubts and to comment on each of the chapters in the document.
  3. Have the teams present their comments on each of the chapters in a plenary session and open the debate with the intention of reaching agreement and recommendations on each chapter.
  4. Subsequently, get each team to answer questions about the text in general. Write the team’s agreements on each of the questions on sticky notes and share them  in a plenary session.
  5. Use the plenary session to open the debate with the intention of reaching agreements and recommendations on the text in general.

 

Questions about the text in general

  1. Do you consider that the text expresses the set of fundamental ideas and definitions that give identity and meaning to what we can offer educationally?
  2. Does the text clearly define the purpose around which the Youth Programme is going to be built, giving meaning, identity, and integrity to what can be offered educationally?
  3. Does it establish a global framework that serves to guide educational decision-making in the area of our NSO?
  4. Do you consider the text to be a guiding instrument for institutional development in our NSO?
  5. What aspects of the text of the Educational Proposal do you think can have a direct impact on the generation of the adult management model?
  6. What aspects of the text of the Educational Proposal do you think may have a direct impact on our NSO’s institutional development or governance model?
  7. Does the document present Scouting to the community in general, expressing how our NSO responds to the demands of youth and the community it serves, according to the purpose, principles, and method of Scouting?
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