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10 years of voicing and valuing: daring and doing community action research

Bleach, Josephine (2018) 10 years of voicing and valuing: daring and doing community action research. In: CARN Conference 2018, 25-27 October 2018, Friends Meeting House, Manchester, UK.

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The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) in the National College of Ireland, is a community-based initiative aimed at addressing educational disadvantage through the provision, from birth, of an integrated program of activities, training and support for children, their parents and families, and professionals from early years up to third level. Community Action Research (CAR) helps us address the generational, long-term problems of social deprivation, poverty, poor educational attainment and mass unemployment in the area. Our aim is to collectively improve outcomes for children, families, services and communities by changing our relationships, theories, policies and practices. ELI has experienced rapid growth over the past ten years with the number of participants growing from 400 in 2008 to 9,188 in 2018. While much has changed, ELI’s partnership approach and can-do attitude continues to be valued. Learning is seen as enjoyable and something to be shared between families, schools, services and our corporate partners. Described as ambitious and innovative in both the Irish and international context, ELI achievements are the result of people having the vision and courage to explore new possibilities and work collaboratively to ‘nurture and support children and young people to grow into strong individuals with the capacity and resolution to achieve their dreams’ (ELI 2018). However, sustaining the levels of engagement, support and resources needed for deep-rooted viable change remains challenging. The demands from funders, evaluators and policy makers have to be balanced with the inherent tensions of a community development project. Managing these conflicting positions is an on-going challenge, particularly as local stakeholders applaud ELI’s CAR approach and see it as key to successful long-term change. This presentation highlights the learning and impact of ELI’s 10 years of Voicing and Valuing: Daring and Doing CAR.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform > Community Development
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Early childhood education
Divisions: Early Learning Initiative Publications
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 10:34

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