Participatory processes where the relation of power is turned upside down
Upturned Participation is a technique for pedagogical planning. It can be used to create participatory processes with children and youths where the relation of power between youths and adults is turned upside down.
Why work with Upturned Participation? Because upturned participation works from a downward perspective. Here the youths initiate, plan and complete projects in cooperation with pedagogues who use their professional skills, methods and experiences from their own repertoire to support the youths’ ideas. The technique is “upturned” because the authority is handed over to those that usually do not have it – for instance the marginalized voices in urban spaces.
When working with upturned participation the pedagogue needs to facilitate the youths through three phases. These are initiation, planning, and completion.
Form a group of youths that you know well and that you know are visitors in the institution (fast track). Plan two meetings with the youths.
In the meetings it is important to stress that everything is to be taken seriously, that everyone can speak freely, and that it is forbidden to discuss. It is a good idea to talk via bullet points. What is being said will be noted in bullet points on “wall prints” so everybody can see what is noted. Wall prints from the first meeting will be displayed at the second meeting and will be used as a common basis.
Find a headline/topic that occupies the group: “Life in the rec center”, “Rec center in the area”, “Good life for youths in the rec center”.
Write this on the print.
Write this on the print.
Read more about how to work with spaces in the article “Didactics as participation”.
Read more about Advisory structure in the article:
A way of asking difficult/challenging questions.
A technique that should be viewed and performed as a nurturing critique, in the transition from utopia to realization.
Keep in mind that you are not neutral in the process. You must not dominate by assessing and concluding. However, you must not allow yourself to be pushed over either.
Concrete expression: “I will be the devil’s advocate now…”, “what would the devil’s advocate say to that…?”.
Various pleas: what would this idea mean to: you, the area, the professionals, the elderly, the children, nature, etc.
Use the tool to challenge the youths’ perspectives.
Read more about The Devil’s Advocate in Jung and Müller. (Referencelink her?)
On the role of the facilitator (action scholar). (Mangler der noget her?)