European Teenage Consumers in a Globalized World
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
The project will deal with the many aspects of globalization and consumerism and the way they shape young people's identity formation, lifestyle and commodity consumption. It will also explore the precarious balance young people are exposed to in terms of job opportunities, moral values and security, consequences of the recent economic recession, high unemployment rates and an increasingly globalized market.
Digital technology and multimedia are known to exert a considerable impact on teenagers’ self-perception, self-image and self-esteem. Some teenagers often use social networking as a surrogate for real life relationships and cyberbullying has become common. Furthermore, many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds experience social exclusion, discrimination and poverty. As a result, instead of taking an active part in structuring their lives, they often struggle with emotional problems, mental and eating disorders, substance abuse, and early dropping-out from school.
In light of the above, our project aims at sensitizing young people to the factors that exert an enormous influence on their culture, social interactions and psychological well-being, and at raising their awareness of the environmental, economic and social impact of their consumption choices. Working collaboratively, they will learn about important global issues such as global sustainability, child labour and active citizenship. They will better understand the often misleading messages of advertising, and the importance of social inclusion, mediation and conflict prevention. They will reconsider the role of education and training, and develop their basic, transversal and entrepreneurial skills, as well as their creativity and critical thinking, which will empower their employability. Our students come from different educational backgrounds: grammar (gymnasium) and vocational schools offering courses in physiotherapy, economics, hospitality and tourism management, and for shop-assistants. The teachers who will be involved are highly qualified professionals with various profiles. They are teachers of English, arts, science, ICT, economics, etc. The great diversity of participants’ profiles is expected to contribute to making this learning event a mutually enriching and edifying experience for all. Considering the project’s topical relevance and the wide choice of cross-curricular learning opportunities it will provide, hundreds of students and teachers will be significantly involved in the project and greatly benefit from it.
During the two-year project, our students will carry out exhaustive and comparative research on the following themes: the impact of digital technology and the Internet on teenagers’ consumer behaviour, communicative, reading and learning skills; the influence of fashion brands on teenage identity formation; how to become a well informed and ethical consumer; sweatshops and child labour as new forms of slavery; green washing, clean clothes and fair trade; the global fast food market and the epidemics of diet-related diseases; the language of advertising; financial literacy, foreclosure and debt bondage; global intercultural education and developing a culture of peace; waste, consumption and sustainability of the planet; promoting an active global citizenship.
They will take part in transnational mobilities, and organize L/T/T activities where they will explore relevant project-related topics and improve their own learning by teaching their partners. To do this, they will use creative learning strategies such as the flipped, team based and case based learning approaches. All activities will be web-supported, which will improve our students’ digital literacy. Moreover, they will found their virtual joint venture and promote their green products, which will foster their entrepreneurial skills and ethical mindset.
Schools will celebrate important global anniversaries (Buy Nothing Day, Earth Day, etc) and devote a day to celebrating their partners’ cultures. They will produce DVDs, booklets, calendars as well as video, audio and visual material that will be regularly uploaded onto the collaborative and school websites, which will improve the schools’ images and reinforce the European dimension. Project results will be disseminated to target audiences through press releases, and school and local events. Thanks to the project, our students will build a more ethical identity and better understand the environmental, economic and social interconnectedness of their consumption choices. Having understood that we are all part of a great global human community, they are expected to express their new awareness by actively promoting the values of social solidarity, justice and respect for the planet. Their active involvement will ultimately inspire many others to take a stand and, thus, contribute to an increase in the quality of our life and in the welfare of our planet.
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