Monday, December 26, 2011

Voice and Agency

Developing the art of communicating is part of the developmental process. As youth develop physically and in other areas it is important that they are given opportunities and various media to express themselves and be heard and valued. Not only does this help them to develop confidence but that the act of expressing and receiving feedback helps in the formation of identify.

Alison Mann, in the article below, uses her curricular subjects of film studies and media arts to give teens a voice which helps them to critically engage and contribute to their world.

Breaking down barriers by giving teens a voice -
Like all teachers, Alison Mann begins each new semester at Parkdale Collegiate Institute by introducing herself to the students. Unlike most teachers...

It is also true that often when we think of "voice" we think of the spoken word. Allowing youth to express themselves verbally is also important. The report from WebMD below references research. This research shows that when teens who are allowed to express their disagreements with their moms can better withstand peer pressure. This expression of difference occurs in an environment where teen's opinions are listened to and addressed, even when not resolved. Autonomy and resolve are strengthened.

Teens Who Can Express Themselves More Likely to Avoid Drugs
New research shows that teens who are able to express themselves with their moms are better able to resist peer pressure and say no to drugs and alcohol.

Giving voice is important everywhere. In the state arena, Florida is gearing up for its Teens only Town Hall Meeting. Teens get to interact with official and experts and ask their questions. It reminds me of a pastor who holds regular meetings with the youth of his congregation so that they can ask questions and raise issues affecting and/or of interest to them.

Giving students a voice | Florida Common Ground
3, supported by more than 100 organizations, is giving students a voice in everything from early childhood education to substance abuse treatment through its “Teens Only” Town Hall Meeting. The meeting gives teens the ...

The question for us then is, how are we allowing authentic communication with youth so that they can have agency? What and where are the respectful spaces for them to communicate via the arts and verbally their deepest longings, questions, aspirations, and yes, disagreements?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future

No comments:

Post a Comment