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‘It’s a life-changing point for me’: critical consciousness, collective empowerment and global awareness as activist identity change in ‘popular education’

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-11, 12:00 authored by Sarah JaySarah Jay, Maura AdsheadMaura Adshead, Sahra Ryklief
The Youth Global Awareness Programme (YGAP) is a 2-week residential ‘popular education’ programme for young, diverse, international, labour movement activists, run by the International Federation of Workers Education Associations in Cape Town, South Africa. In this mixed method study (N = 47), we draw on the Social Identity Approach to Education and Learning. We propose that the participatory, peer-to-peer learning during YGAP leads to activist identity change, where critical consciousness, collective empowerment and global awareness develop as group norms. The first longitudinal questionnaire study found significant increases in activist identity and critical consciousness, which predicted increased collective empowerment. In the second focus group study, data were analysed with reflexive thematic analysis and two themes provide compelling evidence of learning during YGAP as identity change processes. Participants’ commonalities and differences enhanced activist identities with global awareness. Simultaneously, new knowledge, passion, hope and connection to a global activist community created collective empowerment.

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History

Publication

European Journal of Psychology of Education;

Publisher

Springer

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

IRC, IReL Consortium, Marie Curie-Sklodowska Action (MCSA)

Language

English

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