methodological frameworks harmonisation

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    Community Service Learning (CSL) is the methodology applied by CONECTA JOVEN in Spain, and is aimed to maximize the development of individuals

    potential and their active participation to society.

    At the beginning of CSL we situate the works of William James and John Dewey. James was inspired by this pedagogical procedure to substitute military

    service by a peaceful aim and a civic education. It is no exaggeration to say that the source of the CSL is a clear desire to make a civics-oriented the values of

    peace and non-military service to the community. As for Dewey, his contribution is epistemological, and pedagogical: activity with an aim of social benefit.

    First, CSL is an activity that is well known as it should assume the definition of a problem, its study by various ways, the development of proposed solution

    and finally, implementation and evaluation of proposals.

    Secondly, an associated activity, what it mean is that it's made collectively and not as a result of the action of an isolated person. Individual efforts must be

    added to carry out participatory projects, civic and effective.

    Finally, an activity for a social benefit, therefore intended to increase welfare community and therefore open to solidarity.

    CSL (in Catalan aprenentatge servei) is an educational initiative which combines learning with community service in a single well-articulated project. The

    participants are trained while working on real needs in their community in order to make it better. Service-learning is, therefore, an educational project

    with a social purpose.

    Within this particular framework, the Community Service-Learning Promotion Centre (in Catalan Centre Promotor d'Aprenentatge Servei) is a base for

    generating initiatives and different procedures with the aim of facilitating and reinforcing the CSL projects. It is made up of different institutions and

    organisations which offer a public service while working independently from the Administration, with the objective of consolidating the public perception of

    CSL as one of innovation and educational quality. Its main goal is to promote the study, dissemination and development of projects combining learning and

    community service.

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    Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection (PAAR)

    The label participatory and appreciative action and reflection (PAAR) is new and was first used by Ghaye (2005, 2008). We use it here to describe what we suggest is a necessary development from more conventional forms of action research (AR) and from participatory action research (PAR) to a more explicitly appreciative research style. PAAR synthesizes the best practices of action research (AR) and participatory action research (PAR) by adding a third and new dimension called appreciative intelligence. Like its forebears, PAAR is a systematic and rigorous style of democratic research concerned with developing practical knowing in the pursuit of worthwhile human purposes. PAAR brings together action and reflection, with the participation of a range of stakeholders, in order to identify and amplify current achievements and to produce practical solutions in misalignments between values and actions. We ground PAAR in a view of the generation of knowledge informed by constructivism, critical realism, structuration theory, pragmatism and humanism. It is not simply about change. It is more about improvement and sustaining success by building on aspects of the positive present. We would argue that PAAR may be regarded as a kind of third generation action research. One fundamental way of distinguishing between AR, PAR and PAAR is by the nature of the key questions that each process asks. Some examples are shown in Table 1.

    Some common threads implicit in Table 1 and which are relevant to AR, PAR and PAAR are:

    who decides which form of research is appropriate?

    who participates and who is left out?

    whose problem, question or success is it?

    from whose perspective and which perspectives are left out?

    who decides whats important to reflect upon and to action?

    whose reality is expressed, in what ways and why and whose is left out?

    who can access and use what is learnt and who cannot?

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    who benefits and in what ways and who does not?1

    Therefore, PAAR is interventionist in kind and works with people, in an ethical way, to improve particular situations, processes and livelihoods. PAAR draws

    a sharp distinction between change and improvement. Not all change is improvement. PAAR is a form of intentional action to improve something.

    PAAR is a strengths-based methodology. It co-creates, with those involved, strength-enhancing interventions based upon an understanding of the root

    causes of success and achievement, rather than of problems and failures.

    PAAR draws upon the processes associated with developing and using three types of intelligence. They are (1) Appreciative (2) Social (3) Emotional


    1 Ghaye, Tony, Melander-Wikman, Anita, Kisare, Mosi, Chambers, Philip, Bergmark, Ulrika, Kostenius, Catrine and Lillyman, Sue (2008), 'Participatory and appreciative action and reflection (PAAR) - democratizing reflective practices', Reflective Practice,9:4,362 363. Article available at

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    Previous kinds of action research (AR) were lacking in three fundamental ways. (1) The interventions were based upon acknowledging, and then trying to

    solve, problems (2) Traditional AR failed to recognise that we dont learn about success, achievement and fulfil lment by studying failure, mistakes and

    frustration (3) AR lacked an explicit acknowledgment of the value and centrality, to any improvement effort, of building participant positivity, and

    elevating positive emotions, in order to for those involved to have enough (a) physical (b) mental (c) emotional (d) spiritual energy to be resilient and

    innovative in a context of change.

    PAAR builds over the we. The we-perspective is an operationalisation of the second PAAR pillar (appreciation) and is an improvement from AR to PAR

    (as described above). And it is a very practical way of designing learning content, as from the PAAR-perspective learning material should aim to be designed

    from a we perspective? PAR includes the we, like PAAR, but is still focused on problems/deficits.

    PAAR adds the notion of appreciative intelligence into the AR mix thus transforming the we into a we that starts the improvement/betterment process

    from identifying strengths/successes, the root causes of them and how to amplify them (building positivity), THEN goes on into the generative 2nd

    question which is all about what needs to stop and what the we needs to start doing to improve a thing, process, system etc.

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    1 Experiential Learning and Community Service Action

    1 Space (how we make it, take it and shape it)

    Following PAAR plot, we can think on the following pillars for the

    communication situations between elderly and young people:

    1. Space (PAAR) or Environment (CSL) are crucial dimensions

    already considered by both didactical approaches. Space refers to

    the concrete working/ learning place (e.g. the telecentre), while

    Environment is a broader place which includes the space (e.g.

    the neighborhood). All didactical materials should reflect on the

    (physical/virtual /perceptual) space where the communication is

    taking place in, and provide solutions adapted to each space.

    2. Regarding Appreciation, the question How far are you feeling

    strengthened by this participation/ useful for society? could be

    formulated by C.J. as well, and to both target groups.

    3. Both didactical settings already attempt to Empower the

    participants to feel more active and in control of their own


    4. Both methodologies already support and encourage Participation

    with their didactical approaches. But a specific challenge for this

    participation to take place in this project is that each generational

    group appreciates the lessons (knowledge, values, competences)

    that they can learn from the other generation.

    5. The Ethics perspective: both didactical settings build on ethical

    values, which are mutually compatible. They both should address

    2 Appreciation (how Participation strengthens not weakens us and helps us to use and develop our strengths)

    2 Education for Citizenship (Civic, Ethic, Pro-social and Emotional Education, with a view to Personal Engagement)

    3 Empowerment (how we feel, think and can do different and better things)

    4 Participation (how the physical, virtual and perceptual Spaces effect the kind and quality of interaction and participation)

    3 Centre and Environment (Equal Opportunities, Inter-generational exchange, Social Cohesion, Living together)

    5 Ethics (are we acting ethically and doing social work?)

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    the questions are we working ethically?, is this training aiming at

    something good?, who benefits? (for the elderly, the benefit is

    less clear and needs to be more developed)

    In those elements that are already developed in both methodologies

    (e.g. participation, empowerment, ethics) there is an opportunity to

    learn fr