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University professor chairing academic gathering in short trousers – have you seen one so far? That is what exactly happened today at the World Scout Jamboree. Dr Eduard Vallory, Director General of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and autor of the research “Global Citizenship Education: Study of the ideological bases, historical development, international dimension, and values and practices of World Scouting” facilitated the Academic Day and Reception in a T-shirt and short trousers – quite unusual for an academic. But not for a Scout, certainly.
Researchers, academics and Scouting practitioners met today at the World Scout Jamboree in Rinkaby, Sweden, to share ideas, discuss completed research, work in progress, and debate future projects.
This initiative is part of WOSM’s global project to build a “knowledge base” for people who engaged in a process of collective learning about Scouting. The first step of this project was the World Scientific Congress in Geneva, 2007 in collaboration with researchers, academics, UN and NGO representatives. The proceedings of that Congress are available at: http://www.scout.org/en/information_events/library/managing_adults/world_scientific_congress. The World Scout Conference adopted a resolution urging for better connection with the academic world.
Currently, WOSM is seeking to identify and form a research network of academics working on topics such as, but not limited to: non-formal education including a number of subtopics such as life skills; global citizenship; gender issues; health education; social development; intercultural education; and, moral and spiritual development. Also, any researchers working on Scouting history in the framework of a country, a region, etc. is welcome to join.
Issues mentioned at the meeting included lessons learning from the history of (development of) Scouting, connections between changes in Scouting and changes in the society, is Scouting “closed” for scientific world, recognition of learning in Scouting, the value (and lack) of statistical data and researches for our work, how should we tell the world around us what we do in a way they will understand it, how do we use results of reseraches, etc.
The team that works for a few years already presented their work on researches. They already completed 2 surveys among Planning team. They are holding 400 interviews a day during the Jamboree, both with participants and visitors. The team will have several surveys completed after it is finished, including the one with the Swedish society. The team from Portugal presented their small scale research study on young people’s perception about the impact of the World Scout Jamboree on their personal development. Otava Piha, student at the Cambridge University, presented her work on analysing Scout behaviour related towards Nature during the Jamboree. Several other studies and researches were presented or mentioned.
Participants proposed interesting ideas on how to communicate better with the academic world, and how to continue working together inside Scouting.
Those who were unable to attend this special event but would like to be included in future communications regarding the development of academic research and Scouting should send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Milutin comes from Serbia and is a Director of Adult Resources at European Scout Office. He is following the Region's work on Educational Methods and Volunteering.
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