Training on the implementation of cultural ethnography in research design

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Within the scope of #IntegrationInGlobalization we just finalized our initial meetings that gather students who are researching or aiming to research policies of migration and integration with NGOs workers and the end users of this policies. Below you can have a view on our in progress work to enhance global citizenship education by enhancing the role of cultural ethnography in research design.

Training on the implementation of cultural ethnography in research design
Aim of the training: the training aims to enhance global competences within the scope of SDG 4.7. This is in order to conceptualize research design on integration and migration policies and programs from the point of view of its end users.
Participants: 15 to 20 participants. Coming from research, NGOs and migrant backgrounds. You can minimize the activity scales to be for two to three participants. This will shorten the length of implementation, yet all activities are able to be resized based according to the number of participants.
Length: 120 minutes recommended break: 15 minuets
Ice breakers – name game: “beyond time” For this exercise you need a clock sat on 30 seconds. You ask the participants to form a magical circle. You explain the concept of magical circle. A circle where you stand next of people you do not know or you do not really know, or you know them less than others. You ask the participants to close their eyes and to open them when they think that the 30 seconds finished. Each person that finished counting open their eyes and look to the clock to see if their inner time matched the clock time. Every person after opening their eyes shall wait till the person on their right open their eyes and then they take a printed list of questions in the middle of the circle and thy go aside to answer it in pairs. The questions: 1. Share your names and your dream job as you were a child? 2. What was your inner time what was the clock time? 3. What time means to you and why? Later on, you ask the pairs to present each other shortly to the rest of the group.
Ice breakers materials needed: A4 papers with list of questions printed on it. Clock with timing or projector with timing on screen.
Team building activity: A flower for each, you ask the participants to form another magical circle as much as possible. A magical circle where you stand next of people you know the least. You group people in groups of four to three people of each. You ask them to draw a flower with petals and middle circle. You ask them to identify their individual reasons of being in this training, their individual expectations, needs and potential contributions. Their views on potential challenges they might face. You ask them to gather cross-points and similar points in the middle of the flower. You ask each group to present shortly their common points to the wide group.
Materials needed for the team building activity “A flower for each”: flip-charts and markers.
Cultural ethnography from theory to practice: you prepare a visual presentation on cultural ethnography starting from why, what, where to how.
Why? Theories regardless of their grounded reasons are not necessarily on size of all. Heterogeneity is a spectrum that changes within the scope of time and space. Cultural ethnography is a must to debunk, approve, adapt or create totally new theories on policies of integration and migration from the lenses of its end users. Cultural ethnography provides a solution for homogeneity in policies design and implementation.
What? The inclusion of end users of integration and migration policies not only in the research design but also in the conceptualization of the subject matters. Where? It happens within a cultural setting that belong to the end users of this programs, in relation to the realities of them. What if you belong to this reality? In some context assuming that a common language or ethnicity or similar geographical contexts mean common values and habits can lead to self-fulfilling prophecy. This can be a cause for miss communication and miss conception in research design. Therefore, cultural ethnography is not only important when searching on different cultures but also one’s culture.
How? various tools can be used as means of observation and inductive reasoning, such as coaching tools for questions design, generating themes and words using abstract visual symbols to conceptualize the studied matter as integration or asylum. Validating asylum policies in contextual analyzation, this is by creating open end question that leads to other questions.
Creating an experience, role game playing “in my shoes”: in this part of the exercise you create three subthemes of interest: 1. Validation of the concept of Asylum from theory to individual practice. 2. Measuring integration programs from written aims to real results coming from end user 3. Recognition of educational and professional knowledge of refugees. You ask the participants to form groups based on interest, you assist them by asking them to stand in the side of the room where this theme is located as a print out on the ground. You divide the participants in groups. Each group consist of three persons. You print out the right of asylum in the EU “The aim of the EU’s asylum policy is to offer appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection in one of the Member States and ensure compliance with the principle of non-refoulement”. Role playing will be distributed among the members in each group that chosen this topic. The roles are female asylum seekers, minor asylum seeker, male asylum seeker from non-war zone, researcher and NGO worker as an observer for the process. Every group shall exchange roles within their members while leaving the role of NGO worker as an observer to collect information and give feedback to the other role players. The role of the researcher is to create appropriate questions to: conceptualize the concept of asylum and test its implementation in the individual played story. Each participant in each subgroup shall play one of the roles in one round. At the end of each round the observers give feedback on how the process was going. The role of the asylum seeker is to visualize challenges, answers and-or obstacles when answering the questions of the researcher. All the other sub-themes groups follow the same structure. For the second sub-theme you print the following aims for the integration programs in the EU: The Plan includes actions across all the policy areas that are crucial for integration: 1. Pre-departure and pre-arrival measures, including actions to prepare migrants and the local communities for the integration process. 2. Education, including actions to promote language training, participation of migrant children to Early Childhood Education and Care, teacher training and civic education. 3. Employment and vocational training, including actions to promote early integration into the labor market and migrant’s entrepreneurship. 4. Access to basic services such as housing and healthcare. 5. Active participation and social inclusion, including actions to support exchanges with the receiving society, migrants’ participation to cultural life and fighting discrimination. You ask the participants to first read the written aims and then to think about it before starting the role playing. You remind the participants about the aim of this exercise as an evaluative measure to existing integration programs. The roles for the second sub-theme are: 1. female Muslim refugee wearing headscarf 2. A child who is enrolled in elementary school and in Slovenia as a refugee for three years. 3. Researcher 4. NGO worker as observer.
Self-reflection: print out a series of questions to assist the self-reflection journey of each participants. Reflecting on the experience: think about how you felt or thought in each role you played? What did you experience during the conversation on the certain topic of your choice? What changes appeared in your thoughts or emotions during the conversations? What are the reasons of these changes? Reflecting on learning: What are the things that you realized that you know? What are the things or new feelings you experienced? How these new things can be useful to you? What other gains you gained in this experience like new contacts, information or ideas? How these new gains can be an assist to your personal and-or professional life?
Group refection: ask each group to share their feelings, thoughts and experience during their subgroup work to the wider group. Ask the participants to recall the concept of cultural ethnography in research on integration and migration programs and policies. Why it is important to each role proposed in the role play game? how they felt while trying to read concrete programs and policies and trying to connect it to individual cases from reality? there were any gaps? What and why these gaps exist from their own point of view? Do they witness these gapes in their work, personal life or social networks? How these gapes affect them or affect their work or people that they know?
Recreation of real-life scenarios: you divide the participants in subgroups of three, asking them the following questions. What was something new that you learned? Can you recall a real-life scenario where you did not know these new things that you learned? How these new things you learned about for example an integration program that you did not know, or a concept regarding asylum, or a concept of building inclusive research design can be helpful in real life scenarios in your personal life, your work or your support to your social networks? You ask the sub-groups to share optionally with the wider group any thoughts, feelings or findings.
Evaluation: ask the participants to come back to their flowers from the team building exercise “a flower for each” ask them to evaluate whether this training met their expectations and needs. What were the strength points and what could be done better? Print out a set of questions to analyze each implemented exercise. What something they have learned? How the logistics and time and space management was according to their comfort and needs? Was there an active environment for active and equal participation for all? Open the evaluation to the wider group and give the opportunity for anonymous evaluation through online or offline forms.