How do we learn in Youthreach?
We in Youthreach Galway attended Galway Technical Institute and Galway Community College open days. We were there with many schools that had travelled from far and wide to see what programmes were on offer. When we went into the classrooms, the staff of GTI and GCC asked all the students, “Where have you come from?” Some said secondary schools in Galway city and county, some said Dóchas and we said we were from Galway City Youthreach.
We were all welcomed and told that we were all on the same playing field in so far as our education was concerned. We were told there that they teach FETAC Level 5 and 6. The teachers went on to explain FETAC to everyone but we had an advantage in that we already in Youthreach study FETAC subjects at level 5. Some of the secondary schools asked about work experience as on every course all students would have to do a minimum of ten days of it. They went on to explain that they allow students to do work experience one day a week, which shocked some of the students in secondary schools because they do not, in the main, have that facility.
Guess what! We in Youthreach already do this. We offer students the opportunity to do one day a week and also the students go a three week work placement in the summer. They may, if they want, go out to work experience in February 2015.
When we were leaving GTI some of the secondary schools students asked us a question: “How do you learn in Youthreach without doing any homework?”
This post is going to give everyone the answer. The department of education feels that everyone should fit in to a certain learning style, of which there are 72 possible learning types, so to expect 100% of people to adapt and be able to learn in the way a conventional school teaches just isn’t realistic; so we try and address that shortcoming in Youthreach. We have having smaller classes. We have students who, in the main, feel the same about education – “Let down” – and want to start again for their second chance. We do a lot of practical subjects and they are taught in a very hands-on way. We feel there is more time for one-to-one. We, as students, feel that we are taught in a more creative way and we are allowed to engage with the learning. We feel more comfortable asking our teachers’ questions and we feel that learning here is much more democratic.
To the question of homework, we feel better without the stresses that homework brings. We try to make the 45 minutes that we do in class worthwhile. We make the most of the time that we have.