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Envelope moment

Who

Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel

Why

The good practice is developed to have a discussion where every young person is heard.

What

Every class at school gets an envelope at the same moment. In this envelope is a question (e.a. what school rule do you think needs to be changed and into what?). Every class discusses for about 10 minutes and puts their communal answer back in the envelope. You have 2 choices now:
a) every envelope goes to a group of young persons who then try to come to a suggestion for the school head.
b) a deputy of each class takes the envelope and discusses with the other deputies to come to an answer everyone is pleased with.

--> Young persons who want to know what the other young persons at school are thinking, what their ideas are.

How

Every young person can join. Every one has the chance to express his/her opinion. Because the discussion is in the classroom, chances are that the more quiet young persons will also be heard.

When

During class hours. It can be adapted to every situation where people are set into groups with a discussion leader.

Effect

It’s tested on a number of schools by different pupils over the years.

It may seem like a lot of work, but many schools have already tried this. You can start with just the classes in the same year and then build up.

Each young person is given the opportunity to give his/her opinion on a certain topic: they think along about the school and actively participate.

! It is important to let the young people know what happens with the results. After all, knowledge is also part of participation!

This tools is also known as 'het groene enveloppemoment':
Knudde, H. & Van Dijck, J. Oprechte deelneming. Werkmap leerlingenparticipatie voor alle kinderen in de basisschool. Doedèskadèn vzw in samenwerking met het Kinderrechtencommissariaat, 2009. 

Assessment

Effectiveness:

High degree / regularly

Gender sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Culture sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Doable (practical):

High degree / regularly

Participatory:

High degree / regularly

Replicable and adaptable:

High degree / regularly

Assessment/evaluated:

High degree / regularly

Type of good practice

Practical tool

Themes

Promoting democratic values, Youth civic participation

Duration

One day or less

Type of activity

Group activity

Contact

Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel

Belgium