From the Margins

Building Curriculum for Youth in Transition
(March 1st/2013 through July 30th/2013)

In partnership with the Department of Justice this project was born out of a desire to explore systemic issues impacting educational attainment for  young people in conflict with the law and those at risk for involvement in guns, gangs and drugs. This project explores current educational programming for the aforementioned cohort of students. By asking organizations to discuss what “curriculum” means to their organization and how this is actually implemented for young people, this project aims to explore the ways in which this work enhances rehabilitation as well as civic and social inclusion. The study begins by comparing and contrasting educational materials used with youth in conflict with the law and those at risk for involvement in guns, gangs, and drugs. The project is also making an analysis of how the varied educational resources are being used. By speaking with young people in custody, those transitioning from custody, those in conflict with the law and those at risk to guns, gangs and drugs, the project hopes to engage young people in helping to better understand how future curriculum for this group of marginalized young people can meet their educational needs thus enhancing the likelihood of civic and social inclusion. Thus, the value of From the Margins: Building Curriculum for Youth in Transition is twofold: first, it will provide a clear assessment of available educational programming for youth involved in the justice system (youth involved in guns, gangs and drugs). Second, it will give youth an opportunity to direct their learning by providing feedback and suggestions for future curriculum development under the guidance of educational experts. By incorporating the views of youth in dialogues about their educational needs and aspirations, future curriculum development for this unique group of young people will be more effective, creating a bridge that promotes social inclusion for youth who are regularly silenced in educational discussions in Canada and relegated to the social and civic periphery to crime, recidivism and hopelessness.