FROM KNOWING TO ACTING: REFLECTIONS ON AN ACTION-RESEARCH PROCESS DEVELOPED TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION
In this paper we intend to discuss the potentialities and limits of a research - action process developed by the association Qualify to Include (Porto, Portugal) with the purpose of expanding the opportunities of social inclusion of youngsters who grew up in social environments distanced from school. More precisely, a research project aimed at creating a context of intense social relationship, attentive to the youngsters’ difficulties in establishing connections between the school and other worlds that are external to it, and also attentive to the needs of a pedagogy requiring systematic decoding of concepts, explanation of reasoning and contextualization of abstract knowledge.
This reflection was elaborated based on a research - action that an association has carried out for 3 academic years (2007-2010) in order to provide conditions for a group of 10 young people, with origin in social groups culturally distant from school, could change the course of the situation inherited from their parents. This Association is a Private Institution of Social Solidarity, founded in 2001 by individual members and by the Cooperative Higher Education Social Work / School of Social Work of Porto, as collective social. Promotes an action simultaneously educational and socio-therapy whose main objective is to contribute to the disruption of the processes of intergenerational reproduction of poverty and social exclusion.
As a team member of the association Qualify to Include that actively participated in the constitution of social structures theoretically thought to condition the internal change of young people, in particular their provisions for study and work, we propose to contribute to the reflection of the technical and methodological measures taken in the course of the change process which the association sought to bring about, in accordance with the principles of action research.