Foods of the world, a window to the world

Nom du partenaire
  • Artisans du Monde
  • La boite à Lumière
  • Jean Perrin School Canteen
  • Tisser la Paix
  • Autre
  • Autre
  • Autre
  • Autre
  • Project leader
  • Exhibition
  • Partner of the project
  • Occasional contributor
Name of establishment / organisation
Jean Perrin middle school
14 avenue de Lattre de Tassigny
69009 Lyon
Start date and duration of project
02/02/2015 to 31/05/2015
  • Middle school
Number of pupils, teachers and staff involved
200 pupils and some 20 adults
Food, Human rights, Other
Subject areas
History, Languages, Science
Please specify how the project was carried out

Project involved 5 classes and the creation of a board games club at the local youth and cultural centre, link with Jean Perrin college which was running a joint initiative.

Teaching and learning objectives

- To learn about how certain food items are produced, with an introduction to human rights, economic, social and cultural rights.
- To know where our food comes from and to be aware of North South relations in terms of food as well as the interdependency of our societies.
- Through awareness-raising workshops to encourage pupils to play an active role and take concrete steps as global citizens. Pupils themselves became activity leaders for role play scenarios. This requires initiative. To be part of a joint project. In this case, to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and to develop skills which you do not normally use in your daily life at school. To improve self confidence by taking on the role of pupil-citizen, rather than just pupil.
- To understand cultures from the South. One Year 7/6th Grade class met with the person who set up the association Tisser la Paix, to watch a film about the everyday lives of children from the South (in Mongolia and Ladakh). Class work in Spanish lessons about the 'Audio Portraits' exhibition on producers and consumers of fair trade products. One year 10/9th Grade class studied poems about Negritude.  
- To develop a culture of peace. This last aspect was dealt with implicitly, by learning about how certain food items are produced. Encouraging pupils to question their peers, which enabled them to develop communications skills and contributed toward this culture of peace.


Two classes were given the opportunity to work with the association Artisans du Monde, focussing on two areas: raising awareness about North-South interdependency and showing how it is possible to take action through the choices we make as consumers. These pupils acted as pilot classes for the school's Fair Trade week.

From March, preparatory work was carried out in Literature classes and at the school library. Major trading and the discoveries of plant life which ensued were dealt with through the production of a series of monographs on spices and explorers.  Through this research and formatting of information pupils produced a botanical exhibition, a game of memory and a sensory game on smells. 

The issue of child slavery was covered through a work of children's literature entitled Deux graines de Cacao (Two cocoa beans) by E. Brisou-Pellen, followed by research carried out in the computer room on cocoa bean production conditions and the role of children in this process.  The information researched was transformed into posters which were displayed in school during Fair Trade week and was also used to produce a small exhibition about chocolate.

In April/May the topic of unfair trade, food resources and child slavery were covered in Geography classes with Artisans du Monde, through role plays and mini debates. A mini poster campaign on the topic of child labour and cocoa production was organised to inform people about the date of activities. The week was aimed at all pupils, and staff, who were invited to learn more about being a responsible consumer. It would seem that this information was not conveyed to everyone.

In May, Peter Menzel's photographic exhibition, covered in the textbooks, was used in English and Maths lessons in order to prepare questions for a board game about the exhibition. The board game was produced by the school's games club, run by the youth and culture centre.

In April, some pupils worked on poems about Negritude, which led to an artistic display about Césaire and Senghor exhibited in the school hall.

Finally, during Fair Trade week, some pupils worked on the 'Sound portraits' website. This session followed a lesson on latifundia. By studying portraits, pupils discovered that cooperatives offered an alternative to dominant production model. The third group worked from photographs and was tasked with giving a different title to the photograph which had affected them the most. Pupils showed interest in the topic and were moved by the personal accounts, which offers a starting point for studying Latin America and the environment further down the line.

All these class activities led to one single event, with the aim that the greatest number of pupils feel that they have a stake in these issues. Pupils were asked to report back to their peers about one part of their work during two engaging workshops held at lunchtime over the course of Fair Trade week. Mrs Mauguin and Mrs Gibert coordinated this event by encouraging and assessing pupil involvement. Over the course of two lunchtime events, this group of pupils was transformed, becoming mentors for other pupils, as guides through the world of spices, explorers of the Jean Perrin map, master tasters of 3 different types of chocolate, as well as analysts of the cocoa trade through the game 'one step forwards'. All pupils at the school were invited to take part in these 6 engaging lunchtime workshops.

The week-long event ended at the college (high school) with the sale of fair trade products and a meeting with a representative from the Sasha cooperative, a partner of Artisans du Monde. Finally, we set up a link with a local retirement home on the topic of tales from the South. In the end, this initiative was run separately from Fair Trade week. A class which had prepared tales and songs went to meet residents and spent an hour sharing their stories, music and tales, followed by tea and cake. 

Did your project have a final outcome ?

Yes, two high points during lunchtime, run by participating pupils, and open to all pupils. At the same time, the local college (high school) ran several events on the topic of fair trade.

What communications and dissemination strategy was used for the project ?

Communications within the school were carried out via the website. A poster campaign was run in school, outside the school library and in the school office. The journalist from Le Progrès was not given enough notice, due to a misunderstanding with the college (high school). Details about the various workshops were published on the school website.

What outcomes and changes did the project generate ?

A project evaluation was carried out with the classes involved about what they had enjoyed and learnt, which showed that in one of the classes they enjoyed the activities which took them out of a purely academic setting, encouraging them to think differently, whereas in the other class invitations to get more involved were seen overall as a constraint, as they were mainly motivated by marks. It is interesting to note that 3/4 of the pupils from one class and 1/4 of the pupils from the other class showed high levels of involvement.
In school, a lot of people took part in the final phase of the project, and everyone enjoyed the event. Some non-teaching staff have offered their support in organising a sale next year. The majority of teaching staff are generally interested in and aware of the issue of fair trade. 
On a local level, we were in contact with the youth and culture centre, whose coordinator, Clémentine, offered her expertise and skills to produce the board game. They would be partners to this project if it is renewed next year.

What difficulties did you encounter when implementing your project ?

- It was difficult to integrate this smoothly into the syllabuses. 
- We did not manage to correspond with a school in Congo as planned. 
- The lack of involvement of some pupils.
- The school office team did not get very involved in the project. 
- Only a handful of people at school attended the meeting with the representatives from the Indian cooperative which took place at the college (high school). 
- Parents were invited to the event via the parent teacher associations, however despite extending the invitation this may not have been passed on effectively.  Next year, named invitations should be sent and non-teaching staff should be included.


Which factors are most related to global education ?

The issue of fair trade falls fully within global education.  The three parts of sustainable development are included: economic, by exploring a model which can meet basic needs; social, by implementing processes which respect human dignity; and environmental, by applying cultivation methods which are eco friendly.
In terms of the project:
- Raising awareness about global inequality through common food products so pupils can learn not to stand for shameful conditions.
- Raising awareness about the cultural wealth of the South, which brings these countries closer, so that pupils feel they have a stake in these issues and become global citizens.
- Promoting trade which is fair and where human rights are respected. This shows our pupils that a different world is possible and that, in some parts of the world, it already exists.


How did you assess the project ?

Standard evaluation:
The pupils assessed worked on a Hungry Planet exhibition in Maths, the origin and presentation of spices in Literature, and overall there was a willing approach to the issue in History and Geography.
In a different class, we were met with dismissive behaviour. Only those pupils involved in the project were assessed.    
Project evaluation by the pupils involved:
A final questionnaire looking at the different phases of the project was distributed to pupils in the two pilot classes. The feedback from one of the classes showed a positive response to the project: 'makes the school more joyful', 'teaches us about the world around us', 'shows us what living conditions are like for children in cocoa plantations'. We were puzzled by one answer given in the other class to the question 'what did you think of the sessions run by the association? ‘It's good they made the effort to come here’.
School-wide evaluation:
Despite the fact that information was communicated on the school website and in the staff room, not everyone in the school community felt they had an interest in the awareness raising event organised.
Evaluation of partner teachers:
Some teachers were hesitant to get involved in the project, due to worries about not having enough time, and that the pupils would not be engaged. Other teachers got involved quite naturally and were able to join the project partway through. Everyone felt their involvement had been very worthwhile and they are happy to renew the experience. Other colleagues also showed interest in getting involved next year. Such a task can only be achieved with the implementation of a team of ten or so colleagues. 


Any comments

We are very keen to renew this awareness raising project next year, with several classes. Fair trade products were on sale at the college (high school) this year and we plan to do the same at the middle school. Now that the school hall is in place, we can consider using it to show films and to host partners from the South. One or more links between the school and the South, in a school which already has established ties with several European countries, will encourage a noticeably more open-minded attitude.

Human rights