Armed with the toolkit provided by Craig we begin three days of training our young people, our Primary Research Group (PRG). The challenge becomes clear. We need to impart the knowledge we learnt during our training day but in such a way that excites the imaginations of young people but without overwhelming them with information and, as a consequence, terrifies them in equal measure.
We decided to split the training over three weekends, a couple of hours each, filled with as many practical tasks as possible. The young people are actors. There’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to their drama sessions. They want to ‘get things up on its feet’ and just give it a go. We construct a series of practical role-playing activities including interviewing each other, getting used to the recoding equipment and getting to grips with speaking and listening.
- They start off in pairs, taking it in turns to be the interviewer and the interviewee. They ask and talk about their aspirations, expectations and fears for the project. As a group they listen back to the recordings, we discuss what worked and what needed adjusting next time.
- They are off again, but this time are interviewing each other about a chosen subject; their love of drama, their music preferences, their favourite films etc. They discover it’s a lot easier to talk about something you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
- A member of the adult team is brought in as a guest, and each time role-plays a different type of interviewee: someone who is hesitant, someone who over-shares, someone who goes off topic. In pairs the young people record the interviews and share their experiences of what they might encounter out in the real world.
The training goes well. The group seem excited and ready to take on their first interviewee.
And so we set one up for next week.
We’re ready to go.