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FRONTIERS Profile: Justine Cassell 4 pages: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |


What are you working on now?


So in developing nations, we need to give kids a sense that they are self-efficacious, that they can produce change.

I'm taking this next year off, and I'm trying to pursue a project that's very close to my heart. In 1998, I directed a project for children around the world called the Junior Summit, and gathered a little over 3,000 children from 149 different countries online. We handed out some computers and we handed out Internet connections, built an online forum. It is now almost five years later and I want to see whether it has made a difference to their lives. I want to see whether they acquired a belief in their own ability to be agents of change. That is what our goal was, to give children a voice. It's just about giving voice to girls, to children from developing nations, to all people in both metaphorical and concrete senses. So in developing nations, we need to give kids a sense that they are self-efficacious, that they can produce change. But it could have had the opposite effect. It's possible that what it did was teach kids that they're little cogs in a big wheel and that they're never going to amount to anything. So I applied for funding to go around the world and visit the kids and talk to them about their lives today and collect some follow-up data on their communities and their beliefs about themselves. They're extraordinary kids.


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