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Learning in non-formal education: is it “youthful” for youth in action?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9981-6349
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2017 (English)In: International Review of Education, ISSN 0020-8566, E-ISSN 1573-0638, Vol. 63, no 2, 235-256 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article offers insights into the practices of a non-formal education programme for youth provided by the European Union (EU). It takes a qualitative approach and is based on a case study of the European Voluntary Service (EVS). Data were collected during individual and focus group interviews with learners (the EVS volunteers), decision takers and trainers, with the aim of deriving an understanding of learning in non-formal education. The research questions concerned learning, the recognition of learning and perspectives of usefulness. The study also examined the Youthpass documentation tool as a key to understanding the recognition of learning and to determine whether the learning was useful for learners (the volunteers). The findings and analysis offer several interpretations of learning, and the recognition of learning, which take place in non-formal education. The findings also revealed that it is complicated to divide learning into formal and non-formal categories; instead, non-formal education is useful for individual learners when both formal and non-formal educational contexts are integrated. As a consequence, the division of formal and non-formal (and possibly even informal) learning creates a gap which works against the development of flexible and interconnected education with ubiquitous learning and mobility within and across formal and non-formal education. This development is not in the best interests of learners, especially when seeking useful learning and education for youth (what the authors term "youthful" for youth in action).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 63, no 2, 235-256 p.
Keyword [en]
Non-formal learning, Non-formal education, European Voluntary Service (EVS), Youth, Recognition, Youthpass
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120682DOI: 10.1007/s11159-017-9631-8ISI: 000401635400006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120682DiVA: diva2:929208
Note

Originally published in thesis in manuscript form with title: "Non-formal learning: 'youthful' or 'youthless' for youths in action?"

Available from: 2016-05-18 Created: 2016-05-18 Last updated: 2017-06-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Framing perceived values of education: when perspectives of learning and ICTs are related
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Framing perceived values of education: when perspectives of learning and ICTs are related
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Inramning av upplevda värden av utbildning : när perspektiv på lärande och IKT är relaterade
Abstract [en]

This thesis offers dialogue about the relations between learning and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The dialogue is guided by the question of how to design education to increase perceived values of learning. It pays attention to how learners approach learning availabilities in various learning settings based on learners’ perceived values of learning. The aim is to understand the perceived values of learning in order to reflect its relation to ICTs. The field of learning is understood from the perspectives of formal, non-formal and informal learning. The field of ICTs is understood from the perspectives of information, communication and technology. The perspectives of learning and ICTs are chosen as a way to understand them by ‘going back to basics’ to find an origin or a point of departure for reinterpreting and understanding them. This approach has influenced the presentation of the thesis and how it is structured so that dialogic and interpretive research opens up dialogic spaces for reflections regarding the relations between learning and ICTs.

Two studies in two different education systems, formal and non-formal, are included in the thesis work. The data are collected via qualitative methods such as photo interviews and individual and group interviews in which learners’ expressions of learning are in focus. The approach of the included articles that present the two studies was to first understand learning and then relate it to the understanding, potential and use of ICTs. The results and contributions from the articles are summarised via the three perspectives of the perceived values of learning, the relations between learning and ICTs and the influences of perceived values of learning. The theoretical tools, pedagogical attitude and positioning of ICTs guide the discussions and analysis of these perspectives towards the conclusions of the thesis work.

The reader of the thesis can expect a journey along a winding road, which both addresses and involves policies’ and researchers’ implications and conceptions of learning and education. A framework for the perceived values of education when perspectives of learning and ICTs are related is considered to represent the understanding of the coherent whole of the thesis work. Three main contributions of the thesis work are put forth. The first contribution is the framework for perceived values of education, or the perceived value framework (PVF). The second contribution is the understanding of perceived values of learning. The third contribution is the specific photo interviews about learning situations that is considered to be a contribution to already existing methods such as photo-eliciting (Cappello, 2005) and stimulated recall (Haglund, 2003). 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2016. 93 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 67
Keyword
Learning, ICTs, Education, Perceived value, Dialogue, Dialogic perspective, Perceived values of learning, Perceived values of education, Learning situations, Formal education, Non-formal education, Perceived value framework, Photo interviews, Formal learning, Non-formal learning, Informal learning, Information, Communication, Technology, ICT.
National Category
Educational Sciences Learning Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120249 (URN)978-91-7601-486-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-10, Sal N320, Naturvetarhuset, Johan Bures väg 16, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-19 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved

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