ERIC Number: EJ1137133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
Learning in Non-Formal Education: Is It "Youthful" for Youth in Action?
Norqvist, Lars; Leffler, Eva
International Review of Education, v63 n2 p235-256 Apr 2017
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).
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Informal Education, Educational Practices, Youth, Qualitative Research, Case Studies, Data Collection, Semi Structured Interviews, Focus Groups, Documentation, Learning Processes, Conventional Instruction, Comparative Analysis, Outcomes of Education, Educational Benefits
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: European Union; Sweden; Albania; Netherlands; United Kingdom (England); France; Germany; Portugal; Romania; Ukraine; Belgium