Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EduMAP (Adult Education as a Means for Active Participatory Citizenship)
Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2019-01-31
The main research question was: What policies and practices are needed in the field of adult education to include young adults at risk of social exclusion in active participatory citizenship in Europe?
The first objective of EduMAP was to compile an inventory of adult education policies and practices in all EU Member States, in Turkey, and at the EU level, with a special focus on their relevance to young adults at risk of social exclusion (aged 16-30 years). The adequacy, match/mismatch and shortcomings in the existing statistical data, and shortcomings and inadequacies in data collection were supposed to be mapped and assessed.
As planned, inventories and analyses of scientific and policy documents, national and European statistics and national programmes and regulations in the EU28 and Turkey were compiled, and an analysis of relevant EU-level policy documents was accomplished.
The research findings suggest that adult education systems differ regarding the recognition and identification of the vulnerability of young people. These differences have been strongly influenced by country-specific historical and contemporary trends. However, wider European and global dimensions have been increasingly shaping both national policies and practical approaches in the work with vulnerable young people.
Mapping and analysing well-functioning educational initiatives
A further objective of EduMAP was to identify and review educational initiatives, “good practices”, that have proven successful in including young people at risk of social exclusion in active socio-cultural, socio-economic and/or political participation in and outside Europe. This objective was achieved through a qualitative in-depth exploration of up to 40 cases across 19 EU countries and Turkey involving 712 respondents. Due to the magnitude of the refugee inflow and the political escalation in Turkey summer 2016 the Turkish team concentrated on the study of the immigrants’ education in Turkey instead of the initial idea of focusing generally on some well-functioning educational practices outside Europe.
The key results can be clustered into three main areas of inquiry:
1) Results that relate to the learning experiences, opinions and expectations of young persons at risk of social exclusion. The findings give evidence of how vulnerabilities are multi-layered, based on overlapping structural (e.g. lack of access to basic services) and personal factors (e.g. destructured families, discrimination based on ethnicity and/or gender differences, among others).
2) Results that relate to the success and challenges of the adult education programmes identified as good practices and how adult education providers specifically foster young people’s active citizenship competences in its multiple dimensions.
3) Results that relate to adult education policies and participatory approaches to young people at risk of social exclusion.
Mapping communicative ecologies in the field of adult education
EduMAP investigated the role of information and communication in adult education as related to the enhancement of learners’ motivation and ability for active participatory citizenship. This objective was achieved through in-depth studies within the selected good practices. The original objective to design a digital discussion forum for the dialogue between (potential) vulnerable learners and education providers was not realised in the way planned in the work programme. Partly because of limited resources and late timing in the project, the design work was at risk of remaining detached from the general aims of the EduMAP.
The findings revealed that social networks of potential learners are centrally important for access to relevant information on adult education provisions. Further, effective internal and external communication proved to be essential for reaching out to and attending to the needs of young people holistically.
Developing an IDSS
General objective was to create and test an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) to enable easy access to existing data on adult education for the use of policymakers, educational authorities and other stakeholders. Previously, no IDS systems for education have been presented. IDS systems applied in other fields were thus reviewed to obtain information useful for the development of an IDSS for adult education.
An IDSS was developed and tested. The first round was carried out in Finland and the second round in all EduMAP countries. Moreover, face-to-face feedback was acquired from conference attendants outside the consortium, and the IDSS testing website link was sent to cooperating experts and policymakers in different EU Member States.
EduMAP’s large qualitative interview data on good practices were also used to develop the IDSS. Correlation analysis, factor analysis, logistic regression and principal component analysis were applied to estimate the usability of the qualitative codes of the data collected with learners, educators and policymakers.
Exploitation and dissemination
The main channels for the exploitation and dissemination of the project results include:
The project website (http://www.uta.fi/edumap/)
IDSS: potential of post-project exploitation
Adult Education Communicative Ecologies and Assemblages framework (CEA): post-project development into a toolkit for practitioners
Ongoing exploitation and dissemination activities will continue 2019-2020
1. For European and national policymakers and educational authorities the project findings provide an overview of the trends, mismatches and overlaps in adult education, information for searching out acceptable norms and criteria for collecting data on adult education, and empirically validated knowledge of the factors that promote or prevent young people from seizing opportunities for further studies and active societal participation.
2. For adult education providers, the project results provide information on the experiences and communicative practices of young adults in diverse situations of risk, concrete proposals for the inclusion of vulnerable minority groups in educational initiatives, and information for the development of education for active societal participation.
3. For young adults in situations of vulnerability the project findings provide information of communication channels for interaction with adult education providers. This knowledge has a potential to increase young people’s ability and motivation for participation in adult education and thus for shaping their own future more actively.