Julian Sefton-Green – Learning in Out-of-School Contexts: Education in Non-Formal Settings
- on Dec 5, 2012
- at 9:00 am–10:00 am
- by Connected Learning Alliance
Out-of-school centers and activities meet many needs in societies around the world. What effects and impacts are they having on formal education institutions?
Key Questions and Comments:
- (07:29) Although these kinds of [out-of-school] centers exist in many countries around the world, I think that different countries have different expectations of what these kinds of centers can achieve, and how they can be sustained within different local contexts.
- (10:02) One of the things about these out-of-school centers is they tend to use school as a kind of benchmark against which they measure themselves. They play with the way that school is organized in order to set themselves up differently.
- (12:06) One of the real problems…in thinking about learning in out-of-school is: the more that we get involved in researching and studying and following the learning that’s going on there, the more we run the risk of formalizing the informal.
- (15:21) It’s actually very difficult to get assessments of what might be thought as “the average quality” of a day or a session at a community center. How do we have any sense of whether learning might be quite good but not good enough?
- (21:49) How could we assess learning…differently in a way that might reflect what we actually believe is “learning”?
- (26:17) To what extent (if at all) do these “not-school”, informal, out-of-school learning spaces provide opportunity to define learning in very different ways?
- (29:02) We do need new methods for tracking learning over time. Not just based on outcomes that we see in the lives of young people five-to-ten years later as they’re experiencing life-changing events, but also tracking the products themselves that they create and that notion of “digital afterlife.”
- (34:46) To what extent should out-of-school space learning organizers document results, structure the learning, and assess achievement? The idea that we need to measure outcomes and manage learning: to what extent does that mess with or confound the original function of informal learning?
- (38:40) Thinking about credentialing, when it feels like a token, school-like activity, is kind of weak. But, absent of that, how do we offer an alternative to kids who are maybe not acquiring those credentials through the more traditional channels?
- (42:02) I think we tend to focus on kids for assessment…I’m wondering if maybe the methodological issue is not necessarily studying a single young person, but trying to think about ways in which a methodology could capture relationships?
- (45:35) There’s a larger political question about how we can make forms of qualification more equal with each other, and give credit and value. Otherwise, you’re just going to have a dual system of qualifications.
- (47:08) It is very interesting to look at these “not-school” programs or spaces in communities where young people don’t usually have access to technology in their home environments. So, “not-school” becomes a place to access…this issue of the differences in access becomes crucial for these not-schooling practices.
- (50:02) As we begin to think about the importance of “not-school” and these kinds of spaces, how should we also keep the role in context in relationship to these other pathways and opportunities for young people beyond school?
- (54:44) I think one of the joys for youth is that they get to experience multiple cultural contexts. This idea of extending the school day and keeping kids longer in a single context is devastating to me…They should have the right to explore these non-school spaces to see if they work for them.
- (56:19) What does it mean to “be successful” in out-of-school spaces? And how can adults support youth in reaching their goals?
View the Conversation
During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.
Guests for this webinar included:
- Julian Sefton-Green – Guest Speaker
- Craig Watkins – Moderator/Host
- Jennifer Vadeboncoeur
- Lissa Soep
- Kylie Peppler
- Andres Lombana
Resources for this webinar:
- Julian’s “Learning at Not-School” white paper [PDF]
- The encyclopaedia of informal education
- EU Legislation: Recognition of non-formal and informal learning (in the field of youth)
- Bunker Roy TED Talk, as an example of measuring success by looking at the community
#ConnectedLearning Discussion on Twitter