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RAY COMP » Research project on competence development and capacity building for youth work and training in the European youth programmes

>> Start in 2021

This research project explores educational approaches to competence development and capacity building in the context of the European youth programmes and their suitability to strengthen the diversity, quality and impact of youth work across Europe in order to provide for the development of the necessary learning and training opportunities for the actors involved in the European youth programmes.

RAY COMP builds on the perspectives of the users and beneficiaries of training and support activities, which RAY CAP has focused on, by addressing two levels of training in the context of the European youth programmes (1. training of actors involved in projects funded by the European youth projects, 2. training of non-formal educators and trainers in the field of European youth work).

Aims & Objectives

The key objectives this research project related to competence development and capacity building of youth workers and youth leaders are to explore

  • the approaches to determining and assessing the needs of youth workers, youth leaders, support persons and their organisations and networks involved in the European youth programmes for training and support activities;
  • the conceptional, educational and structural approaches to defining and designing education and training activities that respond to these needs;
  • the suitability of these approaches to adequately respond to the needs of learners and their organisations and networks;
  • the need for and potential of new educational and structural approaches to competence development and capacity building.

The key objectives this research project related to competence development of non-formal educators and trainers in the youth field are to explore

  • the non-formal education competences and learning needs of non-formal educators and trainers involved in the European youth programmes;
  • which competences of non-formal educators and trainers involved in the European youth programmes need to be developed in order to meet the learning and training needs of youth workers and youth leaders involved in the European youth programmes;
  • effective approaches, concepts and methodologies

Research Questions

Core research questions:

  • Which conceptional, educational and structural approaches are effective in meeting the needs of youth workers, youth leaders, support persons and their organisations and networks involved in the European youth programmes?
  • Which conceptional, educational and structural approaches are effective in developing the competences of non-formal educators and trainers necessary for providing training meeting the needs of youth workers, youth leaders, support persons and their organisations and networks involved in the European youth programmes?

Further Information

  • What are the needs of youth workers and youth leaders, as well as their organisations and networks, in the area of competence development and capacity building?
  • How are these needs typically determined and assessed ahead of developing institutional formats as well as educational approaches for training and support activities?
  • How suitable are these formats and approaches to respond to the needs of youth workers and youth leaders, as well as their organisations and networks?
  • What are the needs for, if any, and the potential of new institutional and educational approaches to competence development and capacity building?
  • What are the non-formal education competences and learning needs of non-formal educators and trainers involved in the European youth programmes?
  • Which competences of non-formal educators and trainers involved in the European youth programmes need to be developed in order to meet the learning and training needs of youth workers and youth leaders involved in the European youth programmes?
  • What are effective approaches, concepts and methodologies to develop these competences of non-formal educators and trainers?

This research project will refer to existing knowledge related to its topics:

  • Literature on training of youth workers and youth leaders as well as training of trainers in the youth field, with a focus on youth work with a European dimension.
  • Findings and qualitative data available from the RAY research project on competence development and capacity building in Erasmus+ Youth in Action (RAY-CAP), in particular in view of training needs expressed by youth workers, youth leaders and their organisations
  • Data of the RAY monitoring surveys between 2015 and 2020 and of the RAY survey on learning in Youth in Action in 2012, the latter in particular in view of effective educational approaches, settings, methodologies and methods experienced by youth workers and youth leaders.
  • Existing competence models such as the ETS Competence Model for Youth Workers and the ETS Competence Model for Trainers.

 

The following research methods and instruments are envisaged:

Module 1: Focus groups at national level

Optional focus groups at national level with youth workers and youth leaders involved in the European youth programmes (EYP) aimed at complementing the findings of RAY-CAP, with a focus on their learning and training needs and on educational approaches, settings, methodologies and methods experienced by them to be effective; such focus groups could be conducted specifically in countries not involved in RAY-CAP. These focus groups would be conducted by RAY Network partners at national level.

Module 2: Interviews at national level

Optional interviews at national level with non-formal educators and trainers involved in EYP, exploring their non-formal education and training competences, their educational approaches, methodologies and methods as well as their own training needs:

  • These interviews would be conducted by RAY Network partners to explore competences and learning needs of trainers working at national level or in transnational contexts.
  • Selected interviews will be conducted by the transnational team with trainers working at European level or in transnational contexts.

Survey for youth workers and youth leaders

  • Surveys with youth workers, youth leaders and non-formal educators/trainers in the youth field based on the findings of RAY-CAP and of the qualitative interviews outlined above:
    A survey with youth workers and youth leaders could be conducted as a special module only for participants in YWM and TCA/NET projects in the first RAY MON and RAY SOC surveys in the new programmes, exploring their training needs and learning preferences.
  • A survey with project leaders, support persons and organisations involved in EYP could be conducted as a special module in the first RAY MON and RAY SOC surveys in the new programmes, exploring the training needs and learning preferences of organisations.
  • A special survey (only in English) with trainers working at European level or in transnational contexts exploring their non-formal education and training competences, their educational approaches, methodologies and methods as well as their own training needs. This survey would include open questions to be analysed with qualitative research methods.

 

The research project will be implemented in close consultation with SALTO Training & Cooperation, taking into consideration their interests, in particular with respect to the European Training Strategy in the youth field, and seeking synergies in collecting data as to avoid a duplication of efforts.

 

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