Taxonomy of Teaching Methods and Teaching Forms for Youth in Non-Formal Education in the National Youth Council of Slovenia

By Zupančič, Vesna Miloševič | CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, January 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

Taxonomy of Teaching Methods and Teaching Forms for Youth in Non-Formal Education in the National Youth Council of Slovenia


Zupančič, Vesna Miloševič, CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal


Introduction

Subjective perceptions of learning might bring the first association to the learning in the formal educational system, referred to as formal learning. However, youth organisations are places that offer young people the other two categories of learning: non-formal learning and informal learning. Non-formal education (NFE) and training together with boosting the competencies of young people are within the key scopes of organisations in the youth sector.

The field of youth work is highly interdisciplinary, connecting several scientific disciplines, including pedagogy, social work, and political science. The concept of youth work is polyvalent, multifaceted, heterogeneous, and has no unified definition (Coussée, 2009; Pantea, 2012). It can be described as a reaction to the processes of exclusion, alienation, and disintegration of modern societies (Kuhar & Razpotnik, 2011). In Slovenia, youth work can be defined as a form of work with young people, which is voluntary, encouraging active citizenship, fostering social integration and consciously containing educational components (Kuhar & Leskošek, 2008). Youth organisations are civil society organisations that are non-profit, private, and formal. As such, they can be located in the part of social reality between the community, the state, and the market (Kolarič & Rakar, 2010). It is said that the role of citizens and civil society shall be reconsidered in an attempt to widen democratic participation (Gaber & Mojškerc, 2014). The majority of Western democracies encourage youth participation as a part of the debate on modern citizenship (Bessant, 2004), the result of which is the formation of youth councils, youth assemblies, and other decision-making or consulting bodies (Taft & Gordon, 2013). Rakar et al. (2011) divide youth organisations in Slovenia, among others, into the National Youth Council of Slovenia (MSS), youth councils of local communities, youth centres, national youth organisations, and other non-governmental organisations.

There are both non-formal learning and informal learning in youth organisations (European Commission, 2000, 2012). Learning is a broad concept, defined by several theories in psychology (Marentič-Požarnik, 2014), sociology (Haralambos & Holborn, 2005) and other disciplines (e.g., economy), with the official definition by UNESCO/ISCED (Marentič-Požarnik, 2014, p. 10-19; UNESCO, 1993, p. 2). Regarding the situation in which learning takes part, we can divide learning into three categories (Žagar & Kelava, 2014). Formal learning is a highly institutionalised and structured process; informal learning is an activity that takes place in everyday life (Boeren, 2011), it is not institutionalised, and it can be self-, family- or socially-directed (Lebeničnik, Pitt, & Starčič Istenič, 2015). Lastly, non-formal learning can be defined as 'organized education taking place outside the formal education system' (Boeren, 2011, p. 335). It can inter alia take place within civil society organisations such as youth organisations (European Commission, 2000).

Within the concept of learning, the present paper focuses on a didactic aspect, on teaching methods and teaching forms.2 Teaching methods can be defined as theoretically justified and empirically tested modes of action, through which the subjects of the educational/learning processes implement their aims and objectives (Kramar, 2009). Modern didactics and educational psychology divide them into student-focused and teacher-focused methods (Radovan, 2013). Teacher-focused methods emphasise information transmission, whereas student-focused methods emphasise the conceptual change (Stes & Petegem, 2014). Constructivist theories of learning emphasise the shift in focus from conventional lectures to teaching methods that activate the learner and are student-focused (Struyven, Dochy, & Janssens, 2010). Active teaching methods include case-study, problem-based learning, collaborative assignments (Struyven et al. …

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