Dynamics of Youth community platform

Youth Education & Life Skills

Kick-Off Event 12 April 2023

Time to kick-off our community! We are happy to invite you to the kick-off event of the Youth Education & Life Skills community on Wednesday 12 april from 15:45-19:00 (with drinks afterwards) in the Social Impact Factory (close to Utrecht Central Station).

At the event, we kick-off the community: we tell you more about how the community can support you in (new) interdisciplinary research projects, and most of all, make time to meet and get to know each other, and plant seeds for future collaborations. We will also present new calls for funding as encouragement for these seeds to sprout.

15:45 – 16:15Walk-in with coffee, tea and cookies
16:15 – 16:30Introduction Youth Education & Life Skills community
16:30 – 17:30Meeting in subsessions connected to research pillars  

Pillar ‘Enhancing opportunities in education’:
The value of educational partnerships
with guest host: dr. Annemie Struyf
What role can educational partnerships play in enhancing equity in education? How can partnerships between schools, parents, societal organizations and / or businesses contribute to support our students and their learning process? And how can educational partnerships contribute to schools` resilience in times of crisis? In this session, you will learn more about this, can share your own experience about projects in which educational partnerships play a significant role, and exchange ideas about current educational challenges in which educational partnerships may be of added value. The final aim of this session is to get inspired with new research ideas and to get to know researchers and societal partners with a shared interest to potentially collaborate with.    

Pillar ‘Critical thinking and perspective taking’:
The use of reliable digital information: A mission impossible?
with guest host: dr. Bjorn Wansink
How can we teach our youth to assess digital information critically and base their opinions on reliable information? In this session, we explore potential collaborations regarding media literacy. To inspire us, Bjorn Wansink and Eugene Loos share their experiences and insights from recent collaborations on this topic. Stichting Nederlands Debat Instituut – organiser of o.a. the Dutch Championship School Debating – challenges us to debate with each other, as a way of getting to know each other and each other’s perspective.  

Pillar ‘Learning and teaching from a global perspective’
“The world is our oyster!” Involving the wider world to strengthen education’s role in life skill development
with guest hosts: dr. Judith van de Kamp en prof. dr. Joost de Laat  
Basic and life skills empower youngsters to navigate their future – and to navigate a wide and increasingly wider world. This calls for looking far beyond our national or European borders. In this pillar we hope to explore and feed our ‘global’ research passion regarding youth education and life skills. We want to find out what inspires you and how can we cherish and develop that. We kick off with highlighting a true global perspective on learning and teaching. First, after introducing some of the latest figures on education for children in adversity worldwide, Joost de Laat travels with us to the various corners of the world and will introduce the Global Learning Community in Whole Child Development, an ongoing collaboration between Dynamics of Youth and the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe). What are the types of education challenges being addressed by the 80 or so member organisations across various contexts? How do these connect to our research and teaching interests and areas of expertise here at Utrecht University? Next, Judith van de Kamp is passionate about ‘pulling’ the wide world into Dutch higher education via her projects on developing students’ intercultural skills and sensitivity. How can global peer discussion networks or intercultural internship projects effectively contribute to the developing intercultural competencies of students? What are the research gaps in intercultural skill, attitude and behavior development in different educational or cultural contexts? Let us openly and playfully explore these questions together.

Pillar ‘Learning for agency’
with Niels Kerssens and Jacqueline Wong  
As an aspirational vision for the future of education, the OECD Learning Compass 2030 emphasizes the importance of developing student agency as a learning goal and a learning process so that students are prepared and capable of navigating the unknown. Student agency can be understood from multiple perspectives and linked to autonomy and self-regulated learning. In this pillar, we would like to explore agency from three perspectives: learner, teacher, and system.
From the system perspective, Niels will introduce the Dutch K-12 personalized learning application Bingel as a case-in-point to exemplify how intertwined processes of platformisation and cloudification are conducive to a shift in agential power over learning from local schools to national, transnational and global platform companies. Based on the Bingel case we will we ask: How do platformisation and cloudification affect the pedagogical autonomy of school and teacher? And how do we understand these digitization processes as similar to/or different from established forms of control over education by national government and legacy publishers?
Combining the learner and teacher perspectives, Liesbeth and Jacqueline will discuss the potential impact of agency on learning and if there are tensions between agency and support. Using examples of research in learning analytics where data about the learner and the context is collected and analyzed to understand and optimize learning, we will share experiences and explore related questions on whether some students benefit more than others when the learning environment calls for agency. How can we promote learning agency and still provide personalized support to ensure no students are disadvantaged? Together, we will consider the degrees of (co-)agency and how youths can be better supported to take charge of their learning.

Open pillar: Explore together
The topics above are just a selection of the research that is connected to the Youth Education & Life Skills community. The community is definitely open for other topics and for new pillars to arise! In this open session, you are invited to bring forward the topics that you are interested in, hear about other’s, and explore together what new exciting collaborations these might hold.
17:30 – 18:00Break with soup and sandwiches
18:00 – 18:45Exchange and co-creation in research pillars
– Pillar ‘Enhancing opportunities in education’
– Pillar ‘Learning and teaching from a global perspective’
– Pillar ‘Critical thinking and perspective taking’
– Pillar ‘Learning for agency’
– Open pillar: explore together
18:45u – 19:00uClosure

Looking forward to meeting you at the event! Please let us know via youtheducation.lifeskills@uu.nl if you would like to join, and which session you would like to attend.