Youth work is a safe playground for youth to test their own ideas. Youth work developed mostly from social or cultural needs but has spread to all aspects of the youth, may that be health, voluntary work, employability, personal and social development and others. With the rise of Erasmus + program and all its predecessors, youth work also gained international component, developed much needed professionalization of the youth workers and awareness about topics such as learning process, learning recognition, dissemination and other.
Learning process and its recognition became the core ingredient of the youth work and it was recognized as the complementary to formal education. Different studies (you can find list of studies in our LIBRARY) proved that making reflection on ones learning process and learning outputs is not only good but in some cases it is necessary. Certain competences are highly sensitive to the presence of assessment tools or an education plan and the development of these competences will be much higher if properly assessed and reflected. These competences are communication skills, decision making skills, emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship, foreign languages, IT skills, problem solving skills and self-confidence. (STUDY on the impact of Non-Formal Education in youth organizations on young people’s employability)
Learning recognition should therefore not only be done to improve employability, but it should be done in order to capture the richness of the personal development or to properly reflect on what young people learnt. There are several methods to use to properly assess and reflect the learning process and here are some, we love the most.
In the publication Youth Work Quality, authors mention, that youth work faced transition from being valued-oriented to being outcome-oriented. Authors have a critical viewpoint to threads a formalization of the non-formal learning brings. Publication presents a SPAM (Self and Peer Assessment Model) that can be used for reflection of the learning process. We have also found this self-assessment questionnaire on the Youth Essentials, which enables non-formal youth groups to assess their own progress and learning effect. Within the project Ignite Your Skills, we have also created a Book Of Skills, which offers a very basic reflection on the youth exchange. We suggest you investigate a bit and develop your own approach to a quality of learning recognition in youth activities, but do not forget that educational evaluation has many elements or as it is written in the Educational Evaluation in Youth Work: The aims and nature of the educational evaluation are to learn, to motivate, to participate, to change and to improve. And don`t forget to make Youthpass.