23 SES 02 C, Lifelong Learning
Recent education policies in Europe are confronted with changing political and societal framework conditions. Firstly, challenges related to the side effects of economic growth and growing consumption (e.g. climate change, increasing waste production) demand new answers in order to cope with risk and uncertainty. The necessity for new approaches is reflected by the worldwide discourse on sustainability, currently prominently reflected by the Sustainable Development Goals. Secondly, living conditions are inevitably changing when solutions to these challenges are leading to societal transformations as an effective shift towards sustainability demands a holistic approach. Together with other major trends changing the contexts for European societies (especially digitalisation), people are, hence, confronted with more complexity and risk. In this context, populist policies are gaining more popularity than before as they seem to provide solutions for reducing complexity by simple answers. In this changing political landscape, governments need to find answers to different needs of societies facing more risk and uncertainty. Especially political education and education for sustainable development (ESD) can provide the right tools for enabling societies to better cope with risk and uncertainty by not providing simple answers but by providing the necessary practical and background knowledge to handle complex challenges in changing living contexts and changing political contexts. However, the provision of such knowledge via ESD or political education should not only address formal education in schools. For effective empowerment of European societies, such knowledge should be provided for learners throughout their whole lifespan. Whereas education in schools and in early childhood can be seen as an investment into the future, adult education directly addresses and empowers current consume and working generations and their established social practices. But how can educational systems in Europe change towards fulfilling these aims?And how can such change be oriented towards the interests and cultural context-specificities of people? Of course, top-down education policies in the EU member-states are already addressing the need for change demanded by changing framework conditions, implementing, for instance, ESD in school curricula. However, for realising faster change, innovative answers fitting the respective cultural contexts need to be found. Whereas top-down solutions can be well-informed and empirically founded they often only reflect one perspective on educational policies: the perspective of administrations and public institutions. Furthermore, educational practitioners and learners necessarily have a strong focus on the micro-level of applied teaching practices in their respective context. Bottom-up perspectives and bottom-up solutions can already be found in practice. Research on social innovation in education and lifelong learning, conducted in the framework of the SI-DRIVE project funded by the European Commission within Horizon 2020, shed light on these solutions and their potential for approaches tailored to the respective context of specific needs and demands of specific target groups. Nevertheless, despite the potential found in such solutions a lack of support was also revealed across different educational systems in Europe. Necessary leeway for innovative educational practices coming from outside of formal systems is hence missing and, therefore, hindering the establishment, further development and diffusion of social innovation in education. In this paper, it will be argued that bottom-up social innovation in education and lifelong learnings needs to be provided with support and leeway in order to foster educational change tailored to context-specific needs and demands. Moreover, the importance of joint innovating with teachers, learners and policy-makers will be highlighted. The practice of developing social innovation is already pointing at the potential of inclusive co-creation in other societal fields. From this point of view, education can also benefit from co-creation in inclusive and open environments taking into account the perspectives and demands of all actors on all levels.
This paper is based on results generated during the course of the SI-DRIVE project financed by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme. In this project, which has been realized from 2014-2017, 1,005 social innovation initiatives across the world and across different activity fields have been mapped and quantitatively analysed. Based on this mapping, 82 initiatives have been selected for further in-depth qualitative analyses. In this sample, 211 initiatives have been assigned to the field ‘Education and Lifelong Learning’ and 18 of these initiatives have been analysed in-depth. Results from these quantitative and qualitative analyses will be the basis for this paper together with further analyses. In addition to a smaller selection of the cases found and analysed in the course of SI-DRIVE, further cases will be added, taken from the ongoing case-collection of the European School of Social Innovation (ESSI).
Against the background of a rising relevance of social innovation support and research in the European Union, light will be shed on the needs and potential of community-led approaches. A strong focus will be on specific needs and demands of learners in a changing European environment of more risk and uncertainty. The paper aims at insights on possible pathways for bottom-up social innovations in education and lifelong learning in Europe. A special focus will be on open and inclusive approaches as they can basically exemplify pathways free of hurdles for participants and, therefore, indicate ways of how to meet the needs and demands of any learners regardless of their background.
Avelino, F., Wittmayer, J. M., Pel, B., Weaver, P., Dumitru, A., Haxeltine, A., Kemp, R., Jørgensen, M. S., Bauler, T., Ruijsink, S., O'Riordan, T. (2017). Transformative Social Innovation and (Dis)Empowerment. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2017. Brandsen, T., Steen, T., & Verschuere, B. (Eds.). (2018). Routledge critical studies in public management. Co-production and co-creation: Engaging citizens in public services. New York, London: Routledge. Howaldt, J., Schröder, A., Kaletka, C., Rehfeld, D., Terstriep, J. (2016). Comparative Analysis (Mapping 1): Mapping the World of Social Innovation - A Global Comparative Analysis across Sectors and World Regions, SI-DRIVE deliverable 1.4. Kolleck, N. (2019). The power of Third Sector Organizations in Public Education: Analyzing Interactions between NGOs and Schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 8(1). Kolleck, N., Jörgens, H., Well, M. (2017). Levels of Governance in Policy Innovation Cycles in Community Education: The Cases of Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education. Sustainability, 9(11). Schröder, A., Krüger, D., Kuschmierz, L. (2017). Social Innovation: Creating Innovative Spaces for Education and Lifelong Learning. SI-DRIVE deliverable No. 4.4. Schröder, A., Kuschmierz, L. (2017). Social Innovation in Education and Lifelong Learning: Case Study Results. SI-DRIVE deliverable 4.3. Schröder, A., Shabunova, A. A.'e., Popov, A. V., Solov'eva, T. S., & Golovchin, M. A. (2017). Social Innovation as an Effective Response to Modern Challenges in Education. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 10(5), 21-36.
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