DROP’ INSPIRATION Policy paper

DROP IN logo CopyDropping out of school is a real social issue. For youngsters the situation has major social and economic consequences. The reasons for dropping out are multiple and their explanations are not always to be found within schools. Rather, these are related to social and economic reasons, educational and behavioral reasons, ethno-cultural reasons, and finally labor market fluctuations. It is well established that in 2017 an average of 10.6 % of young people (aged 18-24) in the EU-28 were early leavers from education and training.

 

The policy paper of the Drop’In project aims at strengthening the capacity of teachers and stakeholders in the educational field in order to decrease school drop-outs and further reduce the drop-out related unemployment. Specifically through creating training materials and providing training instances in the field of non-formal education. To assess the proposition that non-formal education plays a positive role in motivating students which directly and indirectly leads to student retention, a catalogue of 40 non-formal education methods has been created, a teacher training on these methods has been implemented and a teacher training module has been prepared. Data on the testing of these non-formal methods with students has been collected through an online portfolio that not only kept track of the teachers’ impressions but those of the students as well.

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According to the council of Europe, non-formal learning is widely used and is a strongly debated notion in the youth field. It stands for a range of core learning principles, methodologies and approaches, commonly emphasizing the learners intrinsic motivation, voluntary participation, critical thinking and democratic agency . Furthermore, and according to the European Council, it is widely acknowledged and recognized that non-formal learning provides unique learning opportunities to millions of young Europeans on a daily basis. In support to this strong notion of the positive effects of non-formal learning in formal settings, policy recommendations related to the advised ‘Intervention Policies’ on the school or training institution and on the individual level are highlighted in this paper and are being harmoniously presented in relation to the Drop’In activities and results. This is being followed by recommendations for policy makers in the education sector at four levels: regional, national, subnational and organizational within the context of Professional Development in Education, Curriculum Development and Monitoring & Assessment.

Finally the paper includes a detailed annex on the development of teacher competencies within the framework of the project implementation.

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