Blending the formal and nonformal educational sectors: Creating a shared learning initiative for secondary school teachers and youth workers

O’Regan, Connie
Brady, Bernadine
Connolly, Cornelia
Dolan, Pat
MacRuairc, Gerry
O’Regan, Connie, Brady, Bernadine, Connolly, Cornelia, Dolan, Pat, & MacRuairc, Gerry. (2023). Blending the Formal and Nonformal Educational Sectors: Creating a Shared Learning Initiative for Secondary School Teachers and Youth Workers. Child & Youth Services, 1-24. doi:10.1080/0145935X.2023.2236940
It has been widely argued that existing educational inequality and inequity was exacerbated when schools closed due to Covid-19. In addition, it is disadvantaged young people that are most likely to experience the most negative long-term impacts. Many of these young people were successfully engaged in the non-formal sector (i.e. youth work services) before and during the pandemic. This paper introduces Bridging Worlds, a new initiative, which brings together the formal and non-formal sectors in education to develop a new partnership and shared engagement framework to enhance educational outcomes and positive youth development. The project focuses on promoting knowledge, skills and awareness among teachers and youth workers of the formal and non-formal education sectors, using blended learning techniques and implementing a number of pro social youth programmes. It aims to create a strong sustaining connection across these sectors as a project legacy. This article describes the mixed methods approach used to track the implementation of the project across a six-month period, including pre and post survey data and from participating teachers and youth workers combined with qualitative interviews. Project feedback is discussed according to specific research questions. Recommendations are provided for the further development of the programme and for future research.
Taylor & Francis
Publisher DOI