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Youth participation in EuropeBeyond discourses, practices and realities$
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Patricia Loncle, Gerrit Jackson, and Virginie Muniglia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300182

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300182.001.0001

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Learning to participate or participating to learn?

Learning to participate or participating to learn?

Chapter:
(p.189) Twelve Learning to participate or participating to learn?
Source:
Youth participation in Europe
Author(s):

Andreas Walther

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447300182.003.0012

This chapter suggests that making youth participation conditional upon education, learning and personal development (or ‘maturity’) reproduces and legitimises existing, institutionalised meanings, contents and forms of participation rather than contributing to the empowerment of children and young people. As a first step, the relationship between education, learning and participation will be assessed by means of comparative analysis of how participation is dealt with in formal and non-formal education in different European countries: Austria, France, Ireland, Italy and Slovakia. Comparative analysis will address the meaning of civic or citizenship education and the role and scope of student councils. In a second step, this is complemented by comparing different models of youth work in these countries as a potential space of participation in non-formal education. Section three aims at deepening the insight into the relationship between education, learning and participation by referring to some qualitative studies concerned with both young people's reflections on subjective meanings of participation as well as their participation experiences in formal and non-formal learning environments. Section four will conclude by relating these research findings to education and learning theory.

Keywords:   comparative analysis, models of youth work, learning theory, non-formal education

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