Glossary on youth
Ability refers to capacities that someone can already demonstrate that s/he possesses, such as having the ability to speak a certain language.
REF: Chisholm, L. (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvain.
Formally or socially recognised authorities or instances accredit courses, activities and their outcomes. This means they testify that organisations and individuals meet standards to which all have agreed to conform. They vouch for the credibility of the certificates and diplomas that are issued, and hence for the reliability and validity of the monitoring, evaluation and assessment of the individuals and the organisations whose judgements are given the stamp of approval.
REF: Chisholm, L. (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvain.
Acculturation explains the process of cultural change and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. Acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and social institutions, noticeable effects of acculturation also include changes in food, clothing, language. At the individual level, acculturation leads not only to changes in daily behaviour, but is associated with numerous measures of psychological and physical well-being. Acculturation can be thought of as second-culture learning while enculturation is used to describe the process of first-culture learning. Acculturation is a highly complex process of taking conscious decisions, both at individual and group levels, about accepting and/or rejecting material and non-material aspects of another culture. Acculturation may lead to assimilation and weakening or loss of own culture in a “melting pot” society or to keeping own cultural trait alive in a “salad bowl” society. Reluctance to acculturate may lead to segregation. Acculturation processes may involve violence and protest or be smooth and take place voluntarily. In European Union one finds many instances illustrating acculturation processes: Muslim population in France, the Turkish population in Germany, and Caribbean and Asian populations in England. These societies are religiously and ethnically different from the Muslim, Turkish, Caribbean, and Asian populations being introduced into those countries.
REF: Dennis, K.N. (2007): Acculturation. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
The action plan is a way to make sure that an organisation’s/institution’s/group’s vision is made concrete. The action plan also describes the path that the group and the organisation will be following in order to reach the planned strategy and to reach the objectives. The action plan should include the actions that are to be taken, the person responsible for every action, clear deadlines for completing the specified actions, the resources that are to be used for the actions as well as the communication tools required for the coordination.
REF: Community Tool Box, Section 5. Developing an Action Plan.
Activism refers to taking action to impact social change. In terms of actions involved, it may include causes related to changes in the social, political, economic or environmental sectors. The process of change might be either conducted by an individual having the capacity to mobilize masses or collectively. When it comes to the forms of activism, it might vary from action undertaking civil disobedience, protests, occupations, campaigning, boycotts and demonstrations to more conventional forms such as lobby processes, writing letters, internet activism, petitions, and attending meeting of public bodies.
REF: Permanent Culture Now, Introduction to Activism. See also: Lobby
Advisory Council on Youth
Advocacy is the process that aims at creating or reforming public policies. The term has a wide range of definitions determined mainly by the actors involved with the advocacy processes. Social justice advocacy refers to the processes initiated by groups affected by social injustice. Rights based advocacy consists of campaigns and projects run by the watchdog organisations. Public interest advocacy and people centred advocacy are instituted to ensure citizens’ participation in decision making processes or think tanks. Consequently, advocacy is a political process that involves the coordinated efforts of the civil society structures running the advocacy campaigns in order to change the existent policies and practices or the balance of power, the resources, the ideas and values that could affect the citizens in general or a particular group of citizens.
REF: VeneKlasen, Lisa and Miller, Valerie (2002): A new wave of Power, People and Politics: An Action guide for policy and citizens participation, Oklahoma City.
See also: Citizen; lobby; participation; political participation
APEL stands for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning. This term is used in the UK, where APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) and CCC (Crediting Current Competence) are also used for roughly the same purpose. In other countries similar activities are known under different names. In France it is known as ‘Bilan de competences’, ‘Bilan des competences approfondi’, or ‘Validation de Acquis des Experiences (VAE)’. Regardless of the title, all are the same and all are RPL – Recognition of Prior Learning.
RPL describes a process used by regulatory bodies, adult learning centres, career development practitioners, military organisations, human resource professionals, employers, training institutions, colleges and universities around the world to evaluate skills and knowledge (learning) acquired outside the classroom for the purpose of recognizing competence against a given set of standards, competencies, or learning outcomes.
Methods of assessing prior learning are varied and include: evaluation of prior experience gained through volunteer work, participation in a youth organisation, previous paid or unpaid employment, standardized exams or observation of actual workplace behaviour. The essential element of RPL is that it is an assessment of evidence provided by an individual to support their claim for competence against a given set of standards or learning outcomes. In European youth field, Youthpass (www.youthpass.eu) which contains a self-evaluation section using eight key competencies of the lifelong learning framework is an example of how RPL actually works.
REF: Chisholm, L. (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvain.
See also: Competences; knowledge; participation; skill; volunteering; Youthpass
Assessment takes place when evaluation has a comparative dimension that involves setting individuals, activities or institutions into a ranking order of performance or achievement. The ranking may be set in relation to criteria that are specific to the context, process or outcomes that are being assessed (such as: who swam the river fastest, or which the European Voluntary Service agency has the highest success rate in attracting socially disadvantaged young people into the programme). Alternatively, relative performance may be assessed against an external standard (such as in the case of the PISA attainment tests for 15-year-olds in different countries).
In the field of youth work, the word assessment is used interchangeably with the word evaluation.
See also: European Voluntary Service; evaluation; formative evaluation; summative evaluation; youth work
In sociology, assimilation refers to the blending or fusing of minority groups into the dominant society. A narrower notion of cultural assimilation refers to the process by which a person or a group's language and/or culture come to resemble those of another group. The term is used to refer to both individuals and groups. In the latter case it can refer to either immigrant diasporas or native residents that come to be culturally dominated by another society. Assimilation may involve either a quick or gradual change depending on the circumstances of the group. Full assimilation occurs when new members of a society become indistinguishable from members of the dominant group. It happens when they use their language, daily habits, when they accept their version of (official) history, when they have taken over their attitudes and values. It is often disputed by both members of the group, and those of the dominant society, whether it is desirable for an immigrant group to assimilate or not.
Nowadays assimilation is associated also with two other forms describing the patterns of incorporating minorities in a “mainstream” culture and society: pluralist view whereby minorities keep their cultural specifics and features within a dominant society (the “salat bowl” model) and exclusion, which implies persistent and substantial disadvantages of minority group vis a vis the members of the mainstream society.
REF: Alba, R., Nee, V. (2007): Assimilation. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
See also: Culture; diversity; ethnic minority; immigration
The concept of attitudes emerged in the context of attempts to understand human action and behaviour. The theory of reasoned action posits that volitional behaviour is determined by intentions, which are influenced by attitudes and norms, being in turn influenced by beliefs. Thus within this framework, attitudes are understood as a certain “stage” in the formation of behaviour. However, since they are only one factor, not each attitude necessarily is followed by a behaviour. A different, constructivist approach to understanding (the link between) attitudes and behaviours sees people continually interpreting and reinterpreting the situations in which they find themselves, in order to create and coordinate their line of action with others. Within this framework, also attitudes are continually changed and do not appear as determinants of behaviour.
More concretely, attitudes can be seen as positive, negative, neutral or ambivalent views of persons, behaviours or social phenomena in general that shape a person's readiness to act or react in a certain way. Attitudes are composed of various forms of judgements – conscious and unconscious, rational and irrational, individual and social – and may not necessarily change as a result of evidence and experience. While there are numerous theories of attitude formation and attitude change, it remains poorly understood how exactly attitudes develop and evolve.
REF: Pestello, F. G. (2007): Attitudes and behavior. In Ritzer, G. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Theory, SAGE Publications, Inc.
See also: Socialisation
In Western ethics and political philosophy, the state or condition of self-governance, or leading one’s life according to reasons, values, or desires that are authentically one’s own. Although autonomy is an ancient notion (the term is derived from the ancient Greek words autos, meaning “self,” and nomos, meaning “rule”), the most-influential conceptions of autonomy are modern, having arisen in the 18th and 19th centuries in the philosophies of, respectively, Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill.
REF: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Autonomy.
Bi-sexual is a term that is used to describe a person who has an emotional and sexual orientation towards both their own sex and the opposite sex.
When talking about bi-sexuality, it is sometimes useful to distinguish between behaviour and identity. Someone who has had sexual experience with or even just attractions to people of more than one sex can be described as bi-sexual, but may not identify that way. Likewise, one can identify as bi-sexual regardless of sexual experience. Furthermore, identities can change over time.
REF: Bi-Sexual Resource Centre
See also: Gay, Homosexual, Lesbian, Queer, Sexual Orientation
Career guidance refers to services and activities intended to assist individuals, of any age and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. Such services may be found in schools, universities and colleges, in training institutions, in public employment services, in the workplace, in the voluntary or community sector and in the private sector. The activities may take place on an individual or group basis, and may be face-to-face or at a distance (including help lines and web-based services).
REF: UNESCO-UNEVOC Resources and Services, TVETipedia Glossary.
See also: Training; voluntary sector
Certificates or diplomas are the ‘piece of paper' which record the outcome of the certification process. They most frequently have the status of an official document, but this is not an absolute prerequisite. In the context of youth work, certificates may also serve to certify one’s participation in a non-formal learning activity and/or to make learning achievements (competences gained) visible. A typical example of certificates of that kind is Youthpass certificate granted to participants in Erasmus+: Youth in Action projects.
REF: Chisholm, L. (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvain; Youthpass Guide
See also: Accreditation; certification; formal recognition, Youthpass
Certification refers to a standardised process of formally validating knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competencies acquired by an individual or represented through a learning/service provider.
See also: Accreditation; certificate; formal recognition
A citizen is a member of a political community who enjoys the rights and assumes the duties of membership.
There are three main elements of citizenship. The first is citizenship as legal status, defined by civil, political and social rights. Here, the citizen is the legal person free to act according to the law and having the right to claim the law's protection. The second considers citizens specifically as political agents, actively participating in a society's political institutions. The third refers to citizenship as membership in a political community that furnishes a distinct source of identity.
REF: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
See also: Citizenship; identity; multi-dimensional citizenship; participation
Citizenship; (Active citizenship)
(Active) citizenship stands for an active participation of citizens in the economic, social, cultural and political fields of life. In the youth field much emphasis is on learning the necessary competences through voluntary activities. The aim is not only to improve the knowledge, but also motivation, skills and practical experience to be an active citizen.
REF: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy
See also: Multi-dimensional citizenship; voluntary activities; Youthpass
Civic Service is a voluntary service managed by the State- or on behalf of the State- e.g. in the social field or in civil protection.
REF: European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the Council, COM (2004) 337 - 30.4.2004: Proposed common objectives for voluntary activities among young people in response to the Council Resolution of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European co-operation in the youth field.
See also: Civilian service; European Voluntary Service; voluntary activities; voluntary sector; voluntary service
Civilian service is an alternative to compulsory military service in some countries. Like military service, it is compulsory and not voluntary. In almost all countries that are members of the Council of Europe civilian service as alternative to military service because of conscientious objections exists (an exception to this is Turkey).
Not all religious faiths are granted the right of conscientious objection in all countries. Regarding the European Bureau for conscientious objection civilian service often has a punitive character due to longer obligation and/or worse financial remuneration/compensation.
The civilian service can usually be served in non-profit NGOs in various sectors like healthcare, education, geriatric care, environmental organisations etc.
REF: European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the Council, COM (2004) 337 - 30.4.2004: Proposed common objectives for voluntary activities among young people in response to the Council Resolution of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European co-operation in the youth field.
See also: Council of Europe
Civil society refers to the arena of unforced collective action which centres on shared interests, purposes and values. In principle, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state, family and market. Often civil society is understood as a "third sector", while the state is "the second sector" and business "the first sector". In practice, the boundaries between state, civil society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated. This makes the exact definition of civil society difficult. Civil society actors include non-governmental organisations, citizen advocacy organisations, professional associations, faith-based organisations, and trade unions, which give voice to various sectors of society and enrich public participation in democracies. Sometimes less organised actions and activities like movements, community groups, protests and demonstrations may be seen as civil society actors. Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power.
REF: M. Glasius, D. Lewis and H. Seckinelgin (eds.) (2004): Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts. Routledge and LSE Centre for Civil Society referenced in: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy.
See also: Autonomy; participation; third sector
Co-management refers to a model of youth participation practiced for example in the Council of Europe youth sector. Representatives of both the governments and the young people decide together on the priorities, budgetary priorities, implementation of work priorities and on the allocation of the resources.
REF: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy
See also: Council of Europe; participation; participation – ladders; participation – models; young people; youth participation
A community-based organisation (CBO) is an organisation that is driven by the community residents. The respective residents decide its vision, mission, strategy, objectives and actions. Specific to the CBO is the fact that the governing bodies are also mainly composed of the residents; the offices are in the community; and its work consists of participatory processes to identify the priority issues, as well as the solutions. The residents hold the key positions/leadership roles are lead in designing actions, planning the activities and evaluating the outcomes.
REF: National Community-Based Organisation Network.
Community cohesion refers to the desired shared sense of belonging and shared visions for living together in a community. Community cohesion is required in order for different groups of people to get on well together. A key contributor to community cohesion is integration, which is what must happen to enable new residents and existing residents to adjust to one another. The vision of an integrated and cohesive community is based on three foundations:
- People from different backgrounds having similar life opportunities
- People knowing their rights and responsibilities
- People trusting one another and trusting local institutions to act fairly
and three ways of living together:
- A shared future vision and sense of belonging
- A focus on what new and existing communities have in common, alongside a recognition of the value of diversity
- Strong and positive relationships between people from different backgrounds.
REF: Communities and Local Government (2008): The Government's Response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, London.
See also: Cultural diversity; diversity; integration
Competence is often used interchangeably with the term skill, but they do not mean the same thing. Competence means the ability to apply knowledge, know-how and skills in a stable/recurring or changing situation. Two elements are crucial: applying what one knows and can do to a specific task or problem, and being able to transfer this ability between different situations.
See also: Knowledge; skill
Co-production is a way of working where all involved parties come together to share ideas and work together towards a common aim. Each person involved is recognised for the unique knowledge, skills and expertise, which they have - either as a service provider or service user. In this process all participants, no matter what their experience or role, are seen as active citizens with an important contribution to make. Co-production is built on asset based principles which include:
- Recognising people as assets rather than as problems
- Building on people's existing skills and resources
- Promoting reciprocity, mutual respect and building trust
- Building strong and supportive social networks
- Valuing working differently, facilitating rather than delivering
- Breaking down the divisions between service providers and service users
Co-production consists of the following framework:
- Co-design, including planning of services
- Co-decision making in the allocation of resources
- Co-delivery of services, including the role of volunteers in providing the service
- Co-evaluation of the service
REF: Löffler, E. (2009): ‘A future research agenda for co-production: overview paper’, in: Local Authorities & Research Councils’ Initiative (2010): Co-production: A series of commissioned reports, Swindon: Research Councils UK and Stephens L., Ryan-Collins J., Boyle D. (2008): Co-production: A manifesto for growing the core economy. New Economics Foundation, London.
See also: Council of Europe; citizen; skill; participation; participation – ladders; participation – models; youth participation
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is the continent's leading human rights organisation. It was founded in 1949. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have ratified the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions and it monitors member states' progress in these areas, making recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies. The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities, among other key human rights.
REF: Council of Europe, Values and The Council of Europe in Brief
See also: Advisory Council on Youth; equality; European Convention on Human Rights; human rights
Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio
The Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio is an online tool to help those doing youth work, primarily youth workers and youth leaders, but also managers and administrators, to assess and further develop their youth work competence and that of the people under their supervision. The Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio has been developed at the European level, but it is not primarily for people and organisations working at the European level or internationally. The Portfolio is addressed to youth workers and leaders working at any level from local to international. The Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio is an initiative of the Council of Europe in co-operation with partners such as the European Commission and the European Youth Forum.
REF: Council of Europe, Portfolio for Youth Leaders and Youth Workers.
See also: Council of Europe; European Commission; European Youth Forum; non-formal education; youth leaders; youth workers
Critical thinking is the ability to form our own opinion from a variety of sources, to think though complex issues in a complex way. Critical thinking opens our minds in the face of stereotypes and any attempts of manipulation. It is a tool through which we can develop a more in-depth understanding of social, political and economic realities and power relations.
See also: multiperspectivity
Cross-sectoral co-operation in the field of youth implies that, at EU, national and local level, an effective coordination exists between the youth sectors and other sectors. This concerns, for example, family policy, education, gender equality, employment, housing and healthcare.
REF: European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2009) 200 (2009): An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering. A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities.
See also: Equality; gender
Cultural differences emerge from differences in nationality, ethnicity, religion, as well as family background. These differences affect beliefs, practices, and behaviour and impact on expectations people might have of one another.
REF.: Titley, G. (2004): Resituating culture: an introduction, in: Titley, G. (ed.) (2004): Resituating culture, Strasbourg and Karsten, A. and Küntzel, B. (2007): Forum on Intercultural Dialogue: Discussion paper based on the Forum.
See also: Culture; cultural diversity
Cultural participation refers to different forms of art and expression (visual arts, music, film, dance, etc.). The right of everyone to take part in cultural life is at the core of Recommendation 1990 (2012) of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. Participation can be more or less active, depending on whether one is a member of an audience, is an amateur or engages in artistic or creative activities on a professional basis. Cultural participation is also closely linked with cultural inclusion.
REF: Laaksonen, A. (2010): Making culture accessible. Access, participation and cultural provision in the context of cultural rights in Europe, Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing and Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1990 (2012) Final Version: The right of everyone to take part in cultural life.
See also: Culture; inclusion; intercultural dialogue; participation
An often cited definition of culture within the Council of Europe publications dates back to the consultation procedure for the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue. In this framework, the Council of Europe has defined culture “to include everything relating to ways of life, customs, beliefs and other things that have been passed on to us for generations, as well as the various forms of artistic creations”.
The above attempt depicts a widespread approach to naturalise the operative concept of culture as a descriptive one. In other words, culture is used to describe ‘ways of life' and life practices, collectivities based on location, nation, history, lifestyle and ethnicity, systems and webs of representation and meaning, and realms of artistic value and heritage.
What this prevalent understanding fails to capture, however, is culture as a space of contestation that involves the tendency to prefer and embed some meanings over others. Culture is not only a symbol of distinction or an expression of difference – it also serves, at the same time, as the foundation for making assumptions and judgements about our differences and the backdrop against which we develop preferences for and against particular differences in constant interaction of power and meaning.
A common criticism to the prevalent definitions of culture is that they run the risk of describing culture as monolithic and static, overlooking differences ‘within culture’, such as gender, age and other differences.
REF: Council of Europe (2008): White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue “Living Together As Equals in Dignity”, Strasbourg,
Bergan, S. and Restoueix, J. (eds.) (2009): Intercultural Dialogue on Campus, Council of Europe higher education series No.11, Strasbourg,
Titley, G. (2004): Resituating culture: an introduction, in: Titley, G. (ed.) (2004): Resituating culture, Strasbourg and
Karsten, A. and Küntzel, B. (2007): Forum on Intercultural Dialogue: Discussion paper based on the Forum.
See also: Council of Europe; citizenship; cultural differences; cultural diversity; cultural participation; intercultural dialogue; subculture; White paper
Curriculum refers to planned learning and guided by standards in educational settings, referring both to contexts where learning takes place individually or in groups, in both formal and non-formal settings. Consequently, the curriculum is being defined as a body of knowledge to be transmitted, having clear educational objectives that the learners should be achieving, is a well-structured and organised process and also refers to praxis. In practice, the curriculum is also accompanied by a syllabus, including subjects and contents that are being transmitted to the students using a wide range of methods and technologies.
REF: Newman, E. and Ingram, G. (1989): The Youth Work Curriculum, London: Further Education Unit and Smith, M. K. (1996, 2000): Curriculum theory and practice.
See also: Educational methods; non-formal learning; learning objectives
Decision Making Processes
Decision making refers to the process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities. Every decision making process produces a final choice that may or may not prompt action. The EU’s standard decision making procedure is known as Ordinary Legislative Procedure (codecision). This means that the directly elected European Parliament has to approve EU legislation together with the Council of Europe(the governments of the 28 EU countries). The Commission drafts and implements EU legislation.
REF: European Union, How EU decisions are made.
See also: Council of Europe; European Commission
Considered a global issue and extremely challenging for the European Union, the demographic changes refers to ageing population, low birth rates, redefining the family structures and to the challenges generated by the migration phenomenon. To respond to the stated challenges, the European Commission came up with in 2006 with a communication on the demographic future of Europe – from challenge to opportunity, identifying five key policy responses: supporting demographic renewal through better conditions for families and improved reconciliation of working and family life, boosting employment – more jobs and longer working lives of better quality, raising productivity and economic performance through investing in education and research, receiving and integrating migrants into Europe, ensuring sustainable public finances to guarantee adequate pensions, health care and long-term care.
REF: European Commission: Commission Communication COM (2006) 571 final - 12.10.2006: The demographic future of Europe – from challenge to opportunity.
See also: European Commission; migrant
Disability is the consequence of impairment and might be physical, mental, sensory, developmental, and cognitive. It might also be a combination of these forms of impairment, affecting the functional performance and activity by the individual. The presence of disability (either from birth or occurring later on in one’s development stages) might lead to the reduced participation of the individuals the social, cultural or economic life.
REF: Salto Youth Inclusion Resource Centre (n.d.): No barriers, No borders, A practical booklet for setting up international mixed-ability youth projects (including persons with and without a disability)
See also: Educational difficulties; discrimination; participation; prejudice; vulnerable young people
Discrimination means treating a person or particular group of people differently. In a negative sense, discrimination is an action, expression or behaviour that denies social participation or human rights to categories of people based on prejudice or on a certain characteristic. This includes treatment of an individual or group in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated, based on their actual or perceived membership of a certain group or social category. Discrimination may take place on various grounds: age, disability, employment, language, nationality, racial or ethnic, regional or religious background, sex, gender, and gender-identity, sexual orientation.
Reverse or positive discrimination is the policy of favouring members of a disadvantaged group. Examples of positive discrimination include quotas and giving certain groups preference in (job) selection processes. The nature of positive discrimination policies varies across countries.
REF: Law, I. (2007): Discrimination, in Ritzer, G. (ed.): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
See also: Disability; ethnic minorities; gay; gender; gender identity; homophobia; homosexual; identity; LGBTQI; lesbian; prejudice; sexual orientation; transgender; trans man/ woman
Discursive participation refers to the diverse ways in which individuals discuss policy issues affecting the local, national, and international communities in which they live. Discursive participation features deliberative communication behaviours that allow citizens to formulate and revise their preferences, i.e. learn what they should want from policymakers. Discursive participation can include but is not limited to the formal institutions and processes of civic and political life. It can involve private individuals in informal, unplanned exchanges; those who convene for public purposes but do so outside the normal processes of government operations (e.g. in libraries, schools, homes, churches, and community centres); and those who are brought together in settings such as town hall meetings of political representatives and their constituents. Discursive participation can occur through a variety of media, including face-to-face exchanges, phone conversations, email exchanges, and internet forums.
REF: Sharp, E.B. (2012): Citizen participation at the local level, in H.L.Schachter (ed.): The state of citizen participation in America, Information Age Publishing, Inc.,
Charlotte and Delli Carpini, M. X., Cook, F. L., & Jacobs, L. R. (2004): Public Deliberations, Discursive Participation and Citizen Engagement: A Review of the Empirical Literature, in: Annual Review of Political Science, 7 (1), 315-344.
See also: e-participation; participation; political participation; youth participation; co-production
In general, the term ‘diversity’ is simply another way of denoting ‘multiple difference' or ‘variety'. However, it has come to acquire a socio-political connotation that specifies positive acceptance of heterogeneity, and in particular, of cultural heterogeneity. Most commonly, diversity implicates that such differences are to be accepted and respected equally, since no culture is intrinsically superior or inferior to another.
Within this framework, noticeable and identifiable differences between people, such as race, ethnicity, language, culture, religion, age, gender, socioeconomic status, family status, sexual orientation, political views, disability status, etc. are considered to offer positive potential – diversity connotes the power of variety, which both exists and is to be valued and cultivated.
At the European level, the notion of diversity is, on the one hand, one of the pillars of the EU for achieving the Union's strategic goals and for building a more inclusive community, and, on the other hand, central to the ideas of pluralism and multiculturalism underpinning the Council of Europe's strategy on education for democratic citizenship.
REF: Stevens, G., Downs, H. (2007): Diversity. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
See also: Citizenship; community cohesion; Council of Europe; culture; cultural diversity; disability; ethnic minority; gender; integration; multi-cultural; sexual orientation
Economic obstacles refer to the obstacles that young people with a low standard of living are facing. This includes for example, low income, dependence on social welfare system, long-term unemployment, homelessness, debt or financial problems.
REF: Salto Youth, Young People with Fewer Opportunities
See also: Long term unemployment; young people
Economic participation refers to employment and work which leads to economic development, eliminating poverty and building a stable economic situation in a society.
REF: The United Nations Youth Agenda (n.d.): Empowering youth for development and peace at: www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/agenda.htm
See also: Participation; poverty
When defining young people with fewer opportunities, a wide range of obstacles and contexts can be identified. Educational difficulties refer to the obstacles, difficulties and contexts that young people are facing. This is used with particular reference for people with learning difficulties, early school-leavers, lowly or non-qualified persons, young people that did not find their way in the school system, and young people with poor school performance because of a different cultural/linguistic background.
REF: Salto Youth, Young People with Fewer Opportunities.
See also: Early school leaving; NEET; social obstacles; vulnerable young people; young people
Educational evaluation is a systematic and on-going process which includes:
- Researching and collecting information from different sources about the learning process, the content, the methods, the context, and the outcomes of an educational activity
- The organisation and analysis of that information
- The establishment of certain criteria (evaluation criteria)
- The discernment and judgement of the analysed information (according to the set evaluation criteria and in the light of the educational objectives).
- Drawing conclusions and recommendations, which allow the re-orientation and eventual improvement of the educational activity.
REF: Iafrancesco, Giovanni (2001): Hacia el mejoramiento de los procesos evaluativos en relación con el aprendizaje, Bogotá, referenced in: Council of Europe and European Commission (2007): T-kit 10: Educational Evaluation in Youth Work: “Tasting the soup”, Strasbourg.
See also: Evaluation; formal evaluation; summative evaluation; research methods
This term refers to the general principles, pedagogy and management strategies used for classroom instruction. Your choice of teaching method depends on what fits you — your educational philosophy, classroom demographic, subject area(s) and school mission statement. Teaching theories primarily fall into two categories or “approaches” — teacher-centred and student-centred.
Teacher-Centred Approach to Learning:
Teachers are the main authority figure in this model. Students are viewed as “empty vessels” whose primary role is to passively receive information (via lectures and direct instruction) with an end goal of testing and assessment. It is the primary role of teachers to pass knowledge and information onto their students. In this model, teaching and assessment are viewed as two separate entities. Student learning is measured through objectively scored tests and assessments.
Student-Centred Approach to Learning:
While teachers are an authority figure in this model, teachers and students play an equally active role in the learning process. The teacher’s primary role is to coach and facilitate student learning and overall comprehension of material. Student learning is measured through both formal and informal forms of assessment, including group projects, student portfolios, and class participation. Teaching and assessment are connected; student learning is continuously measured during teacher instruction.
REF: Teach. Make a difference, Teaching Methods.
See also: Assessment; informal learning; knowledge; teacher; non-formal learning
Emigrants are people leaving the country where they usually reside and effectively taking up residence in another country. According to the 1998 UN recommendations on the statistics of international migration (Revision 1), an individual is a long-term emigrant if he/she leaves his/her country of previous usual residence for a period of 12 months or more. Emigration is the number of emigrants for a given area during the year.
REF: European Commission Eurostat, Glossary.
See also: Immigration; migration
Empathy is the capacity of a person to recognise or understand another person's state of mind or emotion, often captured by the phrase "to put oneself into another's shoes". Empathy could also be described as the anticipation of mutual (presumed) interests within a communication process, related to a common goal or task that the partners in such a process want to realise.
In educational contexts and, more specifically, in intercultural learning, the concept means the capacity to develop an idea of given partners – to see things from the point of view of the others – in a communication process, to comprehend their aims and possibilities to act, and to establish common ground by achieving a balance between the different intentions and interests involved, including but without giving preference to one's own.
REF: Adapted from: Lauritzen, Peter (1980s): Selected Remarks on 'Role' in Simulation Games and Training Situations Hungary, Otten, Hendrik (1997): Ten theses on the correlation between European youth encounters, intercultural learning and demands on full and part-time staff in these encounters, and Fennes, Helmut and Otten, Hendrik (2008): Quality in non-formal education and training in the field of European youth work.
Empowerment is helping people to help themselves. This concept is used in many contexts: management ("the process of sharing information, training and allowing employees to manage their jobs in order to obtain optimum results"), community development ("action-oriented management training aimed at community members and their leaders, poverty reduction, gender strategy, facilitation, income generation, capacity development, community participation, social animation") and mobilisation ("Leading people to learn to lead themselves").
Empowerment involves a process to change power relations. “On the one hand it aims to enable excluded people to take initiatives, make decisions and acquire more power over their lives. At the same time it forces social, economic and political systems to relinquish some of that power and to enable excluded people and groups to enter into negotiation over decision-making processes, thereby playing a full role in society”.
REF: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy, Soto Hardiman, Paul et al. (2004): Youth and exclusion in disadvantaged urban areas, Council of Europe, Strasbourg.
See also: Gender; participation; poverty; training
E-participation is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to supported participation and involvement in government and governance processes. It may concern administration, service delivery, decision making or policy making. e-Participation refers to all ICT-supported democratic processes except e-voting. Traditionally most of the forms of participation were linked to direct face to face interactions with public authorities, however nowadays technology often facilitates the process. Citizens and civil society organisations are now able to participate using online tools thus e-participation is a popular means of participation. This mode of participation also provides an incentive for governments and authorities to improve transparency due to the ability of civil society and activist groups to mobilize support. Using social media tools, citizens can participate in the decision making processes and are able to lobby, and advocate, for different causes.
REF: E-participation – Best Practice Manual. European Commission, Digital Agenda for Europe, Glossary.
See also: Activism; citizen; citizenship; civil society; decision making processes; lobby; participation; policy
Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, and believing that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, what or whom they were born, what they believe, or whether they have a disability. Equality recognises that historically, certain groups of people with particular characteristics (e.g. race, disability, sex and sexuality), have experienced discrimination.
According to Aristotle, equality means that “things that are alike should be treated alike”. From this perspective, a person should not be discriminated against on grounds such as physical or personal characteristics. Furthermore, differences among people should be considered irrelevant for the access to (and exercise of) basic rights. However, a principle of equality constructed in this way has two main limitations: first of all, it may reinforce inequalities because it does not take into account concrete obstacles which can lead to emerging forms of discrimination and disadvantage; secondly, it is inadequate to tackle subtle forms of discrimination, generated by laws and practices based on apparently neutral criteria, which subsequently create a disparate impact for certain people.
Equality of opportunity systems have been designed to help promote equality. The redistributive justice system tries to cope with inequalities due to individuals’ different starting points. In this theorisation of equality, equal opportunities are implemented through the use of positive action plans to ensure that individuals from traditionally disadvantaged groups receive proper support to compensate for their exclusion, as well as to prevent further discrimination.
Equality of outcomes systems focus on bringing about substantive equality. This goes much further than equality of opportunity by explicitly treating people more favourably on the grounds of race, sex, religion, belief and so on.
REF: Değirmencioğlu, S (2011): Still some more equal than others? Or opportunities for all?, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
See also: Disability; discrimination; equity; exclusion; prejudice; sexual orientation
Equity is the act of being fair and impartial to everyone regardless of their ethnicity, gender, race, religious identity, sexuality or socio-economic background. In its broadest sense, equity could be also defined as fairness.
REF: Değirmencioğlu, S (2011): Still some more equal than others? Or opportunities for all?, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
The Erasmus + program merges seven EU programs in the fields of Education, Training, and Youth. It is expected that the Erasmus + will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, acquire work experience and volunteer abroad. From 2014, for the first time, Sport will also be supported. As an integrated program, Erasmus + is easier to access than its predecessors because it has simplified funding rules. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion.
REF: European Commission, Erasmus +.
See also: Training; volunteer; Youthpass; Youth in Action
Ethnic distinctiveness can be either claimed by a group or imposed by a majority group. Members of an ethnic minority share a sense of group solidarity and kinship and might be more disadvantaged than those belonging to a majority group, in terms of power, ‘status’ and wealth. Capotorti defines a "minority" as: ‘A group numerically inferior to the rest of the population of a State, in a non-dominant position, whose members - being nationals of the State - possess ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristics differing from those of the rest of the population and show, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directed towards preserving their culture, traditions, religion or language’.
REF: Capotorti, F. (1977): E/CN.4/Sub.2/384/Rev.1, para. 568, referenced in: UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (2010): Minority Rights: International Standards and Guidance for Implementation, New York and Giddens, A. (2013): Sociology, Cambridge: Polity Press.
See also: Culture
Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s cultural group is superior to the other. Ethnocentric persons experience their culture as central to reality and all others are scaled and related with reference to it; they see their own standards and values as universals and have the tendency to judge other groups in relation to their own.
See also: racism, discrimination, stereotypes, prejudices
Europe 2020 Strategy
Europe 2020 is the European Union’s ten-year growth and jobs strategy that was launched in 2010. It is about more than just overcoming the crisis from which our economies are now gradually recovering. It is also about addressing the shortcomings of the growth model and creating the conditions for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Five headline targets have been set for the EU to be achieved by the end of 2020. These cover employment; research and development; climate/energy; education; social inclusion and poverty reduction. The objectives of the strategy are also supported by seven ‘flagship initiatives’ providing a framework through which the EU and national authorities mutually reinforce their efforts in areas supporting the Europe 2020 priorities such as innovation, the digital economy, employment, youth, industrial policy, poverty, and resource efficiency. The Europe 2020 strategy is implemented and monitored in the context of the European Semester, the yearly cycle of coordination of economic and budgetary policies.
REF: European Commission, Europe 2020 in a nutshell.
See also: Poverty; young people
Citizenship is traditionally perceived as a legal status, which involves rights and duties. Usually, the status of citizen was solely granted in relation to a Nation-state. However, other forms of citizenship have recently emerged, notably the European citizenship.
Within the European Union, the Treaty of Maastricht established the Citizenship of the Union (1993). The purpose of this new legal status was, among others, to strengthen and enhance the European identity.
According to the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997), "every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship”. This is also confirmed by the Lisbon Treaty (2007).
The Citizenship of the Union establishes the following rights:
- Right to free movement of persons in the member States territory
- Right to vote and stand in local government and European Parliament elections in the country of residence
- Right to have diplomatic and consular protection from the authorities of any Member State.
European Citizenship can be considered as a more comprehensive concept and practice of citizenship, with many cultural, social, political and economic dimensions.
Third country nationals living in the European Union do not enjoy the same rights as European nationals, even though recent legislation has broadened the access to social rights for non-EU nationals who are legal residents.
REF: European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship, EU Citizenship.
See also: Citizenship
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. Among other tasks, it proposes legislation, implements decisions, upholds the EU treaties and ensures that the treaties are respected.
The Commission consists of a cabinet government, made up of 28 commissioners (one per member state).
Jean-Claude Juncker is the current Commission President. The usual languages of the Commission are English, French and German.
REF: The European Commission.
European Convention on Human Rights
The European Convention on Human Rights, was signed in 1950. It sets forth a number of fundamental rights and freedoms for example, the right to life; prohibition of torture; right to a fair trial; no punishment without law; right to respect for private and family life; etc.
Additional rights were granted by later protocols added to the Convention, such as Protocol 12 which provides a general antidiscrimination principle. Parties undertake to secure these rights and freedoms to everyone within their jurisdiction.
The Convention also establishes an international enforcement mechanism. To ensure the observance of the engagements undertaken by the Parties, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg was set up. It deals with individual and inter-State petitions. At the request of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Court may also give advisory opinions concerning the interpretation of the Conventions and their protocols.
REF: Council of Europe, European Convention on Human Rights, Strasbourg.
See also: Council of Europe; human rights
European Portfolio for Youth Workers and Leaders
The European Portfolio for youth leaders and youth workers is an initiative of the Council of Europe in cooperation with experts and partners such as the European Commission and the European Youth Forum. It provides youth leaders and youth workers in Europe, volunteers or professionals, with a tool, which can help them, identify, assess and describe their competencies based on European quality standards. In using this portfolio, youth leaders and youth workers are not only contributing to the recognition of their experience and skills but also to efforts to increase the recognition of youth work and non-formal education and learning.
REF: Council of Europe, Portfolio for Youth Leaders and Youth Workers.
See also: Council of Europe; European Commission; European Youth Forum; nonformal education; youth leaders; youth workers
European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ)
The European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) brings together representatives of ministries and organisations responsible for youth matters from the 49 States Parties to the European Cultural Convention. It encourages closer co-operation between governments on youth issues and provides a forum for comparing national youth policies, exchanging best practices and drafting standard texts related to youth issues. The CDEJ also organises the Conferences of European Ministers with responsibility for youth matters and drafts youth policy laws and regulations in member states. Within the co-management process, the CDEJ and the Advisory Council on Youth are coming together in a co-decision body, which establishes the youth sector priorities, objectives and budgets – the Joint Council on Youth.
REF: Council of Europe, Co-management.
See also: Advisory Council on Youth; co-management
European Union Youth Strategy
The European Commission promotes dialogue between youth and policy makers in order to increase active citizenship, foster social integration, and ensure inclusion of young people in EU policy development. The specified priorities are the core part of the EU Youth Strategy that has been launched in 2010 and operates until 2018 It has two overall priorities: to provide more and equal opportunities for young people in education and the job market, and to encourage young people to actively participate in society. The Strategy mainly targets initiatives in eight fields of action: education and training, employment and entrepreneurship, health and well-being, participation, voluntary activities, social inclusion, youth and the world and creativity and culture.
REF: European Commission, EU Youth Strategy.
See also: Citizenship; culture; employment; European Commission; European youth policy; participation; social inclusion; training; voluntary activities; youth entrepreneurship; youth policy; youth policy reviews
European Voluntary Service (EVS)
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) gives young people the opportunity to express their personal commitment through full-time voluntary work in a foreign country within or outside the EU, being part of the Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Commission. The EVS aims to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, while contributing to strengthening social cohesion and promoting active citizenship. Their learning experience is formally recognized through a Youthpass. Volunteers receive free board and lodging, insurance cover and a grant for the duration of the project (in some cases they may be asked for a contribution for travel costs). EVS volunteers working for more than two months abroad can get additional support to learn and test their progress in the language used during their volunteering.
REF: European Commission, European Voluntary Service.
See also: Citizenship; Erasmus Plus; European Commission; voluntary service; volunteering; Youthpass
European Youth Forum
The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is the platform of youth organisations in Europe, representing 99 youth organisations, both National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations. YFJ aims at investing in youth organisations which then work directly with, and for, young people. The Youth Forum brings together tens of millions of young people from all over Europe, organised in order to represent their common interests. The Youth Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations. To overcome the challenges faced by young people, the European Youth Forum has three main goals: greater youth participation, stronger youth organisations, increased youth autonomy and inclusion.
REF: European Youth Forum.
See also: Autonomy; inclusion; National Youth Council; youth participation; young people
European Youth Pact
The European Youth Pact is a document that was adopted by the European Council in March 2005 and ties the European strategies for employment and social inclusion to the Education and Training 2010 work programme. The aim of the pact is to improve the education, training, mobility, vocational integration and social inclusion of young Europeans, while facilitating the reconciliation of family and working life. It also aims at having young people involved in developing and following up the initiatives within the specified areas. There are three strands - employment, integration and social advancement; education, training and mobility; and reconciliation of family life and working life. These are supported and guided by European bodies. They are also fully incorporated into the revised Lisbon Strategy, the European Employment Strategy, the Social Inclusion Strategy and the Education and Training 2010 work programme.
REF: Europa, European Youth Pact.
See also: Integration; mobility; social inclusion; training
European Youth Policy
European youth policy is the youth policy approaches of the two main European organisations, the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union. In addition to having their own youth policy principles, they both provide an outline of the youth policy in their member states.
The youth policy of the CoE has a long tradition going back to 1972 and had its first results in the establishment of the European Youth Foundation and in the creation of the European Youth Centre Strasbourg. It is based on the active involvement of young people; the working principle in the youth sector is the co-management in the decision making between representatives of the member states and of youth. The priorities of the CoE youth policy were (re)defined in the Agenda 2020 which dates back to the year 2008. These principles are a) human rights and democracy, b) living together in diverse societies and c) social inclusion of young people.
The youth policy of the European Union was for the first time outlined in the White Paper on Youth in the year 2001 where the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) was introduced. The main youth policy priorities where the OMC should be applied on participation, information, voluntary services among young people and greater understanding of youth.
The European Youth Pact, initiated by four state leaders focused on the new challenges of growing up in the EU and proposed action in three fields: a) employment, integration and social advancement, b) education, training and mobility and c) reconciliation of working life and family life. With this document youth policy was definitely declared as horizontal issue. The new framework is the EU Strategy for Youth: Investing and Empowering, which was adopted in 2009 and will provide the frame of youth policy until 2018 aims on creating more opportunities for youth in education and employment focuses on eight main fields of action, where the OMC should concentrate on: education & training; employment & entrepreneurship; health & wellbeing; participation; voluntary activities; social inclusion; creativity & culture and youth & world. Important instruments for this are the Structured Dialogue and also peer learning activities between the Member States.
REF: European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2009) 200 - 27.4.2009: An EU Strategy for Youth - Investing and Empowering. A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities, European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the Council on European policies concerning youth, COM(2005) 206 - 30.5.2005: Addressing the concerns of young people in Europe - implementing the European Youth Pact and promoting active citizenship, European Commission white paper - A new impetus for European youth, COM/2001/0681 final, Titley, G. (2008): “The future of the Council of Europe youth policy: AGENDA 2020”, Background Document for 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth; Kyiv, Ukraine, 10-11 October 2008.
See also: Co-management; Council of Europe; culture; Council of Europe Directorate of Youth and Sport; empowerment; European Youth Pact; human rights; open Method of Coordination; participation; peer to peer education; social inclusion; training; voluntary activities; youth entrepreneurship; youth participation; young people; youth policy
Etymologically speaking, evaluation means appraising or valuing; finding the value of something. It means to evaluate the success of something (for example policies).
It does not imply any specific purpose (such as grading individual performance), nor does it imply any particular method of evaluation (such as a written test), nor do its outcomes automatically suggest that something is of greater value or importance than something else (such as Council of Europe activities in comparison with SALTO activities).
REF: Chisholm, L. (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvain and Online etymological dictionary.
See also: Assessment; Council of Europe; educational evaluation; formative evaluation; summative evaluation
Evidence-Based Youth Policies
Evidence-based youth policies are youth policies that are not only based on political and moral objectives, but also on accurate empirical information on the social situation of young people across the society and their changing expectations, attitudes and life-styles. One important source of information is independent, objective and professional research and statistics. Furthermore, reliable empirical information on the implementation of policies is needed to learn from experiences and further develop goal setting, the policy approaches and youth work methods and activities.
REF: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy
See also: Knowledge-based youth policies; young people; youth policy; youth work
EUROSTAT uses an indicator to measure risk of poverty and social exclusion. The indicator sums up the number of persons who are at risk of poverty, severely materially deprived or living in households with very low work intensity. Persons present in several sub-indicators are counted only once. Persons at risk of poverty have an equivalised disposable income below 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income after social transfers. Material deprivation covers indicators relating to economic strain and durables. Persons are considered living in households with very low work intensity if they are aged 0-59 and the working age members in the household worked less than 20 % of their potential during the past year.
REF: European Commission Eurostat, People at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion.
See also: Poverty
UNESCO defines an education programme as a coherent set or sequence of educational activities or communication designed and organised to achieve pre-determined learning objectives or accomplish a specific set of educational tasks over a sustained period. Objectives encompass improving knowledge, skills and competencies within any personal, civic, social and/or employment-related context. Learning objectives are typically linked to the purpose of preparing for more advanced studies and/or for an occupation, trade, or class of occupations or trades but may be related to personal development or leisure. A common characteristic of an education programme is that, upon fulfilment of learning objectives or educational tasks, successful completion is certified. The key concepts in the above formulation are to be understood as follows.
Educational activities are deliberate activities involving some form of communication intended to bring about learning. Learning is individual acquisition or modification of information, knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values, skills, competencies or behaviours through experience, practice, study or instruction. That this is organised, means that it is planned in a pattern or sequence with explicit or implicit aims. It involves a providing agency (person(s) or body) that facilitates a learning environment, and a method of instruction through which communication is organised. Instruction typically involves a teacher or trainer who is engaged in communicating and guiding knowledge and skills with a view to bringing about learning. The medium of instruction can also be indirect, e.g. through radio, television, computer software, film, recordings, Internet or other communication technologies. Learning is sustained, meaning that the learning experience has the elements of duration and continuity.
REF: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2012): International Standard Classification of Education 2011, Montreal.
See also: Certification; competencies; knowledge; learning objectives; skill; teacher
Formal learning is purposive learning that takes place in a distinct and institutionalised environment specifically designed for teaching/training and learning. It is staffed by learning facilitators who are specifically qualified for the sector, level and subject concerned and who usually serve a specified category of learners (defined by age, level and specialism). Learning aims are almost always externally set, learning progress is usually monitored and assessed, and learning outcomes are usually recognised by certificates or diplomas. Much formal learning provision is compulsory (school education).
Formal recognition refers to reaching an ‘official’ status for some aspect of youth work and non-formal learning/education, (e.g. validation of competences; official accreditation of programmes; certification of youth workers and trainers, etc.).
REF: Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth (2011): Pathways 2.0 towards recognition of non-formal learning/education and of youth work in Europe, Strasbourg and Brussels.
See also: Accreditation; certificates; certification; competences; nonformal learning; youth work; youth workers
Formative Evaluation or Assessment
Formative evaluation or assessment refers to a dynamic process over time, which tries to capture the developmental dimensions of learning, performance and achievement. It records the pathways and the changes between two points in time, with the primary accent on what lies between those points and how the journey has unfolded.
See also: Accreditation; assessment; evaluation; summative evaluation
This term primarily refers to homosexuality and same sex preferences.
Gay is a term that is used to describe a man who has an emotional and/or sexual orientation towards men. Some women also define themselves as gay rather than lesbian; it is a generic term for lesbian and gay sexuality.
A person should not be referred to as 'a gay', rather that they 'are gay'.
In recent years the term has been coined by some younger people as a derisive term meaning rubbish or stupid (as in "That's so gay."). In this use, the word does not mean "homosexual", rather an object or abstract concept of which one disapproves. In 2014 Stonewall developed a campaign and educational materials to tackle the use of homophobic language used by young people.
For more information on sexual orientation visit the American Psychological Association
See also: Bi-sexual; Gay; homophobia; homosexual; lesbian; queer; sexual orientation
Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. It is often confused with the term ‘sex’; however this term refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women, not to social constructions of roles for men and women. In other words, whilst ‘male’ and ‘female’ are sex categories, ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are gender categories. These rigid gender expectations are increasingly contested with gender understood as being on a spectrum.
REF: Adapted from World Health Organisation.
See also: Gender Identity
Gender Based Violence
Gender Based Violence (GBV) is violence that is directed against a person on the basis of his or her gender. It constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, equality between women and men, non-discrimination and physical and mental integrity.
Gender based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women.
Gender based violence and violence against women (VAW) are often used interchangeably as most gender based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls. The Council of Europe has estimated that 20 to 25% of women in Europe have suffered physical violence. The number of women who have suffered from other forms of gender-based violence is much higher.
The Council of Europe defines violence against women as ‘all acts of gender based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’.
Although it is difficult to distinguish between different types of violence since they are not mutually exclusive, gender based violence includes:
- domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, sexual violence during conflict and harmful customary or traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages and honour crimes
- trafficking in women, forced prostitution and violations of human rights in armed conflict (in particular murder, systematic rape, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy)
- forced sterilisation, forced abortion, coercive use of contraceptives, female infanticide and prenatal sex selection
While the EU does not have a common policy to deal with gender based violence, it does have a mandate to take action against one of the most severe forms of gender inequality. In fact, gender based violence cannot be understood outside the social structures, gender norms and roles that support and justify it as normal or tolerable. According to a 2009 Eurobarometer on Gender Equality, 62% of Europeans think that gender based violence should be a priority action in the area of gender inequality, and 92% believe that there is an urgent need to tackle it.
REF: European Institute for Gender Equality, Council of Europe (2006): Combating violence against women: Stocktaking study on the measures and actions taken in Council of Europe member states, Council of Europe, Ad Hoc Committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO) (2011): European Commission Strategy for equality between women and men, 2010-2015, The Fourth World Conference on Women (1995): Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and European Parliament Resolution on the elimination of violence against women, 26 November, 2009.
See also: Council of Europe; equality; equity; gender
Gender equality refers to the ideal situation when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society (political participation and representation, participation to the economic life, equal participation in the decision making processes, etc). Ensuring the gender equality had been one of the main priorities both of the international organisations, as well as for the governments and local public authorities, being as well one of the key themes of the discourse and projects of the civil society organisations. In order to have a clear picture of the existent situation when it comes to gender equality, the international organisations developed a series of indexes: United Nations Gender Inequality Index, Social Watch Gender Equity Index, and World Economic Forum Global Gender Pay Gap Index, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment being as well one of the eight Millennium Development Goals.
REF: Gender Equality in Ireland, What is Gender Equality, United Nations Population Fund, Gender Equality, United Nations Population Fund, Gender Inequality Index (GII), United Nations, Millenium Development Goals and Beyond 2015.
See also: Gender; empowerment; equity; equality; participation; youth political participation
The term ‘gender identity’, distinct from the term ‘sexual orientation’ refers to a person's innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate).
For transgender people, gender identity may differ from physical anatomy or expected social roles. It is important to note that gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation are separate and that you cannot assume how someone identifies in one category based on how they identify in another category.
REF: Human Rights Campaign; International Spectrum University of Michigan, LGBT Terms and Definitions
See also: Gender; sexual orientation; transgender person; trans man/ woman; transgender
When defining young people with fewer opportunities, a wide range of obstacles and contexts can be identified. Geographical obstacles refer to the obstacles that young people from remote, rural or hilly areas, young people living on small islands or peripheral regions, young people from urban problem zones, young people from less serviced areas (limited public transport, poor facilities, abandoned villages, etc.), are facing. These obstacles limit young people’s participation.
REF: Salto Youth, Young People with Fewer Opportunities
See also: participation; young people; youth participation
“Golden triangle" is a notion which refers to the idea of permanent cooperation and exchanges in the youth field between researchers /research institutions, policy makers/ministries and practitioners/ youth work organisations. Interactions between the three different actors, which all have different organisational frameworks, competences and roles, is expected to contribute to the quality and development of the youth field (youth work, youth policy, living conditions of young people). There are a number of other interaction formats which carry out roughly similar functions (e.g. networks, roundtables, working groups, etc.).
REF: Milmeister, M. and Williamson H. (eds.) (2006): Dialogues and networks: Organising exchanges between youth field actors, Luxembourg: Scientific – Editions PHI.
See also: Young people; youth organisations; youth work
Guidance counselling is the process of helping individuals discover and develop their educational, vocational, and psychological potentialities and thereby to achieve an optimal level of personal happiness and social usefulness. Guidance in a wide sense is a pervasive activity in which many persons and organisations take part. It is provided to individuals by their parents, relatives, and friends and by the community at large through various educational, industrial, social, religious, and political agencies and through the press and broadcasting services.
REF: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Guidance counseling.
The Commission Recommendation of 20 February 2013 'Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage' provides an indicator-based monitoring framework including indicators on children's health. Health indicators include:
- Infant mortality
- Child mortality 1-14 years
- Low birth weight
- Vaccination coverage
- Regular smokers
- Mental health
- Causes of death among young people – suicide.
REF: European Commission, EU Youth Health Indicators and European Commission, Commission Recommendation of 20.02.2013 - C(2013) 778 : Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage, Brussels 2013.
See also: Health problems; social inclusion; young people
Youth health is the range of approaches to preventing, detecting or treating young people’s health and wellbeing. Even though the health of Europe’s young people is considered to be in general rather satisfactory, concerns remain regarding:
- Physical activity
- Alcohol abuse
- Sexual health
- Mental health.
It is essential to promote a healthy lifestyle, to adopt preventive measures and to take gender issues into consideration. To ensure the healthy development of young people, their physical and social environments should be wholesome. This aim is best achieved by giving further support to parents. The extent of social inclusion and level of education of young people is closely related to their health and wellbeing. Hence, it is important that young people are kept well informed of the advantages of a healthy lifestyle and that they are encouraged to become more responsible and autonomous with regard to their own health.
REF: European Union (n.d.): Summaries of EU legislation, Health and well-being of young people, and
World Health Organisation (2014): Fact Sheet N°345: Adolescents: health risks and solutions.
See also: Health indicators; social inclusion; young people
Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs.
REF: International Spectrum, University of Michigan
See also: Bi-sexual, Gay, Homosexual, Lesbian, Queer, Sexual Orientation
‘Homosexual’ is a term that is used to describe a person who has a sexual orientation towards people of their own sex.
The term was coined by the Hungarian doctor Karoly Maria Benkert in 1869 and introduced into English by sexologist Havelock Ellis in the 1890s.
Originally the term ‘homosexual’ was used by scientists and doctors to describe same-sex attraction and behaviour as a sign of mental disorder and moral deficiency. To obtain distance from such medical labels, the terms gay and lesbian are now used. For more information on sexual orientation visit the American Psychological Association.
See also: Bi-sexual; gay; lesbian; queer; sexual orientation
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions.
The European Convention of Human Rights is the first Council of Europe convention and the cornerstone of all its activities. It was adopted in 1950 and entered into force in 1953. Its ratification is a prerequisite for joining the Organisation.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg oversees the implementation of the Convention in the 47 Council of Europe member states. Individuals can bring complaints of human rights violations to the Strasbourg Court once all possibilities of appeal have been exhausted in the member state concerned. The European Union is preparing to sign the European Convention on Human Rights, creating a common European legal space for over 820 million citizens (ECHR).
REF: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights; European Convention on Human Rights
See also: Council of Europe; discrimination; European Convention on Human Rights; human rights; human rights education; prejudice
Human Rights Education
Human Rights Education refers to educational programmes and activities that focus on promoting equality in human dignity, in conjunction with other programmes such as those promoting intercultural learning, participation and empowerment of minorities.
Human rights education includes:
- Promoting awareness and understanding of human rights issues, in order that people recognise violations of human rights (learning about human rights)
- Developing the skills and abilities necessary for the defence of human rights (learning for human rights)
- Developing attitudes of respect for human rights, so that people do not willingly violate the rights of others (learning through human rights)
REF: Council of Europe (n.d.): COMPASS. A manual on human rights education.
See also: Empowerment; European Convention on Human Rights; human rights; intercultural learning; participation
Identity refers to the sense of self, of personhood, of what kind of person one is. Even if identities tend to be seen as being fixed or given, sociologists make clear that they are fluid and changeable. Common habits, characteristics, and ideas may be clear markers of a shared cultural identity, but essentially identity is determined by difference: we feel we belong to a group, and a group defines itself as a group, by noticing and highlighting differences with other groups and cultures. Identity (or ‘self') is very much a social construction: for example feminist studies argue that gender identities must be understood in relation to the (often male) expectations of women, girls, mothers and wives. Identity is complex, because it is shared by the affiliation to different groups.
REF: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy; Abercrombie, N., Hill, S. and Turner, B. (2006): The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology, Penguin Reference.
See also: Culture; diversity; gender; gender identity
Movement of people into a country to which they are not native, in order to settle there.
REF: European Commission, EMN Glossary.
See also: Migration
Inclusion is a term used widely in social and educational policymaking to express the idea that all people living in a given society should have access and participation rights on equal terms. This means on the one hand that institutions, structures and measures should be designed positively to accommodate diversity of circumstances, identities and ways of life. On the other hand, it means that opportunities and resources should be distributed so as to minimise disadvantage and marginalisation.
In the sphere of European youth work and nonformal education, inclusion is considered as an all-embracing strategy and practice of ensuring that people with fewer opportunities have access to the structures and programmes offered.
REF: European Commission: Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM (2009) 200 - 27 April 2009: Youth - Investing and Empowering. EU Youth Report.
See also: citizenship; marginalisation; nonformal education; participation; social exclusion; youth work
Informal learning, from the learner's standpoint at least, is non-purposive learning, which takes place in everyday life contexts in the family, at work, during leisure and in the community. It does have outcomes, but these are seldom recorded, virtually never certified and are typically neither immediately visible for the learner nor do they count in themselves for education, training or employment purposes. APEL systems are one way in which the outcomes of such learning can be made more visible and hence open to greater recognition.
See also: Accreditation; APEL; certificates; certification; nonformal learning; nonformal education
In everyday use, the term frequently connotes the social integration of foreigners, migrants, minorities or of persons living with disabilities on equal terms with the mainstream or majority. Currently, European socio-political discourses on integration are focusing above all on linguistic and religious issues arising from immigration from third countries, especially (but by no means only) from world regions beyond Europe.
Opposite to assimilation, integration asks not for the abandoning and denying the own culture but implies a conjunction of different cultures. Integration is necessarily (at least) a two-way process, so minorities and majorities (whose composition shifts according to what is in the foreground) have to negotiate multiple reconciliations in order to create together a mutually pleasing synthesis.
Integration revokes the situation of exclusion and separation. Integration is a dynamic, continuing process of joining and merging.
REF: European Commission, DG Integration and Home Affairs, (among other documents: European Commission: Commission Staff Working Paper accompanying the Communication from the Commission COM(2011) 455 - 20.7.2011: “European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals”).
See also: Community cohesion; culture; cultural differences; cultural diversity; immigration; migration
Concerning or representing different cultures.
REF: European Commission, EMN Glossary.
See also: Culture; cultural differences; cultural diversity
Intercultural competences (ICC) are the ability to work/interact well across cultures.
In the framework of European youth work, ICC refers to the “qualities needed for a young person to live in contemporary and pluralistic Europe. It enables her/him to take an active role in confronting social injustice and discrimination and promote and protect human rights. ICC requires an understanding of culture as a dynamic multifaceted process. In addition, it requires an increased sense of solidarity in which individual fear of the other and insecurity are dealt with through critical thinking, empathy, and tolerance of ambiguity”.
REF: Salto Youth, Intercultural Competence.
See also: Discrimination; culture; empathy; human rights; youth work
In its White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue, the Council of Europe talks about intercultural dialogue as "an open and respectful exchange of views between individuals, groups with different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and heritage on the basis of mutual understanding and respect. It operates at all levels – within societies, between the societies of Europe and between Europe and the wider world". Similarly, and after recognising 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the European Commission has coined this term as "an instrument to assist European citizens, and all those living in the European Union, in acquiring the knowledge and aptitudes to enable them to deal with a more open and more complex environment". In the online page dedicated to intercultural dialogue by the European Commission, it is defined as “the exchange of views and opinions between different cultures […] and seeks to establish linkages and common ground between different cultures, communities, and people, promoting understanding and interaction”.
The value of youth work and youth organisations is particularly recognised as essential to advance intercultural dialogue in a non-formal education context. Such structures often succeed in reaching out and giving a voice and an opportunity to young people who are often marginalised, giving them a chance to engage in dialogue and in generating greater solidarity and opportunities for social cohesion within neighbourhoods and communities.
Engaging in constructive intercultural dialogue from an early age can set the tone for greater understanding, respect and participation for later, be it in the personal or professional spheres.
REF: Council of Europe (2008): White Paper on intercultural Dialogue. “Living together as equals in dignity”, Strasbourg, Martinelli, S. and Taylor, M. (eds.) (2000): Intercultural learning T-kit No. 4, Strasbourg.
See also: Council of Europe; cultural diversity; culture; European citizenship; European Commission; participation; social cohesion; youth organisations; young people; youth work
Interculturality describes a set of multi-faceted processes of interaction through which relations between different cultures are constructed, aiming to enable groups and individuals to forge links between cultures based on equity and mutual respect. It is also linked with the idea of hybrid identities and fusion cultures, in which people and groups create and recreate new cultural patterns that take up elements of formerly distinct and separated norms, values, behaviours and lifestyles.
REF: Adapted from Leclercq, Jean-Michel (2003): Facets of interculturality in education, Strasbourg.
See also: Cultures; equity; intercultural; intercultural learning
Intercultural learning refers to the process of becoming more aware of and better understanding one's own culture and other cultures around the world. The aim of intercultural learning is to increase international and cross-cultural tolerance and understanding. The learning process itself is a constant movement of cultural awareness – from the freedom and comfort of expecting others to be like oneself, to the shock and constraint of one's emotions and projections when they prove not to be. The Council of Europe Youth Sector is a pioneer in developing intercultural learning as a pedagogical tool (see Intercultural Learning,T-kits, and the European Federation of Intercultural Learning.
REF: Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy
See also: Council of Europe; culture; intercultural; interculturality
The intergenerational contract describes the fictitious contract between generations to value the former generations by ensuring a form of pension system within a society. It refers to the understanding of society as having a social contract between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are not born. It also refers to the concept of intergenerational justice elaborated by Rawls and also by Jonas.
A state pension fund where the current working generation finances the pensions of the retired generation has direct implications on intergenerational justice. This is expressed through the discussion of a (fictional) contract between generations.
REF: Herdt, J. (2013): Beyond the intergenerational Social Contract, in: Reflections; Kluth, W. (2011): Intergenerational Justice, in: Online-Handbook Demography, Berlin Institute.
Demographic ageing is an issue for all generations. The challenge for future growth in the EU requires a perspective that spans the life course of individuals and that addresses their labour market needs throughout their working lives. At the same time as the EU seeks to prolong working lives, young workers are struggling to gain a foothold into work, as the sluggish economy is conspiring with structural labour market problems to impede their entry. Intergenerational dialogue refers to political and policy processes to deal with the situation so that all generations, all age groups would feel they have not been treated unfairly.
REF: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2012): Intergenerational solidarity, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union.
Inter-religious means any relation between two or more different religions and /or faiths. This is different to intra-religious which refers to the relation between different confessions of one religion/faith.
The term inter-religious dialogue refers to any cooperative and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions, (i.e. "faiths") on personal as well as on institutional level. Mutual understanding and respect for the other's belief while remaining true to the own faith is the basis for inter-religious dialogue.
The Berlin Declaration on Interreligious Dialogue of the European Council of Religious Leaders, one of the five regional interreligious councils, described the spirit of interreligious dialogue as emphasising both the similarities and differences of religions: "In interreligious dialogue we acknowledge that human beings of all faiths share certain experiences, needs and longings. We also acknowledge that we are different from each other in many respects and will remain different. Our religious traditions have formed different social rules and models which sometimes contradict each other. One aim of interreligious dialogue is to reduce false perceptions of difference and culture gaps, while we respect that something about our dialogue partner will necessarily remain other (or even alien) to us."
REF: European Council of Religious leaders' Berlin Declaration on interreligious dialogue.
See also: Culture; intercultural dialogue
‘Intersex’ is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of the person’s cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.
Although we speak of intersex as an inborn condition, intersex anatomy does not always show up at birth. Sometimes a person is not found to have intersex anatomy until she or he reaches the age of puberty, or finds himself an infertile adult, or dies of old age and is autopsied.
REF: Intersex Society of North America
See also: Gender; gender identity; LGBTQI
Joint Council on Youth
The Joint Council on Youth brings the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) and the Advisory Council together in a co-decision body which establishes the youth sector’s priorities, objectives and budgets.
REF: Council of Europe, Co-Management.
See also: Advisory Council on Youth; CDEJ; co-management
Juventization is a pro-active, problem-solving approach to youth participation perceiving it as the active involvement of young people in the social transformation of their societies.
REF: Kovacheva (2000), cited in: Council of Europe and European Commission Research Partnership: Report of the Research Seminar ‘What About Youth Political Participation?', Strasbourg, 2003.
See also: Participation; youth participation; young people
Key competences are a combination of basic knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context, to be provided through lifelong learning as a key measure in Europe's response to globalisation and the shift to knowledge-based economies. Moreover, they are particularly necessary for personal fulfilment and development, social inclusion, active citizenship and employment.
Key competences in the shape of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to each context are fundamental for each individual in a knowledge-based society. They provide added value for the labour market, social cohesion and active citizenship by offering flexibility and adaptability, satisfaction and motivation. The EU recommends that they should be acquired by everyone, this recommendation proposes a reference tool for European Union (EU) countries to ensure that these key competences are fully integrated into their strategies and infrastructures, particularly in the context of lifelong learning.
Key competences should be acquired by:
- Young people at the end of their compulsory education and training, equipping them for adult life, particularly for working life, whilst forming a basis for further learning;
- Adults throughout their lives, through a process of developing and updating skills.
The acquisition of key competences fits in with the principles of equality and access for all. This reference framework also applies in particular to disadvantaged groups whose educational potential requires support. Examples of such groups include people with low basic skills, early school leavers, the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, migrants, etc.
REF: Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning (2006/962/EC); Europa - Summaries of EU legislation, Key competences for lifelong learning.
See also: Citizenship; competencies; disabilities; early school leaving; knowledge; lifelong learning; migrants; skills; social cohesion
It is impossible to provide a satisfactory account of the conceptual background behind the term knowledge in a few words. In the everyday world, the meaning of the term knowledge appears self-evident: it is what someone individually knows or the sum of what a given civilisation collectively knows.
In educational practice knowledge is what there is to learn, but it is not necessarily useful and worthwhile of its own accord. It has to be joined up with skills and competences (to become useful), and with principles and values (to become worthwhile).
See also: Competences; skills
Knowledge Based Youth Policy
A greater understanding and knowledge of youth is of paramount importance for policy making in the youth field. In order to meet the needs and expectations of young people, policies should be based on comprehensive knowledge and well-researched understanding of young people's situation, needs and expectations.
A knowledge-based approach to policy development is particularly imperative in the context of rapidly evolving realities and permanently fluctuating circumstances of younger generations in Europe. Youth research plays a vital role in generating knowledge and understanding in aid of youth policy development, as the Youth partnership document "knowledge based policy" claims. Thus youth research and the exchange between researchers and policy makers are essential to a knowledge based policy approach.
However, knowledge based youth policy includes more than results gained by the scientific community; it also refers to experiences of those working with and for young people. Knowledge includes data, facts and figures, evidence and experience from various sources both from the scientific community and the civil society as well as the policy makers.
REF: Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of Youth (n.d.): Knowledge based policy. Better understanding of youth policy framework.
See also: civil society; evidence based youth policies; knowledge; young people; youth involvement in policy and decision making processes; youth policy; youth research
Learning mobility is mainly defined as a trans-national mobility for a predefined period of time, with clear educational purposes aiming at offering the individual to get new competencies, knowledge, skills and attitudes within a different, international learning context. The learning mobility could be implemented both in formal and nonformal settings.
REF: Council of Europe, European Platform on Learning Mobility.
See also: Competences; formal education; formal learning; knowledge; mobility; nonformal education; nonformal learning; skill
Learning objectives describe the desired outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that individuals are to acquire at the end of the learning process. The learning objectives are also related to the performance of the individual within the learning opportunity structured. Most of the times, the learning objectives are defined so that they can be measured, the measurement being different within learning processes based on different educational approaches (exams in the formal systems, different evaluation methodologies in the nonformal settings).
REF: Teaching Effectiveness Program, What are Learning Objectives?
See also: Educational evaluation; evaluation; formal education; formal learning; informal learning; knowledge; skill; nonformal education; nonformal learning
The term ‘lesbian’ is used to describe a woman who has an emotional and/or sexual attraction for other women. The term ‘lesbian’ is associated exclusively with women and comes from the name of the Greek island Lesbos. The prominent Greek poetess Sappho lived there in the 7th Century BC and was famous for her passionate poems dedicated to other women. The term ‘lesbian’ has been used in English since the 19th Century.
Some women who are attracted to other women may feel that the term ‘lesbian’ does not fit who they are. They may identify as gay, queer, or have a personal definition of their orientation. The term gay is now regarded as a generic term for lesbian and gay sexuality.
Women may experience erotic and romantic feelings for both their own and the opposite sex. Such people are often called bisexual.
For more information on sexual orientation visit the American Psychological Association
See also: Bi-Sexual; gay; homophobia; homosexual; lesbian; LGBTQI; queer; sexual orientation
LGBTQI is a common abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex people.
For further information about each of these terms please see the relevant section.
REF: Combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
See also: Bi-sexual; gay; homophobia; homosexual; intersex; lesbian; transgender; queer; sexual orientation
The European Commission has defined lifelong learning in its Communication Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality as: 'all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective’.
The key features of lifelong learning include the principles that learning (1) is an integral part of life from cradle to grave, (2) should be accessible to all in the forms, at the times, at the stages and in the places people want and need to learn, and (3) takes place across the continuum of informal, nonformal and formal education and training in all spheres of life.
Putting lifelong learning into practice obviously requires innovation in teaching and learning methods, including much greater development of open and distance learning, together with blended learning and virtual learning resources. The shift also implies introducing much more flexibility and permeability within and between education tracks, pathways and institutions, which in turn creates the demand for new ways of making learning processes and outcomes more visible and for new forms of recognition and certification.
REF: European Commission: Communication from the Commission, COM(2001) 678: 21.11.2001 - Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality.
See also: Accreditation; certificates; certification; Competence; European Commission; formal learning; informal learning; knowledge; nonformal learning; recognition; skill; training
Lobby refers to the act of trying to influence the decision making process of public bodies and of the attempt of the civil society sector or different private actors of influencing the public agenda. Considering the fact that within the lobby processes the causes are not always generally accepted, when it comes to the ethical dimension of the lobby processes, they could be defined as ethically dual-edged.
REF: Smucker, B. (1999): The Nonprofit Lobbying Guide Second Edition.
See also: Civil society
A local authority is an organisation that is officially responsible for all the public services and facilities in a particular area.
In many EU countries, the regional or local authorities are responsible for policy areas linked to the Europe 2020 strategy such as education and training, entrepreneurship, labour market, infrastructure or energy efficiency.
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is the oldest and broadest European association of local and regional government. It is the only organisation that brings together the national associations of local and regional authorities from 41 European countries and represents, through them, all levels of territories – local, intermediate and regional.
Since its creation in 1951, CEMR has promoted the construction of a united, peaceful and democratic Europe founded on local self-government, respect for the principle of subsidiarity and the participation of citizens. Their work is organised around two main pillars:
Influencing European policy and legislation in all areas having an impact on municipalities and regions
Providing a forum for debate between local and regional authorities via their national representative associations.
REF: The Council of European Municipalities and Regions.
See also: Citizen; European citizen; Europe 2020 Strategy; participation; training
Long Term Unemployment
Long term unemployment is defined as referring to people who have been unemployed for twelve months or more. Lower duration limits (e.g. six months or more) are sometimes considered in national statistics on the subject.
Unemployment is defined in all OECD countries in accordance with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guidelines. Unemployment is usually measured by national labour force surveys and refers to persons who report that they have worked in gainful employment for less than one hour in the previous week, who are available for work and who have taken actions to seek employment in the previous four weeks. The ILO Guidelines specify the kinds of actions that count as seeking work.
Rates of long term unemployment are generally lower in countries that have enjoyed high GDP growth rates in recent years. Lower rates of long term unemployment may also occur at the onset of an economic downturn due to rising inflow of newly unemployed persons, as witnessed during the first years of the current jobs crisis. Subsequently, long term unemployment may gradually begin to unfold in cases of prolonged crisis as is currently the case in a number of OECD countries.
REF: OECD iLibrary
See also: unemployed
Mainstreaming means bringing a certain topic to bear on policy-making, planning and decision-making, at the centre of analyses and policy decisions, medium-term plans, programme budgets, and institutional structures and processes.
The term mainstreaming is very often used in relation to gender (gender mainstreaming), which was defined in 1997 as:
“…the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.”
REF: ECOSOC: Agreed conclusions 1997/2, 18.7.1997 and United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (2002): Gender Mainstreaming. An overview, New York.
See also: Equality; equity; gender
The process whereby people or groups of people are pushed to the margins of a given society due to poverty, disability, lack of education, also by racism or discrimination due to origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
See also: Disability; discrimination; ethnic minorities; NEET; sexual orientation; social cohesion; social exclusion
Within EVS – European Voluntary Service – and Erasmus Plus granted projects, a mentor is an independent person who supports the volunteer during the service, within the hosting community. The support comes mainly in order to help the volunteer to adapt to the new environment as well as to help the volunteer to structure the outcomes of the learning process for the Youthpass certificate, also helping the volunteer to monitor the EVS project in general.
REF: Leargas (n.d.): Hands on guide to… Mentoring in European Voluntary Service Projects.
See also: Certificate; European Voluntary Service; Erasmus Plus; Youthpass; volunteering
Mentoring is a structured process for providing personal guidance and support to someone who is younger, less experienced or new. It is most commonly used in education, training and employment contexts. Mentors act as critical but non-judgemental friends, provide a role model and a source of useful information and advice, and can take on a coaching task (helping to improve performance). They may be freely chosen, but may also be allocated using a set of matching criteria. Formal mentoring programmes are likely to specify a given time-period for the mentoring relationship.
See also: Training
In education and training, methodology is commonly understood to be the educational logic and philosophical rationale underlying a particular pedagogical approach. It can be used as a reference framework that enables an evaluation of whether a specific method is appropriate for given learning aims, contents and contexts. This means that methodologies are coherent sets of principles and relations that frame specific methods and their use. They ‘make sense' of individual methods, and in so doing they provide a meta-orientation for planning training/teaching and learning processes.
REF: Teach - Make a difference, Teaching Methods and Bakker, J.I.H. (2007): Methods. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): Encyclopedia of Social Theory, SAGE Publications, Inc.
See also: Methods; research methods; training; qualitative research, quantitative research
In research, a method is a concrete technique for collecting or analysing information and data in a systematic way – and so ideally producing reliable results. The technique may be designed for dealing with quantitative material (essentially, numbers or abstract symbols), such as questionnaires (data collection) or statistical significance tests (data analysis). It may also be designed for dealing with qualitative material (for example in words, pictures or observational accounts), such as narrative interviews (data collection) or analytic induction (data analysis). Many types of information can be collected and analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively, so that different methods can be used to research the same phenomenon – but they might not all be equally useful or appropriate for doing so. Individual research methods are usually ultimately related to differing philosophical approaches to understanding and explaining the social world.
REF: Bakker, J.I.H. (2007): Methods. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): Encyclopedia of Social Theory, SAGE Publications, Inc.
See also: Methodology; qualitative research; quantitative research; research methods
Migration is the movement of persons from one country to another for settlement, as a consequence of (negative) push factors and (positive) pull factors. Due to industrialization processes, migrants moved from agriculture to firms and high wage economies attracted workers from low wage economies. In the EU framework the term ‘migration’ concerns Third country nationals, while movement of EU nationals within the EU is addressed as ‘mobility’. Globalisation has heavily impacted on migration flows. While migration is interpreted as being a voluntary process, ‘forced migration’ (refugees, asylum seekers, etc.) has grown in importance. It can be defined as “the movements of refugees and internally displaced people (those displaced by conflicts) as well as people displaced by natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine, or development projects” (Forced Migration Online).
REF: Abercrombie, N., Hill, S. and Turner, B. (2006): The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology, Penguin Reference.
See also: Emigration; immigration
A minority group is defined on the basis of being different from a majority group. This may include minorities based on ascribed statuses such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. It may also include groups with deeply held shared identities and practices, including religious or linguistic groups.
For all types of minority groups, it is typically true that the group is different from those who hold the dominant influence in society in some way that is regarded as socially significant, and on the basis of that difference the group is assigned to a subordinate or disadvantaged status.
Early approaches to minorities began from the assumption that such social groups are always smaller in number than those belonging to the mainstream or majority in a given society. By the 1970s, feminist analysis had shown that girls and women, though outnumbering boys and men in most societies of the world, share many of the social features of minority groups – not least in terms of prejudice and discrimination. Most, if not all, contemporary societies are androcentric, that is, values, beliefs, practices and institutional arrangements are predicated on the circumstances of men's lives and on the tenets of masculinity as a set of social and cultural ideologies and practices. This in turn structures social power relations between women and men, generally to the disadvantage of the former, and tends to make such inequalities appear ‘natural'. These insights revolutionised theoretical perspectives on majority-minority relations, so that today, the term ‘minority group' refers to a complex set of features that together signify distinctiveness in relation to that which is perceived as ‘typical' or ‘standard' in a given historical time and social space.
On the whole, members of minority groups are prone to experience disadvantage of various kinds, but the attributes and life circumstances of some minorities instead lead to personal and social privilege – and in this case, such social groups are called ‘elites'.
REF: European Commission, EMN Glossary.
See also: Disability; ethnicity; ethnic minorities; equality; gender; sexual orientation
Mixed Ability Group
Refers to having both participants with no disabilities as well as participants with disabilities or learning difficulties in the same working group. Having a mixed abilities profile of the group favours the valorisation of different abilities in the group, even if the youth activities might have to be specially adapted. The special adaptation of the work setting and pedagogy ensures the right for everyone to participate in the activities is respected, and that it is a positive experience for all the participants.
REF: Salto Youth Inclusion Research Centre (n.d.): No barriers, No borders, A practical booklet for setting up international mixed-ability youth projects (including persons with and without a disability).
See also: Disability; inclusion; participation; youth participation
Youth mobility in Europe is based on the principle of free movement benefiting every European citizen. It is a central component of the European cooperation on education and training to improve formal, informal or non-formal learning.
Mobility concerns all young Europeans, whether they are schoolchildren, students, apprentices, volunteers, teachers, young researchers, trainers, youth workers, entrepreneurs or young people on the labour market. Mobility is to be understood primarily as physical mobility, which means moving to another country for study, a work placement, community work or additional training in the context of lifelong learning.
Nevertheless, ‘virtual mobility', i.e. the use of information and communications technology (ICTs) to develop partnerships or long-distance exchanges with young people in other countries can also make a significant contribution to mobility.
REF: Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 21 November 2008 on youth mobility (2008/C 320/03).
See also: Lifelong learning; mobility scheme; social obstacles; volunteering; young people; youth entrepreneurs; youth workers
Multicultural refers to the idea that different cultural and ethnic groups can coexist in a pluralist society.
This adjective refers to ‘multiculturalism’, which encompasses various approaches. In a nutshell, it refers to policies developed either by autochthonous ethnic groups or through immigration flows from different areas of the world. It also concerns a variety of policies that promote the institutionalization of cultural diversity.
REF: European Commission, EMN Glossary.
See also: Diversity; immigration
Multidimensional citizenship focuses on citizenship as a continuous process of civic learning, reflection and action. It centres on the development of citizens' personal civic beliefs, their capacity for joint social and public action, their ties to local communities as well as the world outside, and their awareness of past, present and future. The components of this model include a personal, a social, a spatial and a temporal dimension, all of which are interconnected and interrelated.
The concept of citizenship has become more complex with the increasing incursion of global issues into everyday life and, in consequence, the greater recognition of interconnected and intercultural social worlds. The concept of multidimensional citizenship aims to respond to these new realities.
REF: Adapted from Cogan, John and Derricott, Ray (2000): Citizenship for the 21st Century: An International Perspective on Education, London and Cogan, John et al (2000): Citizenship: The Democratic Imagination in a Global Context.
See also: Citizen; citizenship; European Citizenship
National agencies are structures established by the national authorities in each program country in order to assist the European Commission with management and to assume responsibility for implementation of most of the Erasmus + and Youth in Action Programme. They promote and implement the program at national level and act as the link between the European Commission, promoters at national, regional and local level, and young people. The implementation of the program is mainly decentralised, the aim being to work as closely as possible with the beneficiaries and to adapt to the diversity of national systems and situations in the youth field.
It is the role of national agencies to:
- collect and provide appropriate information on the program
- administer a transparent and equitable selection process for project applications to be funded at decentralised level
- provide effective and efficient administrative processes
- seek cooperation with external bodies in order to help to implement the program
- evaluate and monitor the implementation of the program
- provide support to project applicants and promoters throughout the project life cycle
- form a functioning network with all National Agencies and the Commission
- improve the visibility of the program
- promote the dissemination and exploit the results at national level.
In addition, they play an important role as an intermediate structure for the development of youth work by:
- creating opportunities to share experiences
- providing training and nonformal learning experiences
- promoting values like social inclusion, cultural diversity and active citizenship
- supporting all kinds of youth structures and groups, especially less formal ones
- fostering recognition of nonformal learning through appropriate measures.
Finally, they act as a supporting structure for the Framework for European cooperation in the youth field.
REF: European Commission, Directorate-General Education and Culture, Youth in Action Programme Guide, 2012.
See also: Citizenship; cultural diversity; Erasmus Plus; European Commission; nonformal learning; recognition of nonformal learning; social inclusion; young people; Youth in Action; youth work
National Youth Council
A National Youth Council is an umbrella organisation for youth NGOs and sometimes also other actors in youth work. National youth councils exist in most countries and almost all national youth councils in Europe receive financial support from their governments for maintaining their role as young people’s voice at the national level.
Youth Councils function primarily as a service organisation to their members. However, they can also act as a lobby and advocacy body. They play a privileged role as a government partner in the development of policies and programmes affecting youth and consequently, should be involved in development, implementation and evaluation of policy initiatives in the youth field.
At an international level, the European Youth Forum is the platform of the national youth councils and international non-governmental youth organisations in Europe. It strives for youth rights in international institutions such as the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.
REF: Denstad, F.Y. (2009): Youth Policy Manual. How to develop a national youth strategy, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing and Siurala, L. (2005): European framework of youth policy, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing.
See also: Council of Europe; European youth policy; evaluation; lobby; national youth policy review; youth organisations; youth work
National Youth Policy
In Europe, youth policy is regarded as an integrated or cross-sectoral policy area. This means that formal and legal responsibility is consensual and plans, actions and programmes are integrated and discussed across sectors. However, in reality, three main problems in the development of a European wide cross-sectoral youth policy have been identified:
- cross-sectoral youth policy does not go beyond rhetorical exercises, mere intentions or the use of youth framed, vocabulary. This includes a lack of legal framework; intentions with no action; principles with no specific programmes; and unclear relationships between departments, ministries or agencies
- there is a lack of functionality and efficiency of existing structures. This includes lack of communication, collaboration or coordination between departments, ministries or agencies; or the overlapping of responsibilities and disregard for what is being done outside or beyond the Ministry of Youth or equivalents at a country wide level
- there are problems associated with the structure itself for example, at a country level youth ministries (or its equivalents) are situated at the bottom of the Governmental hierarchy, or alternatively, are not even part of that hierarchy.
REF: Nico, M. (2014): Life is cross-sectoral. Why shouldn’t youth policy be? Overview of existing information on cross-sectoral youth policy in Europe, Strasbourg, Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth.
See also: European youth policy; national policy review
National Youth Policy Review
The Youth Department of the Council of Europe is running a project for the evaluation of national youth policies in member States. On the basis of an extensive national evaluation report and study visits in the countries concerned, an expert team drafts an international evaluation report which is presented to the Steering Committee for Intergovernmental Co-operation in the Youth Field (CDEJ) and the Minister responsible for youth issues at a public hearing. In autumn 2014, 19 international evaluation reports and two synthesis reports were available.
The first review was carried out in 1997 and the report was produced in 1999 (Finland). Since then, reporting methodology and composition of expert groups have been in development.
REF: Council of Europe, Youth - Young People Building Europe.
See also: Council of Europe; European youth policy; national youth policy
The term NEET is an acronym for Not in Education, Employment or Training. It is used to describe young people who are not engaged in any form of employment, education or training. The term has come into the policy debate in recent years due to disproportionate impact of the recession on young people (under 30 years old). The unemployment rate for those under thirty is nearly double the average rate.
Those with low levels of education are three times more likely to be NEET than those with third-level education. The risk is 70% higher for young people from an immigration background than nationals, while having a disability or health issue is also a strong risk factor.
Some 14 million young people are not in employment, education or training across the EU as a whole. However rates vary widely from around 5.5% of 15-24 year olds in the Netherlands to 22.7% in Italy.
The economic cost is not the only one. Young people not in employment, education or training are at higher risk of being socially and politically alienated. They have a lower level of level of interest and engagement in politics and lower levels of trust. Even in those countries where NEETs are more politically engaged (such as Spain) they do not identify with the main political or social actors.
EU Member States have tried a number of measures to prevent young people from becoming NEET and to reintegrate those who are NEETs. The involvement of a range of stakeholders in the design and delivery of youth employment measures is essential. In particular, a strong level of engagement with employers and their representatives is needed for measures that focus on fostering their beneficiaries’ employability.
Source: Eurofound, Young people and ‘NEETs’.
See also: Educational difficulties; employment; exclusion; long term unemployment; social exclusion; social obstacles; training; unemployed; vulnerable young people; young people; young people with fewer opportunities; Youth Guarantee
Nonformal education is any educational action that takes place outside of the formal education system. Non-formal education is an integral part of a lifelong learning concept that ensures that young people and adults acquire and maintain the skills, abilities and dispositions needed to adapt to a continuously changing environment. It can be acquired on the personal initiative of each individual through different learning activities taking place outside the formal educational system. An important part of non-formal education is carried out by non-governmental organisations involved in community and youth work.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has passed a resolution and a recommendation on “Young Europeans: an urgent educational challenge” promoting enhancement of traditional forms of education settings, recognition and support of non-formal and informal learning settings.
REF: Parliamentary Assembly (1999): Report of the Committee on Culture and Education, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, document 8595: Non-formal education; Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution 1930 and Recommendation 2014 (2013): Young Europeans: an urgent educational challenge.
See also: Council of Europe; formal education; formal learning; informal learning; nonformal learning; skill; youth work
Non-formal learning is a purposive, but voluntary, learning that takes place in a diverse range of environments and situations for which teaching/training and learning is not necessarily their sole or main activity. These environments and situations may be intermittent or transitory, and the activities or courses that take place may be staffed by professional learning facilitators (such as youth trainers) or by volunteers (such as youth leaders). The activities and courses are planned, but are seldom structured by conventional rhythms or curriculum subjects.
Non-formal learning and education, understood as learning outside institutional contexts (out-of-school) is the key activity, but also the key competence, of youth work. Non-formal learning/education in youth work is often structured, based on learning objectives, learning time and specific learning support and it is intentional. It typically does not lead to certification, but in an increasing number of cases, certificates are delivered, leading to a better recognition of the individual learning outcome.
Non-formal education and learning in the youth field is more than a sub-category of education and training since it is contributing to the preparation of young people for the knowledge-based and the civil society.
REF: Chisholm, L. (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvainand Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth (2011): Pathways 2.0 towards recognition of non-formal learning/education and of youth work in Europe, Strasbourg.
See also: Civil society; formal education; formal learning; informal learning; learning objectives; nonformal education; training; youth facilitator
Non-organised or unorganised youth is the term used in prevailing youth work research and policy to refer to young people who do not engage in youth work activities. In these contexts, they are often associated with the concept of ‘marginalized group’. This is because is youth work practice many initiatives are created to organise the unorganised young people, increasing the participation of young people in youth work. This practice contributes in marginalising these young people by labelling them “irregular”, separating them from their social context and reinforcing social dividing lines.
Extensive research projects had been conducted on analysing the youth development within an organised youth participation settings (such as youth clubs, sports clubs, youth centres, youth organisations, etc), however less attention has been invested in non-organised youth. Compared to organised settings, non-organised youth movements/groups involve less adult supervision, might have an irregular participation agenda, less crystallised goals and objectives or rules for behaviour. Even if developed, conducted and evaluated in non-standard settings, the non-organised youth groups develop and conduct activities that are both challenging and attractive to young people.
REF: DesRoches, A. and Willoughby, T. (2014): Bidirectional Associations Between Valued Activities
and Adolescent Positive Adjustment in a Longitudinal Study: Positive Mood as a Mediator, in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 208-220; Verschelden, G., Coussée, F., Van de Walle, T., and Williamson, H. (2009) The History of Youth Work in Europe: Relevance for youth policy today, Council of Europe Publishing, 2009.
See also: marginalisation; social exclusion; youth leader; youth organisation; youth participation; youth work
Open and Distance Learning
Open and distance learning (ODL) combines two distinct categories of learning provision and participation which frequently occur together. Open learning is purposive learning that takes place where, when and how the learner chooses. It may also be self-directed learning, that is, the learner also voluntarily chooses what and why to learn. Open learning may be formal or non-formal in character. Distance learning covers the spectrum from correspondence learning (‘by post') to eLearning (IT supported learning, whether as content, pedagogy or medium). It can include highly formalised and closely assessed types of learning processes and outcomes.
See also: Formal education; formal learning; informal education; informal learning; learning mobility; learning objectives; lifelong learning; participation
Open Method of Coordination (OMC)
In many policy areas, EU Member States set their own national policies rather than having an EU-wide policy laid down in law. The OMC provides a framework for cooperation between the Member States whose national policies can thus be directed towards certain common objectives. Under this method, the Member States are evaluated by one another, with the European Commission's role limited to coordination and surveillance. In this way, European guidelines can be integrated into national and regional policies.
In the youth field, the OMC is applied with a flexible approach, with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity. Consulting young people is part of the process, because the dialogue is so that it actively involves young people in policy-shaping debates and dialogue in relation to the European agenda.
A revised procedure for the OMC and Structured Dialogue was introduced at the end of 2009 for the period 2010-2018. It was based on the European Commission approved EU Strategy for youth: ‘Investing and Empowering – A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities’.
REF: Europa - Summaries of EU legislation, Open Method of Coordination.
See also: European Commission; recognition of nonformal learning; young people
The term participation means that someone can be part, has or gives a part of something. Thus participation in social life implies that someone is able to use existing opportunities and has access to existing offers including information, education, labour market and social rights. In political terms participation means that someone can make his/her voice heard and can get involved in existing decision making processes.
Therefore participation means the active involvement in shaping the diverse environments one lives in and according to the needs and interests.
Participation is an essential element of citizenship in a democratic society and a democratic Europe. Meanwhile, participation is not an aim in itself, but an approach to becoming active citizens.
REF: Salto Youth Net (n.d.): Amplify youth participation. Recommendations for policy and practice, Brussels, Huang, Lihong (n.d): EU-CoE partnership policy sheet. Citizenship and Participation; EU-CoE Youth Partnership, Reflection Group on Youth Participation.
See also: citizen; citizenship; e-participation; participation – models; participation – ladder; political participation; youth participation
Participation - Ladder
The degree of involvement in decision-making can vary significantly. In 1969, Sherry Arnstein described citizen’s participation as being a ladder of eight steps. At the bottom of the ladder was ‘manipulation’, and ‘therapy’ (which she considered to be non-participation); these rungs were followed by the rungs of ‘informing’, ‘consultation’ and ‘plaction’ (which Arnstein called ‘degrees of tokenism’); whilst the rungs leading to the top of the ladder were ‘partnership’, ‘delegated power’ and ‘citizen participation’ (which Arnstein called ‘degrees of citizen power’). Arnstein, argued that only ‘partnership’, ‘delegated power’ and ‘citizen control’ can be regarded as real participation.
Roger Hart focused on children’s participation and described eight rungs on the ladder from tokenism to citizenship. He summarised manipulation, decoration and tokenism as forms of non-participation because it does not allow children to bring in their own ideas and wishes. The fourth rung, the first step of real participation is described as assigned but informed. This is followed by consulted and informed. The sixth rung of the ladder is adult-initiated projects, where shared decisions are taken. The next levels, the highest form of children’s participation, are child-initiated and directed. Here children and young people initiate and share decisions with adults.
REF: Arnstein, S. (1969): A Ladder of Citizen Participation, in: Journal of the American Institute of Planners, Vol 35, Issue 4, p. 216-224; Hart, R. (1992): Children’s participation: From Tokenism to Citizenship, UNICEF, Italy.
See also: Citizen; citizenship; co-production; participation – models; political participation; youth participation; young people
Participation – Models
Models of youth participation in projects and policy making often refer to the different levels of involvement and thus to the ladder models by Hart or by Arnstein. Another popular model is Shier’s Pathways to Participation where five levels of participation are discussed. An extensive collection of models of participation was undertaken by Andreas Karsten.
REF: Karsten, A. (n.d.): Nonformality.
See also: Citizen; citizenship; co-production; participation; political participation; youth participation; young people
Peer to peer education
Peer to peer education is a method of informing, teaching and learning among equals whereby young people educate other young people. This is based on the view that often young people can more profitably discuss and explore issues with young people of their own background than with adults such as youth workers, teachers, experts, parents. The approach is widely used in peer tutoring at schools, substance use prevention, promotion of healthy life styles and HIV/AIDS prevention (http://www.europeer.lu.se/).
Peer to peer education also refers to a planned intervention of young people for young people reaching from peer information to peer counselling and to peer group education. The method has great overall potential, but must be adapted to local needs and requirements, catering to the specific characteristics of young people in each individual country. The approach is commonly used in various settings from information on European Union projects (e.g. Europeers) to information on education and job opportunities and in prevention work (e.g. risk’n’fun) and health provision (e.g. the UNFPA regional project Y-Peer).
REF: Bundesministerium für Familien und Jugend (2003): Vierter Bericht zur Lage der Jugend in Österreich, United Nations Population Fund, Peer Education Toolkit.
See also: Education methodology; mentoring; methods; training; young people
Political participation is any activity that shapes, affects, or involves the political sphere. Recent understanding is that political participation cannot be narrowed to the conventional forms of participation in elections or referendums, or being members of political parties. Unconventional forms like signing petitions, organising demonstrations or strikes have, for some time, been considered legal forms of political participation, as are supporting boycotts or express political opinions via badges, T-shirts, stickers or letters to media and online postings.
Beside these legal forms of political participation some activities carried out with the intention of influencing society and/or the political sphere are considered illegal. These could involve actions such as vandalism or acts of terrorism, as well as civil disobedience or resistance.
See also: Activism; e-participation; participation; participation - ladder; political participation; youth participation
Political recognition refers to the development of relevant policies (strategies, laws, etc.) around youth work and non-formal learning/education. It is also about putting youth work on the political agenda of the key institutions in your context.
See also: nonformal education; nonformal learning; youth work
Pool of European Youth Researchers (PEYR)
The Pool of European Youth Researchers (PEYR) was set up by the partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth to foster evidence based policy-making in the field of youth. It brings together 25 researchers and experts from across Europe who possess a wide range of expertise in different policy areas connected to youth. The first edition of the PEYR ran until Autumn 2013. Following a new call, the second edition of PEYR was launched. The new PEYR mixed some old members and new ones in order to ensure the continuity the work undertaken by the group, while at the same time including new and fresh insights.
In addition to providing expertise on demand, PEYR members meet once a year to discuss broader issues connected to youth research and provide input to policy initiatives of the two partner institutions.
REF: Council of Europe European Union Youth Partnership, Pool of European Youth Researchers.
See also: Council of Europe; evidence-based youth policies; youth research
In 1995 the United Nations adopted two definitions of poverty.
Absolute poverty was defined as a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.
Overall poverty takes various forms, including lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods; hunger and malnutrition; ill health; limited or lack of access to education and other basic services; increased morbidity and mortality from illness; homelessness and inadequate housing; unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion. It is also characterised by lack of participation in decision making and in civil, social and cultural life. It occurs in all countries: as mass poverty in many developing countries, pockets of poverty amid wealth in developed countries, loss of livelihoods as a result of economic recession, sudden poverty as a result of disaster or conflict, the poverty of low-wage workers, and the utter destitution of people who fall outside family support systems, social institutions and safety nets.
These are relative definitions of poverty, which see poverty in terms of minimum acceptable standards of living within the society in which a particular person lives.
REF: Poverty and social exclusion research project
See also: discrimination; exclusion; long term unemployment; participation; social class; social exclusion
Prejudice is the pre-judging or forming of opinion (which is usually negative) before having the relevant facts to make a judgement. Features include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs and a tendency to discriminate (putting these judgments into practice).
Prejudice can involve forming an opinion based upon a variety of different factors. This includes, for example, anti-religious prejudice, classism, homophobia, racism and sexism.
See also: Discrimination; homophobia
The Programming Committee is a subsidiary co-decision body made up of eight members each from the CDEJ and the Advisory Council. It establishes, monitors and evaluates the programmes of the European Youth Centres and of the European Youth Foundation.
REF: Council of Europe, Co-Management.
See also: Advisory Council on Youth; CDEJ; European Youth Policy
Qualification is a synonym for a certificate or diploma. In the world of formal education and training in Europe it is usually an official record or document testifying to the fact that a person has successfully completed a given course or reached a given standard of achievement for a specified field, skill or competence.
REF: Chisholm, L (2005): Bridges for Recognition Cheat Sheet: Proceedings of the SALTO Bridges for Recognition: Promoting Recognition of Youth Work across Europe, Leuven-Louvain.
See also: Accreditation; certificate; certification; competence; formal education; skill; training
There is no universally accepted definition of qualitative research, although it is accepted that data collected during qualitative research activities is not usually numerical. Qualitative approaches to research are based on a “world view” which is holistic and has the following basis:
- There is not a single reality.
- Reality is based upon perceptions that are different for each person and change over time.
- What we know has meaning only within a given situation or context.
A range of terms is employed to indicate that the approach to research being used is qualitative; these include holistic, naturalistic, ethnographic, constructivist and interpretive. One significant difference between qualitative and quantitative research approaches is that no intervention, or control group is used in qualitative research.
The key features of qualitative research are that:
- It is not based upon numerical measurements and does not use numbers and statistical methods as key research indicators and tools. Instead, it uses words as the unit of analysis and often takes an in-depth, holistic or rounded approach to events/issues/case studies.
- It tends to be associated with description.
- It tends to be associated with small-scale studies and a holistic perspective, often studying a single occurrence or small number of occurrences/case studies in great depth.
- It does not investigate causal hypotheses, instead developing and testing theories as part of an on-going process.
- It tends to be associated with researcher involvement, with the researcher acting as a measurement tool.
- It tends to be associated with emergent research design, using a wide range of approaches and analysing in a fashion that is sometimes impossible to replicate; however, this does not invalidate the research.
- A common perception of qualitative research is that the emphasis is on discovery rather than proof.
- Examples of qualitative research methods are:
- action research
- case study
- grounded theory
- historical methods
REF: University of Southampton, e-Research Methods
See also: Methodology; quantitative research; research methodologies
Quantitative research methods were originally developed in the natural sciences to study natural phenomenon. Quantitative research reflects the philosophy that everything can be described according to some type of numerical system for example:
- The height of a person (in metres)
- The age of a person (in years and months)
- The gender of a person (using a numerical system of categorisation, e.g. 1 for female, 2 for male)
- A person’s education (e.g. number and grade of school certificates; classification of undergraduate degree)
- A person’s political views (e.g. using a scale that goes from 0 for extreme left-wing to 10 for extreme right-wing)
The key features of quantitative research are:
- It is usually based upon numerical measurements and thus tends to use numbers and statistical methods as key research indicators and tools
- It tends to be associated with analysis
- It tends to be associated with large-scale studies and with a specific focus, often condensing information from a large number of specific occurrences to search for a general description or to investigate causal hypotheses
- It tends to be associated with researcher detachment, producing 'objective' numerical data that is independent of the researcher; it is a very controlled, exact approach to research
- It tends to be associated with pre-determined research design, using measurements and analyses in a systematic and logically ordered fashion that may be replicated relatively easily by other researchers.
- Validity and reliability can be measured numerically using statistical tests
- A common perception of quantitative research is that the emphasis is on proof rather than discovery
- There are three primary types of quantitative research designs:
- descriptive and correlational
REF: University of Southampton, e-Research Methods
See also: Methodology; qualitative research; research methodologies
This is an umbrella term sometimes used by Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) people to refer to the entire LGBT community. It is also an alternative label used by people who do not wish to identify with particular labels and categories such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.; or who do not feel that they fit within societal norms.
It is important to note that the word queer is an in-group term, and a word that can be considered offensive to some people, depending on their generation, geographic location, and relationship with the word.
REF: International Spectrum, University of Michigan
See also: Bi-sexual; gay; homophobia; homosexual; lesbian; transgender; queer; sexual orientation
In general, the term recognition has multiple meanings. In the European youth field, the term recognition refers to the position of non-formal learning and youth work in legal and public administration systems, and in society at large.
There are four different kinds of recognition:
- Formal recognition means the ‘validation’ of learning outcomes and the ‘certification’ of a learning process and/or these outcomes by issuing certificates or diplomas which formally recognise the achievements of an individual
- Political recognition means the recognition of non-formal education in legislation and/or the inclusion of non-formal learning/education in political strategies, and the involvement of non-formal learning providers in these strategies
- Social recognition means that social players acknowledge the value of competences acquired in non-formal settings and the work done within these activities, including the value of the organisations providing this work
- Self-recognition means the assessment by the individual of learning outcomes and the ability to use these learning outcomes in other fields.
REF: Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth (2011): Pathways 2.0 towards recognition of non-formal learning/education and of youth work in Europe, Strasbourg.
See also: Accreditation; certificates; certification; nonformal education; nonformal learning; learning objectives; recognition of learning outcomes; social recognition; youth work
Recognition of learning outcomes
Recognition of learning outcomes plays an important role on a political, institutional and individual level. On the one hand it should help to find a common way or procedure to recognise and validate learning outcomes achieved in another country and/or with various forms of education (formal, non-formal, informal). On the other hand it points to the individual reflection of achievements in the own education and learning biography in and outside the formal education system.
The European Qualification Framework shifts the focus from learning inputs (e.g. lengths of education) to learning outcomes. And recognition of learning outcomes is currently considered as an important means for employability and social inclusion. The recognition of learning outcomes is closely connected to instruments facilitating this process, like the Europass or the Youthpass.
Formal recognition of learning outcomes can be described as the process of granting official status to knowledge, skills and competences through either validation of non-formal and informal learning, grant of equivalence, credit units or waivers, or award of qualifications (certificates, diploma or titles). Social recognition, on the other hand, can be defined as the acknowledgement of value of knowledge, skills and/or competences by economic and social stakeholders.
REF: Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth (2011): Pathways 2.0 towards recognition of non-formal learning/education and of youth work in Europe, Strasbourg and CEDEFOP (2014), Terminology of European education and training policy. A selection of 130 key terms, Luxembourg.
See also: Accreditation; certificate; certification; competences; educational evaluation; education methodology; formal education; formal learning; informal learning; knowledge; learning objectives; nonformal education; nonformal learning; skills; self-recognition; social recognition; Youthpass
Recognition of nonformal learning
The recognition of the nonformal learning is a process that aims at validating the learning outcomes achieved at the end of the learning experiences structured with nonformal education tools, instruments and methodologies. The European institutions had been investing a lot of effort lately into this process. The first reference to the specified process came at the end of the 5th conference of European Ministers responsible for youth, meeting in Bucharest in April 1998, inviting the Member States to recognize training and skills acquired in non-formal education, followed by the first symposium on non-formal learning organised by the Directorate for Youth and Sports in 2000 that leaded to the first Recommendation on non-formal learning of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The European Union also prioritized the recognition of nonformal learning, advising the Member States to develop instruments that would be validating this process, the new EU-Strategy for Youth-Investing and Empowering stating it as a priority. European Union’s programmes in the field of Youth (specifically Youth in Action) contributed a lot to the recognition process developing Youthpass as a specific instrument for competencies’ development self-assessment.
REF: Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth (2011): Pathways 2.0 towards recognition of non-formal learning/education and of youth work in Europe, Strasbourg.
See also: Accreditation; certificate; certification; competences; educational evaluation; education methodology; formal education; formal learning; informal learning; knowledge; learning objectives; methods; methodologies; nonformal education; nonformal learning; Open Method of Communication; self-recognition; Youthpass
In the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is a pan-European political assembly. It is composed of 636 members who hold elective Office – they may be regional or municipal councillors, mayors or presidents of regional authorities – representing over 200,000 authorities in 47 European states. Its role is to promote local and regional democracy, improve local and regional governance and strengthen authorities' self-government. It pays particular attention to the application of the principles laid down in the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It encourages the devolution and regionalisation processes, as well as cross-border cooperation between cities and regions.
In 2012, the Congress adopted the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life “Have Your Say!” which was first adopted in 2003. The Charter contends that “the active participation of young people in decisions and actions at local and regional level is essential if we are to build more democratic, inclusive and prosperous societies. Participation in the democratic life of any community is about more than voting or standing for election, although these are important elements. Participation and active citizenship is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity and where necessary the support to participate in and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities so as to contribute to building a better society”.
REF: Council of Europe, The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
See also: Council of Europe; citizenship; participation; young people; youth participation
Methodology is the systematic analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. Typically, it encompasses concepts such as paradigm, theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques.
Two main types of research methodologies can be distinguished.
Qualitative methodology builds on the assumption that the (social) world is a construct that is created by people involved in interaction with each other. It is created by meanings and motives they possess. Qualitative data collection methods are driven by the wish to uncover those meanings and motives that people have in their everyday life.
Quantitative methodology builds on the assumption that the world outside a person exists independently of any person. Therefore there is a need to seek to establish properties, and possibly also regularities that characterise that objectively existing reality. Quantitative methods seek to collect data, which characterise that external world adequately.
Often the two methodologies are combined in various ways to acquire a fuller and deeper understanding of the phenomenon that is of interest.
REF: Palgrave Study Skills, Choosing appropriate research methodologies.
See also: Methods; methodology; qualitative research; quantitative research; research methods
Research in general is creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of human beings, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.
The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen the understanding of a topic or issue. Often a distinction between qualitative and quantitative approaches is made, and this distinction also influences the selection of data collection and analysis methods.
Research done within the borders of the qualitative paradigm uses methods that focus on collecting detailed individual data to uncover meanings and understand phenomena. Such methods include unstructured interviews, group discussions, observation and reflection field notes, various texts, pictures, and other materials.
Quantitative methods provide a description of a phenomenon, and explain how different variables are connected with each other. Such methods include public opinion surveys, statistics, correlational analysis and mathematical modelling.
REF: OECD (2002): Frascati Manual: Proposed standard practice for surveys on research and experimental development.
See also: Methods, Methodology, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research
Resocialisation refers to the process by which existing social roles are radically altered or replaced. Radical changes in a person's personality can be achieved by carefully controlling the environment. Key examples include the process of resocialising new recruits into the military so that they can operate as soldiers, and the reverse process when they leave the military (demobilisation). Resocialisation is also required for inmates who come out of prison to acclimate themselves back in civilian life ("the outside"). Conformity occurs when individuals change their behaviour to fit in with the expectations of an authority figure or the expectations of the larger group.
REF: Morrison, L. (2007): Resocialization, in Ritzer, G. (ed.): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Resolution of the Council on Youth Work
On 19th November 2010 the Council of the European Union adopted a Resolution on youth work acknowledging its importance and inviting member states to provide adequate funding and structures.
Member states are invited to provide better resources for and promote better knowledge of youth work. According to the Resolution, youth work in the members states should contribute to the objectives in the different action fields of the new EU youth strategy and should pay particular attention to the involvement of children and young people in poverty or at risk of social exclusion.
The European Commission is invited to map the diversity, coverage and impact of youth work and include a follow up on it in the EU Youth Report 2012. It should also provide sufficient and appropriate platforms for the exchange of research, policies and practices in the field, contribute to the capacity building of youth workers, the enhancing of the quality of youth work and its recognition through user-friendly tools.
REF: European Youth Information and Counselling Agency.
See also: Council of Europe; European Commission; European Union youth strategy; social exclusion; youth work
A School Council is a representative group of students who have been proposed and elected by their peers to represent their views and raise issues with the Senior Managers and Governors of their school.
A School Council can also propose and take forward initiatives and projects on behalf of their peers, and be involved in strategic planning and processes such as the School Development Plan, governing body meetings and staff appointments.
The object of an effective School Council is to help children and young people to:
- enjoy and feel empowered by their education.
- feel that their school responds to their needs and views
- have the opportunity to let adults know their feelings and opinions about things that affect them
- have a say about decisions, and to play an active role in making their school a better place
- develop life skills through participation
REF: What is a school council?
See also: empowerment; participation; participation – models; participation – ladder; young people
Self-recognition refers to better understanding of the value of youth work and non-formal learning/education by youth workers themselves and/or increased awareness of learning processes and outcomes by the young people participating in youth work activities.
See also: young people; youth work
Skill means having the knowledge and experience needed to perform a specific task or job. Having a skill means that someone has learned what to do (possesses the knowledge) and knows how to do it (can transfer the knowledge into real practice), which also means that someone else can observe the skill in action.
See also: Competences; key competences; knowledge
Social analysis in general is the analysis of social circumstances and developments. In the European Union, social analysis is conducted in connection with employment situations. The ‘Annual Report: Employment and Social Developments in Europe’ provides the basic analysis which underpins policy developments under the inclusive growth strand of the Europe 2020 strategy.
The EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review gives an overview of recent developments in the European labour market and social situation, including short-term changes in GDP and employment growth, in employment and unemployment rates, and in labour demand, as well as for vulnerable groups. Thematic and sectoral analyses are also presented in the form of short "special focus" sections. Finally, the situation among a rotating selection of Member States is analysed in greater detail. The analytical working papers analyse various aspects of employment and social policy and underpin priority policy needs, notably the Europe 2020 process, and provide detailed analytical background for longer term challenges.
REF: European Commission, Employment and social analysis.
See also: Europe 2020 Strategy
Social capital can be seen as the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups. Although different social sciences emphasise different aspects of social capital, they tend to share the core idea ‘that social networks have value’. Just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a university education (cultural capital or human capital) can increase productivity, so do social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups.
Social capital can be divided into three main categories:
- Bonds: Links to people based on a sense of common identity (’people like us’) – such as family, close friends and people who share our culture or ethnicity.
- Bridges: Links that stretch beyond a shared sense of identity, for example to distant friends, colleagues and associates.
- Linkages: Links to people or groups further up or lower down the social ladder.
REF: Putnam, R. (2000): Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York: Simon and Schuster.
See also: Culture; identity; social cohesion
The term social class is used for the analysis of social inequalities.
Class can be understood as a subjective location: how do people, individually and collectively, locate themselves and others within a social structure of inequality? It can be also understood as an objective position within distributions of material possessions and characteristics, like actual income and wealth.
Class as the relational explanation of economic life chances asks a question what explains inequalities in life chances and material standards of living? What is the relationship of people to income generating resources? Class, in this usage, is contrasted to other determinants of a person’s life chances like geographical location, forms of discrimination or genetic endowments.
Class can be understood also as a foundation of economic oppression and exploitation, and as concept framing struggle for a more just society. Class plays a central role in answering the question “What sorts of transformations are needed to eliminate economic oppression and exploitation within capitalist societies?” It implies a normative judgment about those inequalities – that they are forms of oppression and exploitation – and a normative vision of the transformation of those inequalities.
REF: Wright, E.O. (2005): Social Class. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): Encyclopedia of Social Theory, SAGE Publications, Inc.
See also: Equality; mobility; social obstacles; social mobility
Social cohesion is the capacity of a society to ensure the well-being of all its members, minimising disparities and avoiding marginalisation. It characterises interdependence between members of society, shared loyalties and solidarity, common identities and sense of belonging to the same community.
Social cohesion mainly incorporates two societal goal dimensions:
- Degree of disparities, inequalities and social exclusion. Societies characterised by a higher level of social cohesion have lower levels of it.
- Degree or strength of social relations, interactions and ties (societies characterised by a higher level of social cohesion have also higher levels of it).
This, however, is an analytical distinction. In real life, different aspects may be related to each other, either positively or negatively.
REF: Berger-Schmitt, R. (2000): Social cohesion as an aspect of the quality of societies: Concept and measurement, EU working paper no.14, Mannheim, Centre for Survey Research and Methodology, and Council of Europe: Report of the High Level Task Force on Social Cohesion in the 21st century, Towards an active, fair and socially cohesive Europe, Strasbourg, 28 January 2008.See also: Civil society; equality; marginalisation; social exclusion; social mobility; social obstacles
Social exclusion has been defined by the Department of International Development (DFID) as “a process by which certain groups are systematically disadvantaged because they are discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, caste, descent, gender, age, disability, HIV status, migrant status or where they live. Discrimination occurs in public institutions, such as the legal system or education and health services, as well as social institutions like the household”.
There is agreement, however, that social exclusion is multidimensional – it encompasses social, political, cultural and economic dimensions, and operates at different social levels. It is dynamic, in that it impacts people in various ways and to differing degrees over time. And it is relational – it is the product of social interactions, which are characterised by unequal power relations, and it can produce ruptures in relationships between people and society, which result in a lack of social participation, social protection, social integration and power.
REF: Khan, Seema (2009): Topic guide on Social Exclusion, Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, Birmingham.
See also: Disability; discrimination; gender; migration; social obstacles; sexual orientation; social participation; social recognition
Social Inclusion or social integration has been defined as “the process of promoting the values, relations and institutions that enable all people to participate in social, economic and political life on the basis of equality of rights, equity and dignity”.
REF: Khan, Seema (2009): Topic guide on Social Exclusion, Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, Birmingham.
See also: equality; equity; exclusion; human rights; social exclusion
Socialisation essentially denotes the process by which people learn to think and act in conformity with the norms and values of the society and culture into which they have been born and grow up. They become members and actors of their social world, and in doing so, they internalise its norms and values – that is, they take these for granted and accept them as unremarkable, expected and ‘good' ways of being and doing. In turn, this is the basis upon which people recognise that which is unfamiliar and by which they experience the ‘strangeness' of other cultural identities and ways of life. Primary agents (individual and institutional) of socialisation include the family, peers and the immediate environment; secondary agents include schools, workplaces, media and religions.
Socialisation is ultimately made up of lifelong and life wide learning processes that may be relevant for social life in general (which is always subject to change) but which may also be specific for particular contexts (such as in youth subcultures), for particular life phases (such as school-to-work transitions) or for particular life events (such as going on a youth exchange in another country). Socialisation can be a relatively passive process by which people non-consciously adopt certain attitudes and behaviours, but contemporary social scientists generally see socialisation as a process that is actively constructed and realised by the individual subject in social context. If this were not so, it would be impossible to account for non-conformity and counter-cultures with alternative norms and values.
REF: Buckingham, D. (ed.) (2007): Youth, Identity, and Digital Media, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning.
Social justice is the guarantee of human rights, while meeting fundamental human needs; striving, through redistribution mechanisms, to reduce inequalities; and securing collectively the conditions conducive to the development of the individual and his or her skills, regardless of gender, origins, race, beliefs or convictions.
REF: Council of Europe, Recommendation CM/Rec (2014)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the Council of Europe Charter on shared social responsibilities.
See also: equality; equity; gender; human rights; social exclusion
The term social mechanisms refers to a certain kind of explanations of social phenomenon, to a distinct style of explaining social phenomenon. The core thinking behind the mechanism approach can be described as explaining an event by citing an earlier event as the cause of the event we want to explain AND providing also the causal mechanism, or at least suggesting one.
This view of causal explanations differs from the covering law model according to which an explanation of an event entails subsuming the event under a general law. A satisfactory explanation of this style must specify the general covering law and the conditions that make the law applicable in the specific case.
REF: Hedström, P. and Swedberg, R. (1998): Social mechanisms: An introductory essay, in: Hedström, P., Swedberg, R. (eds.): Social Mechanisms: An Analytical Approach to Social Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
An obstacle in general is a situation that causes an obstruction or an impediment. In the European youth field, social obstacles refer to circumstances which impede or prevent access to certain services (e.g. education system, non-formal learning, labour market). These factors may include low social capital, immigrant background and other similar circumstances.
REF: European Commission (2012): Mapping of barriers to social inclusion for young people in vulnerable situations. Policy review of research results. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
See also: Educational difficulties; ethnic minorities; inclusion; integration; nonformal learning; social capital; social class
Social Participation refers to the involvement in life situations offering interaction between an individual and the physical, social, and attitudinal environments. Social participation involves forming and maintaining social relationships in families and other social networks. Engagement in activities in youth work help young people to expand their social networks with people not involved in their families or school environment and thus is part of social participation.
See also: Participation; young people; youth work
Social recognition refers to processes that lead to a better understanding and a more positive regard of the value of youth work and non-formal learning/education by others sectors and people from your community. It points to the status and esteem (‘feel good factor') that individuals, organisations or sectors receive as a consequence of displaying certain characteristics, reaching certain achievements or engaging in certain activities – such as learning. It might also extend to material rewards, such as higher incomes for those with higher level qualifications.
See also: nonformal education; nonformal learning; youth work
Society has often been used as equating the boundaries of the nation state and has been defined as a social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. In some sociological theories society has been used to contrast ‘community’, which is characterised by strong bonds among people.
Standards and Quality Standards
Standards and quality standards are terms that can be used in several different ways. To say that an organisation uses standard methods of youth work might simply mean that it uses what the commentator judges to be the usual methods, that is, those used most commonly. The comment might well also convey the judgement that the methods in question are those generally recognised in the youth sector to be appropriate. This carries the suggestion that standard methods reflect professional norms, that is, they are seen to be good and valuable methods. At this point the term standards takes on a distinctive flavour, because it introduces the idea that some youth work methods are better than others (depending, of course, to some extent on the purpose and the participants). This raises the question of the bases for such quality judgements, which take the form of criteria, that is, attributes that should be present (or not present in some instances) if a particular youth work activity and its methods are to be seen as of good quality. The criteria that are applied are not necessarily the same for all cases, although some criteria may apply in all cases.
See also: Methods; youth work
Stereotypes are generalisations about a group of people whereby we attribute a defined set of characteristics to this group. These classifications can be positive or negative, such as when various nationalities are stereotyped as friendly or unfriendly.
The purpose of stereotypes is to help us know how to interact with others. Each classification has associations, scripts and so on that we use to interpret what they are saying, decide if they are good or bad, and choose how to respond to them (or not).
It is easier to create stereotypes when there is a clearly visible and consistent attribute that can easily be recognised. This is why people of colour, gay people and women are so easily stereotyped. We often accept stereotypes from other people. People from stereotyped groups can experience an apprehension (stereotype threat) of being treated unfairly.
Stereotyping can be subconscious, where it subtly biases our decisions and actions, even in people who consciously do not want to be biased.
REF: Changing minds: Stereotypes.
See also: Discrimination; ethnic minorities; gay; gender; prejudice
Structured Dialogue is a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation, and follow-up of policies that takes place between the EU, national institutions and civil society. In relation to youth, it implies reflection on the European cooperation in the youth field.
It involves regular consultations of young people and youth organisations at all levels in EU countries, as well as dialogue between youth representatives and policy makers at EU Youth Conferences organised by the Member States holding the EU presidency during the European Youth Week.
The Structured Dialogue focuses on a different overall thematic priority for each of its 18-month work cycles (set by the Council of Youth Ministers). The thematic priority of the Trio Presidency (Italy, Latvia, and Luxembourg) for the period July 2014 - December 2015 is youth empowerment.
REF: European Commission, Structured Dialogue.
See also: Civil society; empowerment
In sociology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people within a parent or dominant culture that differentiates itself from the larger culture to which it belongs. Members of a subculture often have beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture. Subcultures however differ from counter- or contracultures which tend to define themselves as oppositional to the dominant culture.
Subculture is a group that serves to motivate a potential member to adopt the artefacts, behaviours, norms and values characteristic of the group.
REF: Muggleton, D. (2007): Subculture. In Ritzer, G. (ed.): The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
See also: Culture; cultural differences; cultural diversity
Summative Evaluation or Assessment
Summative evaluation or assessment refers to assembling a picture of the outcomes of an activity in relation to the aims and purposes with which it began and/or in relation to a set of performance criteria that apply to all comparable activities. This kind of evaluation or assessment places the primary accent on comparing the starting and ending points of a process, but is less concerned with what happened along the way.
See also: Assessment; evaluation; formative evaluation
Teacher is the word traditionally used to refer to those who shape, guide and accompany learning processes in schools, colleges and – to some extent – higher education. They may teach vocational subjects, but it is not common to use the word ‘teacher' for those who work in company-based contexts.
See also: formal education; formal learning
The third sector is constituted by all those organisations that are not-for-profit and non-government, together with the activities of volunteering and giving which sustain them. These organisations are a major component of many industries including community health services, rural, education, housing, sport and recreation, culture and finance.
While they differ between themselves, Third Sector organisations differ as a group from for-profit businesses and from government departments and authorities.
Third Sector organisations vary greatly in size and in their activities. They include neighbourhood associations, sporting clubs, recreation societies, community associations, chambers of commerce, churches, religious orders, credit unions, political parties, trade unions, trade and professional associations, private schools, charitable trusts and foundations, some hospitals, welfare organisations and even some large insurance companies.
Many terms are used to refer to third sector organisations in different industries and countries. These include non-profit, non-government, community, voluntary, club, society, association, cooperative, friendly society, church, union, foundation and charity.
The name third sector has gained international acceptance as a positive and inclusive term.
The centrality of the third sector to the well-being of society, economy and polity is coming to be widely recognised, even if there is a need to build an infrastructure of knowledge about it to be drawn upon by those working in the sector, by policy-makers, by the media and by the wider public whose commitments create and sustain it.
REF: Australian and New Zealand Third Sector Research Inc (ANZTSR).
See also: Civil society; knowledge; volunteering
Tolerance of Ambiguity
Tolerance of ambiguity refers to the capacity of a person to tolerate the simultaneous presence of diverging approaches, expectations and needs (that are often based on diverging values, norms, attitudes and beliefs), to accept the consequential contradictions and uncertainty, and to utilise the resulting richness and diversity, in particular when solving a problem or taking a decision.
In educational contexts and, more specifically, in intercultural learning, the concept means the ability to recognise cultural differences positively, to accept multiple uncertainties generated by intercultural encounters, and to deal constructively with and learn from the resulting ambiguity.
REF: Adapted from Lauritzen, Peter (1980s): Selected Remarks on 'Role' in Simulation Games and Training Situations and Otten, Hendrik (1997): Ten theses on the correlation between European youth encounters, intercultural learning and demands on full and part-time staff in these encounters.
See also: Culture; cultural differences; cultural diversity; interculturality; intercultural learning
Training is a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for a certain purpose (job, art, sport). In the European framework, the term has different meanings depending on the context. In the youth sector, training aims to empower young people at large through developing knowledge and competences for personal and (increasingly) professional life that are intrinsically relevant and useful for young people and youth professionals as individuals, as citizens and as employees/self-employed workers (including youth leaders, youth workers, youth trainers, youth researchers, youth policy-makers).
Those working as learning facilitators in the youth field use the term ‘trainer' to distinguish themselves from ‘teachers', a term that is generally used to refer to learning facilitators who are employed in formal education contexts and especially in schools, but also in higher education (as in the phrase ‘university teachers'). They will often use the phrase ‘non-formal youth trainer' to make it clear that they do not work in formal education settings and are not subject to state regulation of their profession. They typically subscribe to humanistic education ideals.
In the education sector, training refers to learning facilitators (trainers) in paid employment who work in vocational education and training contexts, whether in vocational schools, training colleges or in workplace settings. In these contexts, trainers typically hold specifically relevant formal qualifications in a defined trade or occupation. They convey their conceptual knowledge and practical skills to the learners (trainees, apprentices, new recruits).
See also: citizens; competences; formal education; lifelong learning; qualifications; teacher; young people; youth facilitator; youth leaders; youth policy makers; youth researchers; youth trainer
This is an umbrella term used to include transsexual people, transvestites and cross-dressers, as in ‘the transgender community’.
REF: The Gender Trust
See also: LGBTQI, transgender person; trans man/ woman; transsexual person
A person who, like a transsexual person, transitions – sometimes with the help of hormone therapy and/or cosmetic surgery – to live in the gender role of choice, but has not undergone, and generally does not intend to undergo genital surgery.
REF: The Gender Trust
See also: LGBTQI; transgender; trans man/woman; transsexual person
Trans Man/ Woman
A term that is used by some trans people (transsexual and transgender people) who are open about their status and do not fear the consequences of their pasts being revealed or who believe that transition does not mean they become men or women. A generic term that the trans community wishes to see used in documents, policies, statutory instruments etc.
REF: The Gender Trust
See also: LGBTQI; transgender; transgender person; transsexual person
A person who feels a consistent and overwhelming desire to transition and fulfil their life as a member of the opposite gender. Most transsexual people actively desire and complete gender reassignment surgery.
REF: The Gender Trust
See also: LGBTQI; transgender; transgender person; trans man/woman; transsexual person
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in force on 2 September 1990. It is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. It requires that states act in the best interests of the child. Under this Convention, a child is any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under a state's own domestic legislation.
REF: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child.
See also: European Convention on Human Rights; human rights
If someone is unemployed it means a person is without work but is available for either paid employment or self-employment. OECD definitions state that an unemployed person is someone who has taken active steps to find work over the previous four weeks.
REF: OECD (2014): Factbook 2014: Economic, environmental and social statistics.
See also: Longterm unemployed; NEET; Youth Guarantee
The overall aim of validation is to make visible and value the full range of qualifications and competences held by an individual, irrespective of where these have been acquired. The purpose of this validation may be formative (supporting an on-going learning process) as well as summative (aiming at certification).
The validation of non-formal and informal learning is also considered a top priority by several NGOs, for the modernisation of education and training systems in Europe.
REF: European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (2012): Validation - LLL-Mag #1, European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture (2009): European Guidelines for Validating Non-formal and Informal Learning, Luxembourg.
See also: Accreditation; certificate; certification; competences; evaluation; qualification
Voluntary activities are understood as comprising all kinds of voluntary engagement. They are characterised by the following aspects: open to all, unpaid, undertaken of own free will, educational (non-formal learning aspect) and added social value.
REF: European Commission (2004): Communication from the Commission to the Council, COM (2004) 337, 30.4.2004 - Proposed common objectives for voluntary activities among young people in response to the Council Resolution of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field.
See also: Citizenship; certification; European Voluntary Service; multidimensional citizenship; voluntary sector; voluntary service; volunteering
The voluntary sector (also non-profit sector or ‘not-for-profit’ sector) encompasses social activities undertaken by non-governmental and non-profit organisations. Another term to define it is ‘third sector’ by contrast with the public sector and the private sector.
See also: Civil society; European Voluntary Service; voluntary activities; voluntary service; vounteering
Voluntary service is understood as being part of voluntary activities and is characterised by the following additional aspects: fixed period (no matter if short or long-term); clear objectives, contents and tasks; structure and framework; appropriate support, legal and social protection. The European Commission supports the European Voluntary Service (now part of the Erasmus Plus Programme), setting quality standards for it. The European Voluntary Service (EVS) offers young people the opportunity to express their personal commitment through full-time voluntary work in a foreign country within or outside the EU.
REF: Youth in Action program (2011): EVS training and evaluation cycle. Guidelines and minimum quality standards and European Commission (2004): Communication from the Commission to the Council, COM (2004) 337, 30.4.2004 - Proposed common objectives for voluntary activities among young people in response to the Council Resolution of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field.
See also: Civil society; civic service; Erasmus Plus; European Commission; European Voluntary Service; voluntary activities; volunteering
Volunteering refers to an activity or a set of activities which take places through a non-profit or a community organisations, with no financial payment for the work done by the volunteer. The volunteering experience might be portrayed as a set of learning opportunities and personal or professional development for the volunteer, having as aim to be of benefit to the community. The volunteer involved with the activities might be a professional in the field offering the expertise and aiming at supporting the individuals and impacting the communities’ development, or might be ones involved with activities with no link to their profession, but driven by personal motivation and willingness to help.
REF: The Centre for Volunteering, What is Volunteering?
See also: Civil society; European Voluntary Sector; Erasmus Plus; voluntary activities; voluntary sector; voluntary service
Vulnerable Young People
In their attempt to support all young people across Europe, the European institutions have used different terms to address the most disadvantaged young people. This includes ‘young people with less opportunities’, and ‘vulnerable young people’.
Vulnerability has both a structural and a relational component, meaning that:
- Some persons/groups become vulnerable as a consequence of the social organisation of a given society
- “An accumulation of negative experiences in contact with social institutions leads towards a negative social perspective”
At the European level several initiatives exist that try to accumulate knowledge about the challenges faced by young people in a vulnerable situation. To provide an example, the Partnership between EU and CoE in the youth field has launched a project on mapping of barriers to social inclusion for young people in vulnerable situations. This is in order to explore obstacles around Europe and show concrete examples of how policy and practice have helped overcome obstacles in specific contexts.
REF: Vettenburg, Nicole et al. (2013). Societal vulnerability and adolescent offending: The role of violent values, self-control and troublesome youth group involvement. European Journal of Criminology, 10 (4), 444-461
Additional information: EU-CoE Youth Partnership aims and objectives.
See also: Council of Europe; disability; educational difficulties; exclusion; NEETS; social exclusion; social inclusion; young people; young people with fewer opportunities
In general, a “White Paper” is an authoritative report or guide helping readers to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. In the public sector White Papers are policy documents containing background information and proposals for action in a specific political area.
Commission White Papers are documents containing proposals for Community action in a specific area. In some cases they follow a Green Paper published to launch a consultation process at European level. When a White Paper is favourably received by the Council, it can lead to an action programme for the Union in the area concerned.
An example of a White Paper is the White Paper on Youth. This was adopted in 2001 as a reaction to economic and sociocultural changes that had significantly affected European youth. It was adopted in the hope of meeting the expectations of young people by giving them the means to express their ideas and to make a greater contribution to society. The White Paper proposed a new framework for cooperation consisting of two components: increasing cooperation between EU countries and taking greater account of the youth factor in sectoral policies.
REF: Europa - Summaries of EU legislation, White Paper and Europa - Summaries of EU legislation, White Paper on Youth.
See also: young people
A young offender is a young person who has been cautioned or convicted for a criminal offence. Each country has its own age of criminal responsibility and its own laws and practices with regards to the prosecution of young people. In many European countries young offenders will be prosecuted in a youth court and, if convicted, will either be given community rehabilitation or will be sentenced to time in a specialist young offenders’ institution.
See also: vulnerable young people; youth justice
Young people are persons 13 – 30 years old. For the purposes of European youth policies this age is used both by the European Commission and Council of Europe.
REF: Council of Europe and European Commission Research Partnership: Report of the Research Seminar ‘The Youth Sector and Non-formal Education/Learning: working to make lifelong learning a reality and contributing to the Third Sector', Strasbourg 28-30 April 2004.
See also: Council of Europe; European Commission
Young People with Fewer Opportunities
Young people with fewer opportunities are young people that are at a disadvantage compared to their peers because they face one or more of the situations and obstacles. These can be either social, economic or geographical obstacles, disabilities, educational difficulties, cultural differences or health problems.
REF: European Commission (2007): Inclusion strategy of the “Youth in Action” programme (2007-2013), Brussels.
See also: Cultural differences; disabilities; educational difficulties; social exclusion; social obstacles; geographical obstacles; vulnerable young people
Youth councils are a form of youth involvement in a participatory decision making process. There are various forms of youth councils depending on their structure, on how they are elected, on which level they exist, which young people or groups of young people they represent.
Youth councils can exist on local/communal, regional, national, international level but also on the level of institutions or organisations (like schools, universities, unions) as well as representative bodies for certain groups of young people (e.g. Roma). Furthermore, the involvement of youth councils in decision making processes can differ strongly - from information to consultation or even budgeting competences.
See also: Competency; co-production; National Youth Councils; participation; participation – ladder; young people; youth parliament
The exhaustive lifelong learning programme glossary provides definitions of terminology used within the context of this programme (European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture)
This glossary contains 233 terms relating to European integration and the institutions and activities of the EU. The definitions explain how the individual terms have evolved and provide references to the Treaties, if necessary. Historical background, how the institutions work, what the procedures are, what areas are covered by a Community policy - the answers to these questions and many others can be found by following these links. The definitions are available in the eleven languages which were the official languages of the European Union before 1 May 2004 (Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish). The official languages of the new Member States (Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian and Slovak) will be added as and when resources allow.
Cedefop's new glossary of terms on quality in education and training is meant to promote communication and understanding between countries. It is intended for all stakeholders in education and VET, researchers; experts; those involved in improving learning curricula; and education and training providers. The glossary takes into account recent EU policy developments, including the creation of the European qualifications framework for lifelong learning (EQF) and the development of a European credit system for vocational education and training (ECVET).
This is a Glossary focusing on terms used in the context of European youth work. It is divided into 3 main categories :
- Training terminology
- Youth in Action Programme Jargon
- European Institutions and Structures
The UP2YOUTH-Glossary clarifies core concepts of the Up 2 Youth research project and is complementary to our own glossary . It informs on their origin, their use and the way they relate to one another. It has to be regarded as work-in-progress, and reflects the state of dicussions in this project.
The Juvenile Justice Glossary has been developed by the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ), a coordination group mandated by the United Nations Economic Social Council (ECOSOC). The IPJJ works to change the situation of the estimated 1.1 million children who are deprived of their liberty worldwide (UNICEF, 2008), by facilitating and enhancing the coordination of technical assistance in juvenile justice reform.
GLOSSARIES IN OTHER LANGUAGES
- German Youth Institute
The section Wissen A-Z provides in depth explanations of some concepts with relevance to youth policy and youth research (in German only)
- LAGO (in German only)
The glossary of the Working Group on Open Youth formation of Baden-Württemberg (Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Offene Jugendbildung Baden-Wütrttemberg) explains concepts used within the field of youth work and non-formal learning in Germany.
- Europasprecht (in German only)
This glossary explains concepts and terminology used by the European Institutions especially in the European Youth field.
- Glossar zentraler Begrifflichkeiten Interkulturalität (in German only)
A glossary of intercultural concepts provided by the Institut für Interkulturelle Kompetenz und Didaktik e.V. (IIKD).
- Informations- und Dokumentationszentrum für Antirassismusarbeit e.V. (in German only)
The glossary of the Centre for Information and documentation of work against racism explains concepts and terminology linked to racism, right wing extremism, intercultural perspectives and migration processes in their relation to young people with and without migration background in Germany.
- Aulaintercultural (in Spanish only)
A glossary of intercultural learning concepts provided by the intercultural education website Aula.
- Interculturaliseren (in Flemish only)
A glossary of intercultural concepts provided by the Flemsih Departement of Culture, Youth, Sport and Media
If you wish to suggest other glossaries,
feel free to e-mail us your suggestions : firstname.lastname@example.org