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Thematic Areas

Educational Research and Lifelong Learning

Educational Research and Lifelong Learning

In today’s society, learning is one of the most indispensable activities required to succeed in an environment characterised by continuous change. Globalisation, increased competition, and the revolutionising development of information technology are only a few signs of rapidly changing social and economic conditions that create a need for continuous learning (Zhang & Nunamaker, 2003).

Lifelong Learning (LLL) emphasises the fact that learning is not synonymous with schools, and does not end with receiving a certificate. The European Reference Framework Key suggests eight key competencies for LLL such as: Communication in the mother tongue and foreign languages, Basic competences in science and technology, Digital competence, Learning to learn, Social and civic competences, etc. (http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/publ/pdf/ll-learning/keycomp_en.pdf)

ZSI has a long tradition in identifying requirements, designing implementation frameworks, and evaluating the impact of lifelong learning programs. In alignment with its overarching mission of promoting social innovation, most projects are based on a strongly participatory approach, giving learners a voice and putting their needs first. This includes recognising the importance of employability while not neglecting the values of social and personal competencies (Coffield, 1999).

Following a few of our reference projects, showcasing our work in the Educational Research and Lifelong Learning area:

BASIC COMPETENCES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:  The Socientize project will coordinate all agents involved in the citizen science process, setting the basis of this new open science paradigm, and promoting the usage of science infrastructures composed by dedicated and external resources that are based on professional and amateur scientists (https://www.zsi.at/de/object/project/2340)

Improvement and dissemination of DIGITAL COMPETENCES (media literacy education) via virtual learning is the main theme of Mediware project (https://www.zsi.at/de/object/project/2620).

SOCIAL AND CIVIC COMPETENCES are the heart of the Elia project,supporting training of VET teachers in Emotional Literacy (EL) so that they can better manage their relationships with students, colleagues, and other stakeholders, thereby improving classroom behaviour, motivation, academic performance, soft skills competence, and long-term employability, all while decreasing dropping out and exclusion (https://www.zsi.at/en/object/project/2016).

Supporting technologies as well as methods to acquire self-regulated and social learning skills were developed in the ROLE project, which advanced the state-of-the-art in technology enhanced learning, psycho-pedagogical theories of adaptive education, and educational psychology (https://www.zsi.at/en/object/project/916). 

References:

Coffield, F. (1999). Breaking the consensus: lifelong learning as social control. British Educational Research Journal, 25(4), 479-499.

Zhang, D., & Nunamaker, J. F. (2003). Powering E-Learning In the New Millennium: An Overview of E-Learning and Enabling Technology. Information Systems Frontiers, 5(2), 207-218. 

Contact person: Dr. Christian Voigt

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