Quality Assurance of NonFormal Education a practice or a theory

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The results show that the while the policy documents follow both a humanist and economist viewpoints in QA framework, where from the economist viewpoint, there is usage of quite a number of measurable quality indicators, the framework predominantly fits in a humanist theoretical stance on quality of education since the policy documents are strongly grounded in the wholesome development of the learner that surpasses academic attainment alone. Such learning includes both personal and social development, with the learning process being primarily learner centred. 1. Introduction 1.1 Aim of the research and background In most societies we know little about which children participate in non-formal education and/or why their parents want the child to participate, the nature of the process or outcomes of such participation, and the sponsorship, delivery, cost or quality of such activity. … Quality is a concept that came into education policy making once education was sufficiently spread throughout society, as soon as access was secured for all, the focus switched to quality (UNESCO, 2005). A literature review was done in preparation of this research. It shows that both quality and non-formal education have conceptual challenges and that they cannot simply be combined. The challenge for quality of non-formal education is that most models are developed from either an industry perspective (Poole 2010) or from formal education perspective (UNESCO, 2005). A further analysis on non-formal education will be the basis of the work, building on the work of Colley, Hodkinson and Malcolm (2003), Colardyn and Bjornavold (2004) and the work of the Commonwealth on Learning. Quality assurance is a new concept for those youth organisations providing NFE, and this concept, although developed by the field, will need to be extensively tested and refined (European Youth Forum, 2008). This research will attempt to give solid theoretical ground to the work of the European Youth Forum on Quality Assurance of Non-Formal Education (QA of NFE). 1.2 Research question Within which theoretical framework of quality assurance in education (including lifelong learning, non-formal education and youth work) does the European Youth Forum’s work on Quality Assurance in Non-Formal Education fit, and how? 2. Literature Review 2.1 Quality as a Concept Quality is one of the most used words in discussion, research and policies about education and in society in general. Yet its meaning is disputed both in a political as in a semantic sense. Even in the most developed Quality Assurance field, that of higher education, the