Learning lab in Dutch youth work

using open badges in the youth organizing method


In a society with increasingly unequal access to opportunities and an expanding pressure on youngsters to perform, safe spaces where socially vulnerable youngsters are allowed to learn and develop valuable skills are highly important. In the Youngsterdam project, professional youth workers support these youngsters in organizing their own activities through applying the method Youth Organizing. This youth work method invites and motivates youngsters to organize activities initiated by themselves. Through these non-formal learning experiences, youngsters experience positive encounters with peers and others from their neighbourhood – increasing their social participation – have the opportunity to develop their talents, and gain insights into their future. In addition, they could learn to bear responsibility and gain useful communication and organization skills. <br/>Innovative in this approach is the application of Open Badges: a digital system for the (international) recognition of non-formal learning experiences. This tool can enhance youngsters’ learning process by continuously motivating them to learn and allowing for (self-)recognition of skills and experiences.<br/>In a learning community of youth workers, researchers, students and social work educators we aim to co-create knowledge focused on the following question: To what extent does Youth Organizing in combination with Open Badges motivate youngsters to gain new learning experiences in a voluntary, non-formal learning environment? Under supervision of researchers, Social Work students will obtain empirical data through structured observations and in-depth interviews with youngsters and youth workers. Additionally, through this learning community, youth workers can reflect on their own actions and methods. Results are expected in Winter 2022.<br/>

Reference Koetsenruijter, R. A., & Hilverdink, L. J. (2022). Learning lab in Dutch youth work: using open badges in the youth organizing method. Poster session presented at ECSWR, Amsterdam.
Published by  Kenniscentrum Maatschappij en Recht 8 April 2022

Publication date

Apr 2022


L.J. Hilverdink


Research database