The Building Futures evaluation framework focuses on the relationships and environments that enable young people to develop the skills and capacities to stay connected to, and thrive in, learning.
Many organisations who work with disengaged young people are at the whim of funding trends to keep operating. They instinctively know what enables young people to stay connected to learning, but have few resources to develop an effective evidence base to prove it.
Learners’ success is often measured through school attendance and completion rates yet these measurements fail to capture the complex and diverse ways in which young people actively learn.
While some organisations have developed their own ways of identifying practices that work, there is no national picture that captures what these organisations do, identifies common themes and highlights gaps in what is being measured and known. There is often a lack of evidence about what is working, and that much of the work stays invisible.
The Building Futures measurement framework will enable organisations to tap into a shared, robust and sector-relevant measurement framework that will strengthen their activities, assist them in exercising quality assurance in their work and enable them to speak with greater authority to funding bodies.
Led by Professor Johanna Wyn and Associate Professor Gavan McCarthy from Melbourne University’s Youth Research Centre and eScholarships Research Centre, and drawing on new developments in archival science and digital information, this new system will ‘mesh’ rather than ‘mash’ complex data and metadata so that each organisation’s practice will remain respected, traceable and distinctive.
By March 2015, a public web-based resource will be available. Ultimately the Building Futures team hopes to build a national evidence base that will pave the way for future funding streams and policy review.
When young people talk about their education they do so far more holistically than the policy-makers and educational institutions that surround them