Investigating educational issues across Europe (ACROSS Base)
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Method Key concept: Key concepts/ themes (BALANCING COMPETENCIES
Description "During our research we developed gradually some key-concepts that were useful to analyse the empirical data from our case studies. These concepts helped us to obtain a deeper insight into the reality of youth unemployment and professional intervention and into what work, unemployment and Education, Training and Guidance mean to young adults and professionals. Those themes, that capture the essence of key domains of experience and for policy learning from this project, are: 
  • Inner logics: Navigating between dreams and realities: young adults ‘inner logics’ in relation to unemployment and the labour market.
  • Agency: Activating ‘agency’? Dilemmas of empowerment and disempowerment at the living interface of policy and practice. 
  • Interpretive Professional: Doing for or doing with? Towards the notion of ‘co-interpreting professionals. 
  • Encounter: Spaces that make a difference: Co-creating alternative cultures of learning.
Each theme chapter enables us both to foreground and background a set of insights that had meaning and power across the key spaces and the two year duration of this study. Each theme is explored in ways that stay contextualised and connected to the ground from whence its explorations and interpretations have been derived. The themes, as described above, suggest how we provide analysis that remains closely connected to action and practice choices. At the same time, we do not attempt to present some neatly distilled unity of interpretations. With each theme, we seek to convey tensions, patterns and disjunctions that have recurred in a multiplicity of specific forms, and to convey their systemic power, within the context of policy and practice within the EU and each participating country. Each ‘theme’ therefore offers a crucial and specific lens, and an opportunity for insight, yet the four chapters have been developed as an interrelated whole." (Wildemeersch et al., 2000, p. 51)
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