During our second community event, teachers, learning innovators and other educational professionals came together to discuss the chances and challenges that come with working with stakeholders. Looking at a great example from an EUC course, we heard from the teacher, stakeholder and student who participated in the course what the collaboration was like for them.
How can we help each other in the design of impact-driven education? That is the question central to the community for impact-driven education. Since working with societal stakeholders is an important pillar of impact-driven education, this meeting was all about tackling that subject together.
In the EUC Basestone Research & Writing project, students from the collaboration track joined forces with Stichting Walking & Talking. This is a foundation that organizes walks between newcomers and native Dutch speakers in the city of Rotterdam so they can practice the language. Besides obtaining Dutch skills, the founders wondered if there was impact being made in additional ways. Did participants gained social capital by obtaining a local network with friends? Did they gain a professional network, or maybe even get a job through a connection made during one of the walks? Students formulated a research question based on the case description and joined the walks while interviewing participants to find out.
First, we heard about the experience from a teacher perspective. Jop Dispa shared what was different when collaborating with stakeholders and what challenges he faced. Who is responsible for what? How does assessment work with a course like this? Not only towards students, but also towards the stakeholder there are things to be considered. How do you manage expectations and communicate what ‘science’ can and can not do? How do you define impact? In this journey, he learned many lessons that were discussed with other teachers during the Q&A.
Next, the founders of Walking&Talking shared what the experience was like from a stakeholder perspective. The additional value of having students from the university joining in was very clear for them. Although the interviews from first year students may not be ‘scientific proof’ for anything, they gained valuable insights in participants’ experiences with the foundation that they didn’t have before. Insights that they now had on paper. They also noticed that for the participants, being interviewed and their opinions being heard was an important and positive experience.
Last but not least, student Vilte Novikovaite shared what the course was like from a student perspective. Coming out of the student bubble and being able to contribute to authentic challenges in the city was very important for her. The connection with the ‘real world’ is highly appreciated, as she hopes to work for an NGO and make a positive contribution to society in her career. The accessibility that Walking&Talking provided for this research helped students along the way.
After discussing the different perspectives, we held round tables to discuss the Guiding Values of working with stakeholders in smaller groups. Some key values for working with stakeholders were defined, like reciprocity. Teachers then helped each other discover what they would need to incorporate these values into their own education or work.
We look back on a successful afternoon with interesting conversations and connections being made. Want to join the community for impact-driven education? Please do, everyone is welcome! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and hopefully we will see you at our next community event on November 14.