Dr Elin Royles reflects on the WISERD Civil Society Seminar that took place at Aberystwyth University on 16 March 2016:
How do education policies and policies guiding the work of organisations working with young people attempt to influence their sense of identities?
That was the question guiding Prof Rhys Jones and Dr Elin Royles’ presentation based on their WISERD project on Education, Language and Identity: Creating Devolved Education Systems in (Scotland and) Wales at Aberystwyth University on 16 March 2016.
The presentation related to the first stage of the research in Wales and discussed the literature regarding how the education sector and youth-related voluntary organisations are perceived to influence the identities of young people.
These were compared and contrasted with the findings of their first-stage project interviews with elites working in these areas in Wales. Key themes that emerged from the discussion were the diverse ways in which both sectors influence and deepen the identities of young people, juxtaposed by the lack of explicit attention to the role of these sectors in promoting Welsh identity. Despite the extent of developments since 1999, amongst the policy relevant findings were questions regarding whether the process of implementing the Donaldson recommendations would achieve the Welsh Government’s aims of exposing young people to a more distinctive Welsh identity and the implications of evaluation indicators on how the non-statutory organisations’ engage with young people.
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