Education & Social Work
Education and Social Work face various challenges in modern society. In particular, globalisation has led to massive demographic changes with increasing heterogeneity in people’s socioeconomic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Moreover, social and educational contexts have changed in the face of new media, new methods, and life span perspectives. Thus, educational and social assessments and policies consistently highlight the challenges that educational and non-formal education systems face in order to deal effectively with this increasing diversity of individuals and their environments.
In the quest for new scientific knowledge and effective solutions, researchers at the University of Luxembourg adopt a wide range of approaches to understanding education and social inclusion processes from multiple angles. While cognitive scientists focus on fundamental functions, trying to understand the mechanisms of human learning in a diverse, multilingual context, educational sociologists adopt a broader systems view to relate individual learners to society at large, and educational scientists apply and develop theories to understand processes of learning and teaching with highly diverse students, allowing the development of specific and differentiated pedagogies. Social work has a pivotal function here and mediates between the demands of society and individual life worlds. Significant efforts are devoted to developing and validating new assessment methods to provide better indicators of educational achievement and learner’s fitness for the world of tomorrow. Concrete applications are designed and tested to personalise learning, reduce inequalities and increase children’s and other learners’ success in life. For assessment, learning and instruction, digital technologies play an increasingly important role and are actively being developed. Lifelong learning and guidance is a newly studied field that is essential for the development of individuals’ education and training paths. Further, practical interventions for individuals with specific needs are researched, developed and implemented. Following its global definition, Social Work promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.
A wide variety of research projects comes together in our department to highlight innovative approaches and methodologies for education, learning, and social development in highly diverse, multilingual and multicultural societies. Ranging from early childhood, through school and university and into employment, taking into account biographical life events and structural crises such like unemployment, poverty and social exclusion the different strands of research in the department contribute to gaining new understandings at the local, national and international levels.