In 2017, the Franco-German Voluntary Service celebrates its tenth anniversary. On this occasion, a research team was brought together for a comprehensive analysis of the work completed since the program’s creation. Involved with the International Volunteering Service and the Civic Service, the program’s core areas are in culture, ecology, social issues, school and university. The FGYO is in charge of the coordination of the program with schools and universities while partner organizations coordinate the other sectors.
The Franco-German research team works to understand the program’s influence on participants and the institutions involved. The researchers are looking to conduct a review of the previous ten years while also working on developing new ideas for the program.
Methodology and procedure
The analysis phase is devoted to the study of the program’s features, objectives and structures. Attention will be given to the 25 days of training during which volunteers have the opportunity to develop their language and intercultural skills while assuming their civic responsibility. In addition, the management team responsible for the program coordination and training will also be interviewed.
Researchers also build on existing research on intercultural issues in the following areas: exchanges, gatherings and learning processes; intercultural thinking and action; and skills development. The research team also refers to publications on social and volunteer engagement, as well as current work in continuing education. This theoretical framework works as preparation for the different phases of interviews.
In the first phase, interviewees include current and former participants, representatives of the institutions involved, facilitators, officials and members of the program and management group. For the second phase, an online questionnaire will be sent to the participant group. The third phase will be devoted to interviews with all the people involved in the program in each sector. These interviews should provide an overview of the effects of the program.
The research will focus on the following questions, which revolve around participants, institutions, and programs.
- What are the participant’s educational and cultural backgrounds?
- Why are young people choosing to join the program?
- What are the effects of the program on participants’ personal and professional growth?
- Does the program foster the development of an intercultural identity?
- What effects does the program have on the institutions and the organizations involved?
- How do the institutions and the organizations evaluate the program?
- What characterizes facilitators and their work?
- What impact does specific training have on participants?
- How does the 25 days of training influence the success of the program?
- What is the role of the leadership team?
The research findings are gathered and published as an FGYO working paper.
During the program’s anniversary activities, the research team will present their first results in a pamphlet.
Research team members
- Dr. Birte Egloff, Diplom-Pädagogin, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M., Department of Pedagogy,
- Remi Hess, Professor Emeritus, Paris 8, Educational Science, Paris,
- Dr. Kenneth Horvath, Karlsruhe University of Education, Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods, Karlsruhe; Sociology, Universität Luzern,
- Delphine Leroy, Lecturer, Paris 8, Educational Science, Paris,
- Augustin Mutuale, Professor, Institut Catholique, Educational Science, Paris,
- Prof. Dr. Gérald Schlemminger, Karlsruhe University of Education, Institute of Multilingualism, Karlsruhe,
- Prof. Dr. Gabriele Weigand, Karlsruhe University of Education, Institute of Educational Studies and History of Education, Karlsruhe,
as well as university level students involved.