WERA is an association of major national, regional, and specialty education research associations, mainly dedicated to developing networks. The purpose of International Research Networks (IRNs) is to advance education research worldwide on specific scholarly topics. The WERA-IRN EXTENDED EDUCATION is a collaborative group of scholars working on this research topic.
From childhood to adolescence, young people enroll in various public or private forms of educational arrangements outside regular school time. They participate in school- or community-based programs, forms of private tutoring or after-school activities like art courses as well as extracurricular activities at all-day schools.
In learning societies today, there has been an increase in out-of-school and extracurricular learning in childhood and in adolescence compared to the past. The last 10 to 20 years have seen numerous efforts to expand institutional learning and care opportunities to supplement (traditional) schooling in almost every modern country in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia.
In all these continents and countries, these activities and programs focus on the social, emotional, and/or academic development of children and young people. They are educationally structured to make it easier for the participants to learn specific contents.
Extended education programs have many common institutional features as well as several similar education-related pedagogical problems, regardless of whether they are extracurricular activities at German all-day schools, summer camps in the United States, or activities at Swedish leisure-time centers. Thus, international research focuses on similar problems and similar features of these educational settings.
The aim of the WERA-IRN EXTENDED EDUCATION is to bring together different research perspectives, to synthesize the state of research worldwide in this new field of extended education, and to enhance international research collaboration.