Youth learning at the heart of WAGGGS

17 March 2014

The secret of sound education is to get each pupil to lean for himself instead of instructing him by driving knowledge into him in a stereotyped system.

Robert Baden-Powell, Headquarters Gazette, 1912

Education girl

Following our founder’s core educational method of self-direct learning, all of us who have been involved in the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting we can agree that it has been a continuous lifelong learning experience. With WAGGGS being the largest voluntary movement dedicated to the development of girls and young women, our Educational Programme encompasses the full range of experiences planned to support this learning and development process. More specifically, Educational Programme is the sum of what youth members do (activities), how they do it (non-formal educational method) and why they do it (the purpose). It’s the planned programme of learning experiences, facilitated by adult leaders, which a young person has in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

The educational methodology of WAGGGS remains strongly based on the principles established by Baden Powell. It takes a values based approach and has 5 essential elements:

  • Learning in small groups (learn to support each other, to negotiate and make democratic decisions, to assert our needs and opinions and problem solving)
  • My path, my pace (each individual within a group is given the choice around what, and how they learn)
  • Learning by doing (actively engaging with learning through challenges, experiences, games, projects and experiments)
  • Connecting with others (connect with people of different ages, genders, cultures and social backgrounds)
  • Connecting with world (citizenship in action, outdoor activities, community action, etc)

WAGGGS is working to build programme development capacity in MOs to ensure Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting programmes are relevant and exciting to the girls and young women of today, and use innovative non-formal education (NFE) methods. Non-formal education is increasingly being recognised for its vital role in developing young people who have the flexibility and resilience to thrive in a rapidly changing world, and the values and drive to change that world for the better.

In WAGGGS, non-formal education is a planned programme of personal and social education designed to improve a range of skills and competencies, outside formal educational structures. WAGGGS' non-formal educational programmes should:

  1. Have identified learning objectives
  2. Engage the learner through a varied range of activities
  3. Be accessible and inclusive
  4. Promote voluntary, learner centred, participation
  5. Support each individual’s learning pathway and learning styles
  6. Be implemented by trained leaders
  7. Have a process for monitoring and evaluation

Girl Guide and Girl Scout programmes create a safe space for the whole young person to grow. By having the chance to develop in different ways, they will develop intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally, morally and spiritually through age appropriate activities. They will be challenged to see themselves as leaders, and develop the skills, values, knowledge, behaviour and attitudes to take the lead in the wider world.

If you care about how Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting contributes to the learning and development of young people, Prepared to Learn, Prepared to Lead  is for you! This resource looks at the fundamentals of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting experience its purpose and educational method. If you would like to read a short summary of this resource you can download Learning to Thrive.

Education - Singapore brownies

Our vision for Youth Learning and Educational Programmes in WAGGGS is for our movement to:

Consistently offer high quality educational programmes;

That are relevant and exciting learning experiences;

Which attract more members and encourage existing members to stay involved;

Resulting in more girls reaching their fullest potential and taking action to change the world.

If you would like to . We invite you to join us in this exciting journey and keep up for updates as we continue to offer amazing learning experiences to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world.