The number of youngsters (from 18 to 24 years old) who leave school without having obtained an upper-secondary education degree and who do not follow any type of education is much higher within the Brussels Capital Region than the Belgian average. Furthermore, in comparison to the Flemish and Walloon Regions the numbers for Brussels also prove comparatively elevated. In 2014, the school dropout rate for the Brussels Capital Region was 14,4%, while 7% for Flanders and 12,9% for Wallonia. Additionally, dropout frequencies prove to be significantly higher for males than for females.
As a consequence, this group without a degree has lower job opportunities and only qualifies for jobs with lower earnings, which has great impact on their socioeconomic situation. Therefore, the issue is high on the political agenda. Europe 2020 education benchmarks aim for a reduction of early leavers to less than 10%.
School dropout is a complex phenomenon. There is a vast amount of literature covering the topic. Lack of motivation, low wellbeing at school, problematic home situation, the socioeconomic situation, and unadjusted teaching approaches are named as major causes. The present project focuses on school burnout, a term used to refer to exhaustion at school, a cynical and detached attitude towards the school, and feelings of inadequacy as a student that often precedes actual school dropout.
The objective of the research program is to develop a toolkit of adaptive mobile tools for increasing the intrinsic motivation and learning capacity of youngsters. The program will investigate opportunities and benefits of dealing with the urgent challenge of school burnout through the use of so-called persuasive technologies combined with social media and mobile technologies offered by devices such as smartphones and tablets. While using the Brussels Capital Region as a case study, the research will provide broadly applicable and adaptable tools and insights related to prevention of school dropout.
Start Date: 01-01-2016
End Date: 31-12-2020