Handbook

The Be creative! Handbook aims to provide in depth information about basic concepts, definitions and innovative methodological approaches for using ART & CULTURE in positive and dialogical ways in the classroom settings and in non-formal and informal learning environments. 

The handbook is a trainers’ guide explaining, amongst other things, how the Training kit (O1) and its resources could be effectively used to assist in the delivery of a coherent programme and includes assessment and evaluation strategies and tips. 

What can you find in our handbook? 

The Handbook provide an insight into the topic including: 

  • Theoretical introduction, approaches and general notions on insertion and integration of vulnerable adults using Art & Cultural activities and techniques, 
  • Conceptual knowledge and methodological support for trainers, 
  • Good practices, successful and inspiring experiences, 
  • Testimonies of users (trainers) and beneficiaries (trainees) of this training during the piloting stage, 
  • Useful information, additional readings and recommendations

We hope you will enjoy reading and working with the Be creative! Handbook! 

Chapters

Handbook for Educators to use efficiently art and culture in training settings

Purpose?

This Trainers’ guide (called Be Creative! Handbook) consists of a Capacity Building Toolkit Framework that will set the methodology and guidelines to equip educators (Train the Trainers) with the needed didactic resources to set up and conduct training sessions using art and culture to empower vulnerable target groups (trainees) to cope with soft skills.

The Toolkit includes all the teaching and learning resources needed to develop course content, to set up training sessions and to deliver the course to the designated target groups. It includes handouts, worksheets, digital tools, assessment and evaluation tools, references and links to additional teaching and learning resources.

The teaching and learning resources have some wide applications. They can be used in a wide variety of contexts and in different countries to help adult educators develop and improve their digital (O3 – Portfolio) and didactic competences for supporting the delivery of courses to vulnerable adults. As a whole, the course for adult educators will be particularly relevant also to adult educators who are not teacher-trained and may not have a background in education and/or in the specific fields covered by the project. The Toolkit material and final blended session training could be replicated in different educational contexts, formal and non-formal and in different countries, and may require some adaptation to suit the local situation.

Aims?

Be creative! Handbook aims to provide in depth information about basic concepts, definitions and innovative methodological approaches for using ART & CULTURE in positive and dialogical ways in the classroom settings and in non-formal and informal learning environments.

The handbook is a trainers’ guide explaining, amongst other things, how the Training kit (O1) and its resources could be effectively used to assist in the delivery of a coherent programme and includes assessment and evaluation strategies and tips.

The Handbook provide an insight into the topic including:

  • Theoretical introduction, approaches and general notions on insertion and integration of vulnerable adults using Art & Cultural activities and techniques,
  • Conceptual knowledge and methodological support for trainers,
  • Good practices, successful and inspiring experiences,
  • Testimonies of users (trainers) and beneficiaries (trainees) of this training during the piloting stage,
  • Useful information, additional readings and recommendations

1.1 Introduction

For many years, it has been noted in many European territories that art and culture are tools that encourage the exercise of citizenship and living together (harmonious coexistence).

The experience of artistic and cultural creation enables young people and adults to develop useful and necessary transversal skills and competences to find their place in society, to improve their relationship with the world around them and to promote their power to act. Based on the experience gained from workshops, outings and/or artistic and cultural projects, each person can then transfer their skills and competences to other life situations.

1.2 Theoretical background and some definitions

Our manual allows the development of transversal skills of young people and adults. These people can be in a training programme, in a group in a social integration process…

It is important to know what we are talking about in order to situate ourselves for a better understanding.
Therefore, we propose a simple and accessible definition of some notions:

Non-formal education is (…) voluntary, accessible to all; it is an organised process with an educational aim; it is participatory and learner-centred; it aims at the acquisition of life skills and active citizenship; it is based on individual as well as group learning, within a framework of a broadly collective approach; it is action and experience-based, starting from the needs of the participants”. (Source: Council of Europe).

Informal education “(…) refers to a lifelong learning process, whereby each individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from the educational influences and resources in his or her own environment and from daily experience.”
Informal education refers to learning that results from activities related to daily life experiences, work, family, or leisure. “(…) Non-formal learning typically takes place in community settings: swimming classes for small children, sports clubs of various kinds for all ages, reading groups, debating societies, amateur choirs and orchestras, and so on.”

(Source: Council of Europe).

Popular education contributes to the constant transformation of society by helping to build educational, economic, social and political alternatives in which individuals are co-authors of their own future. The fundamental values it defends and which underpin its action are emancipation, cooperation, solidarity and justice. It works, in a perspective of experimentation and confrontation of the points of view of each citizen, to modify social relationships by intervening on representations, beliefs and opinions. Its objective is to establish in action the equal participation of each person in a continuous democracy that is the product of a rich and diversified life in society. (Source: CNAJEP Charter).

Transversal skills and competences (TSCs) “(…) are learned and proven abilities which are commonly seen as necessary or valuable for effective action in virtually any kind of work, learning or life activity. They are “transversal” because they are not exclusively related to any particular context (job, occupation, academic discipline, civic or community engagement, occupational sector, group of occupational sectors, etc.).” (source: ESCO).

Empowerment and emancipation: “To define empowerment as a process of gaining control. It is a process that leads to an outcome. It is a process of gaining control over what is important to oneself, one’s loved ones or the community with which one identifies. So it is the possibility of being able to regulate the elements of one’s life. In concrete terms, this refers to the ability to influence or regulate events in daily life that are of particular importance to us.” (Source: Yann Le Bossé).

Developing the ability to have a grip on the world: to overcome prejudices, to displace the assignment of a place, to broaden one’s understanding of the world and of relationships between people – to act and to experiment – and to engage in a reflective process.

1.3 Methodology and approaches to teach the subject

The manual we propose is a tool to support the acquisition and development of Transversal skills and competences (TSCs) when carrying out art & culture activities.

Our approach is in line with the current trend of so-called “active” pedagogy, i.e. methods which propose to put the participant at the heart of his or her learning:

  • the participant develops skills by doing. It is a learning process for experience. Doing, solving a problem, acting to carry out a project and reflecting on what you have done. (Source: J. Dewey).
  • the participant develops skills by doing with … him-/herself or with others.

With him-/herself: s/he is faced with his/her capacities and resources to resolve a situation. It is also a question of developing a way of doing things, of trying, of daring, of perhaps making a mistake and of being encouraged to start again.
With others: s/he is in collaborative learning, (socio-constructivist current), the development of his/her competences is carried out through the social interactions necessary for the achievement of the activity.

The particularity of our manual is that it is only based on scenarii, exercises and games with different problems to be solved. All problems have an artistic dimension, such as acting, plastic arts, painting, podcasts or film and video.

It is not necessary to have any knowledge and skills. The approach allows you to experience, to seek information, to appropriate the knowledge of a work…

Each situation invites us to reflect on what we do and how we do it… what was played out alone or as a part of a group. This reflective approach is important because it helps to make sense of the exercise and to develop skills.

Methodology of use:

Several modalities are possible:

  1. If the time of participation of the persons allows it: several weeks, or even several months, in a professional training process, in the framework of a civic service, of the realisation of a common project… weekly time may be allocated to carry out the activities, in whole or in part, in order or in disorder.
  2. If the time of participation, of presence of the people within your organisation is limited:
    • The whole process can be presented and participants specify which Transversal skills and competences (TSCs) they want to achieve.
    • The trainer makes an informed choice of the TSCs to be proposed if s/he has identified and determined the TSCs to be worked on in priority.
    • The trainer chooses the TSCs more or less randomly according to the artistic expressions proposed.

1.4 Tips and recommendations for users (Educators)

  1. In order to facilitate the workshop, it is important that the trainer takes the time to test the sequence beforehand… This allows him/her to anticipate any difficulties or obstacles that the participants might face (time management, understanding of the instructions, support, space for execution…).
  2. Keep a record of the achievements and the duplicate of the group and individual evaluation sheets: at the end of the course, the participants could be given a booklet of tackled TSCs including description of the content and the indicators.
  3. Foster and help participants to use portfolios to track their achievements and progress.

1.5 Resources

2.1. Introduction

Soft skills or transversal skills and competences (TSC) are becoming more and more important, both for insertion into the labour market and for social integration. Hard skills provide solutions to technical problems, but crises are not only solved in a technical way, but also rather in an adaptive way such as those provided by TSC. TSCs comprise a series of social competencies that enable people to relate to their peers. Although they are closely linked to one’s personality, they can be improved and, despite their intangible nature, are highly valued by companies today. Work is also a tool in the fight against social exclusion, improving soft skills increases chances of getting a job so adult education in soft skills is an important aspect of trying to reduce the risk of social exclusion and vulnerability.

2.2. Theoretical background and some definitions

A vulnerable person is one who has a weakened personal, family or relational and socioeconomic environment and, as a result, has a risk situation that could trigger a process of social exclusion. The level of risk will be higher or lower depending on the degree of deterioration of their environment.

Risk of social exclusion; the definition of risk of social exclusion comes from the European Commission. According to this, people are at risk of social exclusion when the following 3 cases occur:

  1. When 60% of the country’s minimum wage is not reached, even when receiving state support.
  2. When there is long-term unemployment in a large part of the family. We are talking about only 20% of the days worked by the adults living in this house (between 19 and 59 years old).
  3. When people are unable to access more than 4 of these 9 points:
    1. Paying rent or utility bills
    2. Adequate heating
    3. Not being able to meet unexpected expenses
    4. Eating equivalent Meat, Fish or Protein every 2 days
    5. A week’s vacation away from home
    6. A car
    7. A washing machine
    8. A colour television
    9. One telephone

Social integration: We can define social integration as a process that responds to the satisfaction of demands, needs and interests, based on the promotion of the people involved, empowering their participation so that they become the protagonists of their own life history. Social integration boosts personal self-esteem and increases the individual well-being of those who interact with others. Economic precariousness is often linked to social exclusion.

Labour insertion are the actions carried out to integrate, accompany and incorporate into the labour market those groups of people with difficulties in the regulatory access to employment. Therefore, the objective of labour market integration measures is that people who, due to their socioeconomic situation, are at risk of social exclusion, get a job according to their knowledge, needs and skills. Ensuring their full insertion into the labour market is important not only to respect individual rights, but also to add values and knowledge that are equally potential and particular, and thus achieve more varied and complete teams and, therefore, fairer, more egalitarian and equitable societies.

Transversal skills and competences (TSCs) are learned and proven abilities which are commonly seen as necessary or valuable for effective action in virtually any kind of work, learning or life activity. They are “transversal” because they are not exclusively related to any particular context (job, occupation, academic discipline, civic or community engagement, occupational sector, group of occupational sectors, etc.).

Hard skills are those technical skills that a professional possesses. Thus, we are talking about skills acquired throughout professional life, or in an academic institution, and which allow the professional to perform his or her job. Hard skills are those skills that can be learned through training, assessed, and accredited through certification or professional experience. Among the most typical hard skills are many skills that we are taught at school, such as foreign languages or computer skills.

2.3. Methodology and approaches to teach the subject

There are different methodologies and approaches to improve soft skills.

Rationale theoretical and methodological develop of a strategy for soft skills from initial education

This methodology was published in March 2016 in the scientific journal “ecociencia”. The article describes the general features of a strategy for the development of soft skills in initial teaching students. Sociological theories highlight the influence of the environment for the development of creativity, as a potentiator and enabler. These theories highlight the cultural and interpersonal approach to creativity and understand it as a process of accommodation of the healthy individual to the environment. They emphasise the role of the family and the school. The proposed strategy requires the teacher to be a creative role model for the children, both in the way they think and the way they do things. Also, show the child the topic you are interested in and participate with him, to encourage him to develop his creative interests.

Principles of the soft skills training strategy:

A principle is associated with a value system in force in a community; in the case of the research in this article, the value system was that of the educational community itself, where the skills to be achieved are reflected.

Once the school defines the objectives:

Subordination to the mission and vision of the educational entity. The formation of skills will be linked to the supreme objectives of the school, independently of the initiatives developed by the school’s directors and teachers.

Long, medium and short-term planning. The strategy must contemplate, in the different periods, the skills to be achieved. Improvisation should be avoided.

Evaluation and continuous improvement. The situation with respect to the acquisition of skills is evaluated and the changes demanded by the reality of the course are introduced.

Inclusion. The actions established in the strategy indicate a way of acting for all those involved in the process..

In addition, it is important to incorporate the following actions:

  • Develop initial diagnosis.
  • Learning in teams. In the lesson plans, activities will be incorporated that facilitate the combination of classroom content with aspects learned in the family or social environment.
  • Create knowledge maps
  • Develop brainstorming sessions.
  • Evaluate the soft skills training achieved. At the end of each period, the status of the soft skills achieved, which were selected according to the diagnosis made, will be evaluated, according to the diagnosis made

In this strategy, teacher training is essential. Although this strategy is designed for the initial education of children, it is easily adaptable to adult education.

The Dreyfus model

The Dreyfus model was created by the brothers Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus. The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition explained that students learn through five stages of skill development: novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert.

Source: own elaboration

The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition is a model that can be used to assess the level of competency and skill development of people who are learning something new. This model is not new but is still relevant today and a frequent model used in pedagogy and to assess an individual’s level of expertise. According to the Dreyfus brothers, people learn from direct instructions and practice. It is assumed that the more one practices following rules and procedures, the more experienced and competent one becomes at a job or task. Over time, as one gains more experience, one no longer relies on direct rules and procedures.

Stages:

  • Novice: In this phase the student is expected to have no background with the area of knowledge he/she is about to learn. For this reason, it is crucial that the student follows the rules, techniques, instructions and procedures provided. At this stage, there is little chance for the learner to be creative because he/she has no experience in the field.
  • Advanced beginner: The Advanced Beginner has already seen and practised several examples of how to apply the knowledge. This allows him/her to face different scenarios because he/she will recognize the applications of the knowledge from previous experiences, in addition, he/she feels more confident to execute a task or activity related to the application of the knowledge, following the instructions he/she has received.
  • Competent: To become Proficient, a student is expected to need approximately 2 to 3 years studying and practising the application of knowledge. The Competent can work efficiently, organised and confident in what he/she is doing based on previous experiences. They have a sense of responsibility and think of solutions because they know and have applied many rules and procedures, even varying them, depending on the context in which they find themselves. They are selective in choosing which rules and procedures to use to solve problems.
  • Proficient: When an individual reaches this stage, he/she is Capable and Qualified to understand beyond the application of knowledge. A competent individual knows the limits of the knowledge he/she has learned and its applications. They are people who can learn from the experience of others, learn from their mistakes and constantly improve. They check and test everything they apply knowledge to, and they know very well where it can and cannot be applied and where it can fail.
  • Expert: The Expert, also known as Master, no longer needs specific rules, instructions and procedures to execute a job. Due to extensive exposure and experience in the field, the Expert unconsciously applies the appropriate rules and instructions in any situation and context. An Expert uses personal intuition as a tool to achieve the most meaningful results. In addition, he continually seeks new and better ways to apply knowledge, even creating his own methods of application.

Throughout the process of skill acquisition, creativity develops as students acquire more solid knowledge of the subject matter. This approach can be used in the teaching of soft skills, but also in the teaching of hard skills, and in a transversal way it will also improve soft skills such as creativity, initiative capacity, among others.

Abraham Maslow’s model

Both soft and hard skills can be developed. In the case of hard skills the issue is obvious – for example it is enough to read the operating manual of a machine or device to develop them in a certain area – while soft skills will require the willingness to pay more attention to the way we relate to others.

This model for the acquisition of skills is divided into four stages:

  • Unconscious incompetence: at this stage not only are you unaware of what you have to do, but you also have no experience of it. This is the stage of ‘blissful ignorance’. It can be compared to blindness. I don’t know… and I don’t know that I don’t know. We do not know that we do not possess some competence. Here could also be those we call “emotional illiterates”.
  • Conscious incompetence: At this stage is when the person realises that there are things he/she does not know and decides to go ahead with the things that he/she does not know and makes the decision to go ahead with the learning process or simply prefers not to move forward and remain without knowing.
  • Conscious competence: In which you are able to do it, but applying attention and concentration. As we acquire a skill we need to be aware of each thing we do to strengthen that skill. Each step is internalised and transmitted to the brain, so that it retains the technique and then repeats it again.
  • Unconscious competence: The skill becomes a series of automatic habits, and your conscious mind is free to pursue other activities simultaneously. We do not know that we possess a competence; or better said, we do not realise that we have a competence, and we develop it automatically. When the competence is incorporated in the unconscious, its application arises instinctively, almost without thinking, automatically. Others may come to think that this ability is innate.

2.4. Tips and Recommendations for users (Educators)

Measuring soft skills is not an easy task, but in many cases it is also not easy to realise whether or not we have these skills. In this sense, continuous observation and dialogue with students is key to detecting their learning needs.

In addition, the dialogue with the students will allow us to get to know them in depth, to know their contexts, as well as their expectations. This is key when it comes to guiding them and achieving greater social inclusion.

2.5. Resources

Ortega, C.; Febles, J.; Sentí, V. Rationale Theoretical and methodological develop of a strategy for soft skills from initial education. Revista Científica ECOCIENCIA; Guayaquil Vol. 3, Iss. 3,  (Jun 2016). https://www.proquest.com/openview/bc74b2d32c557a2c3b6616bc5428d33e/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2043236

Deming, D. The Value of Soft Skills in the Labor Market. Retrieved from: https://www.nber.org/reporter/2017number4/value-soft-skills-labor-market

López, M. Modelo Dreyfus de adquisición de habilidades. Retrieved from https://www.imarv.in/modelo-dreyfus-de-adquisicion-de-habilidades/

¿Qué son las habilidades blandas y cómo se aprenden?. Educrea. January 2015. Retrieved from: https://educrea.cl/que-son-las-habilidades-blandas-y-como-se-aprenden/

Doyle, A. What are Soft Skills?. October 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-are-soft-skills-2060852

Soft Skills Predict Career Success. IEA. Retrieved from: https://ieatraining.org/soft-skills-importance-todays-labor-market/

Why soft skills and emotional intelligence are more important than ever. EURES. 27th July 2021. Retrieved from: https://ec.europa.eu/eures/public/why-soft-skills-and-emotional-intelligence-are-more-important-ever-2021-07-27_en

3.1. Introduction

Andragogical approach in education aims to encourage “deep learning” and the ability to practically apply knowledge and skills, through actively involving students in their learning process. Learners are encouraged to take ownership and control of their learning while the role of the trainer is to facilitate this process. This is done by identifying possible resources, bringing out learners’ existing knowledge and potential, challenging learners through problem-based learning, peer-learning and reflection.

3.2. Definitions and some element of the theory

Competency – the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) summarises competency as ‘more than just knowledge and skills. It involves the ability to meet complex demands, by drawing on and mobilising psychosocial resources (including skills and attitudes) in a particular context’ (OECD, 2005). It includes cognitive elements (e.g. knowing, understanding), functional aspects (e.g. the ability to do and to perform), as well as personal and interpersonal or social attributes (e.g. social, interpersonal, emotional and organisational skills).

Andragogy – a study of adult learning originated in Europe in the 1950s and was then pioneered as a theory and model of adult learning from the 1970s by Malcolm Knowles an American practitioner and theorist of adult education, who defined andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn”. Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning:

  • Adults need to know why they need to learn something
  • Adults need to learn experientially
  • Adults approach learning as problem-solving
  • Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value.

Learning environment – the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical circumstances in which learners proceed their learning process. Favourable learning environment incl.conducive learning environment is crucial to the success of learning of the adult learners.

Conducive learning environment for adult learnerscan be viewed from two perspectives; the learning environment and the learning interaction. The learning environment refers to the environment the adult learners undergo in their learning. While the learning interaction refers to the relationship that exists between the adult learner and the adult educator (facilitator). Learning interaction is one of the cardinal factors that dictate the outcome of learning among adult learners (Khalid, 2008).

Reflectiveness is the use of metacognitive skills (thinking about thinking), creative abilities and taking a critical stance. It is not just about how individuals think, but also about how they construct experience more generally, including their thoughts, feelings and social relations. This requires individuals to reach a level of social maturity that allows them to distance themselves from social pressures, take different perspectives, make independent judgments and take responsibility for their actions.

Pedagogy – is defined as “the art and science of teaching children” (Ozuah, 2005, p. 83). Pedagogy places the importance on the role of the teacher in education (Bedi, 2004). The teacher decides what students should learn, how students are taught, and when the teaching and learning process will begin. In addition, Bedi also recommends the use of the andragogical approach in doctor consultations. To ensure effective consultations, doctors need to be an active listener to patients’ ideas, concerns, and expectations. Using this patient-centred approach, doctors can establish understanding, collaboration, and enhanced relationships with patients. It is claimed that “a pedagogical approach is doctor-centred and leads to a poor consultation, with the doctor imparting information to the patient and encouraging dependency” (p. 96).

Facilitator – the word “facilitator” originates from the French ‘faciliter’ and Italian ‘facilitare’ where ‘facile’ means ‘easy’. In other words, a facilitator makes things easier. A facilitator does not take that responsibility but leaves it to the learner. The role of the facilitator is first to support the learner in taking that responsibility, plan and organise their learning, assess and reflect on it.

3.3. Enhancing adult training practices

Assisting adults to learn requires more than just knowledge and skills. It involves the ability to meet complex demands, by drawing on and mobilising psychosocial resources (including skills and attitudes) in a particular context. For example, the ability to communicate effectively is a competency that may draw on an individual’s knowledge of language, practical IT skills and attitudes towards those with whom he or she is communicating.

Individuals need a wide range of competencies in order to face the complex challenges of today’s world, but it would be of limited practical value to produce very long lists of everything that they may need to be able to do in various contexts at some point in their lives.

OECD (2005) identifies a small set of key competencies, rooted in a theoretical understanding of how such competencies are defined. Accordingly, each key competency must:

  • Contribute to valued outcomes for societies and individuals;
  • Help individuals meet important demands in a wide variety of contexts; and
  • Be important not just for specialists but for all individuals.

Therefore, the principles of training practices include as follows:

3.3.1 From teacher to facilitator of learning

Facilitating learning can be very different from one dimensional knowledge dissemination. Traditionally, a teacher is a person who primarily disseminates knowledge. Who is responsible for what students should learn, how, when, and if they have learned? Teachers are supposed to transmit prescribed content, control the way students receive and use it, and then test if they have received it.  Facilitation, on the other hand, involves accompanying people during a learning process in which they develop competencies. Facilitators create the right conditions for individuals to form knowledge and skills in a self-directed way, according to their specific needs.

3.3.2 Creating an environment that supports learning

The facilitator has an important role to help to create the right climate for learning in a group. Being open and clear about your ideas on what makes a good learning climate can help the group to start thinking about their responsibility and role in the creation of this climate. To act according to your ideas and principles is of course crucial. If you want it or not (especially at the beginning of a new group) you are observed as a role model for behaviour in the group.

The facilitator has much to do with setting the initial mood or climate of the group or class experience. If the facilitator’s own basic philosophy is one of trust in the group and in the individuals who compose the group, then this point of view will be communicated in many subtle ways.

The physical environment requires provision for physical comforts (temperature, ventilation, easy access to refreshments and rest rooms, comfortable chairs, adequate light, good acoustics, etc.) to avoid blocks to learning. More subtle physical features may make even more of an impact. Psychologists are finding, for example, that colour directly influences mood; bright colours tend to induce cheerful, optimistic moods, and dark or dull colours induce the opposite. 

Psychological environment favourable for learning in its turn consists of the following characteristics:

  • A Climate of Mutual Respect: Adults are more open to learning when they feel respected. If they feel that they are being talked down to, ignored, regarded as incapable, or that their experience is not being valued, then their energy is spent dealing with these feelings at the expense of learning.
  • A Climate of Collaboration: Because of their earlier school experiences where competition for grades and the teacher’s favour was the norm, adults tend to enter into any educational activity with rivalry toward fellow learners. Because peers are often the richest resources for learning, this competitiveness makes these resources inaccessible. There are climate-setting exercises that can be used to open courses that put the learners into a sharing relationship from the beginning for this reason.
  • A Climate of Mutual Trust: People learn more from those they trust than from those they are not sure they can trust. Facilitators of learning will do well to present themselves as a human being rather than as an authority figure, to trust the people they work with and to gain their trust.
  • A Climate of Support: People learn better when they feel supported rather than judged or threatened. Teachers of adult learners try to convey their desire to be supportive by demonstrating their acceptance of them with an unqualified positive regard, empathising with their problems or worries, and defining their role as that of helper.
  • A Climate of Openness and Authenticity: When people feel free to say what they really think and feel, they are more willing to examine new ideas and risk new behaviour than when they feel defensive. When educators show openness and authenticity, adult learners often consider them as models and adopt their behaviour.

Being open and clear about your ideas on what makes a good learning climate can help the group to start thinking about their responsibility and role in the creation of this climate. To act according to your ideas and principles is of course crucial. If you want it or not (especially at the beginning of a new group) you are observed as a role model for behaviour in the group.

3.3.3 Creating collaborative relationships

Learners need peers for support and cooperation. Learning with peers is something new for many people. The facilitator has an important role to bring people together and to stimulate them to learn together.

Some questions the facilitators could ask themselves about the group dynamics and climate:

  • Does the group allow people to have different timing/speed?
  • Does the group allow and support learners to follow different paths?
  • Do we as facilitators really accept and support all the different ways that people take?
  • Are we ready to get away from our perception about what is ‘good learning’?
  • Is there space in the programme to reflect about and to deepen the understanding of learning?
  • Is the group climate allowing for ‘making mistakes’ and ‘being vulnerable’?

3.3.4 Involving learners in mutual planning

The andragogical model emphasises learners’ sharing the responsibility for planning learning activities with the facilitator. People tend to feel committed to any decision in proportion to the extent to which they have participated in making it. The reverse is even truer: People tend to feel uncommitted to the extent they feel that the decision or activity is being imposed on them without their having a chance to influence it.

3.3.5 Support learners in identifying and meeting their learning needs

The facilitator helps to elicit and clarify the needs of the individuals for learning as well as the more general purposes of the group. If the facilitator is not fearful of accepting contradictory purposes and conflicting aims, and is able to permit the individuals a sense of freedom in stating what they would like to do, then the facilitator is helping to create a climate for learning.

3.3.6 Translating the learning needs into objectives

Having identified their learning needs, participants now face the task of translating them into learning objectives – positive statements of directions of growth. Some kinds of learning (such as identifying criteria for various steps in accomplishing a particular task) lend themselves to objectives stated as terminal behaviours that can be observed and measured. Others (such as decision-making ability) are so complex that they are better stated in terms of direction of improvement.

3.3.7 Designing a pattern of learning experiences

Having formulated the learning objectives, the facilitator and the adult learners then have the mutual task of designing a plan for achieving them. This plan will include identifying the resources most relevant to each objective and the most effective strategies and methods for utilising these resources.

When choosing a method, the facilitator should be attentive to the following aspects:

  • Feel confident and convinced about the method.
  • Whenever possible, have experienced the method fully as a participant (or be part of a team where people have had that experience and can workshop it with the rest of the team)
  • Be in a position to anticipate the outcomes but also deal with unexpected ones
  • Be aware of the place of their own opinions and interpretations, and work with the interpretations and associations of the participants
  • Make the objectives of the program unit clear, while avoiding dogmatic facilitation.
  • Try not to use methods that might cause feelings in participants or the group which cannot be dealt with during the training.
  • Accept that some people may not wish to participate in a particular exercise.
  • Have a carefully worked out strategy for debriefing and feedback, which can also be adapted to deal with unexpected outcomes.
  • Be aware that learning is a change, and that this can be an uncomfortable experience. Participants may make the method (or, indeed the trainer) responsible for their discomfort. The trainer has to carefully analyse whether the discomfort was caused by the method or by the feelings and discoveries elicited by the method.

3.3.8 Evaluating the extent to which the learners have achieved their objectives

The facilitator involves the learner in developing mutually acceptable criteria and methods for measuring progress toward the learning objectives. Then the facilitator helps the students develop and apply procedures for self-evaluation according to these criteria. Adult learning is a process through which learners become aware of significant experience. Recognition of significance leads to evaluation. Learner knows whether the learning meets personal needs. Whether it leads toward what the individual wants to know, whether it illuminates the dark areas of ignorance the individual is experiencing. Meanings accompany experience when we know what is happening and what importance the event includes for our personalities.

3.4. Tips and recommendations for educators/users

On European level it is recommended to distribute the set of key competences to stakeholders to open the debate on the competences required by adult learning professionals; to monitor the progress made in implementing the set of key competences and collect information on the feedback provided by stakeholders at all levels and in all sectors; to research possible overlap, similarities and differences between the proposed set of key competences and existing national/sector/institutional frameworks in order to take the idea of a profession/professional in this sector a stage further; to coordinate the mapping and feedback exercise and report the findings to an international coordinator (European Commission); to identify good practices in making use of the set of key competences and disseminate them; to create a network of practitioners.

3.5. Resources

Bedi, A. (2004). An andragogical approach to teaching styles. Education for Primary Care, 15, 93-108.

Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Buldioski G, Grimaldi C, Mitter S, Titley G, Wagner G.(2002) T-Kit on Training Essentials No 6. (1st ed.) Strasbourg: Council of Europe publishing.

Henschke, John A. EdD. (2014). “Andragogical Curriculum for Equipping Successful Facilitators of Andragogy in Numerous Contexts”. IACE Hall of Fame Repository.

Khalid, M.U. (2008). Creating a learner-friendly environment in all adult and non-formal education literacy centre. Journal of Nigeria National Council for Adult Education(NNCAE),16,151-158.

Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. New York, NY: Routledge.

Märja, T., Jõgi, L.&Lõhmus, M. (2021). Andragoogika. Raamat täiskasvanute õppimisest jaõpetamisest. Tartu: Kirjastus ATLEX.

OECD(2005). The definition and selection of key  competences, 27 May 2005. Retrieved from: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/definition-selection-key-competencies-summary.pdf

Ozuah, P. O. First, there was pedagogy and then came andragogy. Einstein Journal of Biology & Medicine, 21(2), 83-87.

4.1. Introduction to the chapter

This chapter will outline best approaches to navigating Be Creative’s e-platform. This will be updated more when the platform is completed. Be creative! E-learning HUB will be the e-platform, open learning system, where project materials will be uploaded and made accessible. It is addressed to both trainees and trainers to raise awareness and develop knowledge on different elements related with use of cultural activities in the training processes, through interactive learning elements like scenarios, infographics, videos and/or gamification.

4.2. Definitions and some element of the theory

Even though curiosity about how humans learn dates back to the ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, psychologists began to answer this question with scientific studies by the 19th century. The goal was to understand objectively how people learn and then develop teaching approaches accordingly. At the same time, theories in education only began to be developed in the early 20th century. They explored whether knowledge and truth could be found within oneself (rationalism) or through external observation (empiricism). (Fairbanks, 2021) This chapter will outline the use of the following educational learning theories:

Constructivism

Constructivism is “an approach to learning that holds that people actively construct or make their own knowledge and that reality is determined by the experiences of the learner”  (Elliot, Kratochwill, Littlefield Cook, & Travers, 2000, p. 256). More explicitly, constructivism theorists believe that “learners construct meaning only through active engagement with the world (such as experiments or real-world problem solving)” (Fairbanks, 2021). In fleshing out Constructivism ideas, Arends (1998) states that constructivism believes in personal construction of meaning by the learner through experience, and that meaning is influenced by the interaction of prior knowledge and new events. The learner builds upon his or her previous experience and understanding to “construct” a new understanding. (McLeod, 2019)

Zone of proximal development

Zone of proximal development is defined as the difference between a child’s “actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving” and the child’s “potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978). According to John Dewey, learning is a social activity, it is something that happens through interactions with other people rather than an abstract and isolated concept (Dewey, 1938). By the same token, Vygotsky (1978) highlighted the important role community plays in the process of “meaning making”. Hence, all learning is a matter of sharing and negotiating socially constituted knowledge. (McLeod, 2019) Building on all the above, Vygotsky (1978) affirms that social interactions from guided learning within the zone of proximal development as learners and their peers co-construct knowledge spark cognitive development. 

Socio-constructivism

Towards the end of the 20th century, the rise of the perspective of “situated cognition and learning” highlighted the crucial role of context, in particular social interaction led to a further change of the constructivist view of learning. (IBE, n.d.) In this new view, both cognition and learning are conceptualised as interactions between the individual and the situation (or context); knowledge is viewed as “situated” and is “a product of the activity, context and culture in which it is formed and utilised”. (IBE, n.d.) In other words, there was a move away from the notion that knowledge was “self-sufficient” and “independent of its context”. All this led the way to the development of a new metaphor for learning as “participation” and “social negotiation”. (IBE, n.d.)

Experiential learning

The foundations of experiential learning theories lay on social and constructivist theories of learning, however, experience is situated at the core of the learning process. According to the International Bureau of Education (n.d.), they “aim to understand the manners in which experiences – whether first or second hand – motivate learners and promote their learning”. Thus, learning is related to meaningful experiences – in everyday life – that lead to a change in an individual’s knowledge and behaviours. As stated by Carl Rogers, an influential advocate of their theories, experiential learning is “self-initiated learning” since people have an organic tendency to learn; and people learn when they are fully  implicated in the process of learning. (IBE, n.d.) More explicitly, Rogers highlights the following: (1) “learning can only be facilitated: we cannot teach another person directly”, (2) “learners become more rigid under threat”, (3) “significant learning occurs in an environment where threat to the learner is reduced to a minimum”, (4) “learning is most likely to occur and to last when it is self-initiated” (Office of Learning and Teaching, 2005, p. 9). Roger advocates a dynamic, continuous process of learning where new learning ‘results in and affects learning environments’ (IBE, n.d.).

Multiple intelligences

Howard Gardner, developed his theory of ‘multiple intelligences’ in 1983 and challenged the assumption adopted by many learning theories that ‘learning is a universal human process that all individuals experience according to the same principles’ (IBE, n.d.). Gardner’s theory also questions viewing intelligence as prevailed by a single general ability. Particularly, Garden states that every person’s level of intelligence is a collection of many distinct ‘intelligences’. These intelligences entail: (1) logical-mathematical, (2) linguistic, (3) spatial, (4) musical, (5) bodily-kinaesthetic, (6) interpersonal, and (7) intrapersonal. (IBE, n.d.)

Situated learning theory and community of practice

“Situated learning theory” and “community of practice” were developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger and draw many of the ideas of the learning theories considered above. This theory highlights that there is no learning which is not situated and promotes the recognition of “the relational and negotiated” character of knowledge and learning alongside the “engaged nature” of learning activities for the everyone involved. (IBE, n.d.) More explicitly, in accordance with the theory, learning occurs more effectively within communities. Furthermore, community social capital is developed through interactions taking place within a community of practice (e.g cooperation, problem solving, building trust, understanding and relations) and has the potential to enhance the wellbeing of the community members. (IBE, n.d.) The idea that learning is most effective when taking place within communities is promoted by Thomas Sergiovanni who argues that any learning environment should become a learner centred community.

All the above were taken into consideration during the design and development process of the e-platform. The content in the e-platform is scaffolded; meaning the design of content material is meant to assist mentors and mentees gain TSC competences through a scaffolded approach. This is done by gradually building on student current competences, knowledge and skills whilst adding in new elements of skills or knowledge gradually. This preferred method is ideal as it can be applied to persons of any age and task. (Vanderbilt University, 2022). Learners construct learning as they gradually complete each module in their own time and space while they also have the opportunity to interact within a community of other learners through the members portal of the e-platform.

4.3. How to use it efficiently

Be creative! E-learning HUB is the e-platform, open learning system, where project materials are uploaded and made accessible. It forms part of distance learning, a relatively newer form of education, and  introduces its own set of advantages. Apart from the advantage of being able to learn online, by registering and using Be Creative E-Learning HUB, learners also have:

  • Convenience and flexibility: Learners can complete the courses at their own time and space.
  • Easy access to tailored learning courses that cover a variety of topics: Since not everyone has the same learning needs, for each learning course (trainer and trainee), adaptive learning solutions were created in order to provide versatile and modular paths depending on the needs and abilities of different learners.
  • Modular design that is easy to follow: The greatest challenge of the design and development process was curating and making the resources accessible, tailored to the needs of our particular course and relevant to the learners. This process became easier due to the creation of modular online resources that can be completed in a sequential manner to use the platform more effectively.
  • Self-paced learning opportunities: There is no strict timing for the completion of the learning courses. The learners can complete the course at their own pace.
  • High quality learner and trainer interactions: Learners are more social than ever online.
  • Cost effective: The E-learning HUB is free of charge and each learner can get a certificate after the successful completion of all the modules.

E-Learning HUB is addressed to both trainees and trainers to raise awareness and develop knowledge on different elements related with use of cultural activities in the training processes, through interactive learning elements like scenarios, infographics, videos and/or gamification. Each section has a separate space on the platform and it is possible to use the different tools independently of one another.

The project platform is specifically designed and used for the needs of the project so it is possible to use it together with the course content. The platform allows assignment of individual tasks to the trainees that need to perform in real-life activity. And as each participant has an individual profile, they can comment on the assigned tasks & share their concerns – whether the task was hard, why it was so hard, how the task was fulfilled, were there any obstacles, how they were overcome, etc. The comments can be shared among other co-workers or only with the trainer.

4.4. Tips and Recommendations for educators/users

Based on research and best practices we provide some recommendations for better online learning experiences:

  • Set daily goals for studying: Setting clear goals from the beginning can help learners stay motivated and up to the different tasks. The goals need to be specific and measurable, e.g “Finish units 1-3 from module 1”.
  • Dedicated study space: It is easier for learners to recall information and stay concentrated if they have a specific area or space that is dedicated to their online learning.
  • Schedule study time on calendar: Find a reliable time that will be easier to follow and dedicate it to studying.
  • Actively take notes: Taking notes can promote active thinking, boost comprehension, and extend your attention span. It’s a good strategy to internalise knowledge whether you’re learning online or in the classroom.
  • Take breaks: Resting our brain after learning is crucial to high performance. Taking small breaks can re-energise our brain and aid concentration.

4.5. Resources 

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: Collier Books.

Elliot, S. N., Kratochwill, T. R., Littlefield Cook, J., & Travers, J. (2000). Educational psychology: Effective teaching, effective learning (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill College.

Fairbanks, B. (2021, September 9). PhoenixBlog. Retrieved 2022, from 5 educational learning theories and how to apply them: https://www.phoenix.edu/blog/educational-learning-theories.html

IBE. (n.d.). Most influential theories of learning. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from International Bureau of Education: http://www.ibe.unesco.org/en/geqaf/annexes/technical-notes/most-influential-theories-learning#:~:text=Learning%20is%20defined%20as%20a,how%20this%20process%20takes%20place.

McLeod, S. A. (2019, July 17). Constructivism as a theory for teaching and learning. Retrieved from Simply Psychology: https://www.simplypsychology.org/constructivism.html

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

5.1. Introduction

When participants enrol in the BeCreative! program, the trainer can help them to choose and define a pathway to achieve their goals. It is essential to know what you want if you are going to succeed. BeCreative! programme consists of 16 parts, called TSCs (Transversal Skills and Competences), that can be useful for developing transversal skills. Now is the time to find which ones you need to achieve your goal. First, it can be useful to identify your problem. What is it in your life you are not happy with and what do you want instead? Then it is time to figure out how you are going to get there.

On the journey to reach your goal, it is motivating to highlight it in a portfolio, where you can share your journey with family, friends and possible employers.

In our project, we focus on four type of goals connected to different areas of your life:

  • Social integration, for example to be more active and social and get more new friends.
  • Employment, for example get a new job, get a better paid job, get a job you like more, etc.
  • Keeping one’s job, for example learning strategies for being more satisfied in a job, avoiding conflict, etc.
  • Access to education/training, for example getting relevant education to get the job that you dream about instead of getting stuck in a dead end job, getting further education to get a promotion, etc.

5.2. Theoretical background and some definitions

It is important to work systematically towards the life that you want, and research shows that it is important to break the goals down into smaller ones so that it is easier to reach them. In this project we will guide you to the right pathway to reach your goals and show you how to present your goals in a way that is motivating and rewarding.

Goals are targets you set of what you want in life. In our project we will help to set adequate goals. It can be an advantage to set “SMART goals”. The SMART in “SMART goals” stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Goals that are specific and measurable are better than vague goals that you don’t know if you have reached. If you are able to identify the change you see or feel, you will be much more satisfied because it is clear to yourself that you have reached your goal. If your goals are too hard or too easy they will not help you, so it is important that you set achievable goals that are relevant to the life that you want. A time limit can also be helpful, however, that depends on the type of goal you are setting.

Motivation is important if you want to reach a goal. Motivation is derived from the word “motive”, which denotes a person’s needs, desires, wants, or urges. It is the process of urging or motivating individuals to take action in order to achieve a goal. It is therefore important that you have a goal that is genuinely your own, not a goal someone else has set for you. It is also easier to keep up the motivation if you see progress. Without motivation it is easy to procrastinate, that is to delay or postpone what you are supposed to do until later or never. Motivation can either be intrinsic, if the activity is desired because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable, or extrinsic, if the agent’s goal is an external reward distinct from the activity itself. It has been argued that intrinsic motivation has more beneficial outcomes than extrinsic motivation (Serhat, 2021). An example of extrinsic motivation can be money, so if you only work for money and not because you like your job, it might not be as fulfilling as if you have an interesting job with less pay. There are also some factors that are more important for job satisfaction, like recognition, opportunity for growth and achievement.

Self discipline is the ability to control your behaviour in a way that leads you to be more productive and/or have better habits (Resnick, 2022). Having self discipline is proven to lead to increased success. Learning self-control and discipline early in life is helpful for decades to come. But it is never too late to learn how to improve your self discipline so that your future can be a better one. Self discipline is often linked to delaying gratification, that is to do boring tasks before you can do what is fun and enjoyable. Cohen, 2017, writes that most of the important and meaningful things in life take time to achieve and take time. It is therefore important to endure painful tasks, like for example getting an education because it might lead to a better and more fulfilling job in the long run, instead of going for quick money in the short run.

A pathway are steps in your roadmap or a method to achieve your destination or the life you want to live. The psychologist Gail Matthews conducted a study showing that when people wrote down their goals, they were 33 percent more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads only (Price-Mitchell, 2018). The pathway can break down the goal into smaller steps that makes it easier to achieve.

Digital competence is one of the most important competencies in today’s modern world. In most western countries banking and governmental information is increasingly becoming digital, and if you don’t have the skills to access the information, you will be left behind. Many jobs also require digital skills. It is therefore crucial to learn how to use the computer and understand how information on the internet works. It is, for example, important to be able to separate real from fake news and be able to share important information about yourself in a secure way. To be able to use the google platform to share your skills and competencies is a huge advantage to show to the outside world what you are capable of.

A portfolio is a tool where you highlight your work; this can be printed pictures in a folder or a web-based site on the internet. In this project we suggest that each trainee should make an e-portfolio on Google sites, and we provide tutorials in order to do this. Google sites are easily shared with friends, family or employers with only a link.

5.3. How to use it efficiently

To be able to use pathways efficiently, it is important to identify each of the steps in the diagram under. The trainer should help the participant to do this by asking good questions. There are different ways to reach personal goals, and they should choose the path that gives more enjoyment and is more interesting. The trainer should identify the trainee’s interests and motivations to get a clear picture of what is achievable and perhaps give some advice.

Here are questions that the trainer can use to ask trainees in order to identify their problems and goals:

  1. Identify the problem (what do you think is negative in your life and what do you want to change?)
  2. Identify the goal (where do you want to be?)
  3. Identify the soft skills needed to achieve your goal
  4. Acquire soft skills and evolve – the trainer should follow up the progress
  5. Achieve goal

After they have discussed the goal of the trainee, they should propose a number of TSC’s that the participant should do based on their preferences.

After the trainee has done the TSC, and produced the cultural activity, they should upload pictures of the process of what they have learned on their e-portfolio. It is a good way to record progress both for yourself, your family, friends or employers.

5.4. Tips and Recommendations for users (Trainers)

Some extra tips in order to reach the goals are:

  • To achieve your goals it is important to write them down. It is therefore important to identify which TC’s you need and make a plan of when you are going to take the course.
  • It is important to share your written goals with supportive others. Help the trainee to identify who can support them. This step will significantly increase your chances of reaching the outcomes you are seeking.
  • Make the participant accountable for their goals by reporting regularly. Timelines will obviously depend on the time horizon of the goals you are pursuing.

An example of a pathway for a participant could be the following:

A woman feels lonely and comes to our centre. Her children are grown up and she feels that her life is empty. She has been working before but is unemployed now, and has little confidence that she will get another job. She feels like her life is a bit meaningless.

In order to give this woman self-confidence, it might be important to start with

TSC9 – Dealing with change. Then she perhaps should take TSC10- Engaging in self-development. Then, perhaps TSC1 – Analysing and processing information (to plan for a future, perhaps find information about taking some education). TSC14 – Collaborating with others to be better suited to work in a social environment and excel in a team.

 5.5. Resources

Cohen, Ilene S. 2017. The Benefits of Delaying Gratification. Are you avoiding pain or living with purpose? Psychologytoday.com. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201712/the-benefits-delaying-gratification

Kurt, Serhat. 2021. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory: Two-Factor. Educationlibrary.org. https://educationlibrary.org/herzbergs-motivation-hygiene-theory-two-factor/

Price-Mitchell, Marylin.  2018. Goal-Setting Is Linked to Higher Achievement. Five research-based ways to help children and teens attain their goals. Psychologytoday.com.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment-youth/201803/goal-setting-is-linked-higher-achievement

Resnick, Ariane 2022. How to Be More Disciplined . Verywellmind.com. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-be-more-disciplined-6374060

Young, Scott, H. 2022. The Science of Achievement: 7 Research-Backed Tips to Set Better Goals. Scottyoung.com. https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2022/01/11/the-science-of-achievement-7-research-backed-tips-to-set-better-goals/

THINKING SKILLS AND COMPETENCES

1. Analysing and processing information

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Presentation
  • Self-assessment
  • Peer assessment

At the end of the activity, the trainer proposes to evaluate the presentation of each participant’s work. The assessment is done in two stages: peer evaluation and self-assessment. This dual approach allows participants to compare their work with the others’ and to try to be fair in their self-assessment.

    • Each small group orally presents its work and its achievement (poster or other) to the other participants, who assess it using a grid of indicators (peer evaluation).
    • Each small group self-assesses its work against all the presentations (self-assessment).
    • The trainer also completes the indicator grid.
    • Summary of the three evaluations on a single document given to each participant.

2. Planning and organising

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Self-assessment: Each participant fills in a sheet with questions, and rates how they felt from 1 to 5 (for example: I got involved in all stages of the project / I managed my time well / I was able to communicate easily with the rest of the group / …)
  • Written exercise: Each participant takes the time to reflect internally on how they felt during the project, their involvement in the project, as well as the improvements they lived. Everyone writes a text of 5 to 10 lines, and reads them aloud.
  • Group discussion: In the group, everyone in turn speaks and explains how they felt during the activity, keeping the focus on the “planning and organising”. When they speak, they use a “talking stick”. The speaker has to speak about him/her-self (not about the others), and will not be interrupted while speaking.
  • Peer assessment: Each participant gives a strong point, an improvement, a quality,… discovered during the project, on each participant.
  • The six thinking hats (Bono): Each participant receives a hat of a certain colour (can also be a printed hat), and must evaluate the project according to the colour assigned to them. Once you have had a turn, you can also swap hats.
    • White: Information in the form of facts and figures.
    • Yellow: clarity and optimism = positive evaluation, constructive contribution.
    • Red: emotions and judgement of sensitivity, assumptions and intuition.
    • Green: creativity, the seed that germinates and grows, movement, provocation.
    • Black: warning for risks and pitfalls, why something “doesn’t work”
    • Blue: distance and control: the conductor of thought, reflection on thought.

Source: https://www.ixly.com/fr/blog/les-six-chapeaux-la-reflexion-bono

3. Addressing problems and issues

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Self-assessment : Each participant fills in a sheet with questions, and rates how they felt from 1 to 5 (for example: I managed to identify problems during the project, I found solutions, I dared to assert myself , I showed creativity,…). This allows everyone to individually reflect on where they stand.
  • Written exercise : Each participant reflects individually on a problem they encountered during the project, and writes a text on how they solved it, in the form of a story.
  • Group discussion: Each participant chooses an image presented by the facilitator (it can be images chosen and printed by the trainer, or taken from a game like “Dixit”), which represents the way in which he felt throughout the project. Everyone presents their card to the others, explaining why they chose that one to arise a group discussion.
  • Workshop #1: The group creates a common fresco (on an A3 format or even larger), and everyone adds images, words, expressions… which relate what happened during the project.

4. Creating and innovating

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Workshop
  • Self-assessment
  • Group discussion

Conversation: The following rubric is meant to inform the mentor in navigating conversations and data collected from the mentee through a variety of activities. In an ideal scenario, the mentee is able to articulate their standing with their own words.

SELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS AND COMPETENCES

5. Responding to routine requirements of task

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Presentation
  • Self-assessment
  • Peer assessment

At the end of the activity, the trainer proposes to evaluate the presentation of each participant’s work. The assessment is done in two stages: peer evaluation and self-assessment. This dual approach allows participants to compare their work with the others’ and to try to be fair in their self- assessment.

The work of each group is displayed, all participants observe and compare the accuracy of the achievements; peer evaluation

Each small group self-assesses its work.

The trainer also completes the evaluation grid

Summary of the three evaluations on a single document given to each participant.

6. Acting according to values

  • Workshop
  • Self-assessment
  • Group discussion
  • Conversation: The following rubric is meant to inform the mentor in navigating conversations and data collected from the mentee through a variety of activities. In an ideal scenario, the mentee is able to articulate their standing with their own words.

7. Acting independently and showing initiative

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Presentation
  • Individual reflection
  • Group reflection and discussion

First of all, the development of the competence will be evaluated by the practical activities and presentation of their result by the learner. During the activities the facilitator should attentively observe how they are realised and how much the participant engages in them. After the practical activities we strongly recommend to initiate individual and group reflection to support the learning process. Organised reflection is not primarily meant to evaluate learning events, although it enhances the sense making processes in evaluation and engagement in self-development. Reflection should serve the learner in the first place, not the facilitator. The questions we suggest for reflection are meant to support participants in generating their own meaning from the multiple aspects of their learning. By doing so in groups they also inspire each other, thereby learning collaboratively.

8. Managing negative factors in life and work

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Presentation: In the proposed exercises, the trainee can work on presenting their problem or a fairy tale. It is important to be able to express and describe the problem in a good way, so that others can understand it. When we work with persons with other mother tongues, it is especially important to practise presentation in the language of the country they live in presently.
  • Workshop: The workshop part is the roleplay the group has to perform for the others. In this part, the trainer can see who is more active and what kind of role each trainee takes on.
  • Self-assessment: There are questions in the end for self-assessment and to see if they learnt anything from the exercises.
  • Group discussion: When you encounter difficult situations, it is usually helpful to see it from different perspectives, and discuss it with others. Sometimes we get so stuck in old patterns that we can’t see good solutions that others might see instantly. Perhaps they have experienced similar problems themselves and can share their experience with you. The trainer can assess the trainee by their participation in the group discussion.

9. Dealing with change

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Presentation: In this TSC the trainees can sing along with a song and the trainer can assess how much the trainee participates. In one exercise, they are also going to draw/paint/write a text or poem about their safe space, and present it to the group. The trainer can assess their presentation on how easy it is to understand, the energy of the group and the quality of the product. It is more important to look at the effort rather than the product.
  • Self-assessment: Each TSC has questions in the end where each participant can reflect on what they have learnt from the exercise.
  • Group discussion: Group discussions are useful to assess how much each participant talks and supports others. Since the participants have different experiences, they can learn from each other.
  • Written exercise: The participants can write a text or a poem that they can show to the others or read out loud. The trainer can use the text for assessment: How much is written? What is the quality of the text? If many in the group chose to write a poem it is useful to show some examples and talk about what makes a text a poem.

10. Engaging in self-development

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Presentation
  • Individual reflection
  • Group reflection and discussion

First, the development of the competence will be evaluated by the practical activities and presentation of their result by the learner. During the activities the facilitator should attentively observe how they are realised and how much the participant engages in them. After the practical activities we strongly recommend to initiate individual and group reflection to support the learning process. Organised reflection is not primarily meant to assess the learning outcome, although it enhances the sense making processes in evaluation and engagement in self-development. Reflection should serve the learner in the first place, not the facilitator. The questions we suggest for reflection are meant to support participants in generating their own meaning from the multiple aspects of their learning. By doing so in groups they also inspire each other, thereby learning collaboratively.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS COMPETENCES

11. Conveying and exchanging information and ideas

The following assessment methods could be used to assess trainees’ learnings:

  • Presentation: The adult educator/ facilitator represents a brief presentation on the term “Conveying and exchanging information and ideas” with the examples from the educational process.
  • Group discussion: Active learning strategies will be applied through group discussion
  • Self-assessment: Participants assess their learning outcomes through likert scale adhering points from 1 to 5.

12. Showing respect and consideration for others

The following assessment methods could be used to assess trainees’ learnings:

  • Presentation: The adult educator/ facilitator represents a brief presentation on the term “showing respect and consideration for others” with examples from the educational process.
  • Workshop: Active learning strategies such as KWL (known-what to learn-learned), mind-mapping, hot-seating etc.
  • Self-assessment: Participants assess their learning outcomes through likert scale adhering points from 1 to 5.

Example from intercultural competence: “I can convey and exchange information about a new culture.”

1 – I don’t agree at all

2 –  I don’t agree

3 –  I’m neutral

4 –  I agree

5 –  I totally agree

13. Supporting others

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Self-assessment: Self-assessments help you better understand how well you’re performing in a specific area.Knowing your strengths and weaknesses allows you to create goals and form strategies to meet new milestones in life.
    Exercise: Select 5 aspects that you consider to be the most important regarding supporting others, such as being considerate, listening to others, honesty in your relations to others, etc. Then, on a scale from 1 to 10 (where 1 is not good at all and 10 is excellent), rate on how you consider yourself in that specific area.
  • Peer review: It helps you to know what others around you think about you. It gives you a very objective review about yourself.
    Exercise: Take the same 5 aspects of the previous exercise and let the others rate you from a scale from 1 to 10. You may be surprised by the findings and differences!
  • Written exercise: Writing down your thoughts helps you to be a bit more objective and to structure your ideas and go over and over again on them, so you get to yourself better. Once you are in the habit of writing your ideas down, you’ll quickly develop a knack for thinking up, and tracking, ideas.
    Exercise: write down the needs of 3 persons close to you (relative, friend, colleague) and think how you can support them.

14. Collaborating with others in teams and networks

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Group activity: It consists of putting the group in a situation where collaboration and teamwork is essential to solve a “problem”. It is a good method to motivate your team to work as a unit to tackle a challenge.
    Exercise: Have everyone crowd into a circle, then clasp hands with those who are not right close to them. Once everyone’s hands are clasped together, the challenge is to disentangle everyone without severing the chain. You may make it much more difficult by limiting the amount of time or prohibiting conversation. If you are up for it, it may make for a fun puzzle, but it does take a little bit of legroom to crawl over each other (not to mention an office environment where people feel comfortable holding hands—tread carefully with this one).
  • Group discussion: It helps to share everyone’s ideas with the group and widen your knowledge, point of view or find out different solutions for a situation.

Exercise: Based on the previous exercise of group activity, discuss the way each of the group members behaved untangle each other. You may consider the following aspects: collaborating attitude to untangle everybody as a chain, patience for waiting your turn to be untangled, etc.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND COMPETENCES

15. Managing and leading others

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Workshop
  • Self-assessment
  • Group discussion

At the end of the activity, the trainer proposes to assess and evaluate the expression (observation and feelings) of each person in a group discussion (situation 1) or present (situation 2).

Then, each participant takes the time to complete his or her indicator grid in a self-assessment.

The trainer also completes his/her evaluation grid based on what s/he has observed and heard.

Summary of the two evaluations on a single document given to each participant.

16.  Conciliating and negotiating

The TSC will be assessed through:

  • Individual reflection
  • Group reflection and discussion

After the practical activities we recommend initiating individual and group reflection to support the learning process. Organised reflection is not primarily meant to assess the learning outcome, although it enhances the sense making processes for the learner. Reflection should serve the learner in the first place, not the facilitator. The questions we suggest for reflection are meant to support participants in generating their own meaning from the multiple aspects of their learning. By doing so in groups they also inspire each other, thereby learning collaboratively.

BELGIUM

Name of the good practice/success story

Projet Y – Formation-Immersion: pour et par la culture

Type of the good practice

Training module

Presentation of the good practice

Project Y is a project for young people aged 18 to 25 who are Not in Education, nor in Employment, nor in Training (“NEET’s”). It is a social remobilization project through cultural participation. It lasts for 9 to 10 weeks and activities are organised as 3 half-days every week. During the project, participants have mainly three different type of activities:

  • Citizen workshops: Where we will address various themes that affect young people directly as active citizens of the world and their city (migration, media, climate, etc.)
  • Meetings and cultural activities: On the one hand, we try to help those young people to have access to culture (movie, theatre, exhibitions, etc.). However, we also try to help them to create a network within their city. Most of these young people have problems, desires or dreams, but do not know where to turn. However, there are many associations and services within their own city, which remain unknown, but can be very useful to them (Housing assistance service, mutual insurance, job search assistance, etc.). The goal is to introduce them to this network, but also to visit these places. Accompanying them a first time inside the different services will definitely help them go back there when they need it.
  • Cultural production: The goal here is that as a group, they define a problem, and together carry out a cultural production. After agreeing on the subject to be discussed, the group chooses which media they wish to work with, according to their knowledge and skills, but also with the possibility of getting help from an external person (radio, video, photo, graffiti, collection of texts, etc.). Once they finish it, they organise a presentation/exhibition of it, inviting people to it.

The goal is that each participant is able to take part in a collective project, but also to make progress on their individual needs (enrolling in a sports club, resuming studies or training, actively participating in the activities of a youth centre, coming to project time, etc.).

This project is transferable to another city or another country, but here are some tips if you want to set it up:

  • Create a network of partners with associations and services that work with the target audience (youth centres, Public social services, social workers, street educators, etc.). Young people have the link with the workers of these services that will facilitate contact with the target audience (when they drop out of the project or lose their motivation, for example).
  • Do not hesitate to talk informally with young people during breaks or before/after the activities, this is where they confide more easily, and it is then easier to adapt the project to suit them.
  • Do regular assessments, so as not to miss a problem that a participant may have, and which would cause him to drop out if you do not talk about it in time.
  • Do not hesitate to get help for media productions, with local actors if possible
  • Try to alternate activities: citizen workshops, cultural visit, media project, not all the same in one week.
  • Do not forget that this is a project for and by young people: according to their desires, needs, and requests.
  • Do not make a project too long term, young people might find it too difficult for them and not want to commit. If you see that the group is going well at the end of the project, do not hesitate to propose them if they want to continue.
  • Do not be too scholarly. Most have left school, the aim is to propose to them something different from school that is most of the time associated with “failure”. For example, create a chart together, in order to have basic rules, imagined and written together.

FRANCE

Name of the good practice/success story

The Creative Diversion pedagogy

Type of the good practice

Methodology

Presentation of the good practice

Tremplin ANEPA, a training organisation, created in 1975, with associative status, located in Lyon 1, has as its core activity the pre-qualifying training and support of young and adult job seekers who are often far from employment and have few qualifications.

We act within the framework of public policies for integration and training, orientation, revitalisation, reactivation of key skills, development of transversal skills and employability…

In order to encourage remobilisation in the integration process, for the past 25 years we have been developing the Creative Diversion pedagogy; this pedagogical approach is based on artistic mediation used as a tool to encourage the regaining of self-confidence, the emergence of new potentials, the (re)mobilisation of learning, the development of social skills… These often very rich experiences thus enable people to regain a place, a positive identity, which favours the continuation of their integration process.

This pedagogy mainly takes three independent forms.

  • Weekly workshops on artistic practices such as theatre, singing and plastic arts. Jobseekers are only present in the structure to take part in these workshops, they are directed by their employment advisor.
  • Participation in a Culture Café: a weekly workshop to share coffee and plan cultural outings (museum, exhibition, show) in the area based on each other’s proposals.
  • Within training courses lasting 26 to 30 hours per week over a period of 4 to 6 months, through participation in a collective artistic project which is part of the training programme among other modules such as: building a professional project, discovering trades, work placements, drawing up a CV, refresher courses in key digital skills, language skills, etc.)

Focus: Each year, we run an average of three or four training courses, involving about fifteen jobseekers. They are referred to us by their employment counsellor. Their expectations are centred on their professional project, the search for a job, refresher courses to be able to enter qualifying courses… We therefore offer them these creative diversions: a dozen or so sessions of artistic experimentation to move towards creation and its public presentation. It is the structure that calls on artists, chooses the companies and coordinates the art project with all the stakeholders.

We have observed and analysed that these experiences are a source of learning, change and even emancipation. Amongst other things, they encourage the regaining of self-confidence, the ability to work in a team, and the development of life skills, the famous transversal skills. Here are some of the elements identified during this process:

1- Surprise, effort and pride for the participants:

Offering job seekers on a training course an experience of creation is first a surprise because most of them have never taken part in participative artistic projects. It is indeed a “diversion through art on their way to employment”.

Led by artists, in close collaboration with the teaching staff, these projects and/or workshops are a way for them to act, dream, create, express themselves, discover themselves, share emotions with others, make things together, encourage each other, work together, form a team, get involved and commit themselves to completing the project.

The success of the project lies both in the (re)presentation and the public’s view of their work and of them. It is also in the process and the creative process that allows them to get to know themselves better and to develop their resources and abilities. Often stigmatised by the fact of being unemployed, assigned to places, they (un)show, through these artistic projects, their desire and their potential to be with others, to create common ground, to live with others who are different and together.

A feeling of pride and satisfaction runs through them; the expression of confidence in oneself and in others is often evoked during the time of assessment …charged with emotions of leaving

2- Each time, a new challenge

For the Tremplin ANEPA structure and for the team of trainers, it is always a new challenge to succeed in bringing together very different people to carry out these projects.  The artistic project is at the heart of the training programme and permeates the other contents.

Each project is different, the encounter with the artist is new, the participants have different backgrounds and professional projects in very different sectors. Succeeding together, converging towards a common goal, requires a lacework to consider the issues at stake for each participant: aesthetic quality, development of social skills and abilities, professional integration…

3- Source of presence in the world

E. Glissant wrote “Act in your place, think with the world”. This quote sheds light on the issues at stake in the Creative Diversion approach within our structure. It is a source of presence in the world for people who are often assigned to non-valued places. These projects bear witness to their presence in the world in a different way.

For all of us, in our personal and professional lives, trainers, artists, participants, these “out of the ordinary” experiences contribute to making a positive mark on their lives, to surpassing themselves, and can be a benchmark for commitment to other projects in the future.

At a time when our society is prey to identity tensions and cultural tensions, this educational approach is a real support and a source for reflecting on one’s identity, on what makes sense together through our diversities, for testing our relationships to the world, and for living them by creating together an artistic project that is part of the city.

Further information

An article (in French) on the latest “Storytelling” project in the Impulse training programme:

www.tremplinanepa.com

NORWAY

Name of the good practice/success story

Is there a place for me?

Type of the good practice

Project

Presentation of the good practice

“Is there a place for me?” is a project that cooperates with a municipal youth centre in Oslo. The project aims to include people of all ages with disabilities through arts like writing, drawing and painting, and live spectacle like dancing, music and plays. There are few or none activities for people with disabilities, especially connected to the arts. The idea behind the project was that people have different perspectives, and art can include much more than the perfect line. Moving the body in new ways, using language and music, and being challenged can motivate people to try new things and develop themselves. Being a part of a group process is valuable for all, especially people who might have few friends and little network. The project has been evaluated many times with very good results. The project has had a profound effect on the participant’s health and they have learnt many transferable skills that are useful for their life and work. They extended their networks and were involved in making decisions for their own life. Being in the project has improved the participants’ results in school and work.

Target public

People with physical disabilities.

The needs and issues resolved

Social inclusion and improving life quality for people with disabilities.

The project included everyone who is interested in doing arts. The project works with professional artists to teach the participants about film, photography, writing, dancing, singing, theatre. There were meetings once a week for the participants and they had 5 or 6 parallel groups based on age and interests. They work with different themes, like human rights or love and humanity and turn it into art.

They offer whatever the participants want to learn and the results have been many performances and even a documentary on national television. The clue is to see the potential in each person and have confidence that everybody can contribute with something valuable. The project also provides work for the long-time participants.

The method of this project can be transferred to working with people who are outside of society with little language skills or knowledge of the new society they live in.

CYPRUS

Name of the good practice/success story:

Exhibition “Identities within an Identity: Rites to Womanhood”

Type of the good practice:

Process

Presentation of the good practice

Photography Exhibition ‘Identities within an Identity: Rites to Womanhood’ was a part of the CULTUR’ACT project which aims to empower vulnerable adults and youngsters (trainees in formal, informal & non formal settings including women and migrants) using Art & Culture activities/processes. The training and the exhibition were organised by the Center for Social Innovation – CSI Cyprus.

Rationale/Description: The exhibition ‘Identities within an Identity: Rites to Womanhood’ explored the topic of womanhood through an intersectional lens. Women are not a homogenous group, their identities are formed and defined by different experiences which make each woman unique. Identity is something that is specific to each one of us, it is a collection of our character traits that make us different. The formation of identity is a crucial step in our lives, which is influenced not only by different events and interactions but also by societal gender expectations. There is more than one identity – there is an identity, which is constructed by conventional societal norms, and an identity, which is constructed by an individual. Women’s identities are complex, but during history they have often been overlooked. How does a woman see herself through her own gaze and not through conventional gendered norms? This is something the participants explored through photography, where they were asked to take a photo (or photo series), which relates to the topic of gender identity and expression.

Photography was chosen as the medium for the exhibition due to its history and traits as an art form. Since the creation of a medium in the 19th century, photography has become not only a tool for depicting people, but also for visual categorization based on their physical characteristics, behaviour, and clothing. It was soon noticed that photography has the power to influence people’s position in society and even politics. Most of the art forms throughout history were male-dominated and women were often seen as subjects of the male gaze and were in fact underrepresented, if not invisible in the art scene. Photography as an art form can be liberating to women due to its possibilities for creating and re-constructing narratives and discourses that place women at the cenCulturtre. This exhibition, therefore, offered a space to women to forge new identities and gave them the freedom of self-expression and self-determination. 

Objectives of the exhibition:

  • To help participants explore the topic of gender identity and womanhood.
  • Show the power of photography as a tool for self-expression, empowerment and social inclusion.
  • To create a space for participants where they could voice their opinions and experiences.

Details of the activities: During the training, the participants got a chance to learn how to express themselves through photography and get involved in the creation of the exhibition ‘Identities within an Identity: Rites to Womanhood’. There were two workshops in total. During the first workshop, the participants got to know each other while being involved in the group activities, these activities also helped them to understand the idea of the exhibition. Furthermore, the participants learned the basics of photography, got a chance to explore their artistic abilities and feel confident in expressing who they are. During the second workshop, the participants showed what they created and learned more about the exhibition curation process. The goal of the training and exhibition was for participants to have a space where they could voice their opinions and creatively express their experiences as well as feel empowered and included in the local community.

Material used

  • IO1: CULTUR’ACT Methodology Handbook: A pedagogical resources framework including handbook guide, training methods, basic concepts, tips and exploitation guidelines about “training and inclusion through art & culture processes” addressed to trainers and educators. It will be a step-by-step handbook guide to promote inclusion, using Art & Culture, and to improve awareness about their usefulness: trainers will start from the personal life of trainees and going to their social and professional life. The main objective is to provide practical tools to design and implement efficient training sessions.
  • IO2: CULTUR’ACT Training Kit: Composed by a learning outcomes matrix, a set of practical activities based on the common training methods with innovative practical tools to support learners in their artistic & cultural activities (video, photography, theatre, broadcasting…). It will be designed for learners to express themselves (digital storytelling, video documentary, Photo exhibition…) and to develop their global competence (Investigate the world, Recognise opportunities, Communicate ideas, Take action) aiming their social and labour inclusion.

ESTONIA

Name of the good practice/success story

Naudime õppimist rännates (Enjoy learning while travelling)

Type of the good practice

Process

Presentation of the good practice

The methodology was developed as a result of 2 projects – Learning is a way of life (ESF) and Enjoy learning while travelling (Erasmus+ KA1) by the team of the adult educators from Vestifex Adult Training Centre (Narva, Estonia).

It all has started from the Learning to learn course that we run in the frame of the project Learning is a way of life. Within 2 years of the project we involved more than 200 vulnerable adults with low levels of education in pursuing this course to improve their learning to learn competence. The impact of the course on the learners was so profound that a year after the end of the project we came up with an idea to offer an international experience to the course graduates.

Through the project “Enjoy learning while travelling” we offered 24 graduates of the Learning to Learn Course an opportunity to set new challenges and gain study and work experience abroad in an international environment in St. Martin, Cyprus and Corfu. The focus of this process was on the application of the participants’ learning to learn skills in an international environment and their further development. We see this competence as a priority for increasing participants’ employability and participation in lifelong learning, as it is closely linked to self-awareness, learning process awareness and self-esteem, and its acquisition already affects acquisition of other key and professional competences.

Additionally we aimed at strengthening our organisation capacity to provide high-quality, flexible and learner-centred learning mobility programmes for vulnerable adults to increase their employability.

Each learning mobility lasted 6 days, of which 2 days included job shadowing according to participants’ personal and professional needs and interests. Learning took place both digitally and locally in the hosting countries. Before the learning mobility itself the learners went through the 2-months long preparation process online. Preparation included getting to know each other, practical arrangements, risk managements, person-centred planning for learning.

The exact action plan for the mobility in the country of destination was planned after the selection of participants according to their needs, experiences and interests of the participants and included such elements as group works, practical activities, creative and artistic activities, mindfulness exercises, cognitive hiking, reflection, living library with local people, job shadowing. Participants were from 7 different counties of Estonia. One third of them have never been abroad before.

As a result of the project activities, the participants’ awareness of the possibilities of continuing their education has increased and their readiness and ability to adapt to changes in working life and society has improved.

More information

https://vestifex.ee/enjoylearningwhiletraveling

TURKEY

Name of the good practice/success story

STEP UP – Establishment of a transnational network of adult education providers for the promotion of social inclusion of vulnerable groups”

Type of the good practice

Project

Presentation of the good practice

Creative drama, watching and discussing cinematic works, daily newspaper publishing, sports activities and art activities such as stone painting, drawing cartoons were used along with psychological support to empower young women who have been subjected to violence in Antalya. 20 participants (divided into 2 groups) were hosted in a hotel. Along with art based workshops, seminars were held on subjects like women rights; women identity, biology and sexuality; healthy living and healthy nutrition awareness and the importance of women organisations and solidarity. With the art workshops during the project, all of the participants were able to create their own handcrafts and they organised an exhibition by the end of the project. This project was supported and funded by World Bank Micro Funds, Heinrich Böll Foundation Funds.

Target public

Adult women

The needs and issues resolved

Women had reported back that the project was an empowering experience for them and they’ve experienced many firsts in their life, like going on holiday, or practising creative drama.

The good example could be used for enhancing intercultural competences of adult learners through active learning strategies such as word games, snowballing, drama, story-telling etc.

More information

STEP-UP: PROJECT IN ADULT EDUCATION/ TURKEY.

https://stepupart.eu/images/good-practices-turkey.pdf

SPAIN

Name of the good practice/success story

CollaborArt

Type of the good practice

Methodology

Presentation of the good practice

The recent COVID-19 crisis has just confirmed how important it is to improve the capacity of our societies to develop innovative solutions to overcome the current challenges. Social innovations are new social practices that aim to meet social needs in a better way than the existing solutions, resulting from working conditions, education, community development or health. These ideas are created with the goal of extending and strengthening civil society.

Fostering the creative capacity of the citizens is key to make it possible and the education systems in Europe, including Adult Education (AE), have a key role to play in it.

Creativity is not only a mental action of individuals but also a social process. Collective creativity is in fact a necessary quality in any innovative process which requires cooperation between groups or individuals. Collective Creativity reflects a qualitative shift in the nature of the creative process, as the comprehension of a problematic situation and the generation of creative solutions draw from – and reframe – the past experiences of participants in ways that lead to new and valuable insights.

CollaborArt addresses these needs and challenges by developing the competencies of adult education teachers, to foster Collective Creativity for Social Innovation of adult learners, through Art-based virtual Gamification.

Adult learners are trained to identify real life problems and to provide solutions collectively in collaboration with stakeholders. They learn how to apply collective creativity to codesign and implement social innovative solutions based on culture and arts, thanks to the creative skills acquired through virtual gamified scenarios.

The methodology includes the following innovative tools:

  • ECVET Curriculum in Art-based virtual Gamification to foster Collective Creativity for Social Innovation
  • Multilingual eLearning Platform
  • Gamification App
  • Guide for validation, certification and accreditation

The initiative applies European frameworks and instruments, like EQF, ECVET, EQAVET, Europass and EPALE, to promote and boost transparency, recognition, mobility and transferability to other adult education organisations, companies and intermediary bodies in Europe, in the use of Art-based virtual Gamification to foster Collective Creativity for Social Innovation in Adult Education.

More information

https://www.collaborart-project.eu

AYŞE AS KIN

Manisa Fine Arts High School,

Art Teacher, TURKEY

“As an art teacher who works with vulnerable adults, it has been helpful for me to find out how to organise knowledge to actualise it in real learning environments. In this way I have learned about the necessary competences in empowering the adult learners to learn and support themselves in their development into, fully autonomous lifelong learners and I aim to be  a real motivator”

İLYAS KAYA

Manisa Public Education Center,

Manager TURKEY

“As a manager in an adult education centre and originally a sports teacher, it is good to discover ways to help adults with life skills, especially in environmental and social dimensions. The output helps the learners to collaborate in teams and express their opinions using necessary information.”

TINA KNJAZEVA

OÜ Vestifex, Learner,

Estonia

“I believe that methods that incorporate elements of play or creativity are simply necessary when dealing with adult learners. It is easier for children, they can legally play, develop in the game, learn to act according to the rules, but also come up with something of their own. Adults, on the other hand, often think that the time of play is over. But letting your “inner child” out is a must!

Very interesting techniques have been used as part of the Forum-theatre methodology.

“Landscapes of My Changes” is just perfect for debriefing a session or giving feedback on the training that has taken place.

I liked the “Hero’s Journey” methodology best. I often work with metaphorical cards, but the idea of creating a story from several cards is new to me, and it is delightful! In addition, the students always enjoy this kind of task, and the stories they create are always touching and heartwarming.

I tried to modify this methodology slightly by applying to it the principle of the cinquain, that is, by making the condition of conveying the essence in a minimum amount. For each question I put a limit of one sentence. The result was impressive; each story was simply a quintessence of the emotions, feelings and experiences of a particular participant. 

SVETLANA DIKUN

OÜ Vestifex, Estonia 

“The project has brought me into contact with fascinating people, with their success stories, with their own incredible, full and adventurous success stories … that makes me sincerely admire and greatly respect them … and of course one realises that each of us has something to bring to this life as well. During the training we learned about many working tools, practices and techniques. I particularly remember the techniques “Hero’s Journey” and “Forum Theatre”. They were very useful for me. These kinds of methods and tools are relevant and useful in adult education programmes.

” The Hero’s Journey ” – the conclusion of the heroine of my story from the perspective of my age of 60 ….

Whatever your age …

Be brave and open, trust the flow of time, novelty …

By opening the Word to yourself….through it you open Yourself…!”

Béatrice MARTINS

AGFE

Project manager and trainer

France

I attended the short-term joint staff training event thinking that I will learn more about how to use cultural artefacts or objects, works of art… with my beneficiaries but most of the activities presented by attendees/educators called on people’s creativity which was not a dimension that I thought about to focus on. Following this training event, I would (re)consider when I do piloting with my national group of participants and probably mix both perspectives namely, common world art & global art and/with personal creativity.”                   

For me, the most relevant aspect of the proposed material is the opportunity for people to step back on things, to see them differently, to reflect on them, to make them their own either by observing, deconstructing, reconstructing, interpreting or by performing, producing, creating… alone or in groups which is very powerful for self-esteem, self-confidence not to say empowerful when sharing, discussing, arguing with others. Moreover, using such an approach, people see art and culture as something different not to say new because it is no longer something in a museum but rather an object of their daily life, something “desacralized”, accessible, reachable.”

I would recommend the training for all the reasons previously mentioned but also for the playfulness as well as the feasible and attainable dimension. Despite the title “art & culture”, which may sound elitist but this is not the case, this training does not call for resources/knowledge in art and culture but for an artistic culture or even the creativity that lies dormant in each of us.” 

 CSI, Cyprus

“I had the opportunity to participate in various practical activities that were all very interesting and valuable. More specifically, each activity we participated in was focused on developing various “soft skills”.

The most relevant thing for me was to learn how to write down my skills and competences, and develop a comprehensive and ‘strong’ CV so as to find a job which is going to help me build the career path I want. It was also very interesting that I got to meet different people and get in touch with people from different cultures than mine.
I would recommend the training to both trainers and trainees as you can learn a lot from both perspectives. Trainers can learn how to use a set of practical activities to assist them in their practice, based on the use of art and culture in the training offer and accompaniment of vulnerable adults, addressing the challenges of integration and inclusion. Trainees on the other hand can learn how to choose and define a pathway to achieve their personal and professional goals ”

 CSI, Cyprus

“It gave me the opportunity to take part in different activities that were both practical and enjoyable and had a theoretical background. Each activity was focused on the development of various skills, both transversal and soft skills. For example, some activities focused on planning and organising, addressing problems and issues, responding to routine requirements and tasks etc.

The most relevant thing for me regarding the material proposed in the LTTA was the motivation and support to create a portfolio to showcase my work and previous experiences with possible employers. This will be the first step in achieving my goals and follow the career path I want.
I would recommend the training to both trainers and trainees since I believe that is helpful for both for different reasons. Trainers can develop new skills and learn how to design and implement activities using art and culture practices in order to empower vulnerable adults to work on issues like inclusion and assimilation. On the other hand, trainees can develop new soft and transversal skills in order to facilitate their social, cultural and professional integration.”

Claudette

MIR, Trainer, NORWAY

“This course was very relevant to my field work. I have lately been developing a project that combines creativity and digitalization for vulnerable women in Oslo. Through the LLT activities I was able to reflect on the value of soft skills in everyday work, and the importance of giving soft skills the same value as hard skills. I understood that when working with vulnerable groups in society, it is important to highlight soft skills in order that people could recognize, develop, and showcase their own interpersonal skills.

For me to explain how to use art and culture to empower people is the most relevant tool of the materials. To implement practical activities will surely be a great method for empowering the vulnerable groups I work with. The handbook you propose is truly complete. It explains carefully how to follow it step by step, and it gives exercises and examples of successful stories.

I recommend it not only because it enhances the role of soft skills in the changing world – we all live in, but also it provides exercises that lead learners to identify their own interpersonal skills. After doing these art-related exercises, I had the opportunity to recognize my self- awareness and my own weaknesses during the creative process.  I went out of my comfort zone when working individually, so I could self-recognize which areas of my personal skills I can improve. When working with groups, it helped me to understand how to deal with conflict, cooperation, communication and the importance of the quality of our relationships with others.”

Gunnhild Aakervik, Fagnorsk, NORWAYThe activities we learned were very helpful, empowering and fun. I think I can use many of the activities from the project with the learners that I work with. A lot of the learners don’t know the Norwegian language very well, so they can not express themselves very well. I think the cultural activities can be good for them so that they can use their artistic skills and become aware of their strengths instead of what they are lacking. It is also not theoretical, which can be good. They learn while they are doing something practical.”

Géraldine

Ciep, Trainer, Belgium

“I’m used to working with vulnerable adults, and the activities offered here are really great. I  like the fact that you can totally adapt these activities, according to whom you are working with. I recommend the training, because I am convinced that through art and culture, we can learn a lot, that it can be the starting point of very rich exchanges, and raise issues in an informal way that the trainees would face. It’s also always very interesting to exchange with other people who work with the same public, to be able to discuss and exchange on the field work. I am totally convinced that art and culture can help in the social remobilisation of vulnerable adults.”

Eugénie,

CIEP, Trainer,

BELGIUM

The activities are very cool and I will definitely get some ideas from them to use with the groups. I have never really used the term “soft skills”, but I find it a very interesting notion and above all important for the public with which I work. It is important to promote them to gain self-confidence and help with integration. I find this particularly relevant for use. In the groups I work with, many people are looking for a job, but don’t have much to show off on their CV. I really like the sentence models provided in the training kit.”

This Handbook is a compilation of methods, tools, techniques and resources that we have found useful to set-up effective training sessions to empower vulnerable people through Culture & Art. Many of the proposed educational resources can also be useful in other contexts even if they are initially produced and gathered in the specific framework of our KA2 Erasmus+ project about “Enhancing soft skills while performing. All these educational resources and more are freely accessible and downloadable on our website and online platform at: https://becreativeproject.eu/

As conclusion, we remind some important tips in order to use efficiently the above educational resources:

  • As an Educator, it is important to set aside adequate time to familiarise yourself with the Toolbox and its resources so you can properly support your learners. The resources could be easily used separately and/or integrated with existing courses.
  • It is also important to plan and obtain management support, set realistic timeframes for implementation and gain support from your own institution before introducing the Toolbox.
  • It is highly recommended to be aware of the whole products developed in the framework of Be Creative! In order to provide efficient and practical training sessions. Namely, the O2 – Be Creative! Handbook, O3 – Be Creative! Pathways and O4 – Be Creative! eLearning Hub. Combined, these products provide a mixture of technical and pedagogical assistance to educators.