Ahead of Adult Learners’ Week 2013 which begins on Saturday, Grundtvig senior project manager, Ieva Mais, visited the NIACE Learning for a Better World Conference in Cardiff.
Learning for a better world
I attended the Learning for a Better World conference organised by NIACE in Cardiff on 28-29 April. It brought together practitioners, policy makers, researchers and adult learners from several European countries to discuss the UK’s contribution to the Agenda in three main areas:
Arthur Mills age 83, undertook a Grundtvig Visits & Exchanges activity in Spain, where he met other adult learners from a variety of countries, all eager to participate in the “E-skills to change the lives of 50+” activity.
Arthur has always been interested in technology, and the new knowledge gained from the visit to Spain has further enhanced his interest and enthusiasm. Arthur had never used a keyboard until he was 76 but his life has been transformed by technology over the last 7 years.
With Spring in the air, our latest edition of edUKation explores some of the many green projects supported by the Grundtvig programme over the last seven years.
Dr Nick Owen MBE, Director of the Aspire Trust, who runs the Forests for All, All for Forests project, gives us an insight into how the project connects adult learners from seven partner countries in the teaching of the environment, culture and volunteering, all with a focus on the local forests. Nick explains:
European forests have become for us and the wider partnership, a source of questions, surprises, and many powerful learning moments. Veteran forests, exterminating agents and the effect of coppicing have been a phenomena we have learnt about which act as a constant reminder of the power that forests have over our minds, bodies and psyches.
From the project’s recent partner meeting in Vilnius in Lithuania, the participants were inspired to produce a range of artistic products reflecting their visit including the following poem:
Artist Knowledge: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Knowledge of the first kind is the stats,
the dates, the measurements.
The what, the when, the where.
Knowledge of the second kind
is the interpretations,
the rational analysis of observable events.
The scientific, analytic, predictive.
The regulatory, the politic.
The how, the whether.
Artists knowledge is knowledge of the third kind.
Sensory and sensitive,
Intuitive and imaginative,
Magical and miraculous.
Generating meaning and stories
which bestow ownership of knowledge of the first kind
and give purpose to the knowledge of the second kind.
The what-if? The why? The If-not, then why-not?
Nearly 75 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills which makes it hard for them to get a job and increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion – this according to a European Commission literacy report produced by a high-level group of experts.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, says;
We are living a paradox: while reading and writing are more important and relevant than ever before in the context of our digitised world, our literacy skills are not keeping up. We urgently need to reverse this alarming situation. Investments to improve literacy among citizens of all ages make economic sense, producing tangible gains for individuals and for society, adding up to billions of euros in the long run.
The Grundtvig Learner Workshop action was no stranger to addressing literacy and broader language issues. Growing Rural Enterprise ran a workshop in 2012 which consisted of farming and countryside activities with an added language component. As the workshop progressed participants were encouraged to learn between 50-100 basic English words and phrases including good morning, hello, goodbye, good night, good afternoon, please and thank you. The rationale for this Learner Workshop was to increase participants’ wellbeing, positivity, confidence, self-esteem and social skills. Read the rest of this entry »
Today we celebrate Older People’s Day across Europe, as it is also the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012) it is the chance to raise awareness of the issues, challenges and barriers facing the older generation.
Picture of an ageing Europe
It has been well researched that the population of Europe is an ageing one, and people of 60, 70, 80 or above still make a valuable contribution to our local, regional and national communities. There are more people in the UK that are of a pensionable age than there are at school, across Europe life expectancy is rising while the number of people being born is decreasing. Initiatives such as the EY2012 and Older Peoples day are helping to raise awareness of our older generation and how the generations can work together for the benefit of all.
I can take, for example, my own parents who have both recently turned 60, both are still active and still in work but if they suddenly faced unemployment, how easy would it be for them to remain active citizens? Well, I know from the funding we provide as the National Agency that they could be involved as Senior Volunteers through Grundtvig funding. If they wanted to return to employment the default retirement age is being phased out in the UK so would mean that they could continue to work as long as they were fit and healthy, they would also be protected against age discrimination through the Equality Act. Read the rest of this entry »
Time is running out to submit your entry for our Lifelong Learning Programme and Youth in Action competition. It is a chance for you to share ‘Your Story’ through film, photos and words. Open to organisations and individuals, you can share what the involvement in these programmes has meant to you.
How to enter
It’s easy to enter. You can submit a story, portfolio of photos or a film through the competition website at www.competition.lifelonglearningprogramme.org.uk
With prizes of up to £250 in Amazon vouchers and the chance to see your stories in print and online, it’s a great opportunity to share your experience with others.
Last year we created a series of blog posts to help you create your entry, why not take a look at these and get inspired.
You can also have a look at last year’s winners in our previous blog post: http://llpukecorys.com/2011/11/30/showcasing-your-success/
Make sure you submit your entry by midnight on the 28 September. Good luck!
The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 is well underway and we thought it timely to take a look behind the scenes at a partnership that is taking place right now that is looking at ways to facilitate the learning of older people.
Its all in the game
Manchester Metropolitan University is the co-ordinator of the 2011 Grundtvig Partnership funded Gambaloa project and are collaborating with Katholieke Universiteit, the largest University in Belgium and Wissenschaftliche Hochschule Lahr which is part of the AKAD network of higher education institutions in Germany. Read the rest of this entry »
So with my fifteen years of experience working in the field of disadvantage and having a particular interest in the topic of adult education, off I went on the train to the ‘Adult Learners’ Week Policy Conference; Widening Participation in Adult Education: vision, reality and policy’, to see for myself what is happening.
Despite the damp weather, the atmosphere in the conference hall was lively, The 2012 Adult Learners Week Awards celebrations had taken place the day before, so there was lots of feel good factor about adult education and anticipation of hearing from an impressive line up of speakers talk about their visions for the future of widening participation in adult learning. Read the rest of this entry »
You might have seen Adult Learners’ Week publicised on our Grundtvig Events page or if you are following us on Twitter you might have come across the #alw12 hashtag but you might not know much about what the week is all about.
What is Adult Learners’ Week?
Adult Learners’ Week is an annual festival, run by NIACE, dedicated to adult learning. Every year it showcases inspirational success stories to promote the benefits of getting involved in learning. Events are held across the UK by adult education organisations who want to reach out to a new audience, demonstrate learning opportunities and share their passion for lifelong learning.
How are we getting involved?
Not only we will be attending the NIACE National Policy Conference on Widening Participation in Adult Education but we will also be taking the opportunity to share with you some of our Grundtvig projects. Read the rest of this entry »
At the last Thematic Networking Event in Belfast, Thematic Networking Group (TNG) 2 discussed the findings of the Briefing Paper exploring how the LLP supports Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in the Further Education (FE) sector. TNG 2 members, including the chair of the group, Faye Hindle-Lewis, and myself did not expect to learn that every year the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes fund around three years of CPD time for FE staff across the UK! Read the rest of this entry »