Back on Track
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: Feb 1, 2016
Project "Back on Track" was implemented by 8 partners from Latvia, Poland, Romania, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Croatia and Lithuania. Main activity of the project was a training course based on non-formal education methodology with 28 youth workers and youth leaders, who wanted to improve the educational activities with young people of their organizations. With the project we addressed the need to make the daily work with young people and the youth activities more various, to encourage young people and youth workers to leave their comfort zone, turn to the nature, strengthen the real relationship among people as well as to recreate the ties with nature.
For the people, working with youth it is becoming more and more important to break free from the constant use of technologies (smart phones, tablets, computers) and to come up with (or reinvent) the alternatives for activities with young people that would involve more real interaction and less chatting online. Outdoor education creates opportunities to create meaningful relationship with nature, strengthen personal and social improvement, learn to go through failures and develop resilience. Outdoor education is the education about nature, ecology, sustainability, active lifestyle. The challenge in education empowers us to look at group processes (being in the group, roles, communication, cooperation), self-awareness, etc.
The truth is that not every youth worker or youth leader knows how to use nature as an educational tool or environment, sometimes there is a lack of competencies to run reflection, to facilitate the learning process and sometimes there is a lack of courage to start doing something that is not well known to the fullest. Because of these reasons it was decided to accept this challenge and to implement a project that would be based on experiential learning, would allow to improve competencies crucial for organizing outdoor education with young people.
Aim of the project: To improve quality of inclusive youth work by raising youth workers competencies to use outdoor activities and experiential learning methods.
O1 – To give the participants opportunity to experience outdoor education activities;
O2 - To improve understanding how to support young people‘s learning process;
O3 - To increase knowledge of the theoretical and pedagogical background of outdoor education and experiential learning methods.
O4 – To develop teamwork, leadership, international learning and cooperation competencies of the participants
O5 – To learn to design proper outdoor activities with young people (how to set a goals, how to facilitate).
The logic of the training course is to experience the experiential learning ourselves and then to reflect on the experience, to conceptualise the knowledge, to learn theories, to try to run an educational activity our-selves and to gain confidence to run this type of activities at home.
At the and of this project we not only have youth workers with improved competencies, but also new tool for the tool boxes of people working with youth. These are the cards with ready to use methods that are easy to use outdoor and in nature. The cards were made open source and shared with wider community of youth workers and youth leaders.
The project contributed to the improvement of quality of youth work, variety of methods used in it, strengthening of competencies of youth workers and youth leaders. It also created an opportunity for youth workers and youth leaders from different European countries to meet, develop and in the future implement international youth projects.
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