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Community Education Facilitating
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Community Education Facilitating has to be considered as an overall concept for fostering the implementation of community education offers in regional /local, urban as well as rural communities. It has become evident that community education processes must be initiated, coordinated, guided and accompanied. This is the only way to ensure sustainability and avoid pop-up effects. To this end, a professionalized advanced training is required, which is conceptualized and developed by the project Community Education Facilitation. By Community Educationwe mean an approach which joins lifelong training with social goals. This takes place in the context of communities which represent a group of people in the broadest sense who are defined by common characteristics. Lifelong training as a principle of CE processes is understood in this context from the angle of learning with and from each other, encompassing all age groups and social levels. Our experience has taught us that community-based learning processes do not just happen by themselves. They must be initiated during a process and must be kept going. Collective learning requires support from a CEF in the course of the CE process. The model is based on two pillars – on the one hand, the advanced training program “Community Education Facilitator (CEF),” and on the other hand, the advanced training for becoming a “Community Activist (CA).” Community Education Facilitators can be described as individuals who are trained professionally to integrate community development processes into community education processes and vice versa. It is about enabling community and neighborhood workers as well as regional developers to initiate regional learning processes and combine them with other activities (social concerns, labor market policies, economic policies), or simply learning processes controlled by the community. They are not providers of education themselves, but simply act as experts who initiate, accompany and moderate such processes. Furthermore, CEF are employees of adult education facilities who works towards anchoring local educational offers and tying them to regional processes, or who want to initiate community education processes in the sense of promoting participation. Community Activists are volunteer experts who try to get community-based learning processes going. These can consist in forms of embedded learning, i.e. where other activities are the focus but where learning forms an integral part of the whole, or in initiating proper learning activities and embedding them locally – as, for instance, in the form of new places of learning, learning partnerships, learning cafés, etc. Those who are eventually meant to profit from this are citizens, as they amplify their knowledge, build up competencies and further develop their skills. The project is directed at adult education facilities and freelance trainers, regional development organizations /neighborhood activists and community development organizations, at decision-makers who want to make community education processes an integral part of their strategies, as well as at committed citizens and volunteer organizations. The CEF advanced training program will include 6 modules and take 12 days, the one to become a CA will take 5 days. The CEF will train the CA in their local environment and continue to mentor them. The training courses will begin in the fall of 2017. The involved partners from UK, IT, DE, BU and AT work in cooperation at developing and realizing this educational offer and thereby want to contribute to embedding community education in urban and rural regions.

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