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Expedition - Adapting Environment to Create Experiential Learning Programs in European Youth Work
Start date: Feb 1, 2016, End date: Nov 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The results Eurobarometer state, that the most important aspects of education relate to individual teachers, in particular the teacher's ability to engage and motivate students. According to these studies, EU citizens acknowledge that various skills can be obtained outside of formal education. Youth Strategy of EU points out the importance of non‐formal education sport activities, that help to develop cross‐sectoral skills. From Eurobarometer results one can derive that young people, who take part in non‐formal educational activities are more likely to actively participate in the decision‐making of their communities. Based on these insights, this project aims to empower youth workers to develop methods to create learning programs to engage and motivate young people to deal with their surrounding natural living rural or/and urban environment on mental, social and physical levels for their learning. Such specifically tailored learning programs will provide young people with learning experiences that help them to obtain cross‐sectoral practical skills, increase their participation in their immediate environment and encourage them to be physically engaged in their environment.The aim of this project is to develop learning programs that will provide possibilities for young people of learning on the move through experiential adventurous learning methods, adapted to particular living environment and tailored to particular needs and profile of young people. Within this approach learning is taking place not in a particular closed space, but by traversing a certain distance ‐ be it in a rural or urban environment ‐ and overcoming a set of challenges. We are going to equip youth workers with ideas, skills and tools in order to be able to design such learning programs tailored specifically to the profile of young people so as to their particular living environment. The project structured as a long‐term learning journey consisting of 2 international training activities and practice phases during the follow‐up of these activities. The training activities will involve 25‐30 participants in each event. The profile of participants will be youth workers and youth leaders.During the two training activities (in Lithuania in May 2016 and Germany in October 2016) various methods of experiential learning and outdoor education will be following the “expedition” approach. Participants will learn to design and implement experiential activities and learning programmes which later will be transferred to daily practice with groups of young people from inclusion groups. The countries involved in the project are as follows: Lithuania, Germany, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, Turkey, Romania and Austria.Our methodology is based on experiential learning, outdoor education and non‐formal education principles. Participants will learn through testing their designed methods and reflecting upon the experience. Thus, learning through experience is core element in our methodology. Using participatory approach we encourage the exchange of experience between the participants, thus enabling learning from the peers. In this project we will use the Theme Centred Interaction approach, which encourages participants to better perceive connections while learning between themselves, the group and the topic. Exploring the environment we will use elements of Outdoor education. Overall we want to encourage holistic learning, combining and intersecting sectors of interest, and get away from the input‐output oriented learning.The result of the project would be that individuals who would have taken part in this project will increase their competence analysing and adapting their environment in order to create adventurous and attractive learning programs fitting to the constantly changing interests and needs of young people, especially those from inclusion groups in deprived rural and urban environments.Youth workers working according to the idea of this project will contribute in deprived rural and/or urban areas to the variety of non‐formal learning opportunities for young people, thus possibly increasing their participation in the community matters, providing opportunities to train cross‐sectoral skills and increase physical activity. Participating organisation will develop professional capacity to offer quality youth work services to their communities. The project activities and new methods will be documented and disseminated at European level.

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