KA1-staff training for Interfolk, Aug 2014 - July 2016
Start date: 01 Aug 2014, End date: 31 Jul 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Interfolk, Institute for Civil Society is a Danish non-profit association founded in 2008. The mission is to promote the humanistic and democratic learning capacities in a civil society context. The activities include research, surveys, development projects, courses, seminars and debate activities - in a Danish, Nordic and European context. BACKGROUND: Even though Interfolk has a broad experience with cross-national project work, we also recognize the need for further staff training, partly to fulfil the demanding tasks as project coordinator in international projects and partly to develop new competence regarding lifelong learning in the area of voluntary arts and culture. Our European Development Plan outlined the following needs: 1. to improve our English professional terminology in relation to liberal adult education, voluntary arts and culture and civil society activities; 2. to improve the competences of management of multilateral projects with focus on voluntary arts and culture; 3. to develop new methods to recognise and validate the informal and non-formal learning outcome in arts and culture based activities; 4. to develop new approaches to promote active ageing by non-formal and informal arts based learning activities; 5. to incorporate new pedagogical methods and tools as course providers of European week courses and training events. OBJECTIVES: The objectives were to meet these five needs by providing the following mobilities for the director of Interfolk: • A three weeks English course with focus on the use of professional terminology in our field of work; • A 5-day course in project management, especially in relation to QA, monitoring and evaluation of multilateral projects; • A 5-day course regarding recognition and certification of skills and competences developed in non-formal and informal learning activities; • A 2-3 days European research conference about the relations between active ageing and arts and culture based learning; • A 2-3 days European conference about new pedagogical methods and teaching practice in European courses and training events. PARTICIPANT PROFILE: The planned participant to the applied five mobilities was the executive director of Interfolk since 2008, Hans Jørgen Vodsgaard. He is mag. art. in History of Ideas. He has been active in liberal adult education and the folk high school movement since 1980 - as General Secretary of the National Adult Education Association, SFOF; as consultant in the Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark; as teacher at Ry Folk High School, as principal of Snoghoj Folk High School and Uldum Folk High School, as project leader for Askov Folk High School, and as research leader for Nordic European Academy. He has published a series of reports and books regarding Liberal Adult Education and arts based learning. UNDERTAKEN ACTIVITIES: Interfolk applied for five mobilities in the 2-year period, Aug 2014 – July 2016; but in reality we only had 1 year and 4 months to complete the plan, because initial Interfolk was on the waiting list, and first ultimo March 2015 we were finally approved. Unfortunately, we had problems with finding European courses that could meet the objectives of all the approved mobilities. • We completed the 3-week course about professional English terminology at Liverpool School of English, May 2015. Initial it was difficult to find a course about the professional terminology in our field, but we managed to solve this by getting a customised English tuition programme as private lessons (one-to-one lessons). • We completed the 5-days course about management of European projects, provided by NSF Cyberall Access in Athens, April 2016. • But we couldn’t find a European week course, neither in the E-PALE platform or other places about “recognition and certification of skills and competences developed in non-formal and informal learning activities”. • Also to our surprise, we couldn’t find a specific conference or course about “new pedagogical methods and teaching practice to provide high quality European week courses and training events. • We did find a 3-day European research conference about the relations between active ageing and arts and culture based learning. However, the executive director had at that period other project appointments, which couldn’t be cancelled. RESULTS AND BENEFITS The two completed courses did develop the competences of the executive director of Interfolk, and thereby it had an impact on the development of the international dimension of the organisation. They • improved our professional English terminology in the field of liberal adult education, voluntary arts and culture and civil society activities; • helped to introduce new methods and approaches in planning and coordinating international project. The long-term benefits could be a higher quality of our international work, especially an improved ability to plan and manage innovative multilateral development projects.
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