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Learning from Don Quijote's experience Group work and creativity in non-formal education and social transformation Youth Workers Training Course
Start date: Oct 1, 2015, End date: Jan 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In 2015, year of celebration of its 400th anniversary, the life and adventures of the Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote again shows us his lights and shadows, rights and wrongs in which we were inspired to design this training project. The hero's life is marked both by its lucidity and creativity that gives him strength to face any kind of injustice; and also by his madness, that isolates him from the reality that he aims to transform just by himself. Creativity as a force for transformation, loneliness as madness and loss of consciousness. A life of novel that inspires us to continue being creative, but not alone; and look our sight into our human groups as spaces of transformation, creativity and effectiveness to trully transform our daily reality, no matter if we have to face real giants every day. The project has been hold in the small town of Esquivias, Spain, were Cervantes wrote most of his books. The activity has been included into the conmemoration program to celebrate the 400 aniversary of the first edition of "Don Quijote de La Mancha", part II. From these reflections "Quijote's experience" focuses on an experiential training for educators and youth leaders from different countries in Europe. The Training Workshop (TW) is based on a transformative, inclusive and participatory pedagogy, oriented from the integral development of individuals including group experimentation and cooperative-creative spaces and dialogue. Such training, conceived as training workshop (TW), contributes to the development of the teaching-learning skills of participants and in particular facilitates the knowledge and skills around: - Group cohesion, intra- and inter-personal confidence, social skills and communication. - Relevance of the object of learning, motivation and decision making - Divergent thinking and creativity in solving problems and generating life choices - Identification and expression of emotions; identification of others and empathy. - Cooperative learning: collective knowledge creation and role of the teacher as an assistant in the learning process - Formative assessments, focusing on processes and value of errors The TW has lasted 6 days, included 40 hours and took place in Esquivias (Spain), from 24 to 30 November 2015. It has hosted 32 participants from 7 different countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain, Lithuania, Italy and Romania. It has included a component of community work with youngsters in the comunity. The international participants have worked with local youngsters during the fifth and sixth day of the TW. The participants, supervised by trainers and by using the learning tools, will facilitate one processes of reflection and collective creation. The work -and the subsequent reflection- has allowed participants to strengthen their learning; at the same time the young people and local community will increase their involvement in opportunities for social participation and their knowledge about European citizenship. The pedagogy developed in Quixote's experience is based in a methodology called Play and Acting, our arms for peace through is formed (since 2010) to more than a thousand educators / as and teachers throughout the State Spanish, and already enjoys wide international recognition (EU, OEI, ...). It aproaches teaching-learning processes from joy, self evaluation and cooperation. The project has reached the expected impact of multiply this metodology in the environment of the partner organizations, making youngsters in other European countries to have access to beteer educational options that address the whole person, taking into account cognitive learning but also affective , relational, corporal and volitional ones. Afther the TW together with the Bulgarian, French and Italian organizations we are working in the desing of future trainings including this methodology. In the long run the project has contributed to the use of our pedagogy and its aiming is to generate teaching-learning processes to facilitare the understanding of ourselves and our peers and together create new human groups to enjoy and transform.
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