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Validation and Motivation for (in)formal Learning in Prison
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The validation of informal learning is a goal in itself, and should be part of the delivery and assessment of learning activities, particularly in a prison context, where any scope to provide positive recognition has a clear psycho-social value. This validation of informal learning underlines the positive social skills and competences, as well as other key competences relevant to learning and the world of work, thus strongly supporting not only the educational agenda in prison, but also the broader rehabilitative agenda. In various contexts, the provision of informal learning validation has had the effect of motivating adults – particularly those from broadly socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds – to pursue further learning and career-orientation opportunities. Prison is a prime location for the realisation of such outputs. If, through the validation of informal learning a learner in prison can become motivated to nurture this positive reinforcement in an educational setting, pursuing additional education (either formal or informal) or engaging more seriously with career planning. The impact of informal learning validation in a prison setting is clearly something with a significant potential to encourage learning and further competence development. The project VALMOPRIS, supported by the European Prison Education Association (EPEA), designs, delivers and validates informal learning activities with the focus on KC5+1 – that is, it will look at the primary key competence of Learning to Learn (which supports the overall goal of enhancing motivation for participation in adult education in prison) in combination with at least 5 other European Framework Key Competences. 15 prison educators will be trained in the project to deliver and validate informal competence based learning with a focus on developing the ability and motivation to learn, and they will run various competence based learning projects with a diverse range of 90 prison learners. The project VALMOPRIS formally evaluates the change in learner motivation as a result of the informal learning validation, publishing a report on the impact of informal learning validation in prison. Based on the final results, a further 15 prison educators will be trained, setting the project outputs up for mainstreaming.VALMOPRIS will actively contribute to policy discourse on prison education, and the role of informal learning. It hopes to bring a change in the mind-set of education in prison, raising the profile of the social and personal competences acquired through informal learning and the way they can be assessed and validated. It hopes to promote the motivation of prison learners to engage in in/formal educational activities in line with the Council of Europe Recommendations on Education in Prison, and seeks to establish a continuation of the train-the-trainer programme, designing it to meet the requirements of a KA1 mobility activity for prison teachers throughout Europe.
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