07 December, 2011

We volunteer, we learn

Sharing inspiration, ideas and resources, exchanging good practices, building on each other's strengths: that's all part of our INVEST project, a Grundtvig Learning Partnership. In the mail today we were happy to receive the link to the visual recording of our recent first meeting in Madrid. Our Spanish partner Cibervoluntarios was the producer of this short video , for a longer video recording of the talk we had with two Spanish cybervolunteers, click here. For dissemination purposes Cibervoluntarios designed this poster and brochure cover: And here's the full brochure text of the INVEST project outlining the aims and activities of this Grundtvig Learning Partnership, financially supported by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.

05 December, 2011

the beauty of a Grundtvig Learning Partnership

By now, based on my experiences of the last 4 years, I've become a great fan of Grundtvig Learning Partnerships! Having recently returned from the first meeting in a new European project of this type I feel I must share this idea here.
Grundtvig ?? Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783–1872) was a Danish clergyman and writer. He advocated 'life enlightenment', aimed at giving each individual, regardless of age or background, the opportunity to learn throughout life. The objective of learning was twofold: to give personal fulfillment to the individual and to ensure the active participation of all citizens in public life.
As a learning method, Grundtvig advocated the use of dialogue and the spoken word. He further believed that teaching should be based on and related to real-life experiences and not abstract matters.
The spirit of Grundtvig is clearly present within the idea of the learning partnerships as the main focus is placed on relationships and face-to-face communication.
Being a participant in such a partnership comes down to learning on many fronts, from and about the European context, while sharing and collaborating on common issues in an innovative way. It allows you to see for yourself the actual context in which your European counterparts operate on a daily basis. In learning partnerships the emphasis is clearly on the process of European cooperation and the enrichment of everyday practice through professional exchange and partnering.
In contrast to multilateral projects there is not the administrative burden of documenting every single item and the strict adherence to the work packages in order to deliver a number of clearly defined products.
That doesn't mean that "anything goes" in projects like these.
It does mean that if you come up with a good plan and a number of solid European partners, in combination with a set of concrete activities to work on predefined objectives staggered over a period of 2 years, you stand a good chance of being awarded with a grant from your own National Agency.
For me nothing can beat a Grundtvig learning partnership project when going international in adult education. Let's hope that in the new Lifelong Learning Programme from 2014 onwards this fabulous opportunity for European cooperation will be continued.

Detailed information about Grundtvig Learning Partnerships can be found here.