THE POWER OF NON-FORMAL EDUCATION WITHIN FORMAL CONTEXT

trening4European training course „The power of non-formal education within formal context „organized by NGO Arci Nuova Associazione and it was located in Torino di Sangro, a small city in Abruzzo region. Training course involved teachers, youth workers, managers of associations and volunteers, all together 27 participants from Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Romania with the desire to provide us innovative methodologies and techniques of non-formal education so that we can implement in formal context. Training was carried out from 26 February to 6 March 2017.
The main objective was to provide us a path of learning in order to improve or develop our skills, approaches and practical tools as to propose, manage and implement activities of Non Formal Education in formal settings such as schools and Youth councils.
trening3During the project we were accommodated in ex Convent di San Felice in Torino di Sangro where we also had different activities regarding to project that we participated in.
The objectives of the training was to learn how to use non-formal education within formal contexts because non-formal education plays a significant role in equipping young people with the skills that are needed on the labour market, in the field of education and for their own well-being and personal development. Non-formal education can find a broader application in the community and in formal educational structures and can contribute into addressing issues such as human rights, alternative education, sustainable environmental development, ethical media transmission, active participation and lobbing process, as crucial fields into building a functional society, which meets the needs of our fast growing global environment. This is the main message that NGO Arci tried transmit through this project.
Through this training course we learned that non-formal education can contribute in the formal context through motivating participants by involving them during the learning process in practical experiences that might include, indirect guiding for the self-reflection process, visual methodologies in the learning process, exercises of need analysis, etc.
The first day of activities was focused on getting to know each other, team building in the local carnival and trening2association fair. For association fair we bring with us materials of our associations (photo, brochures, leaflets, posters, stickers, video, etc.) in order to shows to the others our NGO background (main goals, public, activities, etc.) in a dynamic and interactive way. It was really interesting to hear a lot of different project and goals that they are trying to reach and also interesting for me to hear what is possible to achieve with this type of working.
Each national group settled a sort of stand (as in a fire) in order for all participants to visit it in a free and personal way trying to catch information from each stand. We also did the same with representing RCT to others.
One of interesting thing in this day was also an intercultural evening where we had change learn more about other countries, their cultures and try their products.
During few days of the project we start with a theme based activities: Overcoming linguistic barriers, self, cultural identity, stimulating critical thinking through the media. Gender perspective (gender balance), working on intercultural learning was also included in this project. We work on each subject in small groups and we had a chance to change ideas about this topic with each other in non-formal way. Therefore, it was really interesting to hear other perspectives and how cultural identity affects our way of thinking, working or living.
It was interesting that all these topics we covered through group work in a non-formal way and also like that learn methods that later we can used in our work.
Also, we had two intensive days following with theme based activities on motivation and active participation, peaceful resolution of conflicts, improving communication skills, how to approach human rights topics within formal contexts, how to approach sustainable development issues through environmental educational path. Later on, we had sharing session.
trening1Mapping of realities: national contexts and backgrounds.
All participants also needed research how NFE is considered and recognised in their country as well as approaches, attitudes, practical and theoretical aspects of the formal education system. We needed to show practical examples/outcomes of non-formal education activities realised in our reality including eventual experiences within formal contexts. In this part we had chance to hear similarities and difference from country to country in their formal education and how much each country recognizes the true value of tools and methods that non-formal education can give us to improve our formal context.
This was the first project of this type of learning new knowledge and skills that I had the opportunity to participate. I really liked how learning process is organized through project activities and how much is possible to learn new things in this way. I think this was a very valuable experience for me. I liked the way how they welcomed us with this project and I think that they did their job.