A crucial component of quality in adult education is a learner-centred approach, adapted to the needs and expectations of the specific learners. With support from the Erasmus+ programme, many adult education providers have been able to develop and test such approaches. Examples from 2 projects follow.
As part of the Lifelong Learning Programme, FLAM (‘Feel like a migrant’) is founded on 2 ideas:
- it is important to know your learners in order to teach them
- a cultural understanding is vital to help people integrate into a new society.
With these ideas in mind, FLAM has developed innovative ways for teachers to experience new cultures and better support migrant learners. Project coordinator Aleksandra Sikorska explains why it is important for teachers to take an empathic, multicultural approach: ‘Educational staff with multicultural skills are able to take into account the cultural diversity of learners and are more flexible in their changing roles in adult learning.’
Project partners developed a teaching approach that aims to help trainers to understand culture – not only other people's, but their own – as a complex process in which people become members of communities, and form basic attitudes, values and norms. The tools developed during the project, including the FLAM handbook, which is available in 6 languages, are modular and can be used for a wide variety of workshops and lessons in all types of training institutions. Available to download for free, project materials have already been shared with hundreds of participants at seminars around the world.
Offering innovative teaching approaches is also key to attracting and retaining adult learners. When a group of education experts got together to plan a project about ‘joyful learning’, they decided to use technology with the potential to attract and retain adult learners: augmented reality (AR). This technology adds computer-generated sensory input – like sound, vibration, or graphics – to literally ‘augment’ a person's real-world view. Project partners who had already seen AR in action knew it had the potential to make learning more enjoyable, engaging and playful – and so the JoyAR project was born.
According to Project Co-ordinator Lukáš Richterek, ‘we were interested in augmented reality as a tool for education, so the main aim was to develop and share skills, joy and experience connected with it.’
With support from Erasmus+, the team was able to review the current use of AR in adult education programmes across Europe, organising practical demonstrations with the aim of inspiring other educators to explore the benefits of using AR. The project results, including case study flyers and practical demonstrations, are now available on the project website.
All the partners continue to share new ideas, experiences and, of course, the joy of technology!
If you would like to discover more inspiring projects, do not hesitate to browse the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform, and get inspired!