Taking new paths – using new methods effectively in educational work - part 1

More than 20 people in charge of education from EZA member organisations in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Spain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania came to Lisbon for an event titled “Taking new paths – using new methods effectively in educational work”, which was held from June 25 to 28, 2018. The seminar was organised by NBH (Nell-Breuning-Haus), with support from EZA and the European Union.

The event started with a discussion of the theoretical principles underlying education, the historical development of the same, its purpose as well as its stakeholders and forms. Ilona Arcaro, adult educator and manager of the Academy for Further Scientific Training at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, offered an overview and highlighted the changes in learning and teaching brought about by the internet and the Smartphone. These new technologies expand the opportunities for formal education (school/university) as well as non-formal (out-of-school) and informal (customised and non-managed) education, both with respect to learning and teaching. The question of the distinction between enabling and creation didactics was also considered a priority in this context. Professor R. Arnold introduced the LENA model as an example of the new theories. The acronym “LENA” stands for agile and sustained learning (Lebendiges und Nachhaltiges Lernen). At the end of the first day, Norbert Klein from the EZA office once again went over the special requirements for EZA seminars and incorporated the same into the context of the seminar planning process.

The workshop part of the seminar, which followed on the second day, focused on designing educational measures in such a way that the teaching contents that are conveyed build on each other and ensure that the knowledge that is acquired can be effectively retrieved and applied later on.  This requires a lot of attention considering the special conditions that apply in the case of the European seminars, with the different languages, participant origins and learning needs. Also introduced were activating methods and techniques that can effect new learning dynamics and that can be easily applied - also in European educational institutions. As part of a planning simulation, participants were able to contribute their own seminar projects with contents, seminar processes and objectives, and to select the corresponding methods. The presented plans were then discussed with the expert and additional suggestions were provided.