COMETS – Understanding and facilitating individual and group learning processes
Our International Projects Manager Theo Mavrosavva, has participated in the SALTO-YOUTH Transnational Training And Coorperation Activity: COMETS - Understanding and facilitating individual and group learning processes that was implemented in Vienna, Austria from 02 May 2018 - 08 May 2018.
The training course was in the context of the European Training Strategy (ETS), SALTO T&C RC in which the Competence Model for Trainers Working at International Level - www.salto-youth.net/trainercompetences has been developed.
A week with 25 different youth workers including the trainers from several countries, a variety of different work approaches and more than 100 years in total in youth work experience. A week full of self-reflection, workshops, skill sharing, theoretical inputs, reflection sessions and creativity sessions as also group work and discussions based on the specific competence.
(picture by Stephanie Auzinger, Austrian National Agency)
The trainers Nik Paddison and Alexandra Beweis had effectively used our experiences and self-assessment materials to bring forward a training full of theoretical and interactive aspects about the competence of understanding and facilitating individual and group learning processes in a non-formal learning environment with methodologies that included, gallery discussions, learner profile creation for different learning types.
Theoretical Aspects of the training included the Didactic Triangle and Didactic Principles from the Art of Learning by Siegbert Warwitz, the 'C' Wheel by Carol Read, the Driver and Working Styles by Corporate Coach and many other materials.
Everyday we elaborated and focused on one or more of the criteria and indicators of the specific competence. We focused either on an individual level or group level. Reflection and self-reflection was the core for this training and learning experience. An interesting approach for reflecting was the method of the "public wall paper", I would call it, in which everyday each of us would write about the outcomes of the day and lessons learned or reflected upon. This clearly showed our journey throughout the week and for each of us was so different and interesting. Using different visual methods from drawing and writing what was important for the previous day.
(picture in the middle by Nik Paddison, SALTO)
Another important method was the use of Learning Support Groups, in which in teams of 3 or more we had discussions everyday after all sessions of the day were completed. We would gather and discuss about the different points of view of the sessions, discussing and exchanging ideas, feelings and experiences that happened during the day.
Learning by sharing was prominent and strong connections with fellow youth workers of different backgrounds and experiences from various fields of skills and learning environments, were made.
We were sharing practices of our work, shared emotions and we continued to find ways on how to motivate youth and groups for learning, on how to create a safe learning environment and satisfying learning needs to support learners in the best way possible.
We understood together how group dynamics are formed and how different types of learners exists in one single group at the same time.
Personally I learned additionally, that humour is an essential tool to help learners focus and keep the motivation and excitement high within the learning environment. Creating a positive atmosphere and allowing individuals to share their experience (or anything in this matter), in an open, understanding environment while respecting individual characteristics and personalities play an integral part in the learning process of their own.
On the last day, the whole morning was dedicated to the "Trainer's Piazza" in which we had the opportunity to participate in workshops, simulations and discussions organised by our fellow youth workers. Many interesting and interactive sessions from music sharing, experiential learning, simulations and games were presented in an efficient way to build our own toolbox for the future. Many tools can be used for sure in different contexts and themes in our work. We all really enjoyed it!
(picture in the middle, by Nik Paddison, SALTO)
A Youthpass was given for this TC Activity to support the learning outcomes of this learning experience.
I thank the National Agency of Cyprus for accepting my application form to join this learning opportunity and the National Agency of Austria for hosting it.
Thanks to the training team and all the participants that I really hope we meet again somewhere in Europe in the near future!
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission (Erasmus + Programme). These publication(s) article(s), video(s) and magazine(s) reflect the views only of the author(s), and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.