A training kit for professionals in adults’ education

Creating educational settings for storytelling/writing (main steps in using autobiography in any social inclusion undertaking) requires not only a strong theoretical background (that will cover about 25% of it) but also the ability to build a “narrative context” that is non-judgmental, where there is confidence, respect and mutual learning; it is a delicate planning activity that involves the adult educators personally. It is even more sensitive for people who have experienced strong negative emotions – like low skilled/qualified migrants/minorities – having personal stories with a very strong emotional impact.

The main innovative element of this kit is the way it puts in common the complementary experience of the 5 partners in order to answer to some particular relevant educational needs.

AMICI – Autobiographical Method for Migrants’ and Minorities’ Inclusion in Communities they are living In – a training kit for professionals in adults’ education is the first intellectual output that will be created in three steps:

  1. first draft is the theoretical support for the international training activity that will gather 20 professionals in adults’ education (trainers, facilitators, tutors, lecturers etc.) – 4 persons from each partner’s organization for five full working days, in Rome – Italy. The training is organized and developed by Italian partner and is the starting point of the “project cascade” (an approach that involves an increasing number of participants with project’s advancement).
  2. second draft – the training kit will be improved with the feedback (observations, comments, recommendations) from the 20 participants in the international training activity and after local ToT each partner organizes in its country
  3. final edition – will include conclusions of the autobiographical sessions for migrants and ethnic minorities

As autobiography in adults’ education is basically an experiential learning process the trainer should be mainly a facilitator and a mentor – according to D. Demetrio (ex. Demetrio, D. & Borgonovi, C. – 2007 – “Teaching to Remember Ourselves: The Autobiographical Methodology”). So the TK will support professionals in adult education in improving their facilitating skills and mentoring skills

The training kit will be an A5 brochure – about 100 pag. All partners at the first transnational meeting will draw its content around the following template:

  1. Introduction consisting in:
    • project description, aim and necessity of such a training kit and how it will be used
    • main learning objectives description
  2. Theoretic support
    • concept definitions – what is autobiography, why is so useful in adults’ education, contemporary trends
    • storytelling/writing – first step in using autobiography for migrants/minorities social inclusion
    • digital storytelling – a certain product and an end for a new beginning
  3. Learner’s profile – each partner will present a description of the learners they will work with in the second stage of the project (migrants and minorities) and at the first project meeting we extract the most common particularities and design one general learner’s profile for migrants and one for ethnic minorities – that could be applied on a larger European (global) scale
  4. Designing of working session – a general description of main aspects that a trainer/facilitator should take into account in developing learning activities centred on autobiography – as proper dimensions for rooms/groups/time, logistic, establishing proper learning outcomes etc.
  5. Methodology for implementing the programme and the use of the didactic material – grouped in the 3 main steps defined by D. Demetrio:
    • retrospection: looking at the past – activities based on “learning to remember” (different exercises aiming to “bring into light” individual memories, starting with pleasant ones – or at least neutral – and the guided process toward remembering traumatic experiences)
    • interpretation: reconstruction of an experience – activities aiming to support adult learners in finding correlating events, causes and possible consequences of their past experiences and discover new interpretations arisen through an interpretive perspective
    • creation: activities aiming to support adult learners to rebuild the story about themselves made up of their hopes and desires which, through the narration of their experiences and to learn from the analysis of their story, to learn by learning from themselves.
  6. Evaluation tools – both for trainers and for future adult learners (to be used in estimated the impact of learning activities focused on autobiographical method have on low-skilled/qualified migrants/minorities involved)