A New Chance Project

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The Project aims to introduce a model program for training teachers for work in non formal education. The Project is based on the premises that for the work in this qualitatively different from the formal education field the teachers do need special skills and attitudes and as well a knowledge for the character and the developments of the system in order to be able to build a successful career there.

The Project answers the growing needs of qualified working force for the non-formal sector and as well from the growing number of teachers who are facing unemployment in the ageing societies of the European Union and especially in the new member states where doesn't exist developed civil society and systems for non formal education.

The project will be run in several new member states mainly working with the trade unions who are not only interested in solving the problems of their teachers members but as well could be able to formulate and promote a public policy in the field.

The Project will deliver training in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Cyprus under a specially designed program with the support of the international group of trainers of trainers. The project aims at establishing a learning community of teachers - union activists who will be actively involved in elaboration of the training model for educators in non formal education field.

After the training phase the participants will try to elaborate projects which will help them to be involved in the field of non formal education in their own countries or will try to build international partnerships.

The unions involved in the program with the support of the International Federation of the Trade Unions will try to design a EU policy in the field .

Thus the Project will open new professional paths for the realization of the teachers who are leaving the formal education field or for the teachers who will like to be involved in the non formal education as well.

The Project will be a modest contribution toward the establishment of European area for lifelong learning and will start the forum for teachers involved in non-formal education.

Under the Project an innovative Set of professional standards and competences for work in non formal education will be elaborated a number of teaching materials for the trainers and learners in non formal education

The project will contribute to quality lifelong learning through establishing a learning community of about 100 teachers from the participating countries who are going through a specially designed model for training for work in non formal education by international team of trainers specially selected and prepared for the Project. The innovative character of the Project is that the model developed will be used by the participating in the Project trade unions as a basis for the elaboration of a special policy for the teachers who would like to be involved in non formal education.

The essence of the Project is an European co-operation through establishment and broadening of an educational space for educators from several European countries. The next European dimension of the Project is that the basic partners are trade unions which are in permanent contact between themselves and will aim at elaborating specific policies for their members . The Project aims as well at setting some professional standards for work in non formal education valid for all the countries . A training manual and compendium for all future educators will give more European character to the Project

The problem with teachers is that after a decade of work in the formal education they are loosing a lot of their ability to compete , to be innovative and entrepreneurial. The Project will present a model of empowering the ageing teachers and motivating them for involvement in the field which is very close to the formal education rather than trying to look for new professional chances elsewhere. Because the non formal education is not strictly regulated and consistent area the Project will promote the development of the skills and knowledge necessary for work in such a risky environment - problem solving, project management, conflict resolution, creative thinking, educational management and etc.

The Project itself is based on the exploration of the existing patterns and practices defining the way of the educators from formal to non formal education. The results of the training of educators will be used immediately in the development and management of projects supporting teachers involvement in non formal education. The Project accomplishments and results will be presented to the trade unions participating in the Project and through it to the International Federation of the Trade Unions and thus will be easily disseminated throughout European space. In this way the Project creates an open space where contributions from other educators and institutions will be accepted and disseminated.

The development of innovative practices will be facilitated through the establishment of an international learning community - trainers of trainers, educators looking for a fulfilment in the field of non formal education, NGO and Trade union leaders. This community will not only be focused at the learning processes but will try to develop national and international projects facilitating teachers involvement in the field of non formal education. Study visits, joint training of trainers , joint projects and joint formulation of involvement and re in-training policy for formal educators into the field of non formal education will consist a part of the Project development.

The Project aims at elaborating a pedagogical approach in the field where there are no clear limits, neither standards of training and professional realization. The Project objective is to develop common professional standards for work in non formal education which could be proposed to the other European educators; to elaborate a specific model for training of trainers and for training of the future non formal educators. The Project will help the participating organization/ trade unions/ better to manage the qualification programs for their teachers members not only in the field of non formal education.

The Project is a response to the ageing population in Europe from two points. At first ageing population means lower birth rates , less students at school and need for less teachers . At second more and more teachers are looking for a job outside formal education because of lack of employment or because of the growing need of educators in the non formal education which grows with the growth of the percentage of the adult population. More and more educators are needed for work in the field of non formal education for the senior citizens who in many EU countries do outnumber the percentage of the young people.

The ageing teachers are going through a process of de-qualification - they could not count anymore of the acquired skills for dealing with the professional problems and could not with these skills compete in looking for jobs in other professional fields. The Project based on the experimental training models delivers skills and knowledge helpful for realization in another professional field which is the non formal education- intercultural, intergenerational and interactive competences, managerial skills, problem solving skills, facilitative skills, organizational development skills.

The training for non formal education is a training which delivers a possibly broadest range of competences- intercultural, intergenerational, managerial, ICT competences, communication and etc. In order to be successful in the field non formal educators has to integrate all these competences in their professional repertoire That's why the project proposal aims at integrating these competences not only through training activities but as well of involving the learners in a learning community process of development and of involving them in project development inside their countries and across the national boundaries.

The quality of the proposed education is ensured in several ways. At first by the process of needs research which will help to identify the strong sides and the deficits of the participants in order to plan for a training for success. At second the trainers will be carefully selected and will go through a special multimodule training scheme in order to be able to design training curriculum for their own country. At third the training at national level will not only be delivered as an one year undertaking to the participants but will aimed to develop a learning community which will permanently provide a feedback and will participate in the training design as well. In the end the project development and management component will help the necessary skills and competences to be strengthened and checked in an working conditions.