Experientiality - experience and reflexivity contr..
Experientiality - experience and reflexivity contributing to youth participation
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 29 févr. 2016
‘Experientiality’ tackled the challenges that youth workers face when they are working in formal settings and promoting youth participation. In this framework, we focused on the qualitative aspect of youth work, assuming that a trainer that is aware of his own values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour had a positive influence on his/her participants’ learning experience and participation, inspiring them to become active, and may also ensure a positive image of non-formal learning and a better understanding of what youth organisations are doing.
Therefore, the training’s main aim was to improve the individual self-awareness and personal competences of non-formal learning professionals (trainers and facilitators) working with young people in the field of youth participation. The training’s sessions covered the development of a deep sense of self-awareness of trainers and facilitators and of a set of competences related to non-formal learning and youth participation. The objectives of the training were the following:
• to evaluate personal competences of non-formal learning practitioners working with young people and further
develop them in a safe training environment;
• to increase awareness about own values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour, about cultural and self expression
(considering the use of voice, intonation, body language, gestures, positioning, use of space, mimics, graphics, handwriting
etc.) and about own communication patterns in various (learning) settings;
• to explore individual personal styles, ethics, approaches etc. in formal and non-formal contexts;
• to identify (new) non-formal learning tools aiming at supporting the personal and professional development of
• to reflect and assess personal experience in the topic of youth participation, particularly in stimulating participation
in formal settings;
• to encourage the development of competences, methods and techniques of engaging young people from formal
settings in participatory projects and of inspiring them to remain active;
• to discuss challenges faced by trainers while working in formal settings;
• to develop new ideas stemming from the exchanges and learning during the training.
Thirty-two participants, youth workers - preferably trainers and facilitators, but also other profiles (such as teachers or educators) - engaged or interested in promoting youth participation in formal education settings (schools, universities, etc) were invited to join the training. They experienced the frame of Kolb’s learning cycle and focused on each of its stages; the title being inspired from Kolb’s experiential learning theory. The training was supposed to be a journey from “the inside to the outside" of the individual, and from the individual to the context.
This training was a challenging one, not only for participants, but also for the team, due to the fact that it mainly focused on one of the most sensitive and difficult aspect of learning - attitude and change of attitude. The processes of participants experienced them to get a deeper understanding of who they are, what values, beliefs and attitudes they have and how these are defined, all this enabling them to:
- reflect on their own values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours,
- plan and evaluate self-directed learning process,
- reflect on self efficiency and self expression, including cultural and personal aspects of it such as use of voice, intonation, body language, gestures, positions, use of space, mimics, graphics, hand-writing etc. in youth activities;
- understand the role of gender and how it influences our understanding of the world
- handle ambiguous situations (intercultural competence);
- reflect on personal experience and competencies linked to youth participation and non-formal learning in general;
- give and receive feedback and integrate it to the future work;
- communication competence including verbal and non-verbal;
- reflection of personal styles, ethics, approaches etc.;
- identify and to analyse challenges, and to address them in the most efficient way.
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