Training and Empowerment

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Many projects use group processes as an instrument for teaching or empowering people. Trainings, workshops, work camps, congresses, or seminars - as different as they are, they all offer a shared space for learning. Because they are located outside the normal institutions that transfer knowledge like schools or universities, they are known as non-formal education.

However - people also gain valuable experiences without participating in formal or non-formal learning environments. This everyday learning is known as informal education. Projects using informal learning arrangements focus more on shaping conditions for acquiring experience and knowledge than on elaborately detailed didactical plans. This might be a room, a network of people, a virtual space, or a cultural event. People participate in boring conferences but the most interesting are the informal program activities.

As mentioned, non-formal education follows a different approach. The globe of an event is also part of the targeted didactical planning. For example, coffee breaks become an important element that supports concrete group processes, following a planned thread.

A lot of projects in non-formal education take place where their target groups are - in youth groups, in public spaces, in international meetings, in orphanages, or in retirement homes. Today, non-formal and informal education address not only the youth. Life-long learning means popularizing education among the whole population with the social and demographic developments in the industrialized countries as a model.

Competendo: Toolbox for Facilitators

Methods, background information and best practice may be found in our toolbox for facilittaing group processes:

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