“Let’s Learn Differently!” is a project financed through the KA2 action of the Erasmus+ Programme. Matei Basarab School from Pitești, Romania is the project coordinator, in which schools and NGOs from Spain, Greece and Turkey also take part. Imago Mundi Association, member of Volonteurope Network, is one of the partners in this project, which started in October 2017 and will continue until October 2017. The project aims to improve youths’ ability to communicate, work in teams and to reduce verbal violence caused by exam stress; to uncover artistic talents; improve teachers’ ability to utilise non-formal activities and participative methods during classes. Additionally, the project aims to develop schools’ capacity to work in other European projects; to introduce the principles and methodologies of non-formal education in schools, and refresh the educational system and its approach to education.

In the last months, Imago Mundi, unveiled a series of non-formal activities involving teachers and students from more than twelve schools and high schools from the county of Argeș. As a result of these activities we intend to work on a guide on non-formal education, focusing on methods and approaches that can be successfully used in the formal education system. Once written, we will disseminate this guide in schools and high schools throughout Europe.

In order to test and adapt non-formal methods of education, on 18 to 22 April 2016, as part of the “A different school” program and the “Let’s Learn Differently!” project, the Imago Mundi Association organised a series of non-formal education activities. The workshops were designed by the Imago Mundi volunteers and focused on themes such as violence prevention, personal development, music therapy and barriers in communication. A total of fifteen workshops were prepared by the Association’s 30 volunteers, and they took place throughout the week in twelve educational institutions, involving approximately 300 young students and 30 teachers from the county of Argeș.

On 27 May 2016, volunteers from Imago Mundi, in cooperation with Matei Basarab School, the coordinator of the “Let’s Learn Differently” strategic partnership, organised a non-formal education workshop as part of the aforementioned project. As the International Children’s Day was approaching, discussions with the Matei Basarab students focused on topics such as realising childhood dreams in adult life, advice to give to adults, rights versus obligations, and what being an adult or a child means. Their answers were interesting, and once again helped us to see things from their perspective!

Saturday 9 July 2016, Imago Mundi Association unfolded a new workshop as part of “Let’s Learn Differently”, on the topic of time management. The workshop was attended by 30 young people from several schools and high schools from the county of Argeș, and it was intended to help the young people to become aware of the importance of efficient time management, and taught them the skills to achieve this.

On 16 July 2016, Imago Mundi volunteers, together with young people and teachers from the village of Stroesti, commune of Musatesti, Romania, organised a series of workshops on handcrafts and learned how to do origami, henna drawings, quilting, rock painting, make woollen dolls, or use a sewing machine!

The summer will continue with Imago Mundi volunteers getting involved in activities aimed at promoting non-formal education in schools. You can find out more information on the Let’s Learn Differently project, from our Facebook page Let’s Learn Differently!

 

By Constantin Dedu, Leader of Initiatives and Projects for Youth at Imago Mundi Foundation, Volonteurope board member