The EUROSOLE project is built around the shared objective to create four sustainable and alternative self-organised learning spaces – EUROSOLE spaces. Self-organised learning shares commonalities with personalised and student-led learning but is distinguishable through its focus on creating the social, intellectual and academic space for learning to take place rather than prescribing specific teaching methods. The universal methodological principles of the EUROSOLE project are
- to stimulate curiosity and engagement in the learning of basic and transversal skills
- a social and collaborative atmosphere
- and peer-interest.
In facilitating EUROSOLE spaces, these principles are all fuelled by adult encouragement and admiration but not by direct intervention. The EUROSOLE spaces are therefore based around a change in the role of teacher from transmitter to facilitator of knowledge and learning content. EUROSOLE space learning designs support the learner-driven identification and reflection on what is, could and should be learned and how. ‘Learning to learn’ through EUROSOLE spaces is an essential component in how it can specifically promote learner autonomy, engagement and a disposition towards lifelong and lifewide learning across the Europe and beyond.
Our target groups are young people from across the academic spectrum (including those with fewer opportunities) and practitioners from cross educational sectors. Our intention is to create EUROSOLE spaces, drawing on our existing, diverse but complementary approaches which straddle formal, non- and in-formal learning, to be subsequently used to transform formal, non-formal and informal learning approaches in lower secondary school education (aged 13- 18).
EUROSOLE partner organisations are based in four countries (Belgium, Finland, Ireland, UK) without any comprehensive strategies to tackling early school leaving but with differing degrees of developing policies and measures. The existing adoption of self-organised learning approaches across our different sectors, coupled with its potential for adaptation (in terms of learner needs, learning content) and national strategies to tackling early school leaving provide fertile ground for knowledge exchange and transferable tangible outputs relevant at local, national, regional and European levels. Over the next three years, we will work together to achieve our aims to produce a range of resources for educators including subject teachers, young mentors, community learning coordinators, curriculum leaders, these include:
- A Big Question Data Bank to support the development of learning content in the area of basic and transversal skills.
- Handbooks (in different languages) to facilitating EUROSOLE spaces.
- Practical tools to support educators in helping young people to self-evaluate and reflect on learning.
- Practical tools to support educators with links to acquire formal accreditation for their skills and competences gained via their implementation of the EURSOLE spaces.
- A step by step guide on ‘learning for change’ which educators can use to implement change.
We also recognise a need to complement and underpin our activities with a strong research base so we are also carrying out a number of case study investigations to provide practice-based evidence in how the different EUROSOLE spaces foster engagement ‘in action’, impact on engagement as an outcome and ultimately have the longterm potential to promote transition after lower secondary school education.