From the Wild Atlantic Way to North West Sicily, ERASMUS+ provided a very rewarding training opportunity.
Donegal and Kerry ETB’s Adult Basic Education Service Staff shared an exciting training opportunity in Sicily in early September.
The course, funded by Leargas under Erasmus + Key Actions and supported by Donegal and Kerry ETBs, was delivered in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto in North East Sicily. The core elements of the programme included:
- Working in an intercultural environment
- Communication challenges related to multicultural students
- Motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic
- Managing staff and managing change
- Development of problem solving skills
- Developing team working skills and sharing ideas and strategies
The training programme and information material for the course were developed by EProject to meet the objectives of ERASMUS+ applications made to Leargas by both Donegal and Kerry ETBs. Initial preparation included exploring the willingness and feasibility of the basic education staff of two ETBs combining to attend a training programme. This meant comparing both applications and, most importantly, ascertaining staff willingness and motivation to participate. The staff in both ETBs welcomed the prospect of sharing training. A comparison of the application forms highlighted shared objectives. Emails passed between Donegal and Kerry as dates, locations and course providers were verified, discussed and finally agreed upon.
In March 2015 EProject, ERASMUS+ approved trainers, were contacted with a view to exploring the possibility of providing a course to meet the needs of the staff of both Donegal and Kerry ETBs. From that initial email, EProject were helpful and supportive and were willing to negotiate and accommodate in respect of dates, duration and content. Dates and course content were agreed and the staff of EProject organised accommodation and transfers. All was set for a September training course.
The Sicilian sunshine and the staff of EProject created an atmosphere that was both motivating and conducive to engagement. The mix of participants (from two different ETBs located at opposite ends of the Wild Atlantic Way) and the facilitation skills of Natalia Seriakova from Germany created a positive energy. Training started with an overview of ERASMUS + Key Actions and some general information on Sicily. As training progressed, Natalia presented scenarios, case studies, group and individual tasks which generated lively debates, discussion on developments and circumstances and a willingness to view issues and topics from different perspectives.
Small group work and ‘walk and talk’ during cultural outings meant that the Donegal and Kerry participants worked, laughed, learned and shared together. Participants availed of an opportunity, in a very different setting, to explore and reflect on their own practice and to investigate new approaches and strategies. Back home and with winter beckoning and the surf of the Wild Atlantic Way pounding both coastlines, the contacts made and the skills gained through this shared training will ensure continued links and sharing between the Basic Education Services of both Kerry and Donegal ETBs.