Learning at the Hearth


Rooftop Theatre Group was a partner in the Grundtvig Learning Partnership “Learning at the Hearth”. The partnership began officially in August 2012 and concluded in July 2014.

The “Learning at the Hearth” partnership grant application received very high marks, which is indicative of the quality of the proposal, the partners involved and the expected results. All the partners who applied for funding received approval by their respective National Agencies.

During the partnership, the organizations involved had joint working meetings and visits to each other’s country, created relevant actions involving their local populations and were involved in the dissemination of the produced results. Rooftop Theatre group was represented in the meetings by the project coordinator, members of the project team and adult learners of our organization.

The participating partners and countries were:
1) Interacting Ltd (UK, partnership coordinator) - promotes language learning and international understanding. Operates in severely disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland and the North of England.
2) Asociația de părinți a elevilor Liceului cu Program Sportiv Suceava (Romania) - a Parents Association supporting a specialist sports college. Organizes activities of general interest and promotes intergenerational and family learning.
3) Zukunftsbau GmbH (Germany) - youth work facilitator and accredited apprenticing company. Offers vocational training and counseling to disadvantaged young people and the long-term unemployed for integration into the job market.
4) Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (Lithuania) - Pre-service and in-service teacher training institution. Organizes different countries' and nations' cultural weeks especially representing national minorities and hard-to-reach groups.
5) Escuela de Formación UNOAUNO (Spain) - School for Adults, dedicated to Education for Leisure. Themes: Healthy lifestyles. Use of the outdoors as a learning environment. Active leisure and working for the benefit of the community.
6) Associazione Culturale ALLELAMMIE (Italy) - Works in a very disadvantaged region (Basilicata) with a high level of unemployment (about 22%). It operates with persons (young and adults) with economic and job problems (unemployed) and at risk of exclusion.

Project summary:
The aim of the project “Learning at the Hearth” was to celebrate traditional methods of learning through stories, songs, wisdom, recipes and crafts which were once handed down from generation to generation at the fireside. The project extended the literal setting of the hearth as a metaphor for a place where core learning once took place. We compared and contrasted the way hearths have been used across Europe to preserve and transfer traditional wisdom within generations and across generations. Connecting with others in such meeting places, we developed our sense of being and our identity. The stories we shared and other cultural “offerings” connected us to our environment, revealing who we are, where we come from, how we should behave and how we navigate through life.

Storytelling is a special way of transferring knowledge and values to others, of understanding our experiences and of co-constructing meaning for our life. It is a tool for motivating and empowering people; promoting social inclusion and the feeling of belonging. The sharing of common experiences with “the other” (when cultural, linguistic, generational differences exist) invites the creation of understanding, tolerance and respect.
The partner organisations work in cities, regions or countries emerging from division, occupation or disunity and seek to find "common ground" both Nationally and as Europeans, through familiar experiences. 

The project’s objectives were:
1. To identify and define “hearths” in the various cultures participating.
2. To promote social unity by sharing and comparing, within and between countries, generations and cultures.
3. To explore the storyteller’s tradition in different cultures and relay it to younger generations by empowering adults to transfer their skills.
4. To exchange good practice and techniques of non-formal adult education and performance, examining the role of narrative and multiple perspectives in building bridges where disunity exists.
5. To record evidence and materials using Information and Learning Technologies. Define through digital recording the moments of transfer of knowledge between generations.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Link to Project Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LATH-Learning-at-the-Hearth-497283656999906/ 

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