URBAN LEARNING – Intergenerational Exchange of Knowledge and Experience for the development of Cultural Competences
Urban Learning is a project that promotes the Erasmus + Program among all generations (Sector Priority). Organizations working in major European cities have established partnerships to exchange good practice in intergenerational learning. By 2050, it is estimated that 6.5 billion people will live in urban centers – two-thirds of the projected population. Urbanization is usually discussed in the context of negative side effects. As more and more people live in cities, every aspect of life becomes urbanized. In a rapidly changing world, education is required for everyone, from Cradle to the Grave.
The context of the project is the need to answer the question: What do people expect from their urban environment? Critical events like the COVID-19 pandemic have marked a turning point in the way society works. The event disturbed the feeling of ontological security, aroused fears and forces a change in the organization of social relations, also in a positive way. The problem analysis was done with the use of quantitative research (target group surveys) and showed that it is necessary to designate spaces for education and social interaction.
The project is based on the needs of the participating organizations and target groups:
The needs of the target groups were identified through the partner organizations. A needs analysis carried out through a qualitative analysis (research interview) showed that a lifelong learning space is needed. Additionally, participant observations showed that leaving seniors alone and isolated contributes to malaise. Education of the elderly and urban studies are necessary. Cities are full of places to study, which most often go unrecognized. Urban learning can also include urban learning centers, incidental learning, educational walks in an urban and park environment, library, churches, streets with historical sites. One of the answers to learning in the city is spaces that allow you to engage in educational and social interactions.
The main aim of the project is to increase the capacity of the organization to offer education and experience exchange activities to seniors in order to strengthen European identity through Urban Learning.
The project includes specific objectives:
– Exchange of good practices in the field of Urban Learning,
– Strengthening the competences of educators in the field of intergenerational exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of urban education,
– Increasing the capacity to act transnational and online in the situation of COVID-19.
The question of how urbanization affects adult education is still rarely raised. Learning in the city can take many forms and can take place in countless places, but it is almost always about learning together – mostly in an informal way. It is necessary to present education as an opportunity to counteract loneliness, isolation, depression and poor social well-being of seniors. In a sense, urban learning is at the heart (heart) of non-formal learning itself.
The project responds to the need for education outside the training rooms. Seniors will look for spaces that enable their education, social interaction and new experiences. The city is a Lifelong Learning space. The project poses challenges how to conduct education in the city in the situation of COVID-19. The group of seniors remains a marginalized group due to digital exclusion due to age and barriers to accessing online education.
The project is implemented in international cooperation. The partnership consists of the following organizations: Poland, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Hungary, Spain. The partnership consists of organizations active in the field of adult education in various social and cultural contexts. A wide range of partners makes it possible to make the problem of joint learning of seniors, educators and families in cities gain a practical European dimension.
It is important for each of the partners to take care of the exchange of knowledge and experience and to implement the results of the project in their educational practice as well as in their educational and cultural area. The project aims to make insights and set expectations for the future of educational work with seniors in the years to come, following this experience with COVID-19.
The implementation of the project will change the reality as it allows gaining knowledge and experience of partner organizations from large European metropolises. Mutual exchange of experiences is an opportunity to solve the problem of learning by older people in urban space.