The aim of the Agora Association of la Verneda – Sant Marti has always been to facilitate access to education for new learners, especially those that are at risk of social exclusion. This is achieved through different affirmative actions, strong partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders and the use of dialogic learning, which is the backbone of the school.
To make sure that courses are accessible to everybody, the school is open every day of the week from early morning until 10 pm. Applications for initial courses such as literacy and Spanish are always open and if necessary, new courses are created. Attendance comes at no cost. The school also reaches out to groups that are particularly vulnerable – the homeless and the unemployed, as well as refugees and migrants – by cooperating with a diverse range of stakeholders. Finally, new learners are engaged through several Successful Educational Actions, such as dialogic gatherings which guarantee access to universal culture, family education to support the enrolment of parents and dialogic pedagogical training offered to volunteers. The dialogic approach to learning also means that learners are directly involved in the management of the school and are involved for example in the preparation of schedules.
The Adult School of La Verneda – Sant Marti achieves its impact at the local, national and international level. With over 2400 learners attending its courses every year, it offers more than 80 educational activities. Recognized internationally, it is the only adult education school in Spain whose experience has been described in the Harvard Educational Review. It has also served as a basis for five doctoral theses.
The project: Adults School of la Verneda – St Marti
- Award category: National projects (Spain)
- Learner target group: Learners in risk of social exclusion
- Innovative practice: Dialogic learning methods
- Organisation: Associació Agora
- Contact: Rosa Maria Lloret Barberà
The article series shares good practices on engaging new learners by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2017.
Text: Lou-Andréa PinsonPhotos: Adults School of la Verneda – St Marti