The LSE project aims to improve basic skills provision in Europe by explaining, further developing and upscaling the life skills approach. The project final beneficiaries are people from a disadvantaged background, refugees and people resistant to ‘foreigners’ and intercultural exchange.
The LSE project will explain, further develop and upscale the life skills approach with the purpose to support three different groups:
People from a disadvantaged background who have few possibilities to escape the low skills trap and often lack the know-how to access social services, proper health care that goes beyond urgencies, and democratic participation.
Refugees who not only need to learn the host language, but also acquire the knowledge on how to make a home in their new countries.
‘Native’ population of Europe that respond aggressively to ‘foreigners’ through xenophobic and violent actions.
In order to support these three groups to access learning and other services, increase their participation in a democratic society and develop greater intercultural understanding; partners invite providers and policy-makers to develop comprehensive learning offers. Those should combine basic and digital skills with problem solving, critical thinking and interaction with other people as well as information and support on how to access health and social services, developing family competences and fostering intercultural dialogue and active citizenship.
Increasing the participation rates of adults in lifelong learning
Fostering cooperation between agencies and stakeholders dealing with refugees on the one hand and the low-skilled on the other hand
Improving health situations, better school attendance of children, more chances for employment of the life skills learners
Increasing the recognition of the role of non-formal (adult) education in achieving social inclusion in the EU
LSE has the following objectives:
Collecting, comparing and further developing the life skills approach to learning for adults (more comprehensive provision of basic skills)
Provide tools and recommendations that can be used for and with the three target groups
Develop an overarching life skills learning framework and modules that are transferrable across Europe
Concrete proposals how to devise and implement a life skills strategy on the local / regional / national levels as well as a concrete advocacy tool to target regional, national and European policy-makers
The project will produce several concrete outcomes:
a ‘glossary’ of ‘life skills’ based on a survey among adult education organisations, desk research and interviews, to present the different approaches and understandings of life skills across Europe (IO1-a)
a collection of good practices of life skills initiatives across Europe, and an analysis of the practices to help understand what works and how to make it work (IO1-b)
a collection and analysis of tools that are being used across Europe in order to promote and enhance life skills and intercultural understanding (IO1-c)
a provision framework and transferable modules to create an indicative framework for life skills provision, incl. modules on; e.g., language, literacy and numeracy skills; financial, digital, health and civic capabilities (IO2)
an Awareness Raising and Strategy toolkit that will not only provide summaries of the lesson learnt through O1 and O2, but also contain recommendations as well as proposals for life skills strategies at different levels (IO3)
Two multiplier events will ensure a wide and in-depth dissemination of the project outcomes:
Workshop in Patras (Greece), April 2018
Workshop in Brussels (Belgium), October 2018
Four partner meetings will facilitate the smooth implementation of the project:
Kick-off meeting – Copenhagen (Denmark), 9-10 February 2017
Second partner meeting – Leicester (UK), September 2017
Third partner meeting – Patras (Greece), 18-20 April 2018
Final partner meeting – Brussels (Belgium), October 2018
Life skills approach in Europe
The alarming lack of basic skills across Europe, indicated by PIAAC survey, along with the need of skills diversification among the increasing number of newcomers to Europe has highlighted the urgent need for the adoption of a comprehensive approach to learning. Providing adequate and appropriate courses for the above mentioned target group does not only mean allowing them to escape from the low skills trap, but also to empower them to contribute to their own lives, families and communities. Non–formal adult education can and should be the driver of this change by embracing the vision of life skills. The concept of life skills exceeds the basic skills concept, since it promotes more than just a basis for survival. In some countries, adult education providers have already started initiatives to broaden the concept of basic skills and have adopted more holistic practices in basic skills provision.
The first intellectual output of the LSE is threefold.
The first part the definition of Life skills:
Life skills are a constituent part of capabilities for life and work in a particular social, cultural and environmental context. The types of life skills emerge as a response to the needs of the individual in real life situations.
The following illustration represents the eight types of capabilities that are incorporated in the definition of life skills as well as the benefits they bring to the individual and the society:
The second part is a comprehensive analysis, which provides an overview of the understandings of life skills in Europe and beyond as well as a collection of good practices and innovative tools already used in the partner countries and a presentation of the main findings of the project’s research.
The Report on the Life skills Approach in Europe is available in English:
The third part is a database of good practices and tools, which is available here.
Good practices for developing life skills were defined as examples of teaching and learning approaches that contribute to the development of life skills. Examples of good practices can be educational programs, specially developed learning and teaching didactics or methods, curricula, methodological instruments, etc.
What’s the innovation?
Special emphasis in the instrument was also placed on the description of innovative characteristics and the main benefits of good practice for learners, where the description is supported when possible by authentic quotations, photos, videos and products of adult learners. The potential of transferability and the universal character of good practice were also included in the instrument.
The LSE partnership collected cases of good practices, which are presented in more detail on the database below.
Health, personal and interpersonal, literacy, numeracy, civic, environmental
Young adults, people with physical/mental health issues, low socioeconomic background, low-skilled
Tools are a variety of didactic accessories that can be used within teaching and learning approaches. This includes multimedia tools such as videos, computer games and applications, as well as literacy and sports activities, real-life materials, handcraft and other workshops, etc.
An innovative approach
This collection of innovative tools represents relevant examples of tools that contribute to the development of life skills. The instrument for collection included several sections, which provide valuable information and ideas about the tools for potential users and also for analytical purposes. Special emphasis in the instrument was also placed on the description of applicability and the main benefits of the tools for learners, where the description is supported when possible by authentic quotations, photos, videos and products of adult learners.
To whom they are addressing to?
This selection of tools is designed to be of immediate use for informal learning providers and can be used as a basis for the development of further tools. The collection could also be used as a guideline for further research (i.e. on common transversal principles to be used in the EU for renovating adult education in the area of life skills) and as a concrete and immediately usable database of applicable and transferable ideas.
Are you an adult learning provider yourself?Want to test new tools or enrich and further expand your current practice?Check out the database below.
Immigrants, homeless and vulnerably housed adults; young adults; offenders/ex-offenders; people experiencing or recovering from alcohol or substance misuse; people with physical/mental health issues; vulnerable and marginalised groups
Adult learners; school students from lower and upper secondary education
The Learning Framework
The LSE framework offers an overarching framework for life skills learning that is applicable across Europe.
The framework aims to establish a common understanding of life skills by defining eight key types of capabilities necessary to be an active participant in life and work. For each capability there are two aspects, difficulty of skill/capability level and familiarity of context, which allow for a range of starting points and support the recognition of learners’ progression.
The framework is not a curriculum, syllabus or scheme of work to be followed but a simple, yet powerful, tool to facilitate life skills curriculum development.
In order to raise awareness of the difficulties that many adults face when it comes to poor life skills, the LSE consortium put together an awareness raising kit that addresses a number of target groups.
The toolkit not only provides summaries of the lesson learnt through the lifespan of the LSE project, but also contains concrete recommendations as well as proposals for life skills strategies at different levels.
More specifically the Awareness Raising and Strategy toolkit includes:
An Introduction to the concept of life skills and its benefits
Good Practice and Tools examples
Recommendations for adult education providers
Recommendations for policy makers
Recommendations for stakeholder organisations working in life skills areas
Proposals for life skills strategies on local, regional and national level
The LSE project is coordinated by EAEA – the European Association for the Education of Adults. EAEA is a European NGO with around 141 member organisations in 45 countries working in the field of adult learning.
DAEA is a branch organization for 34 Danish member organizations which are all operating on a countrywide basis. All its members represent non-formal or informal adult learning and participatory democracy (‘folkeoplysning’).
L&W is a new independent policy and research organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. They bring together over 90 years of combined history and heritage from the ‘National Institute of Adult Continuing Education’ and the ‘Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion’.
DAFNI KEK basically plans and implements actions and learning activities targeting to social disadvantaged population and groups at risk (unemployed, single mothers, rural habitants, migrants and Roma) responding to the Official Calls either in National and European Level or in local area by organizing workshops on active consciousness.
SIAE is the main national institution for research and development, quality and education, guidance and validation, and promotional and informative activities in the field of adult education since 1991.