Ecological Folk Highschool in Grzybów was supported by EU programme Erasmus+, Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, Strategic Partnerships, mainly in the field: adult education.
The title of the project was: Building Key Competences and Folkhighschool Pedagogy in XXI Europe (with acronym: KeyFolkXXI). This project started on the 1st September 2014 and ended 31st August 2017.
The main objective of the project was to explore the methodology of folk high schools in adult education in modern Europe in order to respond to new challenges, particularly of high unemployment. Innovative is linking the "old" European tradition in adult education from marginalised areas with the "new" idea of key competences developed by EU, in other words: to creatively use Grundtvig's philosophy and methodology of education to improve effectiveness of adult education in our countries and thus foster entrepreneurship and employability of young adults.
The partnership consisted of various adult education providers: the Ecological and Cultural Association ZIARNO and Kaszubski Uniwersytet Ludowy from Poland, University of Applied Science Eberswalde from Germany, Agricultural University-Plovdiv from Bulgaria, Brenderup Højskole from Denmark, Verein für biolologisch dynamische Landwirtschaft (Association of biodynamic farmers) from Switzerland. Polish regional authority Powiat Płocki joined the partnership to promote gained experience and the project results in vocational schools in the area. The geographical, economic and historical range of partnership is very wide which provides a good sharing of diverse experience in the field in a multicultural context.
The topic for exploring and adapting folkhighschool methodology was organic production course for 20 young adults which was realised in Poland with a grant from Danish Velux Foundation. The Erasmus + partnership has worked together to develop curriculum and handbook for this folk high school course, which already has been implemented in EUL in Grzybów.
Two other outputs developed during the project are: Guidelines on building key competences through Grundtvigian pedagogy: tools, examples, good practices and a publication which summarise the project: "Folk High Schools of XXI Century. Tradition - Contemporaneity - Challenges for the Future" where the reader may find articles about folk high schools in modern Europe. These two outputs gather the most important experience, good practical examples, conclusions and recommendations for the future. All outputs are distributed for free and disseminated on e-platform of the project.
Main activities of the project were 4 short-term joint staff training events in all participating EU countries and one intensive Study Programme for teaching staff in Switzerland - in order to learn about a school which was initiated and run by organic farmers there 30 years ago, officially validated and supported by the government nowadays. We decided to invite a partner from outside EU because of the unique know-how in creating and successfully running for many years a vocational school (with the approach similar to the methodology of folk high schools) by association of employers (in this case biodynamic farmers).
The achieved impact of the project is recognition of the value of folkhigschool methodology in adult education, particularly in countries like Poland and Bulgaria, linking key competences building with this methodology, introduction of dual system in vocational training, more links between education with employment, development of sustainable, organic enterprises in rural areas of Europe.