Learning to learn

The original wording of the Key competence

‘Learning to learn’ is the ability to pursue and persist in learning, to organise one's own learning, including through effective management of time and information, both individually and in groups. This competence includes awareness of one's learning process and needs, identifying available opportunities, and the ability to overcome obstacles in order to learn successfully. This competence means gaining, processing and assimilating new knowledge and skills as well as seeking and making use of guidance. Learning to learn engages learners to build on prior learning and life experiences in order to use and apply knowledge and skills in a variety of contexts: at home, at work, in education and training. Motivation and confidience are crucial to an individual’s competence.

 

Suggestions for use in the context of EVS

EVS is a learning experience which young people have in a country other than their own. It is a combination of nonformal (planned and intentional) learning, and informal (unplanned and spontaneous) learning. An important part of EVS is the conscious decision to leave the known environment and look for a new challenge. Learning takes place in the EVS project in the most diverse ways. Before their placement EVS volunteers set themselves

goals which they pursue during their posting. Becoming independent, getting to know a new culture, very personal aims connected to a career search or personal further development are all mentioned time and again. These are some motives people are most aware of. The learning process itself is often undirected and coincidental. Through training and personal accompaniment it is frequently possible to reflect on learning experiences and to become more aware of the learning process. To raise this awareness and take responsibility for your own learning process could be a crucial ‘learning to learn’ step in EVS.

Questions which can help the volunteer to reflect are:

> What does learning mean to me in general? What are my experiences so far?

> What are/were my learning goals within my EVS project? How did they change (if at all)? How will/Did I reach them?

> How do I want to learn? How did I learn?

> Which activities in the EVS project motivated me most in my learning?

> Where did my skills and knowledge improve?

> Which methods do I want to/did I use to evaluate what I learned?

> Which learning style do I prefer: learning by doing, by reading and thinking, by observing? How did I experience new ways of learning due to limited communication?

> How did I explore different ways of learning compared to learning in school and university?

> Why is this learning important for the next stages in my life?

> How will I use what I learned?

> How did I l deal with challenges in my learning process? How do I motivate myself to deal with obstacles and continue learning?