The Kick-off meeting for the project CARMA – RMA and other non-formal learning methods for Student Motivation took place on the 18th and 19th of February, 2016 hosted by the project coordinator CESIE in Palermo, Italy. The Kick-off meeting brought together CESIE with the 6 other partner organisations which include the University of Murcia (Spain), Pistes-Solidaires (France), Asist Ogretim Kurumlari A.S. – DOGA (Turkey), University College Leuven – UC Leuven (Belgium), INOVA+ (Portugal) and Verein Multikulturell (Austria). CESIE was honoured to host EACEA Project Officer Emilia Venot who also participated in the Kick-Off meeting of the Project.

The CARMA project, co-funded by Erasmus+ Key Action (KA3): Support for policy reform, Prospective Initiatives Forward-Looking Cooperation Project, addresses the Priority 3 “Promoting innovative, collaborative teaching and learning” and launches an inclusive approach which fosters interaction, creativity and reciprocal learning between teachers and learners.

The CARMA project addresses many of the recent concerns raised in European policies concerning school education in particular to reduce the rate of early school leaving to less than 10% and reduce the share of 15-year-olds under-skilled in reading, mathematics and science to less than 15% by the year 2020. It also addresses the need to support continuing professional development of teachers with reforms of teaching and learning approaches.

Within this framework, the CARMA project aims to develop, test and introduce at schools non-formal learning techniques as a collaborative learning strategy to innovate school culture and through the involvement of policy and decision makers in school education to transform classroom practices. The Reciprocal Maieutic Approach (RMA) of Danilo Dolci will be introduced as an inclusive and innovative assessment tool that will allow teachers to monitor and respond rapidly to students’ learning progress.

Across the 7 different countries in total 28 teachers will work closely with 7 non-formal learning experts to be trained in different non-formal learning techniques and RMA methodology. This group of teachers will test out the techniques during the pilot in schools in their countries. Besides that, the series of events (The Educational Forums, European Evaluation Seminar and the Final conference) will foster key support in the knowledge transfer of evidence based results to influence policy in school education across the 7 partner countries.

During the 2,5 years of the CARMA project, a series of outcomes will be produced:

  • A Toolkit for teachers providing step by step guide and tools on how to use collaborative learning activities with students will be produced.
  • An assessment model defining common standards in teacher competences to deliver collaborative learning and assessment in classroom practices will be developed.
  • An Online Network promoting non-formal learning methods and continuous professional development of teachers will be created.
  • An Inclusion Strategy with recommendations to EU education authorities on how to integrate non-formal learning within schools and form collaborative relationships with the school community will be presented.

The next phase of the CARMA project will see the launch of the in-depth research on the situation in each partner country in regards to Early School Leaving, best practices in collaborative learning and national frameworks for the assessment of teachers’ competences in order to explore the real needs and to have a deeper knowledge on how to adapt non-formal learning methods to each school system.

The next partnership meeting will be held in September in Murcia, Spain hosted by the University of Murcia. The European Workshop for Teachers which will focus on developing teacher competences in collaborative practices for the school environment will be held in October in Palermo hosted by CESIE.

For further information about the project, please contact Rosina Ndukwe: rosina.ndukwe@cesie.org