New Erasmus+ Project: Badges

Badges for non-formal learning in heritage & cultural settings

Initial (formal) education and training does not longer suffice for a learner in the rapidly changing society and work environment in present Europe. Additional training, continuous training, adult education, non-formal learning, informal learning, workplace learning … are all elements in the concept of Lifelong Learning as an answer to the needs for education and training in the world of today.

In non-formal learning contexts there is less ‘ground’ for input based validation since there is less control on the quality of this input and the context in which this input is offered. A person, on the other hand can be ‘able’ to do the right thing in the right context. Why not validating this ‘ability’, no matter in what context it is acquired? Time to focus on output based validation: learning outcomes and performed competences.

For a person there are many more places and circumstances in life – outside school and outside the workplace – to acquire and develop competences. The voluntary sector, the civil (social participation) sector and the cultural sector offer a wide span of opportunities to develop competences – other than work-related competences – that are valuable for personal and professional development.

Therefore a European consortium, coordinated by the LandKreis Kassel (DE), starts a new Erasmus+ project: BADGES for quality learning approaches and validation of non-formal learning in cultural/heritage contexts. The Badges project wants to install a standardised European validation and award system by issuing electronic badges based on quality learning approaches and validation of non-formal learning in cultural / heritage contexts.

The project will:

  • develop a methodological framework for creating the appropriate approach and conditions for competence based non-formal learning in cultural/heritage context
  • develop a methodology for defining appropriate cultural place based competences, linked to the place, to the functioning and mission of the site and fitting the needs and priorities of ET 2020
  • develop standards for culture related place based learning through learning path development for cultural & heritage sites
  • develop a standard approach to evidencing and validating the non-formal learning in cultural contexts
  • design a span of meaningful badges related to types of competences and acquisition levels
  • help create a ‘badging culture’ as part of an approach to personal and professional development and to employability