On the 5th of October 2016 Belgian teachers, trainers and coaches in adult education and continuing vocational training celebrated World Teachers' Day in the Atomium in Brussels 'to connect with learning and teaching in the 21st century in the three Belgian communities and the EU'.
After morning coffee all guests were welcomed by the 3 Belgian EPALE coordinators: Michèle Mombeek (French community), Karine Nicolay (Flemish community) and Chantal Pierlot (German community).
Then the Belgian coordinators for the implementation of the European agenda for Adult Learning Liesbet Vermandere (Flemish community) and Michèle Mombeek, together with Chantal Pierlot looked at adult education in the European versus the Belgian context.
After lunch it was time to share some 21st century proof good practices:
- Raffaela Kihrer from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) introduced two videos from the Erasmus+ Live&Learn project.
- In his presentation 'EPALE as a 21st century proof learning tool' the new European EPALE coordinator Wilhelm Vukovich showed the audience EPALE's most recent community features: the collaborative spaces and the communities of practice.
- Ghislain De Bondt, a teacher at the center for basic adult education in the Flemish community enthusiastically reported on how his center organised a 'BIG learning week'.
- Gaëlle Boulet (director of FormaForm in the French community) shared her experience with the 'flipped classroom' in her center for adult education.
In a lively speeddating session discussed pro's and con's of following quotes:
- Adults need non-school-like settings.
- Adults need flexible pathways. Support has to be tailored to specific circumstances of each individual.
- Digital resources need to be more extensively used in adult education. Mobile devices, open educational resources and social media can widen access to education and training.
- Adult education should seek closer engagement with business community.
When asked who of the participants celebrated World Teachers' Day ever before, only one hand went up. Reason enough to repeat this event next year, because teachers, trainers and coaches in adult education deserve to be celebrated on this special day to show how much they are valued.
Most pictures: © FW-B - Jean POUCET