Summer Academy - what is it? Is it an interesting leisure activity for everyone or an informative corporate event for the few? Who came up with this format? What is the purpose and why is it attractive for its participants?
We will respond these and other questions by summarizing the event activities of “Second Summer Academy of Adult Education”, held in Alushta, Crimea, in July this year by support of Representation office of dvv international Ukraine.
So, the Summer Academy is an event organized for informal communication of entities, both for individuals and for representatives of various sectors of society, who are interested and work in one area, in this case - the field of adult education. But whether only for informal communication, you may say ... what about the "Academy"? Shouldn’t it intend the discussions, sharing of experiences, debates? Of course, all these happened and even more.
One man said: “Adult Education can’t exist without creative, emotional people. This is almost the first criteria to define who is one of the lads in the Adult Education". So you can imagine, how many “sociable fellows” came together in one place. And than, as in one song “ It is so great to see you all together here ( russian: «Как здорово, что все мы здесь сегодня собрались»).
Seriously speaking, the basic idea of the design of the Summer Academy ( SA) was to satisfy the real needs identified by its participants: partners and employees of dvv international. The evaluation of needs has identified the need to raise the level of motivation of both the office staff and the partner organizations. A need to introduce new, more effective personnel management systems, delegation of responsibilities and overcome of the burnout syndrome. That is why most of the content of SA was centered around the above issues, as well as the change of the management in general.
In fact, the Summer Academy is a training, which was designed and conducted in a spirit of experiential learning approach and, therefore, included along with theoretical models, a lot of games, exercises, discussions in small groups and individual assignments. This approach has proved to be very effective in supporting the practical orientation of the training, because each of the questions contained the practical experience of the group, discussions and reflections followed by the application of lessons learned. As a result of such algorithm the participants could learn new organizational models of development, but try them in real context of their work.
Active participation in all activities, curiosity, enthusiasm and spirit of openness and creativity characterized the group during seven days. Genuine interest of the group was expressed both during mini-lectures, group works, practical and physical exercises especially. This was one of the indicators of successful and efficient selection of participants for the SA. As Igor Ovchinikov, the trainer and expert from Russia, mentioned: “A high degree of diversity in the group was a constructive factor and resource for mutual enrichment, cross cultural exchanges and cooperation. The abundance of the new ideas, perspectives, experiences and cultural “cross pollination” became a real value of the workshop”.
It should be noted that one of the important aspects is that the team itself had the potential to impact on the group. It was amazing and evident on the results of the whole group, on the comments made in the course by the end of the daily summing ups, as well as in the forms of assessment.
Education has been very successful. The assessment questionaries showed a high degree of satisfaction by the participants, as well as their willingness to keep working in this direction, and one hundred percent commitment to transfer the learned and gained experience to their colleagues.
The majority of the respondents expressed their deep and sincere gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Summer Academy, and their desire to be a part of the next SA.
Well, then the format of the “Summer Academy” has to happen and we will plan the Third Summer Academy of Adult Education!