ACT!

Objectives

The central objective of the project is to develop a European Evaluation Network on Active Citizenship and Education. In general the project shall contribute to enhance the European co-operation between diverse educational stakeholders and projects on Active Citizenship and at the same time bridge the gap between science and practice in this field.

On the operational level there are four major objectives that are targeted by ACT:

1. Development of a comprehensive and transferable evaluation approach concerning the impact of non-formal and informal learning on Active Citizenship

We are aiming at a wide-ranging evaluation concept, that includes a broad methodological approach and delivers an enlargeable system of adaptable instruments for evaluation. This is important because of the wide range of different projects and thematic fields. The testing and transfer of these outcomes is another major objective.

2. Description and evaluation of the partners’ projects and thus testing of evaluation approaches

We would like to get an ample insight into the partners' situations and projects, into the different learning situations and consequently identify and describe the elements of Active Citizenship in the partners' projects. Local projects shall be analysed and evaluated against the criteria set up in the inventories under 1) in the evaluation approach and test the methods and instruments in practice. Consequentely our evaluation approach itself shall be evaluated, described and continuously improved as well.

3. Networking

We plan to set up an growing transnational network with partners that may come from very different backgrounds. Therefore there shall be a common vision and mission of the network as well as a fixed legal status at the end of the project. New partners and other major stakeholders (e.g. on the political and administrative level) shall be integrated in the course of the project already. A specific goal is to bring together (and improve) examples of best practice.

A common web-based communication, collaboration and publishing structure is vital for the success of the ACT!-network. A web-based platform shall be developed as communication and collaboration instrument. It shall also serve the “final beneficiaries” (those who shall become “ACTIVE” citizens) as a stage to publish the results of their work. This way we hope to include all the stakeholders and make the platform interesting, vivid and sustainable.

4. Dissemination and valorisation of the approaches and products developed

The project aims at the transfer of the instruments and methods into practice of (non-formal) education.

There will be a dissemination within the local networks and the integration of grass-root-projects and experiences from other networks from the field. To attract web-visitors there will be showrooms for the partner projects and their beneficiaries. ACT will render services and products like consultancy, guidance and supporting material for those who are working in the field. As we intend to enlarge the network and the community of ACT!-members we plan to establish a blended learning course for project people from the field, to train educators of the partner institutions and to look for ways of implementing the best practice examples in the divers member states represented.

In the course of the project we will also develop links between succesful practice models and the real experience of the partners (e.g. e-portfolio or existing measuring tools) with existing procedures of accrediting active citizenship as known in the UK.

Generally spoken, ACT! will draw the attention of educators, Ministries of Education and Social Affairs and national qualification bodies in the divers countries (and on the European level as a whole) on the necessity of evidencing (showing what has been achieved (objective 2)), measuring (looking for qualitative and quantitative tools (objective 1)) and networking, dissemination and accrediting (objectives 3 and 4).