Global Learning in the Adult Education Centre (Volkshochschule - vhs)

Climate change, globalisation, people fleeing: Global Learning can be understood as an interdisciplinary learning principle that is located within the context of “Education for Sustainable Development” and takes as issues the global realities – social, ecological, political, economic – in our everyday life. The DVV International project Global Learning in the adult education centre (Volkshochschule - vhs) extends nationwide to all faculties of the adult education centres. This project was able to receive proportionate funding on three tracks for the different formats: for multipliers, for young people and for adults.

Global Learning – What is it?

The key word “globalisation”, in addition to the borderless flow of information and cash, also includes the convergence of cultures and joint responsibility for the future. At the very latest since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – at least in theory – it was clear that dwindling resources, growing environmental problems and increasing inequity affect the entire globe and therefore all countries are called upon to bear the concern for a sustainable and functional future development. Global Learning is a building block along this way.

Global Learning is an educational concept which is holistic in both content and method. In our globalised world it takes individual life into the picture. The focus is on action-oriented and participatory learning, the acquisition of skills in order to orient oneself in the globalised world and to live responsibly. Beyond thinking in fixed categories and ready answers, it's about what each individual can contribute in terms of a humane world society – to the global implementation of human rights and global justice as well as the protection of our environment. Thus the proximity to topic areas such as development education policy, sustainability, human rights education, fair trade, environmental education, peace education or intercultural learning is relatively great.

Global Learning at German Volkshochschulen (adult education centres)

Global learning can take place in all the departments of the vhs. The methods of Global Learning are manifold, its topics inexhaustible, therefore offers for very different target groups are possible. Decisive, among other things, is that

•    from the didactic and methodological point of view the methods are target group oriented, diverse, participatory and skills-oriented;
•    content quality is guaranteed through the concrete relevance of the topic selected for the participants;
•    complexity is scrutinised and simplistic points of view are avoided in the face of the true complexity and heterogeneity of the world;
•    transparency of one’s own point of view and the different perspectives on an issue are seen;
•    one learns to think in alternatives.  

Adult education centres can apply for funding for individual events or a series of events for Global Learning, or qualify multipliers for Global Learning. For advice and further information, specialist advisers are available.

Because for decades DVV International has supported its partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe in the area of Adult Education and Development Cooperation, the Institute is also able to make its experience and contacts from this partner network available. In this way it helps benefit international expertise discussions in Germany and the results of work done in Germany find their way back into the international work.

Objectives of the project

The project is funded by Engagement Global, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Goals are

•    to continue to strengthen Global Learning in the vhs nationwide;
•    to qualify multipliers, either to develop new offers or integrate aspects of Global Learning into existing offers; and
•    to acquire new target groups for the model of sustainable development in theory and practice.

In order to better achieve these objectives and to take the latest developments into account, we evaluate our funding practices, participate in technical discussions and engage in networking.

vhs cooperations


DVV International operates worldwide with more than 200 partners in over 30 countries.

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