Educational programmes, which enable individuals to plan and facilitate educational events for others, are happily already a widely recognized tool for civil society actors, such as non-profit organisations and foundations, to empower like-minded people to multiply values and skills they find worth spreading by showing them how to teach.
It is a great progress that there is plenty of funding opportunities for the conduction of such programmes so that the financial recourses for their realisation can be secured. On the other hand, there are considerable practical challenges of securing the quality and sustainability of effective Train-the-Trainer programmes due to the complexity of this learning field, that requires, among others, much non-monetary resources, such as institutional support and long-term-practise opportunities for the trainers-in-education.
How can Train-the-Trainer Courses of high, sustainable quality be enabled?
My experience in educational work with trainers has shown me that with the simultaneous consideration of four crucial elements a successful Train-the-Trainer programme can be established and its quality – secured, despite limited resources and challenging conditions. What do I mean by successful Train-the-Trainer programmes? I mean such educational courses, which teach aspiring trainers how to foster a culture of diversity-embracing, inclusive and integer non-formal education, how to skilfully create good educational units design, how to walk their talk as educators and how to enable effective and sustainable learning experiences of different types for diverse target groups of learners. Those elements for successful Train-the-Trainer programmes are:
My four elements of a successful Train-the-Trainer Programme
- A curriculum, which makes possible for specific competencies to be trained gradually and which allows for the best possible use of learning time and space, while still allowing flexibility for process oriented educational work;
- The awareness, that the participants of Train-the-Trainer courses, are adult learners – with their stable way of thinking firmly shaped, with their biographies and existing efficient or not-efficient or even harmful learning habits and strategies, which influence their participation mode in the ToT; a learning process for the participants, designed and realized according to principles of adult learning;
- Sufficient fairly-distributed opportunities for the learners to put the insights from the trainings into accompanied, evaluated practise
- Space that gives the learners during the training an opportunity for developing their personal maturity alongside with technical facilitation skills and the cultivation of an ethical attitude, since personal maturity plays a crucial role for the ability to create for others an inclusive, fair and fear-free learning atmosphere.