I’m a student at the University of Bologna, so at the beginning of this training course I was a little bit concerned about what I could give to this project, as I’m not the main target of participants for this project. But as soon as the project started all my fears faded away, I found myself in a really peaceful and creative space. I had the opportunity to meet teachers and educators from Romania, Turkey and Italy and at the end of this training I can say that they really inspired me with their mentality. I have found that it is possible to have a non-formal approach instead of the classic formal approach in education, something that from my student experience I have rarely seen and I really hoped to see in my classes. The main goal of the training was to create a framework of non-formal educational methodologies to help students develop their critical thinking and experiment with these methodologies. Each participant has contributed to this by sharing their own methodology with all the others, experimenting it with the other participants and then receiving any constructive feedback that may allow them to improve the methodology in order to then be able to apply it more easily with students of different ages. In my particular case I contributed to the project by the creation of an “educational” escape room. Escape rooms are games in which the goal is to solve various riddles and puzzles to reach the conclusion of the challenge, in this case we have implemented an educational aspect to the game, in the context of identifying fake news through the CRAAP and COMPASS method and therefore helping the students to develop critical thinking in this important area of common life. At the end of the experiment we think that such a methodology can really help young people to cooperate in groups to solve a common problem and to always compare their ideas with others.
At the end of it all I feel satisfied and proud to have participated in this project, which has allowed everyone not only to amplify their educational path but also to discover many other cultures. Thanks to the organizers (ATDD) and to the teachers of the Romanian school of Horezu and to the Turkish participants we were able to discover more deeply the various layers of Romanian and Turkish culture, through the various cultural evenings and the friendly environment that gradually grows within the group. Obviously we hope to have also made Italy better known for them!
I think it was an experience that will be fundamental in my educational path and I feel I was positively inspired by many of the people I met and by the topics covered. Now I think that in the future it will be more and more possible to develop bridges linking formal and standard education to this non-formal education, something that in my opinion will be increasingly crucial in educating young people to have a more open and critical view of the world than surrounds them.