ENNIS has been invaded by Vikings. However, this time it is not gold these Vikings were after but knowledge of how to set up Family Learning classes.
24 Norwegians visited Clare Family Learning Project work last week with their ultimate goal to set up Family Learning programmes in their region in Norway similar to what is being done locally in Clare. While here, the group gained valuable ideas through visiting classes in action, meeting parents who have already attended classes, and meeting family learning tutors and the partners that Clare Family Learning Project work with.
The visitors from Nedre Eiker Municipality in Norway included 11 adult education teachers, two primary school principals, three kindergarten teachers, the head of all schools and kindergartens in the region, a volunteer co-ordinator, a cultural leader, a pedagogical leader and others interested in the notion of family learning.
Principal of the Adult Learning Centre in Nedre Eiker Elizabeth Engeset visited the Clare Family Learning Project website and made the connection. The local Family Learning Co-ordinator in Ennis, Mary Flanagan received an email in December 2013 requesting the possibility of a visit and welcomed the group.
The visitors arrived in Ennis late on the Wednesday evening and the following day they divided into six groups of four with a member of the Adult Education Centre staff to guide each group to the various venues.
Groups visited the: Adult Education Centre, Library, Clare Immigrant Support Centre; Ennis Educate Together National School; The Junction and Scoil Chríost Rí, Cloughleigh; Ennis Community Centre, Clarecare and Springboard Project; Parent class in St Tolas’ National School, Shannon; and a parent class in the Adult Education Centre.
Since 1999 Clare Family Learning Project have trained 739 people nationally who are involved in adult education. The project has an international reputation of good practice in adult education and family learning.
It is hoped that the links made between Norway and Clare can be improved through the visit and that the support and sharing of resources, as well as research on the topic of Family Learning will benefit all the families involved.