Progress Report


Progress Report
Attract and Retain
Sweden - CFL, Centre for Flexible Learning

Report Period: October 2008 – March 2009
Compiled by: Johan Sidenvall

Table of Contents
Introduction                                                                                                                3
Background                                                                                                                4
Workshop Training                                                                                                      5
Case Study                                                                                                                7
Training, using the Irish model:
          - on immigrants studying Swedish                                                                       9
          - to develop an ambassadors training programme
            for secondary school pupils.                                                                            14
Results so far
          - Workshop Training                                                                                         16
          - Case Study                                                                                                    16
Conclusion                                                                                                                 17
Next step                                                                                                                   17

The Swedish approach in educating ambassadors of adult education is process orientated. This means that we see the need and value in letting the training be a process, in a very deliberate way.
We wanted to find a model for educating ambassadors through letting the ambassadors themselves to be very active in their own training. This approach aims at trying to use the ambassadors’ personalities and abilities. We mean that this type of training means that the different life stories that the ambassadors present becomes personal and therefore becomes appealing for those who are in the position of taking the step to attend adult education.
The first part of the project has contained a training of ambassadors using workshops, evaluation of this training and testing another model (the Irish partner’s model) of training ambassadors.
The Irish partner’s model has been used on training a group of immigrants who are studying Swedish at CFL and a group of secondary school students studying a Health Care Programme, also they at CFL. The Irish model has been modified to suit these two groups.
A special focus this period (Oct. 2008 – Mar. 2009) of the project has been on the training and evaluation of this training of an ambassador with autism diagnose (see “Case Study”) and therefore a person of need of special education.
The report rounds up with our results so far, conclusion and where we are aiming at for the rest of the project.

Our approach to this project in creating a scheme for educating ambassadors was that the training would result in filming the ambassadors’ stories in how they started with their adult education (see further “Workshop Training”).
The purposes of capturing the ambassadors’ different life stories on film were:

  1. In having the ambassadors different life stories on film this means these stories can be told at events and occasions without the ambassador being present. The life stories can be a part of a career counselling meeting, a gathering at an unemployment centre or at a place of work where people are about to be dismissed. We believe that these films can be valuable if taken as a staring point in a discussion about attending adult education.
  2. Since all the ambassadors have told their life stories to the camera this means that they have produced a story that they can share to others. This could to above mentioned events or via media, in our case this would mean the local newspapers and radio stations.
  3. Short film clips can be used on the Internet (mainly on the education centres home page) in order to promote and create interest for adult education.

Workshop Training
Programme for educating ambassadors

The Swedish method of educating ambassadors springs from the ambassadors themselves in that sense that they are very active in their own training. The programme takes in consideration the ambassadors’ personality and personal abilities. The training has the character of workshops rather than lessons where the ambassadors are presented the aim of the training and that the ambassadors themselves are the tools to achieve this. The workshops are lead by educators.
The training aimed towards a filming of the ambassadors where they told their life stories. The films are meant to be used to inspire and inform other adults to commence education. Another aim of the training is that the ambassadors are able to participate live in front of an audience.

Duration:        10 hours
Participants:    Ambassadors

Prior to the gathering the ambassadors were preliminary divided into groups of 2-4 members.
Workshop 1
Briefing (all ambassadors)
Workshop 2
In groups (2-4 ambassadors and 1-2 educators)
The aim of this session is to decide how to present the ambassadors different life stories, focusing on their education as adults.
The different groups are free to create their way of presenting their different stories. One way is to let the ambassadors write down their life lines, focusing on adult education. These life lines become springboards and bases of the discussions that might follow.

The different groups will probably end up having a bit different emphasis in their stories, all though focus is on how/why they decide to start studying as adults and where this has taken them professionally and privately.
The experiences during education, motivation and the need of creating meaning where lead themes throughout the groups.
Workshop 3
Filming the life stories. Each life story takes 20 – 45 minutes to film.
The approach is:
a straight forward interview where a project leader interviewed an ambassador
a conversation or discussion between to ambassadors
Letting the ambassador freely tell her story.
Prior to this the ambassadors and the educators are given the opportunity to practice and discuss what to say in front of the camera.
Workshop 4
A continuation of the filming process.
Workshop 5
Opportunity for the last interviews and re-shoots.

The purposes of the films are:
Create a sense of identification with this the ambassador on the film.
Share experiences of adult education
To be personal and not private.

Case Study

Anna Berglund was asked to be involved in the project because of her training be operated in a non-standard form. The way the course is designed to have proved to fit Anna very good. She has made great progress and want to share their experiences with others just as she believes that regular school system does not suit them. It is excellent that the governing documents broad framework, and by the CFL's flexible education and training policy to build an educational form for each one. This, we hope the film will give a taste of.
Anna is now attending the last semester at upper secondary for young people with learning disabilities , which is integrated with adult education for individuals with learning disabilities. Her first year in the CFL, she got to go to the exemption from särskolan. The following four years, she attended a specially designed education called The programme of opportunity on behalf of the Board of Children and Education. The Board for Children and education is responsible for all upper secondary school students in the municipality.
The Head of the department for daily activities, where most students spend their days when not studying, are working closely with the staff for adult education for individuals with learning disabilities. He had noticed the positive progression of Anna´s studies at CFL and thus invited Anna and her mother to a first information meeting where the project Attract and Retain was introduced by the project leader. All had the opportunity to introduce themselves to each other.
The second meeting was two days of conference with accommodation and time for relaxation together in the evening. The actual work was done in groups where Anna, her mother and I were in a group. During day one told Anna and her mother about their experiences of school and I entered. The groups gave a brief outline of each other and discuss strategies and form. Day two continued script creation and Anna wrote purely my notes. The conversation on the old and new school experiences continued. In school, Anna and I worked on five occasions together to complete the manuscript. Anna used the many hours to produce photos, text for the photos and music. Two meetings with the mother to refine the script for the test shooting was needed. Two occasions, each one hours filmed Anna and her mother of the pricipal of the CFL. The editing of the film was made by the professional film producer.
(Ingalill Stefansson, special teachers at the CFL and doctoral student in Pedagogical work, Karlstad University)

Training, Using the Irish Model
Using the Irish model on immigrants studying Swedish

PM 1: Testing the Irish model for the training of ambassadors in “Swedish Adult Education”, 12/11/08
Our mission is to test how the Irish model of training Ambassadors is adaptable to Swedish Adult Education.
At present I am training an immigrant group that is very heterogeneous. All students work on completely different levels. The group ranges from illiterate students to highly educated graduates with many previous languages in their luggage.
It could be a good prerequisite for testing this approach. A "problem" that immediately comes up is the lack of adequate Swedish proficiency in my group at the moment. The level of the foreign students should be on, to cope with this task, the D-level, (the final stage in the SFI-teaching or SAS.) SFI =(Swedish for Immigrants).  SAS = (Swedish as Second Language)
So, I decide to wait till next year and make an attempt in January 2009.
PM 2: First meeting with a possible future ambassador, 16/1/09
In early January, Kaire Paja from Estonia came to my group. Kaire is a driven and enterprising young woman who already in her home country had started working with her Swedish studies.
I think she might be interested in this task and we booked a meeting one afternoon after the school had finished for the day. From the very beginning she sees possibilities that this might be a supplementary way to learn the new language. She is spirited and enthusiastic and thinks it will be fun and exciting.
We decided that we would meet one afternoon and try to develop some good strategies for the job. During this first meeting, we also began work on the project. I presented the Irish model and explained what her job is. I told her how we would, step by step, expanded awareness and knowledge of our learning centre, the CFL, and the various skills in the Swedish language, which she will have the great pleasure of learning more of. She will also receive a certificate of her work through a document that she will be able to refer to on her CV.
PM 3: Interview with an ambassador, 1/23/09
We have decided to meet once a week. Thursday afternoon seems to suit us both pretty well. This time we have decided to follow the guidelines given to us from Ireland. We sit and talk calmly about "her way" back to education. Kaire has already a solid economic education from Estonia, where she worked with accounting and reporting for many years.
She tells her story of how love came into the picture when she met her husband for 4 / 5 years ago and how she had regularly visited Sweden during that time. She also told how she had studied Swedish for three semesters in Estonia before she came here. To take the step to move here and leave their familiar lives seems she take with equanimity. She is determined to soon have a well-paid work again.
Before we separated, we agreed that she should try to write down her thoughts and experiences to a written biography of her life and that we should meet next week.
PM 4: My way back to education, 29/1/09 and 5/2/09
My name is Kaire Paja and I am from Estonia. In early January I moved to Sweden to live with my partner. It was a big step for me! I left my job, rented out my apartment and started a new life.
In Estonia, I worked many years at the bank. A few years ago I took a university degree. I studied economics in four years and in the meantime I worked. It was quite difficult but important for my career at work.
When I came to Sweden, I knew that I first must learn Swedish. I began to study already in Estonia because I wanted to be a little prepared. Being in Söderhamn, I wanted to continue my studies. I thought the best place to find something was on the Internet so I went in to Söderhamns website and found the CFL and there you could study SFI - Swedish for immigrants.
Since I do not speak good Swedish, I asked my partner to phone to the CFL to ask about the possibility to learn Swedish and then he was told that I could start with Margit Ståhl January 12.

It was exciting for me! I came in through the front door, and there were some tables at the door for new students to register at. There were many new students. CFL-house is quite large and one can feel a bit confused but I will always use a tactic to go to someone and ask. There was a woman who was so kind and showed the way to Margit place and so I started there.
(Later I was told that it could start from the guide for more information on what opportunities there are in school. I went there when I was finished with SFI to start SAS, English as a second language. It was like the opposite way for me but I think it plays no important role.)
I think it is very good at SFI because here are so many different students from different countries at different levels and we must learn to work independently. It is good that the classes start in the morning every day so you can have the rest of the day free to do their homework. It was about seventeen students who trained in the room. Actually, there are four separate rooms. One room in which to do exercises in. One room to discuss with each other and One to listen to texts in "The Quiet Room".
The fourth room, you can use to work together with someone.

This is from my first time at school.
I will come back soon with more information. /Kaire
PM 5, Options How to Continue, 12/2/09
We met and discussed the draft of what she wrote. During this short time, she has already passed the four levels of SFI and passed the D-level with distinction. She is now studying at SAS. And instead of reading the math where she already is highly qualified or English, which she speaks perfectly, she has supplemented her studies with additional Swedish studies. She reads in parallel with the SAS, Swedish on basic level which means that she studies with Swedish students. If she thinks that she needs help with AAR project, her teachers or classmates can assist her. She had her own camera, so she thought that it would be nice idea to add images to her texts. She is glittering and full of ideas.
And we are discussing the future.
HOW do we want to continue
and with WHAT?
We are discussing:

  1. Different Study Techniques (that she is enthusiastic to learn, so she can pass them on.)
  2. The beauty of the Learning Centres that we are in.
  3. And how to learn what’s in it so she can tell other about it.
  4. What does it consist of and how can she be able to know everything ?
    How can we use Computers booking program? Login?
  5. How to obtain Library card needed for login and media booking system?

We decide that she should turn to the Main library's information desk. From the library we have a link to our Mediatheque which uses the same booking system.
PM 6: The library/media, 19/2/09
PM 6 became a part of the information Kaire wrote about Cfl, see Power Point presented at Irland meeting March 2009.
PM  7, Different Information Channels, 19/2/09
We discussed future activities:

  1. We made contact with various bodies in the house who could help her to get more information.
  2. We booked time with Anna on the expedition. A time was set for Kaire to be guided around the CFL building
  3. We visited the corridor where all the researchers have their offices. We wanted to borrow tape recorders which Kaire could use to record information about different elements.
  4. The guidance department was visited and we booked up time with Helen who promised to convey information about the different ways that CFL offers and the steps that lead on to higher education.
  5. We received information about the validation of knowledge and ratings from the home countries.
  6. A USB memory was donated to Kaire for her to gather all the materials she works with. And also batteries for her camera so that everything she does can be documented.

PM 8, Cfl, 5/3/09
Power Point about CFL, see Power Point presented at Irland meeting March 2009.
PM 9, A short summary so far, 19/3/09
We have now started quite well with our attempt to test the Irish model of Ambassadors. Much remains, but it feels like I am on an exciting journey together with Kaire and all of you.
Compared to the main headings in the Irish Model our contribution is as follows at the moment.

  1. Interviewing an Ambassador…// Done
  2. Introduction of the aims…  // Done
  3. Providing information about our institution // Started
  4. Biographical and informative writing // Started
  5. Development of oral presentation skills // Not Started Yet
  6. Improvement of public speaking skills // Not Started Yet
  7. Interaction with audience // Not Started Yet

I look forward to continue working with this.

Using the Irish model to develop an ambassador´s training programme for secondary school pupils.
With inspiration of the Irish model we have developed a model to suit the situation existing in the Swedish upper secondary school. This means in practice that training ambassadors can be a part of the Swedish subject. An ambassadorial training of this kind is well in line with the aims of the Swedish subject at secondary school level. The students who this training is aimed at are attending the Health Care Programme. Although the training is a part of the Swedish subject there is a new focus and a clear goal with this approach. The goal is here to:

  1. Educate students in Health Care Programme to act as ambassadors for their own education
  2. Directly, by providing information to prospective students in lower secondary school
  3. Indirectly, by acting and expressing themselves well and good in other situations, reflecting back on the quality of the education and giving Health Care Programme higher status.

The parts included in this model of an ambassador‘s training are:

  1. Knowledge of classical rhetoric
  2. Argumentation skills
  3. If the communication and interference in different situations
  4. Body language
  5. Social skills
  6. The knowledge that different contexts require different language
  7. To make the formal speech

Using digital tools to support oral presentations is also a part of this training. This includes skills in Power Point, Photo Story, Photo Shop, recording your own movies (such as practical elements in healthcare), collecting the students’ achievements in an E-portfolio.

Training in communicating a message
The model used here is based on a gradual increase in group size and severity of the student and the teacher's role is to create a safe climate in the group. There is an emphasis on that training of this kind is a process. Using a portfolio method can help the student in seeing a process of progression.
The steps are as follows:

  1. Many discussions on interesting topics in small groups
  2. Present a thing in front of a half class for five minutes
  3. Present to the shared topic in front of a whole class
  4. Present themselves and their education for non-students

This training is an ongoing process during the two years that the students are studying Swedish.

Results So Far
Workshop Training

  1. The lengths of the gathering
  2. Schedule (balance between work and recreation)
  3. The possibility to maintain as a group for two days. This created a relaxed atmosphere.
  4. To let the ambassadors be a vital part of the creation of the way to tell their life stories.
  5. Because all the interviews are filmed they are documented and saved for later use.

To improve

  1. Making time for all ambassadors to be filmed during the gathering
  2. Find ways to document the ambassadors’ stories at more and different types of occasions, e.g. filming workshop discussions.
  3. Having a producer responsible for the whole session.
  4. Educate the ambassadors more in rhetoric.
  5. The use of a professional producer who can help with planning of the interviews
  6. Using appropriate technical equipment for the interviews.

Case Study

  1. For Anna this project has provided additional time, compared to the time there is in everyday life to consider and formulate ideas on education and future.
  2. It has been important and exciting for us to participate in a context with others, from other types of educations, and thus have the opportunity to share our successful concept.

We have developed several training programmes, depending on who is to undergo the training. We have developed a:

  1. Workshop Training as a mean of educating ambassadors on a short term basis. The educating of the ambassadors springs from the ambassadors themselves are very active in their own training.
  2. Training for adults in need of special education. Here the process is a very important part of the training as well as seeing the unique abilities and requirement that this group has.
  3. Training programme for immigrants. Also this training orientated against a learning process along with personality and personal abilities.
  4. Training programme for secondary school students. Training suited for larger groups.

The two latter training programmes have been made to test the Irish model of training ambassadors under Swedish conditions.
Next Step
The next step in the process of making a suitable training of ambassadors is to make a revised workshop training programme using our experiences from our ambassadorial trainings so far.
Trying out the training model created for secondary school students and evaluating this model.

School's national overall targets
Pupils shall be:
Able to participate in conversations and discussions with different purposes and keep the speeches to a group in a way that is appropriate to the situation and recipients (Swedish, first course)
Able to communicate their own and others' thoughts in speech and writing, make summaries and investigations, and draw conclusions and put forward arguments, so that content and messages are clear and appropriate to audience and purpose. (Swedish, second course)