Project summary and objectives

During the last three decades, non-formal education appeared and disappeared several times from the scene, but the need for lifelong learning(LLL) is now more relative than ever. The economic crisis, the need for new skills and the demographic changes facing Europe have highlighted the role that adult learning may play in lifelong learning strategies, contributing towards policies that seek to boost social inclusion and active citizenship. 

Towards the EU 2020 benchmark, of at least 15 % participation of adults in formal or non-formal education or training, it is apparent that non-formal learning in the form of adult education embodies the principles of lifelong learning, eliminating almost all those factors (age-economic-psychological etc.) which exclude people from the learning process.

POPULART project, based on the “Popular University" concept (Grundtvig’s (1783-1872)), and using ART as a vehicle will offer unique pathways to adult education for active citizenship, personal development and fulfillment. POPULART will promote human development by self-motivation for learning and therefore will enhance individual skills development and the ability of each trainee to take responsibility for his own life. POPULART will also strengthen the development of civil society and the society as a whole, as well as the development of democratic values. Additionally, through the Community Psychology course that POPULART will design and offer, will serve as a mean to promote the wellbeing, crisis management, multiculturalism, internationalization and global justice.

POPULART is based on past experience (2013 to 2015) from the application of the idea of “Popular University” in the Municipality of Nea Smyrni. During this program that run on voluntary basis, the impact to the local community was a surprise and the participation of the citizens exceeded every expectation. Among discussed subjects, community psychology come out to be the most popular thematic area. The evaluation that took place during and after this work revealed the satisfaction of the participants and the need for such initiatives. The evaluation was based on CIPP model that is an evaluation model that requires the evaluation of Context, Input, Process and Product in judging a programme’s value. Based on experience gained and the findings through the evaluation process, POPULART will deliver a methodological framework for using arts in Popular University, and a unique interactive and multimedia course on Community psychology through Arts. Community Psychology employs various perspectives within and outside of psychology to address issues of communities, the relationships within them, and related people's attitudes and behaviour. Using ART as the trigger, ICT tools and new methods of teaching, POPULART will combine disciplines which have been isolated from one another under traditional educational models. ICT tools will be used to allow the trainee to interact with an Artwork (a painting, a sculpture, a vase, a jewel, etc) and make learning more interactive and experiential.

According to EU statistics, adults with low education attainment are seven times less likely to be engaged in continuing education and training than those with high attainment levels. At the same time a learner's socio-economic background still has an important impact on his/her chances to access and succeed in education and training at whatever level. These are major challenges which POPULART addresses to promote social inclusion, intercultural skills, democratic values, the respect of fundamental rights and the fight against discrimination, equipping trainees to interact positively with their peers from diverse backgrounds.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To change attitudes and stereotypes regarding adult education.
  • To create a training methodology, adequate for Popular University, promoting art-based experiential learning for adult education.
  • To develop ICT tools (arts database and interactive e-books authoring tool) that will help trainers to apply art-based training in the framework of POPULART and for future courses.
  • To develop training material on Community Psychology in the form of e-books(using ICT), engaging adult learners through art.
  • Offer lifelong learning that is accessible to all, regardless of age, vulnerability, religion and educational, cultural and economic backgrounds.



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