The Regional Trainer-Training Workshops (RTTW)
Principles and objectives
In an endeavour to take action in favour of the autonomy of knowledge, Transeuropéennes’ programme advisors, who met for a conference in November 2001, stressed the need to make a sustained effort to train trainers, and in particular young instructors working at the university level in the Balkans and young proactive intellectuals, by adapting the Regional Co-operation Workshops to best fit their needs.
The RTTW is principally intended for young academics in the Balkans, but also brings in several young instructors and/or researchers from France, Germany and Belgium. Members of civil society, “opinion shapers” in the region may also participate in certain sessions dealing with questions in their particular domain: political, social or cultural question in the Balkans.
Their goal is to bring these people together and have them work on subjects relevant to their needs, to familiarise them with alternative teaching methods – that is, more “horizontal” approaches, emphasising active participation (student emancipation). An RTTW is therefore not merely a conference. Each RTTW is, in fact, made up of four sessions and extends over a period of between 18 and 24 months. This timeframe is to enable participants to carry out research projects between sessions and to present their conclusions to their colleagues, thereby taking advantage of their feedback and dialogue. Moreover, during the intervening periods, the young instructors and researchers are able to test their ideas and proposals in the framework of their teaching activities. More established researchers will also be asked to take part in the work sessions.
Every launching session will be two-folded: courses and lectures given by senior academics on the relevant theme; discussions about problematics of researches and methodologies between junior and senior academics on the purpose of assisting young academics in elaborating and leading a specific research work.
The launching session will be followed by three other sessions spread over a period of 18 to 24 months. The second one will consist in the presentation by the young academics of the intermediary results of their researches. The third one will take the form of a symposium in an European Union’s institution where the final results will be exposed. The fourth will consist in a final conference about a textbook to be made after the researches carried through.
… and objectives
- The goal of the Regional Trainer-Training Workshops is to create new social practices of knowledge production in the Balkans, in other words to re-socialise young researchers and instructors who all come from a common cultural area, but who live in a region fragmented by the wars and changes which have taken place over the past decade.
- They also intend to create bridges between Western Europe and South-East Europe, in the fields of post-secondary education and research, inaugurating mutually reinforced mobility between young instructors and researchers.
- Their objective is to focus on questions that are crucial to the Balkan region.
- They develop an inter-disciplinary analysis of key concepts in the field of the social sciences and the humanities, putting them forward as indispensable tools at a regional level.
- They contribute to the reform of existent curricula thanks to the publication of a book written in the different languages used in the region and to the lively participation of young instructors and researchers involved in teaching activities.