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CollageThanks to the training session on autobiographical methods organized by CIAPE ( last January 12th, as part of the Erasmus+ project SILVIA “Supporting intergenerational learning and volunteering as a mean for inclusion through autobiographical learning”, and conducted by sociologist and trainer Andrea Ciantar, it has been possible to analyze the topic with a group of experts and trainers who had the opportunity to experience firsthand some working exercise.


The ultimate impact was very positive, firstly for the innovation encountered by participants not so much in the method itself, but rather in the used approach that allows to compare different experiences and sectors together.


The application of the autobiographical method makes the person more aware of its experiential learning in a real empowerment process.

The different activities proposed during the training and the practical work with objects and graphics have “forced” the participants to develop a genuine reflection on their skills, aspirations, values acquired not only during the course of their formal education, but mainly during real life experiences and “informal” opportunities.

The autobiographical method shows itself as a real useful tool for the emergence of latent skills thanks to its application possibilities even and especially in non-formal and informal contexts. It allows, in fact, to establish a dialogue between a teacher / trainer and student / learner aimed at creating a shared thought able to redefine the meaning of the acquired knowledge, for the learner, and the sense, for the trainer, of its educational mission.

In this “roles-play” the function of the trainer is essential. In a certain way, he must know how to conduct the dialogue and develop the necessary specific tools to support the learners in the transformation of their own experiences into learning opportunities, to see recognized the results of informal learning and deepen their interest in certain fields of study.


The autobiographical method surely represents a winning approach in the context of non-formal and informal learning. Telling the own personal history or retrieving information, moments, events of the past is a way to increase life experiences, to turn them into learning outcomes. Trainers who wish to apply the method require appropriate and calibrated instruments with respect to their needs (target group), to help learners to transform their experience into knowledge, skills and competences that too often remain latent.


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