Between November 2008 and October 2010, a European network of seven organisations joined efforts to develop, implement and analyse innovative approaches in the field of non-formal adult education aimed at the development of the competence enabling learners to plan, organise, implement and assess their own learning, in particular in view of self-directed learning. We supported the research team and component of the project, led by the University of Innsbruck.

The project considered learning to learn as the most crucial key competence for lifelong learning and, therefore, aimed to support educational staff to acquire and develop competences and methodologies needed for implementing this kind of learning.

The project began with an analytical compilation of literature on learning competence and how it is developed—learning to learn—in order to explore related concepts, theories and practices. During this phase, six literature reviews investigating discourses on learning competence and learning competence development in different language domains were produced and summarised in a synthesis report.

Informed by the literature review, educational approaches were developed aiming to provide learners with the skills and knowledge needed to enable them to plan, organise and assess their own learning process. These educational approaches were tested in 24 projects, exploring and examining learning to learn as a method-in-action in the field of adult non-formal education.

Seeking to identify which educational approaches were successful in fostering learning to learn, the 24 projects were analysed by online pre- and post-activity questionnaires for trainees and trainers and through structured documentation and non-participatory on-site observation.

Find the key research publications of the project below.

Key research publications:
  • Learning to learn: a method in action. » 2010, pdf, 2 MB
    Synthesis report of literature reviews.
  • Training of Trainers for Youth in Action Projects. » 2010, pdf, 6 MB
    Practice analysis report.
  • Learning to learn: a method of reflective action. » 2010, pdf, 2 MB
    Research synthesis report.
  • An educational framework for learning to learn. » 2010, pdf, 1 MB
    Summary and recommendations on fostering learning to learn.

Featured image by Hugh MacLeod at