The project “Poetry-based approaches in basic education for adults” (POETA) aims to contribute to the self-development and empowerment of people being “on the way to the written word” (as opposed to the common term “functional illiterates”). The definition of “literacy” according to UNESCO, which particularly emphasizes the aspect of personal expansion through the use of writing, serves as a guiding principle here. The approaches are intended to offer a complementary or an alternative to concepts of literacy and basic education, which place them primarily in the context of the integration of people into economic processes and argue in a deficit-oriented manner. In cooperation with culturally diverse European partners, an innovative concept (presented in an eBook) for working with poetic texts in basic education is to be developed, explored and integrated into teacher training (via MOOC).

Course leaders, planners and learner organisations in basic education will benefit from the knowledge and material created by the project.

The aim is to convey a holistic andragogical concept including creative and artistic approaches, comply with modern andragogical standards and ensure that the acquisition of literacy skills is possible in all phases of life, empowering learners to act more self-determined and self-effective on an everyday basis: “Reading the word and learning how to write the word so one can later read it are preceded by learning how to write the world, that is having the experience of changing the world and touching the world” (P. Freire & D. Macedo, 1987).

The courses are intended to offer first and second language learners the freedom to explore aesthetic language and to show them how they can themselves participate through poetic language and open up spaces for action. One of the main aims is to encourage participants to produce their own texts in order to promote self-agency and the creative use of language.

Watch the POETA Trailer!