Course Features
Language: English
7 Days
11 Lessons
Study Level: Intermediate
Certificate of Completion

Programme summary

The Non-formal participative teaching methods is an international seven-day programme for educators who want to explore the art of learning: how to learn, how to relate and connect to ourselves, to our kids, to our colleagues in the way that is natural. We all dream of an education system that can serve our children, ignite the love of learning, use the best talents of our teachers and others to create results that matter for our societies.

​Participatory Learning Methodologies offer educators a new way to HOST learning and CREATE learning communities. Over the course of this 7-day training, we will learn and practice the participatory learning methodologies that include World CaféOpen Space TechnologyAppreciative inquiryCircle Practice and others. By experiencing the main tools of participatory learning ( participants will get the necessary skills for building a community of practice to reawaken the love of learning.


The main goal of the course is to help teachers to engage students by participatory learning. Throughout the course, participants will get familiar with the impact they can have on students by their active involvement. They will learn how to build social capital that increase social and emotional learning. As our goal is also to encourage participants to build learning communities in their home countries, the participants will receive methods plans for their own use.​


The course is designed as an interactive process with emphasis on establishing a learning community between participants and trainers. The focus is on experiential learning inspired by the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter methodology. The participants will also receive a workbook with sessions’ summaries, and descriptions of activities used. Resources to deepen understanding and practice will be shared for further study.

Target groups

The course is aimed for school leaders, teachers, school counsellors and other professionals working in education and are interested in the topics of active learning.

Programme day-by-day


Introductory meeting, explanation of practical arrangements, presentation of timetable, information about course venue.


Core participatory learning methodologies, definition and basic assumptions.
Innovation – moving through chaos into a new order.
From a learner to a learning community that learns​.


Social capital skills, methodologies and practices – an overview
Circle practice: The Circle, or council, is an ancient form of meeting that has gathered humans in respectful conversations for thousands of years. In some areas of the world
this tradition remains intact, but in some societies it has been nearly forgotten. Circling is a modern methodology that calls on this tradition and helps people gather in conversations that fulfill their potential and desire for learning via conversations or dialogues that replenish, engage, excite, and create wisdom-based change….which is real and sustaining learning.


Appreciative inquiry: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strategy for intentional change that identifies the best of ‘what is’ to pursue dreams and possibilities of ‘what could be.’ AI is a cooperative search for strengths, what is known, what is right. AI focuses on the positive and strengths seeking to build on what is currently working as blocks leading to a positive and productive future. This focus on strengths and what is right offers an opportunity for individuals to accept what is known and to build on what works. Research has shown that this approach is the only successful way to bring about long-term change and deep learning.


World Café: The World Café is a method for creating a collaborative learning conversation around questions that matter by innovating instruction in the classroom. Café is ideal for
administrators to develop collaboration and co-creation with faculty, boards, and community partners.
Half-day excursion to one of Slovenian highlights.


Open space: The goal of Open Space is to create time and space for participants to engage, ask questions, and/or share knowledge around issues of concern to them (such as review of an upcoming test, managing a project-based learning experience, planning a ‘real life’ field trip around a content issue or topic of interest. Using Open Space in classes can result in a transformative experience for the individuals and groups involved. It is a simple and powerful way to catalyze effective working conversations and truly invite participants to thrive and be in the role of leader, knowledge sharer, and questioner.


Key learning points.
Planning follow up activities, dissemination and implementation of learning outcomes.
Discussing possibilities for future cooperation among participants.

Download Europass template for this course


  • 08. 12. – 14. 12.
    (open for pre-registration)

  • 06. 12. – 12. 12.
    (open for pre-registration)

  • 21. 11. – 27. 11.
    (open for pre-registration)

Pre-registration form for Non-formal participative teaching methods

I would like to be informed about the dates of courses.

Useful information about Non-formal participative teaching methods

Non-formal participative teaching methods course will equip you with the knowledge of how to build inspiring learning communities in our fast-changing world in which technology prevails authentic human contact. By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand principles of active and engaging learning
  • Use main participatory learning methods
  • Build social capital skills that increase social and emotional learning
  • Create new ideas for enriching your pedagogical methods
  • Boost sense of initiative and active citizenship among your students and/or local community
  • Hold space in which students co-create the learning process
  • Lead meaningful conversations and deep listening that will help you to explore how can we co-create the learning environment we dream of
  • Encourage your students in innovative way to speak in front of the group, seek positive, taking turns, holding judgements, offering support to peers, and take the responsibility
  • Motivate your students for active engagement in collective learning

Participatory learning recognizes that students need to be active learners and encourages teachers to host the learning, rather than being solely responsible for content. The result is a field of learning where everyone is engaged. The newly gained knowledge can be easily transferable to your work environment by:

  • Fostering information sharing, relationship building, deep reflection, skill building, project planning, move a group that is stuck in “what is” toward “what could be”
  • Using circle to help students prepare for day’s lesson
  • Organizing World Café as a way for groups to share what they already know and identify what they need to study
  • Introducing Open Space as a way to share knowledge and inquire into topics together
  • Applying Appreciative Inquiry as a way of gathering different perspectives in project work

Meet the trainers

Janja Rebolj


Janja Rebolj, BSc in History and Sociology, has more than 25 years of experience in a wide variety of fields. This includes: pedagogical training, teaching in secondary schools, curator in the museum, PR and Marketing Manager, Trainer and Coach for SDI. Janja enjoys all her learning work, from development of students to professionals and leaders but her main focus is on helping people at all levels to develop more effective and productive relations that increase their personal effectiveness and enable their organisations to achieve better results. Facilitation and hosting entered in her life in 2009 and since then she passionately learns about them and use them both in museum world and business. Janja’s style is highly interactive sharing her own experiences and encouraging others to do the same. She structures high quality learning experiences and yet is also highly flexible in ensuring individual needs are met and each participant gains exactly what they need at this moment to help them take the next step. ​

Petra Založnik


Petra Založnik, BSc in Teacher Education and Sociology of Culture, is educator, evaluator and designer of innovative approaches to learning and teaching in the field of education. She has been working with teachers and schools in the fields of foreign language teaching and learning, intercultural competences, team teaching, integrative curriculum, peer learning, etc. Lately she has been focusing on opening the space for Art of Hosting practices in the educational system – she has been promoting methodologies that enable us to develop collaboration skills and create an atmosphere and structure in which we learn both about a topic of interest as well as life itself. She believes in natural learning, the harmony of chaos and order, meaningful conversations and trusts that in real collaboration and partnership we can design powerful stories that lead us to an empowering present and even more nourishing future.

Marjeta Novak


Marjeta Novak, MSc Communications, enjoys hosting spaces where people of diverse backgrounds engage in real dialogue, building on their personal as well as group strengths in order to co-create solutions that are sustainable and life-serving. She is a Certified Professional FacilitatorCNVC-certified trainer in nonviolent communication; and the national steward of the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter network, which was birthed in her native Slovenia in early 2000’s. She has applied Art of Hosting practices to a variety of contexts – from education (quality assessment within the University of Ljubljana; global education conferences), government (citizen engagement for the vision of Slovenia 2050), municipalities and communities (Youth for Green Ljubljana; Pro Action Cafes; grassroots local development initiatives), as well as business organisations (enlivening a number of their events and congresses).

Natalija Vrhunc


Natalija Vrhunc, MSc in Environmental Sciences and Policy, is a group process facilitator/host and an environmental management specialist. Her facilitation orientation lately has been in dialogue and circle, as platforms for participatory leadership, deep connection and meaningful conversations in groups. Facilitation and hosting offer her life learning opportunities to learn and work on how to enable people to co-create and live in joyful learning together, feeling free in their expression and safe in all kinds of diversities, to listen to and respect each other. She believes that every human being has a potential for creative connection with others in purpose for better being of everybody and everything.
She has applied Art of Hosting practices to a variety of contexts – government (events with high diversity of stakeholders, as preparation of national strategies, operational programmes, citizen engagement for the vision of Slovenia 2050), municipalities (working lately on integration of marginalized groups), communities (Youth for Green Ljubljana; Pro Action Cafes; grassroots local development initiatives) and education (University of Ljubljana).


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