Mosaic - Management of social care in a changing society

Mosaic's intention was to satisfy the needs of training arisen from changed conditions for social care of older persons in a European perspective. The project focused on the management level and different aspects of leadership. By participation in a course within the project, the competence were upgraded and adaptable and flexible to the society and the employability enhanced. The European perspective was prominent in both theoretical and practical parts. ICT tools and a web platform are means to carry out the course.

The target group consisted of working professional on the management level in social care of older persons. A strategic selection by the criteria of providers from non profit to public and profit organisations, life long learning with different long career and gender with both males and females participants was done. A general request was working knowledge of talking English. The number of participants was 6-8 persons from each nation.

The main theme for the curriculum was Management in social care of older persons. The sub themes were organisation (learning organisation, employee and economic management) and quality (quality management and empowerment). Each theme was presented in its theoretical and practical aspects. An international and comparative perspective was prominent.

The approach was built on an equal relation between the participants and the teachers. Everyone has something to give in the learning process. A mentor facilitated the way throughout the course for each participant. The participants were consultants to each other. It means for instance that they were able to give comments to papers written by the group of participants. The working situation for each participant was the point of departure. A chosen problem or question by each participant should be described and analysed with help of knowledge and tools which will be introduced during the course. In this process the participants functioned as consultants to each other.

The first part was a learning situation giving the theoretical and practical connections to the themes and sub themes. A practical connection was done by presentations of the participants and their workplaces. The second part was a project work. It was done by groups of two participants from the same nation. Each group made a field study of at least one week in a foreign nation within the partnership. The third part was a follow-up of the field study and a participatory evaluation of the whole course. The project was carried out from 2003 to 2005.

The approach was built on flexible learning. It means that the learning situations are relatively independent of time and place by ICT technique (information communication technology). The software First Class was one medium for communication. First Class is accessible in Italian, Spanish and Swedish. First Class was used for communication between participants separated and between participants and teachers. By tele picture seminars will be carried out.

Each participant had her/his own project. It was documented continuously in the three phases of the course and collected in a report. They are the learning, the field study and the report phase. By the individual project the participants are going to work together as consultants. The course led to a report of the individual project, which was used to give feedback to the participants' work places and other contexts.

A study guide made the preparatory work and the phases concrete step by step. English was the working language.

The partnership of Mosaic is formed for co-operation between training and educational and training institutions, representatives from the field and labour market in a European dimension. The promoter Malardalen University, Sweden and 11 partners constitute the critical mass of competence for carrying out Mosaic.