What are Shared Learning Projects

U3A NORTHERN IRELAND REGION
SHARED LEARNING PROJECTS (SLPs)

What are SLPs?

They are research projects focussing on a topic proposed by an institution (such as a museum, art gallery, garden, church or library) or proposed by the members themselves on a theme (such as a river, a town, a person, a philosophy or an idea).

Sharing is between both U3A and institution, by members from different U3As or using a combination of both.  They provide an ideal opportunity to meet new people and to enjoy exploring new topics.

The SLP Concept

SLPs were conceived over ten years ago and are popular all over the UK. Reports and articles on many of these projects appear monthly in ‘Sources’ or in Third Age Matters ( back copies are on theU3A website www.u3a.org.uk. See Sources Jan 2011 and one of the 2005 editions, also Third Age News Jan 2012 for local inputs).  Projects can be of any length but are usually of some three months duration.  They normally finish with a meeting or informal get-together to talk about the findings and the presentation a report.

Local Contributions

Here in Northern Ireland we have completed a number of projects and there are some still in hand. Our past corporate partners include:

The Ulster Museum (Local Artists: Meteorites; My favourite Artefact):
Ulster Folk Museum(Life in NI around 1900):
The Somme Heritage Museum, Newtownards (Wartime Experiences in Northern Ireland in the 20th century)
The Centre for Migration Studies, Omagh (Reminiscences).
Bagenal’s Castle in Newry (Ireland in Tudor Times)
Federation of Ulster Local Studies (English Street, Armagh)
Art Education Section of Ulster Museum (Looking at Art)

There are currently 5 active projects:

  • Causeway & U3A Foyle in association with the University of Ulster have established and produced a leaflet on the Bishop Hervey Trail.  This is still being taken forward.  See Trail .
  • Downe, North Down & Ards and East Antrim U3As researched the life of  Vere Foster,  the 19th century philanthropist and education pioneer Public Records Office.  See Vere Foster .
  • All NI U3As are invited to research and document Public Art in their areas
  • Professor Mary O’Prey in QUB, in conjuction with the University of Limerick,  invites U3A members to submit information on Under-appreciated Irish women.  See Irish Women .
  • In the Folk & Transport Museum in Cultra, members of North Down & Ards U3A are involved in an inter-generational programme, Story Telling to Children.

Interested? Then why don’t you  contact me by phoning 028 4461 3160 or  e-mail me on smagee99@tiscali.co.uk

Sheila Magee