Final Manual

Reciprocal Maieutic Approach in Adult Education



This manual presents the conclusions of two years of intensive exchange of experiences while experimenting the use and application of RMA in adult education – involving representatives, project coordinators, adult learner staff and adult learners of seven partners from different European countries. The main objective is to make the outcomes of this common learning process available to a wider audience, to support further development and exploitation at international, national and local levels.

Who is this manual for

This manual aims to provide guidelines on the use and application of Danilo Dolci’s Reciprocal Maieutic Approach (RMA) as an innovative pedagogical approach that can be used in the Adult Education field. It provides an overview of main theoretical concepts related to RMA as well as an example of how it could be applied on a practical level. RMA workshop outcomes from several Nations have always proven to be reach in many different ways, from both the emotional and cognitive perspective.

The manual is intended to be used by adult learning staff in adult education for training future trainers. However, it could also be used for education projects with adult learners in general and with young people. It has been written as a reference tool for teachers, educators, social operators and other staff within institutions and organization providing adults with learning opportunities whether of a formal, non formal or informal nature, as well as for those working in associations, NGOs, social enterprises, health institutions and policy makers involved in adult education. It should also be emphasized that this manual cannot replace an in-presence training course and it should be seen primarily as a support tool. It is important to underline the fact that this manual does not give the reader any pre-conceived solutions, and it cannot substitute in10 presence training, but it should be considered mainly a supporting tool.

How to use the manual

Following this introduction, the first chapter briefly presents the EDDILI project and the international partnership.

The second chapter reviews the definition, main concepts and pedagogical principles associated to RMA as well as its rationale and value in the context of adult education. The aim of this chapter is to provide a theoretical background as well as step by step guidelines on how to use RMA as a pedagogical approach.

The third chapter describes the key processes for designing and conducting training modules by using RMA, with a focus on how RMA could be used with other non formal educational methodologies.

The fourth chapter includes the learning achievements and competences acquired by the adult learning staff at the end of the RMA training modules as well as innovative aspects of RMA in adult education that emerged from the evaluation process carried out within the project. Finally, the conclusions about what we have learned during the project and what we would like to do next.

The manual also includes:

  • The glossary, including lexical key concepts related to RMA and Danilo Dolci educational work;
  • The annexes, including samples of observation grids to evaluate the RMA learning process. (Evaluation of the inpresence modules: the observation grid, the diary for each inpresence module. Evaluation of the e-learning modules: the instrumental communication grid, the non instrumental communication grid, the short report for each on-line module)¹;
  • The self-access modules for independent learning on specific issues related to adult education;
  • The bibliography;
  • The DVD, containing the digital version of the final manual (language: English), a video of an RMA workshop, a session dedicated to Danilo Dolci’s life and work.

¹ The evaluation tools proposed above have been developed by the external evaluators of the EDDILI project, Prof. Gianna Cappello and Prof. Fabio Lo Verde from University of Palermo.



The manual is also available in different languages. Please follow the links below to download them: