The German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning (BKJ) and CCE brought the curtain down on their three year partnership project, Europe in Perspective with the international conference “Challenging (Y)our Perspectives on Europe and Cultural Learning“ which took place in October 2019 in the Dortmunder U, Dortmund, Germany, and attracted participants from all across Europe and beyond.
Cultural and creative learning is a powerful means of developing children and young people because of its capacity to simultaneously foster their social, emotional and intellectual growth. Artistic processes model practices which nurture the critical faculties, self-confidence, tolerance and willingness of young people to take responsibility – important prerequisites for democratic action and active participation in society.
In recent years, co-operation between schools and cultural practitioners has gained considerable importance in the embedding of creative and cultural learning practices in the classroom – and this is now evident in national and regional programmes in most European countries.
But how can the potential of cultural learning in such partnership programmes be enhanced to prepare young people for life in a diverse society? How can important, but complex topics such as diversity be creatively embedded in local partnerships between cultural practitioners and teachers? What role can training and further education play in this? What impact can cultural and creative learning have on the growth of Euro-scepticism? What is the effect of cross-border co-operation, encounters and other transnational programmes on the development of young people?
In a three-year pilot project, BKJ and the international foundation Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) investigated these questions with partners from all over Europe. Together, ideas were developed and tested as to how the themes of diversity, Europe and cross-border encounters can be integrated into partnership projects and successfully conveyed in multinational training courses for teachers and cultural practitioners.
Over the period 2017 to 2019, the partners in this project worked to develop a modular training, which evolved and grew from six separate deliveries of the training. The intention was to create a 5-day training aimed at teachers and creative practitioners who were already involved in delivering cultural activities in co-operation. At a time when issues of diversity and interculturality were of central concern to those working with children and young people, we wanted to explore how teachers and creative practitioners would address these issues in the course of their normal professional practice. We were training people to deal with diversity and we were exploring which parts of our practice could add the most value in cultural learning settings inside and outside of schools.
During the final conference in Dortmund, the learning from various stages of the process was shared together with elements of the multinational training programme that was developed for teachers and their out-of-school partners. The format of the conference combined highly interactive laboratory environments with group discussions and round tables in small groups, with opportunities to meet practitioners from a range of European countries to plan new international partnerships to be implemented after the conference.
This 5-day training course is now freely available to download from the Europe in Perspective website, and contains a detailed description of the training, explaining all the activities in detail, while providing information about the purpose of each activity, the resources required and how the spaces used should be configured.
“Europe in Perspective: International Co-operation in Cultural Learning“ is a project of the German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning (BKJ) and the international foundation Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE). It is a strategic partnership with KulturKontakt Austria (KKA), the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (LKCA), T-TUDOK Centre for Knowledge Management and Educational Research and realised in consultation with further European partners. “Europe in Perspective” is funded by Stiftung Mercator and supported by the European Union within the scope of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme.