By Andrew Garrad
A variety of programmes across Europe encourage partnerships between schools and the cultural sector – motivated by the belief that learning in and through the arts can bring great benefits in terms of personal and societal improvement. But many of these programmes do not address the challenges of living in a diverse and globalised world. “Europe in Perspective” therefore builds on transnational co-operation and further training to promote diversity and creative intercultural experiences in cultural learning.
With partners from all over Europe, a multinational training concept on diversity and intercultural learning is being developed and tested in the field – in consultation both with organisations/institutions providing training to the sector and with practitioners working within it.
The training is designed for pairs of teachers and cultural practitioners delivering cultural learning projects in schools. It provides a personally motivating European learning experience and demonstrate how to integrate more intercultural and diversity-oriented learning in local partnership programmes.
The first two of three pilot training sessions were held in Berlin and Newcastle upon Tyne, where 28 participants from ten countries came together to explore more European and transnational learning possibilities and to contribute to the development of the training concept. As a relative newcomer to CCE, I was interested to experience a training week to immerse myself in the topics being discussed and get a first-hand glimpse of how a European transnational training event would work in practice. As the second of the pilot training weeks was held on our home turf in Newcastle, I got my chance. What followed was a fascinating, challenging and highly successful week; it was clear that all the participants came into the training from different perspectives and backgrounds and most were challenged by the language which comes with the different definitions of diversity. There was friction, conflict and resistance at times but this only added to a more in depth learning experience. Many participants (including myself) faced a very steep learning curve, but it was clear at the end of the week that each participant had been able to make sense of the training topics and had begun to make fundamental changes to their ways of thinking. Crucially, each participant had gone away from the week with a clear sense of how they would be able to incorporate the ideas learnt in the week into their own practice at home. Knowledge sharing has continued post-training via social media channels showing how the training had inspired the participants and encouraged new ways of working.
If you’d like any further information about Europe in Perspective and how you could get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.