The global economic downturn of the latest years has impacted youth and adult populations throughout Europe. A major concern for the EU is the rise in unemployment and prevailing lack of opportunities to develop and improve skills of its citizens.
The EU 2020 Strategy acknowledges that education and training can help tackle key challenges Europe currently is facing, while the cultural sector is becoming more and more one of the key successful elements of the new forms of vocational tourism with a major impact on the economy of the European countries.
The Creative School project moves from this situation to acknowledge the importance of human and social capital as articulated in the 2020 Strategy and in the aims of Erasmus+, and intends to provide opportunities for individuals and schools to develop their skills through formal and informal education.
Partners rediscovered the creative, interactive and fun aspects of education while problem-solving issues during the process. Hence the Creative Museum and Making Museum projects have proved the cultural sector as dynamic spaces for learning and exchange and provide opportunities for hard-to-reach audiences and learners.
Two previous projects (The Creative Museum and The Making Museum) demonstrated how effective cooperation can be between the cultural institutions (and mainly the museum sector) with makers. With “makers” we identify those individuals and communities who have been stimulated by the downturn and loss of employment to empower themselves to co-create, engage, set-up their own local initiatives, to develop and showcase a variety of skill sets and aims to harness this creativity; provide a platform to share best practice and encourage initiative taking and entrepreneurship within the cultural sector, specifically within museums, libraries, heritage and science centres. Both projects provided their partners with a unique opportunity to experiment, prototype and share the results of new and existing ideas based on creative collaborations with local and international makers.
In "Recommendations Building a Creative Museum" report, the Creative Museum project recommended number of approaches to harness creativity. Both projects saw the establishment of links with the local community which includes the development of links with non-museum groups, build trust with these communities and forget strong links, find common language to foster greater dialogue with hard-to-reach audiences.
Over the past twenty years, changes in society and technology have reshaped the way people access and use information as well as share and collaborate in participatory shared platforms.
The new focus of the partnership, through the Creative School project, is to adapt the experience and knowledge of the cultural sector in a formal and informal educational setting, helping teachers and students to think in a creative and critical way.
Reform of the school curricula in Europe is undergoing radical change. Teachers and students are encouraged to think and learn in ways that have not been present in traditional school environments, i.e. to think creatively and harness critical thinking in their learning. Being creative, imagining, exploring options and alternatives, implementing ideas and taking action, learning creatively, stimulating creativity using digital technology, all contribute to creativity for students and teachers. Critical thinking is the way to objectively analyse and evaluate a topic, in order to form a judgement: it is the basis for creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and digital literacy to take place.
The idea of Creative School?
Delivering creative and critical thinking educational approaches to schools
in partnership with museums, science centres and galleries.
These creative and critical thinking approaches have emerged in both the Creative Museum and Making Museum projects and emphasises the relevance of how the cultural sector are spaces that support creativity and critical thinking through their audience engagement programmes and projects.
As we live increasingly digital lives, with very accessible personalized experiences and services, museums are learning new ways to tell their stories and engage with new audiences, which meets the expectations of their visitors. The project intend to demonstrate how this new language can be effectively applied in the educational environment, allowing teachers and students (or any other educational community) to create their own training materials for their own learning objectives, taking benefits of the great potential present in European museums. The Creative School project also aims to bring several partners together with different areas of expertise to develop co-created programmes and to encourage citizens, students and schools to engage with cultural collections in different ways.