29 SES 14, Creative Connections - Giving New Emphasis to the ‘Voice of the Child’ through Art, European Citizenship and Digital Media
Creative Connections is a three-year, EU-funded collaborative research project which began in 2012 and involves six European universities and twenty five schools in England, Spain, Finland, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Portugal (University of Roehampton; University of Barcelona, University of Lapland, Charles University, National College of Art and Design and Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo). The project has explored ways of increasing transnational understanding and what it means to be ‘European’ with over 800 young people and children. This innovative project focused on giving new emphasis to the ‘voice of the child’ through art, citizenship and digital media.
The project has developed a website: www.creativeconnexions.eu and central to this is an online gallery of images from current, practicing European artists to stimulate creative discussion and practical projects in participating primary and secondary schools. The project ‘connected’ schools online via quad blogs within the website – within these blogs pupils could post images and ideas relating to the work they were doing for Creative Connections; pupils also posted descriptions of their work/influences and sought responses from peers in other countries. To enable blogging communication in five languages, automatic online translation software was used. This multilingual facility aimed to offer pupils from the partner European countries an opportunity to communicate through both visual and text-based multilingual “voices”. The consortium worked with teachers to facilitate an active inter-country dialogue with a focus on enhancing an understanding of related and diverse perspectives of European citizenship. The project is now in its final year and main research phase has finished. Partners in each country have been assessing data: images, text, interviews, observations and surveys in order to examine the themes, issues and outcomes of the past two years.
This symposium (one of two) presents a series of perspectives on the research methods employed in this project and how they facilitated children’s engagement with European belonging at a time of political upheaval and global recession; themes which were apparent in the images, dialogue and text responses produced in schools. The Finnish team considers the compilation of the online gallery and the different pedagogical approaches developed for using contemporary artworks in the context of European citizenship and identity. The Irish team examine the merits and challenges of the blogging platform to provide a forum for children to respond to their peers about being European, as a means to develop cross-cultural empathy and a sense of connectedness. A case study will focus specifically on the experience and interaction of an Irish school and their blogging partners; the English team build in the Irish perspective as they the ways in which pupils communicated with one another online and how language/culture impact upon their conversations. The Spanish contribution examines the case of one primary school and the impact of exploring key questions: What do I understand by Europe? And how did I relate to this idea of Europe? Finally, the Czech team presents attempts to teach critical thinking through visual media and to facilitate student´s elaborating their sense of belonging.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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