The InART2DiverCity Project (Introducing Cultural Diversity of European Cities to Youth) is co-funded by the European Commission under Erasmus+ Programme – KA2 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices – Strategic Partnerships for Youth. The main target groups the project is addressing are young adults in the age of 18-30 who are in vocational education centers studying for professions which are directly affected by Fine Arts and Fine Arts Trainers who will have to train-the-trainers of VET centers on Cultural Diversity of the participating countries.
The cultural heritage of the European Union is a rich and diverse mosaic of cultural and creative expressions, our inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and our legacy for those to come. It is the driving force for the cultural and creative sectors, and an important resource for economic growth, employment and social cohesion. In 2007, the European Commission proposed a European Agenda for Culture, which acknowledges the value of arts and cultural education in developing creativity. Furthermore, the EU strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training clearly emphasizes the importance of transversal key competences, including cultural awareness, creativity and innovation.
However, the conception and the breadth of arts and culture curricula vary in education for professions in the field of Fine Arts. In particular, a new focus on creativity and cultural education is apparent in the goals of vocational education and training. This raises questions about the ability of the arts and culture curriculum in VET to fulfil such diverse and wide-ranging aims. Moreover, it highlights the need to continuously improve its quality, while being up to date with the concept of “smart culture” and the use of modern digital technologies. On the other hand, teaching the arts and culture to a high standard is challenging. Teachers who teach the arts and culture subjects in VET play a fundamental role in developing the creative skills. There is the need for continuing professional development, to enable arts teachers to update their knowledge and develop their skills.
Utilising the momentum of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, InART2DiverCity project developed new and effective approaches, methods and materials to introduce/reinforce European Cultural Heritage and intercultural learning, with the view to enhance the skills and employability of young adults (age group 18-30) in the creative sectors as well as the professional skills of trainers.
Using the model of alternative pedagogical methodology, the InArt2DiverCity project guidebook intends to operate as a set of universal guidelines for vocational training within the Arts sector. Examples of good practice in VET education in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spin and Slovenia are given, while the focus rests on the advancement of cultural awareness and the safeguarding of diversity.
To comply with the understanding of Arts trainers, this guidebook is tailored for the needs of the VET sector, whilst it has been developed around techniques and methods derived from the principles of art and design, applying language from the arts sector.
Although alternative pedagogical methodology and the ‘Train the Trainers’ guidebook refers to Fine Arts trainers, these means can be transferred to educators and practitioners of different disciplines, as well as to other cultural professionals, who will be given the opportunity to enhance their pedagogical capabilities, developing the skills needed for efficient interaction and cooperation.
For the production of the guidebook, each country has identified a number of good practices in the context of VET education based on the alternative methodology of experiential learning, proposing educational activities that are tailored to the needs of each country’s VET system.
In the guidebook, the means are provided for readers to understand the main concept behind Smart Culture in the field of the Arts during the digital era, as well as the importance of intercultural communication, cultural diversity, and the need for continuous professional development regarding Fine Arts trainers. Chapter 4 investigates the competencies of Non-Formal Education for trainers, students, as well as society at large, showcasing how it can channel the potential to increase democratic resilience, critical artistic expression, whilst positively affecting creativity and innovation. The next Chapter introduces the objectives, methods and activities of Experimental Learning, while Chapter 6 will guide us on experimenting with learning zones. More specifically, it will demonstrate how to develop a cultural map with common points, and thus how to gain knowledge through the sharing of ideas. Finally, Chapter 7 will demonstrate good practices and successful projects through the Learning-by-Doing methodology, coming from the five participating countries. Conclusions and recommendations will bring this short guidebook to a close.
The final version of the guidebook is available at: http://inart2divercity.eu/assets/files/O2/InART2DiverCity_O2A2_Guidebook.pdf