Creative Partnerships Lithuania
The key objectives of the measure were as following:
- to develop creativity of children and young people, inspire them to learn,
- to develop teachers abilities to work creatively,
- to support schools in solving real issues of learning,
- to improve the competencies of creative professionals to work in educational settings.
The project "Creative Partnerships Lithuania" was a national flagship programme that involved 138 schools of Lithuania. The programme was running in 2011-2015. 247 unique school projects have been delivered, more than 10 percent of Lithuanian schools involved, over 10 000 pupils and 1000 teachers participated as active learners in the programme. Creative Partnerships fosters innovative long term relationships between schools and creative professionals. It brings creative professionals from many different disciplines (including such areas as performing arts, literature, visual arts, music, design, architecture, science, journalism) to the school to review and transform the existing learning practices so that the schools would become better places for nurturing the creativity of chlidren and young people. The programme is based on the approach that creativity is not a skill bound within the arts, but a wider ability to question, make connections and take an innovative and imaginative approach to problem solving. Thus creativity is not a special gift - it is within us all and simply needs to be unlocked and nurtured. Through the project creative professionals actively engage children and young people in leading and shaping creative learning programmes, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning and develop the competences needed to play an active role in shaping their future. In order to make the programme sustainable and achieve lasting impact to participating schools, creative professionals work with teachers throughout the whole programme and thus develop the creative competences of teachers and support them to find new approaches to how they teach. The programme focuses on the learning processes at school and seeks to help school become a place where everybody can learn to know, to do, to live together and to be (following the UNESCO’s four pillars of education concept). Thus the programme works with learning in and out the classroom as well as the broader community life of school.
- Creative Partnerships programme, originally developed in the UK, adapted to the Lithuanian context, applied, evaluated and improved.
- Creative professionals and teachers trained, achieved experience of creative learning and ready to sustain and share the practice.
- Children and young people gained experience of rich and inclusive learning experience, developed their creative competences, gained more confidence and motivation to learn.
The project was supported by the European Social Fund and Lithuanian Government (overall budget 4.6 million EUR) as a state-planned project.
During the Creative Partnerships Lithuania programme we have commissioned 3 large scale external programme evaluation studies. They have provided evidence that the programme increases confidence and independence of pupils and is especially effective to pupils who underperform in traditional classroom regime, significantly contributes to the emotional wellbeing of pupils and teachers at school, fosters pupils’ engagement into learning, helps them see learning as meaningful and valuable, decreases psychological distance between pupils and teachers. All of these shifts eventually help teachers create engaging and effective learning process.
Key findings of research:
Empowerment and well-being of children and young people:
- Improved self - confidence
- Feeling invited to express their personal opinions and their feelings
- Begin to interact more constructively with others, to listen to each other more and to be more tolerant of each other.
- Feeling less lonely, sad, worried and bored. Feeling happier and more safe.
- Creative learning encouraged interest, stimulating questions and active engagement. As a result, learning was increasingly seen as a useful process rather than an end in itself
- Increase in creative competences – collaboration, imagination, inquiry, resilience
- The most significant impact was on behaviour of socially excluded children
- Reduction in bullying.
- Warmer atmosphere, closer relationships
- Outset of a learning community – trial, error, reflection as a common practice
- Meaningful community ties slowly replacing the usual „facade“ culture
- Schools increase their mobility and their willingness to let the outside world in
Teachers‘ wellbeing and professional improvement
- Teachers increase their ability to create engaging and inclusive learning process
- Project activities allowed pupils to see teachers in a less formal way and more as a person. As a result, teachers were able to create relationships based on collegiality and confidence.
- Teachers become more confident, more responsible, more free