Enhancing creativity through a Project-Based Learning approach

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Even after years of pedagogical and psychological research, students are often asked to memorise the lesson of the day, learn all at the same pace and apply a single approach to a given scenario. By contrast, Project-Based Learning (PBL) requires students to actively engage in meaningful, real-world problems for an extended period, testing their own ideas. This article presents three initiatives that constitute successful examples of PBL.

Everyday Creativity

Everyday Creativity is an online and on-site teacher training initiative organised by the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. The objective of this project is to increase creativity and innovation in everyday school practices in schools in four European countries (Hungary, Italy, Romania and the Netherlands). This includes:

  • providing teachers with resources and training to develop students’ creativity,
  • engaging teachers and their learners in the demonstration and promotion of innovative activities in their schools,
  • identifying and encouraging creativity-enhancing approaches and initiatives, with a focus on daily innovative environments in the school or classroom,
  • creating opportunities for teachers and learners to cultivate their imagination and to reflect on their own pedagogy and learning strategies.

Everyday Creativity

The Everyday Creativity project outputs include:

Throughout the two project years, twenty teachers directly participated in this project, and 200 teachers have benefited from the national teacher training workshops. Putting this material into practice and implementing the creativity boosting methods and tools in their daily practices will affect 4,000 learners aged 6-15. The goal is for the “Finnish model” to be applied in more schools and shared with more teachers and education stakeholders across Europe.

Wish

The participants of the Wish project are facing complex educational challenges, and include students at risk of exclusion. In their case, there are two urgent needs: to equip students with the necessary skills to succeed in their professional career, and to build a more tolerant and inclusive society. This project aims mainly at:

  • raising awareness of the importance of social inclusion among young people,
  • helping students gain a range of skills by using the PBL approach,
  • supporting personal and professional development of staff in order to improve their teaching approach, particularly in terms of the skills and inclusion of different marginal groups, such as migrant pupils and pupils with special educational needs.                                                                                                                                      

Wish Project

In practice, students undertake research about the current state of affairs in social exclusion in their countries, and brainstorm, discuss and decide on the activities they are going to design. After that, they make a budget and draw a timeline of the implementation. Once they have established the relevant criteria to evaluate their project, they need to implement it in their partner schools. At the end, students share the results of their project, such as through a Booklet, a Handbook, or a Digital Magazine.

Creative School

With the rise of unemployment and lack of opportunities in the EU, the Creative School project endeavours to improve citizens’ skills, with a focus on creativity and critical thinking. By developing higher-level thinking skills, young people will be more able to find solutions to social, emotional and economic problems, both personally and in the context of the wider world. The main beneficiaries of this project include primary and secondary school teachers who will learn how to facilitate pedagogical strategies for creativity and critical thinking.

Creative School Project is developing learning modules for children and school teachers, as well as promoting self-directed learning and critical and visual thinking skills. To this end, the project uses cultural heritage content made available by the partner organisations. The project is also exploring the mobilisation of digital cultural heritage and engagement with makerspace models as tools to create unusual and exciting learning opportunities. Here, makerspaces are intended as community-operated workspaces, where people with common interests in technology, science, heritage and art can meet, socialise and collaborate.

To discover ongoing and past EU-funded projects in school education, please go to the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform.