Creative Connections aims to develop what Pike (2008) calls “connectedness” as a way of increasing transnational understanding in Europe’s young people and children. In this innovative project six partner countries will work together to give a new emphasis to the ‘voice of the child’ through art, citizenship and digital media. Creative Connections builds on the previously successful Comenius-Funded Images and Identity: Improving Citizenship through Digital Art project which evolved new resources for teaching and learning about European Citizenship Identity (www.image-identity.eu/). This project aims to take the Images and Identity work further through the development and use of an online art gallery, the Connected Gallery, which includes a multilingual facility that will offer pupils from the partner European countries an opportunity to communicate through both visual and text-based multilingual “voices”. Affording pupils the opportunity to communicate and connect in this way will also develop cross-cultural empathy. The consortium aims to work with teachers to provide an active inter-country dialogue, specifically between pupils of primary and secondary age, with a focus on enhancing an understanding of related and diverse perspectives of European citizenship. The project will conclude with a series of dissemination conferences in each of the six countries these will be led by the innovative work of teachers, pupils and discussed in the context of the findings of partner researchers. At each conference attendees, who will include policy makers, teachers and academics, will receive a digital catalogue which will document not only the project as a whole but also the specifics of the particular partner country. This material will then be available on the website along with guidelines for developing further this type of work.
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