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On a journey with the ARTist
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our project involves 6 European preprimary and primary schools from different countries: Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Romania and Spain. This project aims to develop a framework for arts education to strengthen the (inter)personal development of each child. That is why the partner organisations will perform activities that will contribute to the creation of a manual with arts education based methods. During the project, the teachers will exchange good practises on three themes of art. Per year, the teachers work on one theme with their pupils. The teachers exchange good practises; look for new methods, test them with their pupils and integrate them into the manual. The learning activities for children are a means for teachers to train each other in specific methods and to test these methods on the pupils. At the end of the 3 years, the teachers will dispose of a framework and an ‘arts education manual’ to develop a rich learning environment, where each child can reach its full potential. An important character in the project is the mascot Jan, who will give assignments to the students. There will also be an extensive assignment that will span over the 3 years. This will culminate in a musical and dramatic performance during the final short-term learning event. The project aims to explore, create and reflect on art in order to enhance the creativity of all our pupils by exposing them to new ways of learning. Learning artistic expressions will lead to an increase of motivation and self-confidence, the development of an emotional intelligence and consequently a better starting point from (pre)primary level. The main thread throughout our project is formed by the touring teddy bear Jan, who is an artist and interested in all kinds of arts. Each partner school has a similar teddy bear of their own as a mascot. He travels virtually through Europe giving 14 assignments to the pupils of the 6 partner schools. The children are asked to carry out the assignments during the three-year project to assist Jan in his travels. There will be a creative assignment that will span over the three years. This will culminate in a musical and dramatic performance called 'On a journey with Jan the Artist' in each organisation using what they have explored, created, shared and learned during the three project years. The assignments focuse on the different aspects of Art: through painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, music, dance and drama. It takes the pupils, teachers and the school community to worlds and meanings that promote human nature and give people the opportunity to see life in a different way. Children, teachers, parents and the local partners like museums, local artists and Art galleries will be involved into our project. As we progress through the project we will encourage the use of other European languages. To intensify this process of getting to know each other and each others' culture we will organise 2 short term learning activities for pupils of the 5th and 6th grade of each partner school. Furthermore we want to enhance Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) through the project: motivating children and teachers to practice modern technology like tablets, eTwinning, Skype, different programmes on the computer, etc. The main result will be a manual for teachers with best practises on teaching and learning art. The manual will focus on skills of the 21st century as innovative thinking or out of the box thinking by means of art education. During the project best practises will be exchanged, based on the experiences of each partner school. These best practises will be compiled in a manual with description of 21st skills, aims, activities, organisation, cooperation and communication. This manual will be intended for all the teachers from all partner schools and will be made available to other schools. The child-centered elements of the project will develop new ways of learning for our children through creating the outputs in collaboration with one another. Teaching and learning methodologies used in their current practice will be shared. The best practises will be implemented into the classroom. Developing an artistic track can help children to find hidden treasures and help them deal with personal success and failure. In order words, let’s invest in social capital for the future. Children will be equipped with an extra set of competencies, which they will be able to use in their school career (keeping motivated) and in their future life (life-long learning).
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