In our aim of preparing students for real world challenges and providing them with modern required skills, we usually forget that as teachers and adult figures, we must allow them to express their imagination and creativity to make them reach their full potential.
The new edition of the course “Creativity for the future: promoting Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving in the classroom” took place in the city of Bologna from 06/11/2023 to 10/11/2023. The participants involved in this project came from all across Europe, with three participants coming from Norway: Anne Johnsrud and Ellen-Mari B. Tuvsjøen from Hønefoss videregående skole and Roza Budak from Holmestrand kommunale voksenopplæring; two participants coming from two different Hungarian schools: Péter Domján from Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Két Tanítási Nyelvű Baptista Gimnázium and Bernadett Fogarasi-Siket coming from Újpesti Karinthy Frigyes Magyar-Angol Két Tanítási Nyelvű Általános Iskola; Blaženka Heric and Grozdana Žagar from Kindergarten Dječja mašta in Croatia and Kristina Nord from Hjalmar Strömerskolan, Sweden.
Participants based their lessons on focusing on the 4 Cs: critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration; centring their attention on competences useful to live in the 21st century, such as learning and innovation skills, digital skills and also career and life skills.
What is important is that participants were not only provided with theoretical knowledge, since they learned, by facing a series of challenges themselves, how differently our brain and solving skills operate when there is a problem to face.
Participants were firstly encouraged to reflect on how common it has become to simply follow the rules and think inside the box, and then, through simple but effective strategies, were taught how to overcome these barriers. Very helpful is the parallel thinking method, in which participants had to play a specific role in finding a solution to a problem, putting into practice “lateral thinking”. This exercise, as many others used during the course, can be used for every subject, but also as a tool to encourage students thinking outside the box.
As far as visual strategies are concerned, participants experienced firsthand new activities which they could use to stimulate students’ creative expression and critical thinking in a world where most of the time they are taught passively and are exposed to loads of (dis)information. Participants engaged in reasoning, questioning and debating activities that could be adapted to different classroom situations to help students become active and aware agents of their own learning.
The course had no intention of moving away from the traditional methods, since innovation doesn’t only come from the use of new techniques, but also from reframing traditional tools. Our participants enjoyed playing traditional games, but they were also able to experience group activities, which will be useful and adaptable for their subjects while building a stronger learning perspective on them.
Finishing the course, everyone had a chance to create a personalized display of their training and cultural journey in Bologna and, from morning wrap-ups to many cultural activities, we said goodbye to a week full of laughter, creativity and new experiences!
Discover more about the course here.
Welcome to the ELA Blog. Here you will find articles and photos of our courses and have a look at the topics addressed during the week in Bologna, Palermo and Tenerife. You will also have the chance to take a peek at our projects and check out what we have been up to.