Empowering Diverse Learners through Art

Course overview

This immersive 5-day course is designed to equip educators with creative strategies and artistic approaches to foster inclusive learning environments that embrace diversity and empower disadvantaged students. Participants will explore various art forms accessible to individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and abilities, including migrants and Roma communities.

The course will delve into the power of art as a medium for encouraging moral and emotional reflection, as well as promoting creative collaboration among students. Participants will practice strategies that harness the transformative potential of art to cultivate empathy, self-expression, and a sense of belonging within the classroom.

Emphasis will be placed on relating the insights and recommendations from the World Migration Report to participants’ own teaching environments. Participants will engage in discussions and activities that explore the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating migrant and refugee students, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding migration and displacement.

The course will also provide a platform for educators to exchange project ideas and teaching tools, collaborating to develop more effective and inclusive creative arts curricula. Participants will have the opportunity to share best practices, learn from one another’s experiences, and collectively address the unique needs of diverse learners.

To enhance the learning experience and provide a cultural context, the course will incorporate a guided visit to a local museum, heritage site, or community-based initiative. This visit will allow participants to explore the cultural richness of the area, draw inspiration from inclusive practices, and gain insights into incorporating green and sustainable dimensions into their creative arts curricula.

Tentative schedule:

Day 1: Setting the stage for inclusive education through the arts

  • Icebreakers and networking activities
  • Introduction to the course and participants
  • Overview of the course methodology and expectations
  • Exploring the role of art in fostering inclusive learning environments
  • Overview of key terms and facts on displaced, migrant and Roma students
  • Group discussions: Personal experiences and perspectives on migration and displacement

Day 2: Art for social inclusion and empowerment

  • Barrier analysis and adaptive educational tools in the arts
  • Strategies for social inclusion of the most vulnerable students
  • Empowering students as peer educators
  • Exchange of ideas: Individual art-making activities for self-expression

Day 3: Art as therapy and healing

  • Understanding trauma: Art as therapy and the health benefits of art-making
  • Imagination and creative processes as acts of survival
  • Cultural visit (e.g. museum, heritage site) guided in English to explore local heritage and sustainability practices
  • Teamwork activity: Installation or collaborative art project based on the cultural visit

Day 4: Art in the community and Universal Design for Learning

  • Socially-engaged artists and artworks promoting inclusion
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework for inclusive education
  • Exchange of ideas: Collaborative art activities for building community

Day 5: Sustaining inclusive arts education

  • Arts for small-scale income generation and sustainable funding
  • Group brainstorm: How to support disadvantages students on their artistic journey
  • Art-making activity: End-of-the-course presentation, installation, or performance
  • Course evaluation and feedback
  • Certification ceremony

The classes typically run from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon, with the afternoon and evening reserved for self-reflection and individual study. However, the course schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the preferences of the participants and the availability of instructors or external learning locations. Participants will receive the finalized schedule well in advance, allowing ample time for preparation and planning.

Learning outcomes:

The participants will be able to:

  • Experiment with varied art forms accessible to people of diverse cultural backgrounds and abilities, including migrants and Roma communities.
  • Analyze relevant documents on migrant and Roma status in Europe and its implications for their own teaching environments, fostering a deeper understanding of migration and displacement.
  • Develop strategies for encouraging moral and emotional reflection, creative collaboration, and a sense of belonging among students through art-based activities.
  • Implement adaptive educational tools and inclusive practices in the arts to address barriers and empower disadvantaged learners.
  • Evaluate the role of art as a therapeutic medium for healing, self-expression, and promoting well-being among students who have experienced trauma or displacement.
  • Integrate socially-engaged art practices and the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework into their creative arts curricula to foster inclusive learning environments.
  • Collaborate with fellow educators to exchange project ideas, teaching tools, and best practices for developing effective and inclusive creative arts curricula.
  • Design art-based activities and collaborative projects that promote social inclusion, community-building, and sustainable development within their educational contexts.
  • Analyze funding opportunities and develop strategies for securing resources to sustain inclusive arts education initiatives.
  • Incorporate cultural elements, inclusive practices, and sustainable dimensions from local heritage and community initiatives into their creative arts curricula.

Course fee:

  • 400 euro per participant (covered entirely by the Erasmus grant)

Course fee includes:

  • At least 25 hours of course content;
  • Course materials;
  • Certificate of participation;
  • Europass, on request;
  • Learning / Mobility Agreement;
  • Visits to local institutions, if available;
  • Personalized support;
  • Free high-speed WIFI internet at the POU Čakovec premises;
  • Refreshments;
  • Administration costs;
  • Dissemination materials.
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