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Creative learning approach offers educational and societal gains

on .

CreativeChange2“New teaching methods can increase young children’s understanding of difference and also improve learning potential” a University of Ulster educationalist told Stormont’s politicians on Wednesday 11th September.

 

Dolores Loughrey was presenting the latest research from the two-year Creative Change Project which shows that storytelling and the arts can boost personal development and academic performance at primary school level.  

 

 

The ground-breaking project, funded by the International Fund for Ireland through its Sharing in Education Programme (SiEP) and delivered by the University of Ulster’s School of Education, has helped 10 primary schools in the Coleraine, Portstewart and Portrush area to forge successful cross-community partnerships.

 

Dolores presented the findings and the experiences of teachers and parents at the event hosted by Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee, Mervyn Storey MLA.

 

She said:

“The Creative Change Project engages with young children, using creativity and the creative arts to foster real partnerships and friendships with other children from different religious backgrounds. 

 

“By encouraging respect and understanding for others the project works with the wider school community promoting mutual understanding through cross community collaboration.  Parents, grandparents and carers attend creative workshops where they learn alongside their children.”

 

She added:

“The success of the programme can be judged by the ever increasing number of pupils, teachers, classroom assistants, principals and parent/carers who have positively engaged with it.  They have seen at first-hand how teaching Personal Development and Mutual Understanding in a shared environment, encouraging expression and experiment, can produce results which not only have educational benefit, but societal benefit also. 

 

“The programme has proved that sharing educational programmes not only helps the pupil, but encourages cooperation between schools and understanding between parents. The model provided by Creative Change can be a positive driver for change amongst the youngest in our society, and through them, a positive example for older generations.”

 

Dr Adrian Johnston Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said:

“The Creative Change Project is about bringing schools and communities together.  The creative arts and storytelling have an important role within the classroom and can give teachers, classroom assistants and parents confidence to discuss big questions and guide children towards positive understandings of our society.

 

“Pupils, teachers and communities have all benefited from the support. Interventions such as the Creative Change Project have a part to play in a genuine shared future and are timely given Programme for Government commitments to advancing shared education. The SiEP projects give policymakers practical examples of how young people can participate in shared educational experiences.”

 

mervyn

Click here to download press release