THE ART OF CURIOSITY is a continuous programme meant to unleash and develop the creativity, critical thinking and other key competences of students and teachers, help schools develop a relevant curriculum for the 21st-century, and provide practical support in addressing current learning challenges.
The programme is unique in its methodology, which our community has perfected while working with dozens of schools across Lithuania. It creates a space for partnerships between students, teachers and practitioners of various creative disciplines, where they can work together to solve specific learning challenges, and develop and test educational approaches based on integration, exploration and problem solving.
We welcome schools that see learning as an exploration of oneself and one’s environment that combines knowledge from different disciplines and includes trial and error, constant questioning and searching, and learning to work together.
THE ART OF CURIOSITY is a practical aide for addressing relevant learning-related challenges. Instead of being given theoretical information or externally prescribed solutions, the teachers and students are first encouraged to ask themselves what kind of learning they find meaningful and engaging. Once they have set their own goals, they can, with the help from creative practitioners from a wide range of fields, try learning through exploring, solving problems, and developing and implementing their own ideas.
Benefits for the entire school: we foster a school culture based on trust, openness, reflection and purposeful improvement.
In the school, the programme includes two parallel projects and two groups:
One class or target group of students (20–30 children) is involved in a small-scale project of exploration and creative learning, integrating lessons from several subjects. The class works with a KŪRYBINĖS JUNGTYS practitioner and teachers of included subjects.
The TEACHERS CLUB is a voluntary association for teachers and other school staff involved in the education process. With the help of our creative practitioners, members of the TEACHERS CLUB explore current educational challenges and learn to develop their own engaging educational approaches that combine the content of the teaching subject with the development of key competences.
The project is implemented in the school in three phases:
Planning, which involves looking at the school’s needs in terms of developing skills for the 21st century, identifying the school’s objectives for the project (on which student skills and teachers’ professional competences the school should focus), and developing the project idea.
Implementation, which involves exploratory and creative learning processes for groups of participating students and teachers.
Reflection and evaluation, where all project participants reflect on their experiences and take stock of the impact the project has had on them and their community, and what and how the school will integrate into its regular practices.
We share feedback from the participants on their unexpected discoveries, achievements, changes, and what stuck with them after the programme.
ENGAGED, ACTIVE STUDENTS
Students participating in the programme become active and responsible participants in their own learning process. They question, explore, create, act and reflect.
GETTING TO KNOW THEMSELVES AND GAINING CONFIDENCE
The workshops bring out new skills in students. They move beyond a stereotypical, fixed view of themselves, gaining more confidence in both themselves and others.
DEVELOPING IMPORTANT SKILLS
Core skills for the 21st century are developed through practical training: creativity, leadership, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. 94% of students say the programme strengthened their knowledge regarding skills for the 21st century. 61% say that they not only gained new knowledge but also improved their actual skills.
A BROADER PERSPECTIVE REVEALS ITSELF
The students begin to feel part of the local community and their city.
THE NEW ROLE OF THE TEACHER
Teachers begin to understand what it means to be the planners and companions in children’s education. This develops attitudes and skills required for the new role of the teacher.
TEACHERS AS A TEAM
By exploring issues together as a team in the Teachers Club, the teachers get to know each other better and learn from each other. The experience inspires them and builds trust. At the end of the programme, teachers are likely to continue to share their experience and methods, collaborate on solving challenges, and teach joint classes.
A CHANGING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
Cooperation between students and teachers becomes stronger. The relationship between them becomes less hierarchical. Teachers have more confidence in their students’ abilities and listen to their suggestions and opinions.
‘I was impressed by how brave the students were and I saw the children in a different way.’
STRENGHTENING SKILLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY IN TEACHERS
After the programme, as many as 85% of the teachers said they had not only learnt about skills for the 21st century but also had the opportunity to put them into practice and strengthen their competence to develop them while teaching.
‘I’ve learnt to sift through content and materials. Now, I set a goal and think about what information I need.’