The overall objective of DoCENT is to enhance digital creativity in EU teacher education contexts. To do so, we develop, implement, validate and disseminate an innovative model to guide teacher educators in applying digital creative teaching practices. Within a training programme, participants will create and apply learning scenarios, based on digital technologies, aiming to enhance students’ creativity.
To reach our objectives, we address three different dimensions, namely creativity, digital technologies and pedagogy.
We will approach teacher educators from three different countries (Greece, Italy and Spain) and without limiting the disciplines. Indeed, we adopt a cross-curricular approach, to which digital creativity can be applied to any subject, i.e. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), social studies (e.g. history, geography, languages) and creative expression (e.g. music, graphic arts).
- Both creativity and digital technologies are central for success and development in today’s society. Hence, digital creative competences are considered essential to face the social, economic changes which feature the XXI Century.
- The labour market depends more and more on employees’ inventiveness and digital skills. Indeed, an innovative workforce requires both the ability to work with technologies and to adapt, generate new ideas, products and practices. Thus, digital and creative competences have gained the attention of EU policies and have become crucial educational objectives.
- University teacher educators are key players for ensuring the quality of teaching professions and the support of educational innovation. Yet, they are often neglected by policies and are given little opportunities in terms of professional development. Hence, some EU educational systems do not fully benefit from their knowledge and experience. Therefore, opportunities for professional development appear as a need to allow teacher educators for becoming aware of the latest challenges in society and education.
DoCENT is a timely response to the aforementioned needs, aiming to enhance digital creativity in teacher education contexts.
Creativity in Education
As applied to the field of education, creativity can be defined as “purposive imaginative activity generating outcomes that are original and valuable in relation to the learner” (Cremin, Clack and Craft, 2012). DoCENT focuses on three clear directions:
(a) an inclusive perspective, according to which all individuals can be creative;
(b) a focus on everyday creativity, also known as little-c creativity, which gives importance to students’ personal processes beyond outstanding accomplishments (Big-c);
(c) a domain-wide approach, to which creativity can be developed in all subjects and areas.
What is digital creativity?
Technological devices have entered in all aspects of our everyday life. In the digital society, the concept of creativity is being rethought. Indeed, the affordances of technologies may have a strong influence on creative processes, as they allow users to create novel ways of dealing with tasks. Nevertheless, understanding the interplay between digital and creative yet appears as a challenge.
As a first step to bridge this gap, we propose the following definition of digital creativity, as applied to education (based on NACCCE, 1999; Cremin, Clack & Craft, 2012): “purposive imaginative activity, mediated by digital technologies, generating outcomes that are original and valuable in relation to the learner”.
Digital Creative Pedagogies
We suggest the following tools and educational strategies which may support digital creative teaching activities:
(a) manipulative technologies: physical tools, like blocks and puzzles, which engage students in hands-on learning processes and multi-sensory experiences;
(b) educational robotics: the creation and programming of robots which stimulates students to analyse and solve real-world problems;
(c) game design and coding: the use of programming tools which engages students in creating and sharing their own games to develop computational thinking skills.