Delegates from the UK and Nordic Steiner Waldorf Schools Associations have concluded the first phase of transnational conferences around the curricular design of a groundbreaking, Europe-wide 14-19 diploma, aimed at developing creative thinking skills.
The ‘Acknowledging Creative Thinking Skills (ACTS)’ project brings together teachers and the Steiner Waldorf associations of the UK, Demark, Finland and Norway with registered awarding body, Crossfields Institute. The partners are working collaboratively in developing the diploma, which is due to launch in 2018. The Ofqual regulated qualification will be available to any school that wishes to take it up.
The qualification will be offered as an alternative to GCSE and A-Level. Combining highly focused, analytical thinking with non-verbal, creative methods, and cross-curricular activities, the qualification will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The meeting this autumn in Brighton was the fourth and final of four transnational conferences involving around 50 experienced educationalists from participating countries. Each meeting has focused on the curricular approach for a specific range of projects. The Brighton conference looked at crafts and practical subjects, following previous meetings held in Norway, Denmark and Finland to examine language, literature, maths, science and humanities.
Across the four meetings, which began in September 2015, representatives researched and explored ways of enhancing and accrediting creative thinking skills, and the best ways to integrate formal and non-formal learning into the more formal elements of the diplomas, The core content of each main curriculum has now been agreed.
The next year of the project will focus on the design of assessment procedures, and the nomination of moderators to oversee the process in their home countries. Over the next 12 months, specialists at the Crossfields Institute will draft the content of the qualification.
The three-year project was awarded EU Erasmus+ funding last year.
Kevin Avison, senior adviser at the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, said: “We are designing this diploma due to a recognised need within schools to offer an alternative approach to education, that develops creative thinking skills and is valid across Europe.
“I’m delighted with the progress made during this first year of the project. It is attracting growing interest across Europe and globally, and we have had expressions of interest from as far as South Africa and South America.
“A representative from the American Association of Steiner Waldorf Schools attended the Brighton event and left very enthusiastic about exploring ways of incorporating ideas from the project in schools in America, Canada and Mexico. We have completed a very exciting and successful first phase of the project and are looking forward to progressing it further in 2017.”
The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship will be hosting a conference in autumn 2017 where it will be discussing the need for a change of emphasis away from test-driven education towards a more creative method. The event will feature presentations from world-renowned educationalists.
If you would like to interview Kevin Avison, please contact Leila Taleb at Liquid: Leila@weareliquid.com or call 0121 285 3767.
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