8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences
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Education for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation is one of the cross curricular themes at compulsory education level that have been developed as part of the Learning Outcomes Framework, based upon the National Curriculum Framework. Creativity is generally recognised as both an innate yet often under-developed quality in young people, as well as a practical skill that helps to unlock an entrepreneurial disposition. It is a skill that can be taught and that everyone can aspire to.
The ability to be innovative and the confidence to look for innovative solutions to opportunities or problems encountered are best nurtured in a safe, supportive environment where this type of approach is encouraged, recognised and rewarded. Such a pedagogy requires allowing learners time to reflect on a situation and tap their resources and imagination to develop plans and solutions. It also requires time for implementation of new processes and the application of new ideas.
As part of the National Curriculum Framework for All and in line with the Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024, the education authorities re-introduced vocational programmes at level 3 of the MQF in the final three years of compulsory schooling (year 9 to year 11) from ages 14 to 16. In 2011 vocational subjects at MQF level 3 were piloted successfully in a number of state and non-state secondary schools following an intensive teacher training programme. Subjects such as Textiles and Fashion and Media are expected to be also added to the list of vocational students which students can choose at state secondary schools.
A new secondary school for Visual and Performing Arts was set up in September 2017. The school provides a setting for the teaching of Arts, Music, Drama, Media Literacy and Dance to talented students who were chosen following an audition. Learning programmes were developed for each of these subjects, and appropriate teachers were chosen to teach the subjects. The new school will give students the opportunity to further their artistic talents without renouncing their proficiency in core academic subjects.
The Performing Arts Schools in Malta and Gozo are namely, the:
• School of Art (Malta)
• Visual and Performing Arts School (Gozo)
The Visual and Performing Arts schools provide training in art, dance, drama and music. The main focus is the provision of a learner-centred curriculum which promotes creativity, innovation, participation, reflection, personal independence and the development of lifelong learners. These schools offer effective exposure to meaningful creative practices and educational experiences. They also play a significant role in developing future audiences that will appreciate and actively participate in national and international cultural events. The faculty currently consists of over 30 dedicated teachers who are all experts in their own creative fields. This makes it possible for the school to offer a broad range of subjects across the four disciplines. In fact, over 1,200 pupils were registered at the School in 2014/15, and they successfully attended one or more of the 46 evening courses offered over a span of a six-day.
Also, the Ministry for Education and Employment invited public officers in the grade of teachers/instructor to perform duties and give lessons in different subjects, including the following creative topics such as Peripatetic Art; Peripatetic Drama and Peripatetic Music.
University of Malta
The School of Performing Arts at the University of Malta brings together the disciplines of Dance Studies, Music Studies and Theatre Studies, and to provide a sound base for the development of new programmes of study together with more specialised fields of research. The school highlights the performance dimension of the respective disciplines, integrating the interplay between the technical and artistic aspects of performance and the ability to reflect critically on performance within an array of theoretical contexts in contemporary and historical practice.
The School of Performing Arts guides students to develop the skills, knowledge and expertise in their respective disciplines, pertinent to Malta’s needs. This means that programmes consider the integration of theoretical approaches with artistic practices, focusing on the education of concepts, frameworks and principles that support creative processes.
The Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta set up in collaboration with Professor Edward de Bono, the originator of Lateral Thinking offers a wide range of courses and events to University students and to the general public in the following interrelated subject areas: Creativity and Idea Generation; Innovation Management; Entrepreneurship; and Foresight.
The Institute offers the following study-units to a wide variety of faculties, institutes and centres at the University of Malta: design and Innovation, an introduction to creativity, critical thinking, communication and innovation, foresight – a tool for scenarios and visions, leadership and organisational innovation, innovation and entrepreneurship, psychology of creativity, a toolkit for thinking out of the box, creativity, innovation and digital technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship: practical approaches, creative and critical thinking for social intervention. These study-units help students develop skills and attitudes that are required in public and private organisations where key competencies, transferable skills and knowledge concerning creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and foresight are considered to be crucially important. These skills and attitudes will enable students to recognise opportunities and will improve their future career options.
The Institute also offers a Master degree in Creativity and Innovation. The course is an interdisciplinary programme designed to assist participants to expand their perception, employ creative skills, develop ideas individually and in teams, sustain a creative climate and manage innovation. It offers methods and processes which help to identify opportunities and cultivate appropriate skills and attitudes. It promotes imaginative, flexible and practical thought and action, and improves the ability to respond practically and creatively to problems and opportunities.
The Malta College for the Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) offers a vast range of courses which prepare students for the creative industries where students are trained with specific vocational and professional objectives. Within MCAST the Institute of Creative Arts provides underpinning knowledge and practical skills, giving students an introduction to specialisation spectrum on various aspects of the creative industries. These programmes are especially beneficial for those students who intend to work in the creative industries and range from Art and Design to different Media to fashion to Cultural Heritage Skills.
Malta Arts Scholarships Scheme
The Malta Arts Scholarships Scheme aims at providing more opportunities to support individuals who are exceptionally talented in the creation and/or promotion of professional in the Expressive arts. Theatre, music, dance, design, creative writing, film, the visual arts or any combination thereof shall be given priority.
The Institute for Education has been established to develop and coordinate all continuing professional learning for educators within the Ministry for Education and Employment. The Institute promotes high quality education for all educators and fosters learning communities of the highest standard, educational leaders at all levels and instils education with equity and social justice. The outcome is to provide a structured, coherent and comprehensive Continuous Professional Development (CPD) system by moving away from traditional methodologies and adopting a more transformative stance, which would lead educators to understand the importance of CPD and take responsibility for their own Professional Development. Additionally, MCAST has a strong system of professional development of its staff, including a mandatory pedagogical course for academic staff going through the staff progression process at MCAST. The UoM also has a mandatory programme that provides professional development to academics seeking the tenured path.
Through the Youth and Community Studies Department, students studying at the University of Malta to qualify as youth workers go through a unit called Theatre and Young People. During this unit prospective youth workers will discuss Boal techniques for the Theatre for the Oppressed including: 'Forum Theatre', 'Invisible Theatre', 'Cop in the Head', 'Rainbow of Desire', and 'Legislative Theatre'. This study-unit will examine the applicability of this type of theatre when engaging with young people. A particular focus will be placed on theatre for and by young people, and the range of learning that takes place through young people's engagement in, and appreciation of this form of art.
Two training courses were organised for youth workers entitled Interactive Media Project and Advanced Drama for Youth Workers. Participants in the Interactive Media Project participated in the training course the purpose of which was to help them acquire both knowledge and ideas on how the potential of media can be used constructively and effectively in supporting young people’s development. During the Advanced Drama for Youth Workers, participants acquired skills on how to use drama to reach young people and help them in their various issues.
The mission statement for Spazzju Kreattiv focuses on its role as a catalyst for the contemporary art scene in Malta, as well as a hub where people of all ages and from all walks of life can join in the enriching act of creativity. Run by a creative team, the Centre emphasises the need to foster aesthetic and cultural awareness among the younger generation and the socially and economically disadvantaged. The Centre houses a theatre, a music room, five exhibition spaces and an art-house cinema. St. James Cavalier is constantly seeking partnerships with Maltese, European and Mediterranean partners to develop innovative cultural projects. Relative autonomy is given to the running of the Centre and programming of events and activities is devised by the General Manager, with the assistance of programme coordinators. The Board of the Foundation Centre for Creativity monitors the work and approves yearly objectives set by the creative team.
Creative Communities is a fund for community-led creative and artistic activities, primarily addressing local communities. It provides the opportunity for training, research and the development of artistic projects led by the community for the community, by encouraging the active participation of local communities.
The Youth Village, ran by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ provides space, facilities and support for young people and youth organizations to take up their initiatives. The purpose of the Youth Village is to create a non-formal learning environment and attract both young people and youth organisations to make use of the site and to attend or organize seminars, workshops and similar activities.