DoCENT will develop, implement, validate and disseminate an innovative model to guide teacher educators in applying digital creative teaching practices.

Started: 2017

Funding: Erasmus+ Key Action 2

Project budget: 300,000 €

Length: 2 years

Partners: 7

Both creativity and digital technologies are considered central for success and development in today’s society. Indeed, creative skills are considered essential to face the social, economic changes which feature the XXI Century. Also, 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. As a result, digital and creative competences have gained the attention of EU policies and have become crucial educational objectives.

Nevertheless, there is a gap between policies and practices. EU education fails to keep pace with the creative and digital economies. This is mainly because teachers are not prepared for fully exploiting the potential of technologies and to adopt pedagogical strategies that foster creativity. Although these are current topics in initial teacher education (ITE) policies, curricula usually do not address them in a systematic way.

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, so future teachers can learn how to respond to these challenges.

DoCENT is a timely response to the aforementioned needs, aiming to enhance digital creativity in ITE contexts. We will develop, implement, validate and disseminate an innovative model to guide teacher educators in applying digital creative teaching practices.

Digital creative teaching consists of applying technologies to develop teaching processes that are particular to creativity, i.e. promoting learner-centered methodologies, helping to make connections, providing safe environments that encourage risk-taking, encouraging collaboration, as well as boosting exploration and discovery. In this line, the DoCENT model will use approaches as manipulative technologies, robotics, digital making and digital games. We adopt a cross-curricular approach, to which digital creativity can be applied to any subject, i.e. STEM, social studies and creative expression.

Based on acknowledged frameworks of creative processes, DoCENT proposes a five-stage circular model which will engage teacher educators with digital creative teaching practices, consisting of i) raising their awareness on digital creative teaching strategies (“task identification”); ii) developing their competences in terms of how to use and apply digital technologies for teaching creatively (“preparation”); iii) guiding them in planning their own learning scenarios (“response generation”); iv) accompanying them in the application of their scenarios with their students (“outcome”), and; v) validating their scenarios and practices (“response validation”). The DoCENT implementation model will empower teacher educators to become “digital creative teaching ambassadors” who engage and mentor other teacher educators, to help them become experts in turn, in a self-sustainable process.

We aim to train 120 teacher educators and involve 800 student-teachers in digital creative learning scenarios. In a strategic partnership, we will gather ITE providers with research centres & companies in the sector of educational technology (EdTech).

The consortium defined operational objectives to be achieved:

• To provide a pragmatic insight regarding the integration of digital creativity in EU ITE contexts, by designing a framework of digital creative teaching competences (Output 1) and producing guidelines & policy recommendations for enhancing digital creativity in teacher education (Output 4);

• To design, implement and validate a training model for enhancing digital creativity in EU Teacher Education, including a curriculum, a MOOC and a series of OER (Output 2);

• To integrate pedagogical scenarios related to digital creativity in an innovative training tool based on a serious game and gamification elements (Output 3);

• To intertwine ITE providers and EdTech research centres & companies in a community of practice;

• To disseminate and exploit the outputs at institutional, national and EU levels by making them freely and easily available to policy makers, practitioners, researchers and educational stakeholders.

The project outputs will be implemented in 3 higher educational systems (i.e. Italy, Greece and Spain), learning cultures and socio-economic situations. This transnational dimension will allow for ensuring that outputs are usable in different EU backgrounds. The project aims for a tangible and sustainable impact on the participating ITE institutions and systems.

Partners: University of Naples Federico II, European University Foundation University of Barcelona, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Smarted S.R.L., CreaTIC Academy S.L., Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas