OUROUTE: CREATING A NEW GENERATION OF CULTURAL AMBASSADORS THROUGH EDUCATION AND TRAINING
INOVA+ - Innovation Services, SA (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The promotion of both cultural heritage and social inclusion have become two European priorities in the last few years, with a particular focus on activities directed at school-aged children. ouRoute was a 3-year transnational project that aimed to promote common values, cultural heritage and social inclusion through education, by using a constructivist approach. The project was implemented by a consortium of 11 partners, comprised of schools, local authorities, and scientific partners. To accomplish its main objective, the ouRoute project put students from disadvantaged contexts of three European countries (Portugal, Spain and Italy) in the centre, encouraging them to engage in unique (re)discovery journeys and “ethno-video graphic” expeditions around the intangible cultural heritage related to “old & new arts and crafts” of their local area, and in certified European cultural routes. ouRoute was built on a layered constructivist approach where students acted as both apprentices and mentors of the project’s activities and methodologies.
ouRoute was structured in six work packages (WP), that included three core WPs build-on a participatory and constructivist approach:
1) mapping the citizen-cultural heritage expedition;
2) setting off the (re)discovery journey; and
3) keeping the adventure alive.
The project was implemented in layers with each core WP being structured in three phases:
a) Seed, where the right set of conditions was provided to the partner schools/local communities/policymakers to be able to support students in their (re)discovery “ethno-video graphic” journeys;
b) Nurture, where students were capacitated to lead their expeditions through cultural heritage; and
c) Grow, where students transmitted the lessons learnt to other students.
Over 3 years, ouRoute students engaged in different activities with stakeholders of their schools and local communities, and policymakers that have led to a diversity of results, that included structured workshops for both teachers and students, innovative educational resources, including a toolkit for teachers and an e-book of good practices, audio-visual resources, that included videos developed by the students on common values, cultural routes and old & new arts and crafts and on storytelling, Citizen-cultural heritage weeks where students engaged in cultural exchanges and activities, an online community Hub for inclusive education, where students were invited to share the audio-visual resources they created and an international video competition. The above-mentioned results were developed in close collaboration by the partners’ schools, local authorities, and scientific organisations in an effort to respond to the urgent need of promoting Europe's cultural heritage, raise awareness of common history and values and reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space while promoting the social inclusion and engagement of students from less favoured backgrounds. ouRoute project’s activities were built on a people-centred, cross-sectoral and community-led approach, that put the students in the centre of a co-creation process that encouraged them to (re)discover their local cultural heritage and to develop a sense of pride and belonging to a local and European community. The project improved the school´s curricula with new practices and resources and assured the establishment and maintenance of sustainable cross-sectoral cooperation between the school and the wider community.
Keywords: Innovation, cultural heritage, social inclusion, European project.