In Europe, PYE Partners to Improve Education
This December, teachers from across the UK will converge on the Studio School in Liverpool for PYE’s Creative Classroom training. This new group of teachers are part of the second phase of our successful partnership with Ashoka UK and the Ellis Campbell Foundation.
These teachers, learning practical techniques to make their teaching more powerful, are part of efforts to create an educational approach that works for a changing Europe.
New World, New Needs
As the continent continues to be shaken by deep economic, political, and social shifts—the Euro debt crisis, record levels of youth unemployment, migration, and popular protests—profound and systemic change is dramatically reshaping the prospects of young people. The world is changing too fast for their current outmoded educational system to keep up.
But a few schools and educators are seeking a better way forward. They are exploring a holistic approach to education that empowers teachers and equips students with the creativity, social-emotional literacy and inner motivation necessary skills for success in life and work.
The Creative Classroom Solution
Increasingly, this holistic approach to education includes PYE’s Creative Classroom. Partnering with Ashoka Changemaker Schools and other forward-thinking educational institutions, PYE provides training on deep-listening skills, dealing with challenging behaviour, and using strength-based communication.
In addition to the UK, PYE’s impact is spreading across Europe:
- We completed the Creative Classroom series with a pilot group of 50 teachers in Athens, in partnership with Ashoka and the Pilot Experimental School of Agioi Anargyroi.
- We wrapped up the second phase of teacher training with the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute.
- We participated in Ashoka’s Changemaker Schools Summit in Ireland, with PYE co-founder Peggy Taylor delivering a short “taster” session of the Creative Classroom.
Our trainings are having an immediate positive effect on teachers and classrooms. As Athens teacher Nikoleta Foti reported just a few weeks after training, “I have already implemented many tools. My students wrote poems, performed, played theatre games and they loved it. I loved it too because I found out that ‘weak’ and ‘indifferent’ students not only participated but stood up and even found the answers. Their voices were finally heard!”
Matthew Bebb, a teacher at King’s Way Academy in Liverpool, participated in Creative Classroom training in 2015. Not only has his own confidence grown, he reports that the Creative Classroom techniques have improved students’ listening skills and that his pupils are proactively demonstrating more leadership. He and other teachers even led a Creative Classroom session for their colleagues. Matthew said, “It was the best training we ever had!”
PYE is continuing to pursue strategic partnerships in other countries. In May 2016, Ashoka Spain supported PYE’s first Creative Facilitation workshop in Barcelona, attended by 24 people representing 16 organizations and schools. By 2018, we aim to see established, on-going access to teacher training in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Turkey and other parts of Europe.
We are actively seeking new strategic partnerships. We hope to use what we’re learning and the energy and successes that we’re seeing in Changemaker Schools in Europe to spread the Creative Classroom further around the globe. Please contact us with any connections with schools or in education that may be interested in this new approach to education.
Our goal: to radically change the way youth experience learning in today’s society. Help us get there.