Promoting creativity and innovation through education and training
Creativity and innovation are considered crucial tools for growth and sustainable development. Education and training are seen to contribute to the promotion of these capacities. Hence, further action is needed both at the national and EU level to incorporate creativity and innovation into lifelong learning.
Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 22 May 2008 on promoting creativity and innovation through education and training [Official Journal C 141 of 7.6.2008].
The ‘Education and Training 2010’ work programme promotes the common European objectives of quality, access and openness to the wider world. Since creativity and innovation are also relevant for dealing with global challenges, they should be incorporated into the future framework of European cooperation in the education field. Education and training can develop creative and innovative capacities, which in turn contribute to sustainable economic and social development in Europe.
The 2006 Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning lists eight competences that contain skills relevant for creativity and innovation. Among them, the abilities to see change as an opportunity, to be open to new ideas and to respect others’ values are particularly important. Inclusive education policies that promote tolerance and understanding should be designed in order to turn multiculturalism into an asset for creativity, innovation and growth.
New research is needed to identify, measure and document learning outcomes, especially on soft skills like creative and innovative capacities. In addition, to promote these capacities, substantive data need to be presented to policy-makers. The contribution of the EU in this process must also be considered.
Consequently, the Member States are called upon to:
- promote the incorporation of creativity and innovation at all levels of education and training;
- support the professional development of teachers as mediators of creativity and innovation;
- encourage the development of a learning culture where networks and partnerships between educational institutions and related bodies are forged with the corporate sector.
It is suggested that both the Member States and the Commission:
- consider complementing the objectives of European cooperation in education with the promotion of creative and innovative capacity, and supporting the implementation of the 2006 Recommendation on key competencies for lifelong learning;
- develop environments that favour creativity and innovation by promoting multi-level cooperation, intercultural dialogue and cultural production;
- promote creativity and innovation in collaboration with appropriate international organisations, such as the Council of Europe, Unesco and the OECD;
- promote the development, exchange and dissemination of good practice on evidence-based education policies relating to creative and innovative skills;
- promote creativity and innovation at all stages of lifelong learning through the EU programmes and instruments.
Finally, the Commission is called upon to:
- support relevant research, analysis and exchange of data on the promotion of creative and innovative capacity through education and training;
- incorporate the development of creative and innovative capacity through education and training into the European education cooperation beyond 2010 and the broad-based European innovation policy.
These conclusions build upon the outcomes of the Conference on Promoting Innovation and Creativity: Schools’ Response to the Challenges of Future Societies of 9-10 April 2008 and on the political background set out in the Annex to these conclusions. The latter includes notably the Council conclusions of 4 December 2006 on a Broad-based Innovation Strategy: Strategic Priorities for Innovation at EU level, which were based on the Commission Communication COM(2006) 502 of 13 September 2006 on a European innovation strategy. These perceive education as one of the pre-conditions for innovation, indicating the importance of supporting the development of talent and creativity from an early age through education.
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