English Summary

Challenges that the project aims to address.

Children and young people are traditionally not included in the discussion about important issues concerning the development of their city or local area. The prevailing idea is that they have nothing to say for themselves, that they are „not interested“ and they need to be „educated“ (a one-way process dictated from a position of authority) in order to have a worthwhile opinion. When children and young people are involved in discussion (e.g. through a class project), it is often a very formal process which is not age appropriate and does not coinsider their potential or their needs (e.g. taking place in adult-style ‚meetings‘) and/or the process of involvement is very selective, involving only a sample of so-called ‚bright‘ kids who are recognised as spokespersons of the class.

The two-year project „The City as a Space for Creative Learning“, was presented to the public through the campaign „Jihlava Matters to Me“ encourages young people not to be afraid to step up and be active citizens, take responsibility for their actions and opinions and reflect on the consequences of their actions or, on the contrary, their passivity.

Defying the system, and rethinking a the order of things requires a healthy self-confidence and courage. Breaking out of social expectations of the obedient pupil is often very difficult for primary and secondary school children. Regrettably, Czech pupils are pushed into fitting  in and conform as well as they can, not only at school but also through the expectations of their parents and their broader social environment.


Activities within the project

The main activity of the project was seven long-term educational programmes starting in September 2021 in cooperation with teachers and cultural organisations. Through creative means, artists helped young people have their voices heard by the general public. Through the creation of their own film, theatre or visual art, pupils explored specific pressing issues in Jihlava. They presented their findings, opinions and arguments in public places in the city and at the pupils‘ Pecha Kucha Night in spring 2022.


Expected results of the project

The project piloted educational programmes for creative learning in primary and secondary schools with an emphasis on the development of action competences using the conceptual and methodological frameworks of transformative learning and the Voice of the Child approach. The project validated the use of creative learning as a tool for transformative learning, in particular the development of pupils‘ self-concept as someone who can participate in public space and effect change.

Creative learning (project-based learning with a public output involving an expert – artist – creative professional) is one of the „optimal“ ways to activate pupils and enable them to enter into active and authentic communication with their environment. Involving an external actor (in terms of school teaching) who draws the pupils into the artistic process brings important principles of artistic work and design process such as: working with intrinsic motivation and individual abilities of each pupil, challenging established patterns of thinking or stepping out of one‘s comfort zone. This role of the artists/creative professional in the project is to take pupils out of their habitual role as „recipients“ of ready-made knowledge. The chosen approach promotes the principles of active citizenship such as democratic decision-making, expressing one’s opinion, involvement of each pupil within the whole class collective and taking responsibility for one’s own initiative or passivity.


Target group

The pilot educational programmes in schools in Jihlava tested the possibilities of increasing action competence among pupils, while at the same time aiming to strengthen the competences of local, external teaching artists and teachers in the field of media literacy and civic education. Through public „artistic“ outputs, other teachers, parents and other family members, local government and the wider public were drawn into the issue of active citizenship.


Project partners

Charles University Environment Centre – methodological support in the field of „action competences“, cooperation on evaluation of the impact of educational programmes

uMĚNÍM – platform for creative learning – drawing on platform partners for some activities in schools, argumentation of impacts on national level

Documentary Film Centre, Jihlava (DOC.DREAM services, s.r.o.) – cooperation in the implementation of activities in schools in the field of audiovisual and media literacy

Donors of the project

“The project is being supported by the Open Society Fund Prague from the Active Citizens Fund. The programme pro-motes citizens’ active participation in the public life and decision making and builds capacities of civil society organizations. It promo-tes respect of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Active Citizens Fund came to the Czech Republic in September 2019 with the goal to support CSOs regardless of their size and experience. It is operated by the Open Society Fund Prague, Committee of Good Will – the Olga Havel Foundation and Scout Institute. The Active Citizens Fund is financed from EEA and Norway Grants 2014–2021. With EEA Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute towards a reduction in economic and social disparity and the strengthening of mutual cooperation in Europe. One of the important objectives of the programme is strengthening bilateral cooperation between donor and beneficiary states through financial contributions in specified priority sectors. It supports bilateral relations between the donor states Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic.”)