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ECU working with local organisations to grow future innovators

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


  • Professor Brenda Cherednichenko with Postdoctoral Fellow, CREATEC, Dr Julie Robson; Director of PICA, Ms Amy Barrett-Leonard; Rio Tinto’s Vice President of Organisation Resources and WA Future Fund Board member Ms Joanne Farrell and Chair of the Fogarty Foundation, Ms Annie Fogarty

    Professor Brenda Cherednichenko with Postdoctoral Fellow from CREATEC, Dr Julie Robson; Director of PICA, Ms Amy Barrett-Leonard; Rio Tinto’s Vice President of Organisation Resources and WA Future Fund Board member Ms Joanne Farrell and Chair of the Fogarty Foundation, Ms Annie Fogarty

ECU’s Centre for Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications (CREATEC), the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), the Fogarty Foundation and Rio Tinto have joined together to launch the Growing Future Innovators (GFI) study.

The study, completed over the past 18-months, examines how contemporary arts organisations such as PICA can deliver ‘next practice’ school learning programs that encourage and promote innovation, not just in the arts but potentially across a range of other disciplines.

Co-authored by Research Fellow at ECU, Dr Julie Robson and Research Fellow, ARC Centre for Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation, Dr Luke Jaaniste, the study consists of a detailed review of local, national and international policies relating to arts education, along with case studies of innovative programs implemented by eighteen contemporary arts organisations across Australia and the UK.

The study has led to the development of a three-year pilot program to be delivered by PICA in partnership with a number of metropolitan and regional primary schools in WA, with the hope it will encourage teachers and students to implement the values of innovation, creativity and self-efficacy.

The pilot program, funded by generous contributions of $470,000 from Rio Tinto and $68,000 from the Fogarty Foundation, will allow primary and secondary school students to directly engage with professional artists and the latest in contemporary arts practices, and will be monitored by ECU.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement, Equity and Indigenous) and Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts, Professor Brenda Cherednichenko believes involvement in this international program is a wonderful opportunity for ECU.

Growing Future Innovators will not only stimulate and enthuse young children in our schools but will also have a striking impact on our colleague teachers, ECU educators and families in the wider community.

“ECU is committed to working on partnerships for education, research and development and GFI is a wonderful model for future collaborations, which engage a wide cross section of the community,” said Professor Cherednichenko.

It is expected the three-year pilot program will be launched at the beginning of 2011 throughout a number of primary and secondary schools in WA.

For more information on the program, visit the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts website.

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