Inclusive Pedagogy in Arts – Europe project 1.9.2017–31.3.2019

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Welcome Diversity!  

The Final Seminar in Kuopio on 7th-9th February 2019

In the final seminar there were 80 participants from 12 countries. In addition to the Finnish hosts there was attendance from Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Palestine, South Korea and Sweden.

One of the main goals was the international networking of researchers, art pedagogues, teachers, students, artists and people from art and cultural organizations. Practice and theory merged.

The seminar brought up the possibilities of inclusive art pedagogy to strengthen the identity of the youth, prevent segregation and enable integration into the society and build bridges between demographic groups and cultures.

Numerous international agreements, laws and statements oblige us to promote inclusion. However, nothing will happen if there aren’t enough people to implement it. Understanding and approving diversity is required when the world becomes increasingly multicultural. Cultural skills are also needed and this presents a challenge to the training of teachers. The need for in service training is imminent.

It was pointed out that multicultural schools open a possibility to learn different cultures in everyday interaction. Cultural interaction always challenges the current tradition and it can be a threat but also a possibility to renew the tradition.

Finnish Basic Art Education – and the music school system in particular – was of great interest to the international audience. Early age music education system with its versatile methods was considered an interesting approach to advance inclusion.

There was a critical discussion about the accessibility of art activities. Art education must not be dependent of economic background and this requires cooperation of many governmental and private parties.

Increasing consciousness is required to promote inclusion and information dissemination was considered an important follow up task.

Networking and the collision of practice and theory resulted in several cooperation, research and project ideas.

The core of inclusive art pedagogy is sharing the humanity. It realized in common singing, laughing and crying in the safe space of the seminar.

7.–9.2.2019 Final Seminar of the Inclusive Pedagogy in Arts – Europe project

The international final seminar for the IPA-E project will be held in Kuopio, Finland on 7–9th of February 2019. We’re excited to present the results of the IPA-E project and discuss about our future goals.

Click here to see the program of the Final Seminar!

About the Project

There is one primary question that has triggered the discussions that have resulted in the project called Inclusive Pedagogy in Arts – Europe (IPA-E): Who is entitled to high class music education? This question is especially tough in civilized Europe where there is a long pedagogical tradition in music education and yet students with special needs are a rare sight in music schools. This is true also in other art institutions (dance, drama, visual arts).

Education, experience of diversity and the availability of necessary support are the main factors behind attitudes of inclusion.  There are seven partners in this IPA-E project: Kuopio Conservatory (Finland), Siauliai 1st Music School (Lithuania), Kreismusikschule Vechta (Germany), Savonia University of Applied Sciences Music and Dance (Finland), Siauliai Universitetas (Lithuania), Universität Vechta (Germany) and Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien (MDW) (Austria). The project aims to promote equality to support the students with different kind of special needs (for example physically and mentally disabled, different dimensions of immigration and multi-cultural background, elderly people).

Project partners are pioneers in developing inclusion in their own countries both in music schools and art pedagogue education. Each organization has a slightly different approach to inclusion which is the richness in this project. All these partners have same values and wiliness to develop inclusive pedagogy in arts.  Sharing experience will advance each partner’s theoretical and practical knowledge. In addition, mixing different approaches always promotes new innovations and best practices which will deepen inclusive thinking, teacher ship and curriculum work.

All this will lead to a new European model of in-service training in inclusive art pedagogy. This all is very relevant, current and most needed. That’s why the dissemination of  IPA-E project is very high and it will develop inclusive art pedagogy in equal and civilized Europe.

IPA-E project is Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.


Project personnel

Project Manager Esko Kauppinen, Principal, Kuopio Conservatory,,  tel. +358 44 7279 213

Project Coordinator Annukka Knuuttila, Kuopio Conservatory,, +358 50 4634 848

Project Coordinator Elina Vetoniemi, Kuopio Conservatory,, tel. +358 45 1393 918

Manager of Public Relations Anu Piispanen, Kuopio Conservatory,, tel. +358 44 7279 216