Sense of Time
Sense of time is a concept that we, at European Master Certification, teach our floral design students right of the start. Connecting our work with the trends of contemporaneity, sensing the moment, and spotting a creative opportunity are a few features that make our work relevant and meaningful. This concept applies to so much more than floral design, though.
Education at the Crossing Point
Education in itself is a living organism, a process that keeps developing alongside society, sometimes opening minds to see beyond the immediate future, other times even losing pace to it. History teaches us valuable lessons and we ought to anchor our future decisions on not making the same mistakes all over again. Believe it or not, a mere century ago, the pen was considered a technological item too expensive to be suitable for use in schools. A pen! Nowadays, we are at that crossing point where we have to embrace the advantages of using technology to learn, improve, and become our better selves. There are so many tools and opportunities in the online use of technology! Blended learning offers it all and more and is, no doubt, the key to opening the door of education with a sense of time. We are each different, unique, and grown in an organic way and this concept stands as a foundation for how the European Master Certification has built a learning process that, ultimately, empowers designers to find their own signature style. European Master Certification, as an educational program for floral designers, constantly strives to offer students the best possible learning experience.
According to Tomas de Bruyne
"Life is a constant process of instant creative decisions, and your decisions make up you who you are. We are all born with an immense package of talents but it’s up to us to discover them and let them flourish. It helps to find people who are an accelerator in this process as mentors or teachers. It’s up to the teacher to help to develop them for the student but for the common good as well. We have to cultivate the capacities of creativity in our education. Creativity all starts by creating our own life with our beliefs, ambitions, values, goals." Tomas de Bruyne, CEO of European Master Certification
What Is Blended Learning?
Blended learning is a concept that has been on the mind of educational experts lately all over the world. By now, it's obvious that technology is already influencing education in the present and blended learning is quickly becoming the education of the future. It is an approach that combines online educational materials and opportunities for online interaction, without undermining the importance of the teacher. In blended learning, technology does not replace the teacher, it merely offers the tools to enhance the teaching methods, by connecting to each student in a much more personalized way.
According to Christi Lopez
"Ultimately, we can explain the system we’ve built this program on by the 4 P's. • PEOPLE. As an educational platform, we work with people providing the right guidance, teaching, sharing, and mentoring. These professionals, the EMC Team, have the skills and competencies required for providing the best service. • PRODUCT. Preparing this in-person course for an online experience has elevated the product to new dimensions as the possibilities are endless for not only the team but ultimately, the student! • PROCESSES. The series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve the best learning process and growth of the student ensures the best potential outcome. These processes start from a system that funnels all information and provides the best possible solutions. These processes will no doubt continue to grow and expand as we derive better interactions for the students. • PARTNERS. Choosing the best partnerships, within in the floral industry and outside of it, demands a more interactive experience for us as we delve into this online platform. We have numerous levels of IT, photographers, videographers as well as apps, software, and specialized marketing experiences to learn and adapt. In the end, we have the same goal, vision, and values, which is of utmost importance to make the story complete. Their support before, during, and after is what makes the impact on the outcome for the students. Our goal brings us the opportunity to create something that once was just an in-person only encounter to something immersive by bringing the virtual classroom to a personal learning experience." Christi Lopez AIFD EMC, COO of European Master Certification
Learning shouldn’t be a monologue from the mentor to disciple or the teacher to student. It should be a conversation to understand the student and let the student get the why and how of what you teach. Education progresses through dialogue, conversation, and action. Over a decade ago, the National Education Association in the United States stated that there are four C's that define the essential 21st-century skills students should gain from an educational process: Collaboration, Communication, Critical thinking, and Creativity. Authentic learning will happen when students are allowed to engage in the 4 C's. Education, in general, is going through a stage of change, from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered classroom. EMC's vision on floral design education from the very beginning was centered on the student's experience, on the process of learning, rather than just limiting the course to offering a lot of information or recipes to follow.
Coaching, Mentoring, Nurturing, and Inspiring
Taking the center spot off the teacher is a shift in the educational process that allows for opportunities to appear. The process is no longer focused only on teaching, but it opens the door to coaching, mentoring, nurturing, and inspiring. The future on-line Coaching Program of EMC is all about that: offering florists and designers who take the course the power to take a journey into the infinite depth of their creative self, by accessing valuable content online, in their own pace and time, by building up small workgroups that engage in constant communication with a Teaching Assistant. Personal mentors, former EMC graduates are there to help guide each new student with insights and knowledge from their experience. EMC strongly believes in blended learning and is preparing to raise the bar in floral design education by implementing this amazing method in the soon to come on-line course.
According to Tomas de Bruyne
"I believe in the service education method. This is a term that is popping up in combo with blended learning. A new vision brings us to a new period, strongly accelerated by Covid19. As an educational platform, we work with people providing the right guidance, teaching, sharing experience, and mentoring the process of learning for the students. These professionals, all EMC designers, have the skills and competencies required for providing the best service." Tomas de Bruyne, CEO of European Master Certification
Becoming Confident Floral Designers
In the EMC blended learning approach, the product of learning, the curriculum, is full of information, demonstrations, terminology explained, and suggested exercises to help students grow into becoming confident floral designers. But besides the content, the technology used in the delivery of it, the digital support, the online services have to be at their best in order for the students to achieve the best learning process and grow as designers. Today's technological developments and the on-line apps and tools EMC has chosen for the blended learning experience of our students can offer that needed support. Training and preparing the team alongside the leadership's involvement in developing the on-line course has been on our agenda for the past months in order to ensure the best possible experience. Education is not about making contact with your students but connecting with them in order to discover their uniqueness and nurture their development by unlocking the infinite creative potential that lies within each of us!
Testimonials from Students
I have huge admiration for the European style of design and the intricate mechanics and techniques, but I felt quite intimidated by them and all the jargon I picked up here and there that I didn’t understand. I was looking for a program that would take me deeper into the design process, teach me about the specifics of European design AND help me to gain confidence in the design process to develop my own ‘voice’. EMC Program has provided me a roadmap for my design process, a structured approach to tackle any design task. Many teaching programs teach you elements and principles of design, but not how to approach your design. So you can sit with all the tools and materials, but no idea how to start. EMC takes you back to before this stage and makes you look at why you are doing this design, who is it for, and so on so that with these questions and the analysis tools, you really work it all out before you start and then the production of the design starts to flow. I am so excited to move onto the Advanced Phase soon as the Foundation phase has been a really great start to all of this. Coral Shortt, South Africa
EMC was a revelation for me. I have become a more self-confident designer and still haven’t gone to the Advance Class yet! I can only imagine what will follow. Plus, I have made so many new amazing floral friends through this program. Angelique Schelstraete, Belgium
It widened my vision and skills in floral designing. I am so appreciative of all my fellow classmates around the world, who are fabulous and willing to share. EMC has been a wonderful experience to learn from the most remarkable instructor, Tomas. And yes, he is the most wonderful instructor I have ever met. A huge surprise for me was the friendship that was built with the classmates and the coaches. All in all, it really boosted my creativity, not just through all the training itself, but also through the self-studying I did from back home. Summer S Cheung, Honk Kong
Being part of the EMC group has really pushed me to develop my creativity - I have been challenged to go further than before, at the same time as increasing my knowledge in floral design exponentially. I now know why some designs will ‘work’ based on theory rather than on instinct. Perhaps most important is the network of other designers from around the world - we all share ideas. A very collaborative and encouraging environment - the EMC-‘family‘ is definitely real! Sian Clayden, Belgium
EMC is a way to discover new personal and professional limits. All through this journey in the world of floral design was and still is an opportunity to discover new concepts, techniques but, most importantly, an inspiration to discover my inner self. As each concept is brought to life by the quality of the people, I think the biggest asset of EMC family are the people who have inspired, supported and motivated me throughout this journey. Irina Butnariu, Romania
I can only say how wonderful it was to be encouraged by the EMC Education team to join them and take part in their teaching and learning experience. I completed my Foundation Course in Bruges in 2019, meeting up with so many wonderful florists from around the world who were as eager as I am to add to our knowledge, to challenge ourselves and, as is said on many occasions, to release the creativity, emotion, and depth of understanding within ourselves. It has been a hard but very rewarding journey and has reinforced in my way of thinking that so few people understand that floristry is not only a creative way of life, but you are also involved in a complex industry. I am lucky to have been taught the value of continual learning. I relish, respect, and am so grateful for what I have learned through the EMC family so far and know that there are so many around to help and advise should I need any assistance in the future. I hope that I can continue with my own personal learning and that I can, in some way, help to support, excite and encourage others to push outside their personal ‘comfort bubbles’, follow their dreams, find their own creative styles, have a greater knowledge and understanding of the different communities around the world and generally become a part of the wonderful, internationally respected and supportive EMC experience where I have traveled so far on this fantastic, inspirational journey and hope to continue to do so in the future. Sara Marie Andrews, UK
EMC for me is the joy of meeting people with a passion for floral design from around the globe. It’s invigorating to make new friends and share information. James M. DelPrince, USA
It’s a European program that draws out the creativity in individuals. Developing existing skills and encouraging self-development. Giving you the knowledge to look and think about your designs and materials in a different light. Providing a support network of like-minded people and floral friendships around the world. Melanie Smith, UK
EMC has allowed me to see where my weakness are. The Teachers, TA’s and students are very, very encouraging and supportive, yet as a designer, when challenged with a task I am not familiar with, I hit a block and struggle hard to push through it. I am very grateful to have joined EMC because I don’t think I could have discovered these things any other way. Lee Gallison, USA
For me EMC is a great eye-opener. It taught me that the limits are only in our heads and that with the right techniques and knowledge we can create any type of design perfectly adapted to the needs of our clients. For me, attending the EMC program is a big dream come true, but also a great challenge to get rid of the limitations and unleash my creativity. It’s a commitment that I have with myself to learn each day something new and to dare to create beyond my comfort zone. With each new challenge accepted I felt empowered and more confident. In all this time I felt how I was evolving, and as Tomas well says, "A stretched mind never goes back." For me, this was the EMC effect! Ana Grigoras, Romania