Cultural Children of Europe
Art and culture in the daily lives with children aged 0-8
A development and research project with Nordic/Baltic
and European dimensions
It is our goal that children through every day familiarity with art and culture in their youngest years gain sound identities and cultural positions from which they can handle life’s changes and challenges. Thus we wish to rethink the development of culture children in Europe, who will become more adequate at handling life and gain stronger positions in life both as active citizens, professionals and as audiences in the near future as well as in a long-term perspective. Through this path the growing generation will become part of a qualitative boost of the cultural sphere specifically and of the democratic society in general.
In cooperation with pedagogues, teachers, artists, culture disseminators and researchers the project Cultural Children of Europe (CCE) will give 0-8 year-old children the best opportunities in their everyday lives to meet art and it will rethink the work with cultural expressions.
Taking its point of departure in high quality art CCE creates new cultural paths, new meetings, reflection and mutual inspiration across the borders of Denmark, the Nordic/Baltic countries and Europe. CCE rethinks, initiates, carries out, develops and exchanges artistic as well as cross-aesthetic co-operative projects.
- CCE will increase the children’s musical-creative skills as well as their social and learning-related skills by involving them actively, inquiringly, experimentally and co-creatingly in cultural activities both in daycare institutions and in schools and in the transition between these institutions.
- CCE will provide the adults working with the children on a daily basis with new competences, a joint vocabulary, mutual inspiration, focus on their own potential in terms of cultural ways of expression and in addition create new habits through implementing a joint method for knowledge sharing and cross-disciplinary reflection processes.
- CCE will offer artists and culture disseminators similar new competences in terms of joint methods as those gained by teachers and pedagogues in order to partake in joint and equal co-operative processes in which everybody is curious and co-creating without missing out on individual professional competency.
METHOD: ACTION LEARNING
CCE intends to fulfil the goals listed above by working with a joint method, which all interested parts will be educated in and instructed in applying during the development project. The method is action learning and in this process there are five phases:
- Examine your own practice with a view to discover some questions, which you would like be wiser in – find your curiosity!
- You organize the process and prepare the basis of AL-model process level, involving agreements on documentation and reflection forms.
- Perform actions with the children and keep focus on the investigation in our practice.
- Record what happens and how the activities affect the situation – you keep a logbook during the activities and write down your observations.
- Share information in the reflection group based on the documentations
in order to continue in new processes with the action learning model.
Action learning is a method, which stimulates curiosity and makes you aware of your choice of activities, which in return sustain experiences and open up for a dialogue and knowledge sharing between professionals – pedagogue to pedagogue, teacher to teacher and artist to artist across professional competencies. Thus CCE provides a framework, which articulates silent knowledge, inspires across cultures and creates a joint language across professional competencies. Kulturprinsen, which is the project owner, draws for instance on experiences from the competence development project “Tusindben – nye møder i farver,” Viborg Municipality, August 2013 – December 2014. http://kulturprinsen.dk/da/publikationer/tusindben (publication in Danish).
CCE distinguishes between core partners and cluster partners. As core partner you have a number of mutual obligations that have to be as comparable as possible in order to gain the largest quality and outcome conceivable for the partners and the project. As cluster partner you can – to a large extent – set your own agenda and there is a flexibility to choose and not choose within the CCE framework according to what fits into your specific everyday practice. CCE is simultaneously a top-down and bottom-up project, which develops and frames joint methods, but leaves it to the individual partners to decide how long, how much and in which artistic modes of expression (music, dance, theatre, film, visual art, storytelling and digital media) they want to work. Thus it is possible participating in CCE with the different qualifications that CCE will encounter in Denmark, in the Nordic/Baltic countries and in Europe.
The two core municipalities in Region Midt (Central Denmark Region), Silkeborg and Viborg, form the focal point for CCE. These municipalities have been selected because of their long-time experience working with children, art and culture for the youngest. The following municipalities in the Region have agreed to participate as cluster partners: Struer, Skive, Ikast-Brande, Holstebro and Hedensted. In these 7 municipalities CCE will establish local work groups with participation from the practical level (teachers and pedagogues from 2-3 kindergartens and 1 school) as well as from the administrative level (consultants from schools, daycare institutions and cultural institutions). On the Nordic level core partnerships have been agreed with Bergen in Norway, Örsnköldsvik in Sweden, Reykjavik on Iceland and Riga in Latvia. At the moment CCE is striving to attach a number of core partners in the rest of Europe to the project e.g. the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Italy. All foreign core partners are each obliged to attach a number of cluster partners, which the participants to some extent have the responsibility of providing service to within the mutually agreed framework of CCE.
ACTIVITIES AND TIMELINE
- DK: The project is being developed and embedded in 2 core- and 5 cluster municipalities with selected schools, culture- and daycare institutions
- The Nordic and Baltic countries: The project is being developed and embedded with 4 participating Nordic/Baltic core partners:
- Kick-off seminar in Denmark with action learning for the partners 19-20 November 2015
- Designing the initiatives in co-operation with a few kindergartens/schools
- Selection and employment of local artists/culture disseminators
- Activities start-up
- Exchange visits and job swap
- Europe: The project is being developed and embedded with participating European core partners: their local authorities (municipalities) and selected schools, culture- and daycare institutions.
2016-17: activities and job swap between Denmark, the Nordic and Baltic countries and countries in Europe.
EXCHANGE AND JOB SWAP
CCE has a dual perspective: internal and external e.g. how do others carry out similar projects and how can external inspiration influence me to improve in my everyday work? These questions are pursued through exchange visits and job-swaps: as pedagogue or artist the opportunity is provided to swap jobs for e.g. two weeks with a similar function at an CCE partner in the neighbour town or in another country. CCE gives the adults everyday experiences from other cultures; one gains the possibility of experiencing oneself as a valuable part of a local as well as a global community with the youngest children, art and culture at the centre. CCE establishes network groups locally, regionally and internationally for the benefit of mutual inspiration, knowledge- and experience sharing and relation building. Through joint methodical approaches CCE creates a common cultural understanding across local as well as national borders. Two international conferences will be held in 2016 and 2017, where methods and results will be presented. In addition to this, information will continuously be provided locally, nationally and internationally through seminars e.g. aimed at the involved professions, through the media and through Kulturprinsen’s publications.
AN CCE EXAMPLE FROM EVERYDAY LIFE
All involved pedagogues and teachers from the pre-preparatory classes from three daycare institutions and one school in the same district participate in a kick-off day together with associated artists and the local working group. At the kick-off day partners from VIA University College and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) will for example present a three-hour introduction to action learning. The start date of 4 parallel projects with 2 artists and 2 dancers each assigned to a locality will be agreed upon. Between the groups rooms for reflection are planned and how the projects can benefit from the reflections is also taken into consideration as it is simultaneously decided how the log books are to be recorded and when the researcher will visit and participate in the action learning process. Exchange visits to other CCE partners’ projects are planned throughout the year and plans for job swap in the coming year are also established. All are invited to participate in the joint digital CCE platform and are provided with tools to share, upload and convey experiences between the CCE partners locally as well as internationally.
CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS
At the termination of CCE in 2018 the following concrete results are expected:
- An existing network of approximately 750 pedagogues, teachers, artists/culture disseminators and researchers on a European level, who have worked with CCE.
- In this group it is estimated that 500 will come from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Latvia and they have worked actively with CCE as core- and cluster partners
- It is estimated that there will be approximately 250 core- and cluster partners from other European countries
- Knowledge about how CCE has contributed to the development of European children’s creative, social and learning-related competences is documented
- Knowledge about how CCE has contributed to the development of professional as well as cooperative competences among the involved countries’ professions around the 0-8-year-old is documented
- How the majority of the involved Danish municipalities’ have changed their practise in terms of children culture for the target group, the 0-8-year-old, on the background of CCE is documented
Kulturprinsen, The Centre for Development of Children’s Culture, Viborg, is responsible for the project management and joint economy. CCE is facilitated by Kulturprinsen in co-operation with the two core municipalities Viborg and Silkeborg. In co-operation with the steering committee the project management maintains the development of CCE. The steering committee consists of consultants and local project managers from Viborg and Silkeborg and research colleagues from VIA University College and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). Local work groups in each participating core- cluster municipality will be established with a project coordinator referring directly to the project manager. Along with the local project coordinators it is Kulturprinsen’s task to secure balanced counselling and aid in order to obtain the highest quality possible in CCE.
Project manager: Henrik Jacobsen, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. no. +45 2682 4027
Responsible for the project: Ulla Voss Gjesing, General Manager at Kulturprinsen, email: email@example.com, tel. no. +45 2129 1901
Until now the project has received financial support from:
- European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017
- Kulturkontakt Nord (under the Nordic Council of Ministers)
- Central Denmark Region (Denmark)