Does creativity come from within or is it a skill which can be developed? Creative education is currently considered very effective. In this edition of Learning World we look at some examples..
Denmark: the building blocks of education
The International School of Billund in Denmark is only three months old, but it has already garnered a reputation of innovation for its creative education methods.
The school was the brainchild of former LEGOCEO Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, but it was their charitable arm, the LEGO foundation which brought their ideas on creative play to life.
“Creativity is something that occurs, that sparks from playfulness that when we are playful, when we are playing, when we are making, sharing, reflecting then we come up with new ideas and the playful state of mind offers a platform where we can test out things.” said the Foundation’s Per Havgaard.
They use LEGO blocks in the classroom, where they become a serious educational tool, as teacher Nis Fredslund explained:
“All of them have a relationship to LEGO and to use this in a learning environment I think is a great opportunity. They become very active in the learning process and they get to use their hands instead of just sitting behind a table doing simple maths questions. They actually have to create something.”
But it’s not all about bricks. The school follows the Danish curriculum as well as the International Baccalaureate system of inquiry-based learning, which claims to put the child at the centre of their own education.
Though inquiry-based learning has its detractors, thinking outside the box is exactly what the International School of Billund believes in.
Some studies have stressed the need for workers with creative skills, rather than just pure academic ability, to cope with the demands of an increasingly interconnected business world.
Pakistan: Shake your body
Pakistani children are not used to learning anything outside the curriculum. At school creativity was an empty world until Paul Collard, chief executive of “Creativity Culture and Education”, arrived in Karachi with a mission to boost children’s creativity.
“This issue of unlocking creativity, which is very much connected with economic development, is now of interest to governments all over the world and an opportunity arose for us to come and explore whether this methodology actually made sense in Karachi schools,” Collard says.
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the most important financial centre of Pakistan. It also has a huge violence problem, which can badly effect children’s lives and their education.
“Karachi, in lots of ways, because of the problems it has got, is more cut off because people think it’s dangerous and so forth, and therefore its children have greater needs and our interest, as an NGO, has been to try to go in places where the need is great but also to prove that it works best there. Collard explained.
Paul Collard is an expert in using creative programmes as drivers of social change. He hopes his vision will have the same impact in Pakistan as it has done in his previous projects in England and the US.
Children living in remote rural areas can sometimes be isolated from museums and art galleries – but if the children can’t go to museums, how about bringing the museums to them? Let’s look at how they’re doing it in Taiwan.
Taiwan: museum on the move
Children living in remote rural areas can sometimes be isolated from museums and art galleries, but if the children can’t go to museums, how about bringing the museums to them?
In partnership with major museums in Taiwan and abroad, Quanta Culture and Education Foundation has created its “Immerse in creativity touring exhibition”, a mobile museum project for junior high and elementary school students.
The idea is simple: using replicas, exhibitions can be displayed in remote villages and schools located on outlying islands.
The gym of Chung Shan Senior School near Kaohsiung City, becomes a museum, displaying replicas, artefacts, brochures and artwork by the students themselves.
By integrating aspects of culture. such as aesthetics and lifestyle into the school curriculum, and by forming partnerships with local communities, the Foundation establishes a multicultural platform that promotes lifelong learning.
Through creativity and innovation, this exhibition turns education into a dynamic learning experience and encourages students to explore and understand the world of culture, as art teach Yang Shining explained: “for me as an art teacher this is the perfect opportunity for us to bring art into the campus and students can really enjoy it”.
So far over 1,000 exhibitions have been held across the country attracting over 2.3 million visitors.
The programme provides schools and the wider community with a range of educational content to broaden the cultural horizon of students and it was a WISEAWARDS finalist in 2013.