Project leaders letter

Dear all!

The CreatLearn project is coming to an end, but not the work on better using culture in schools for better learning and understanding and nourishing young peoples creativity.

As you can see from this homepage the participants have been most active. The work goes on in schools and most probably new projects on culture and education on EU-level are coming up continuing the CreatLearn work.

Soon results from the project will be published here in the form of an Inspiration book in english…

TEACHING COURAGE

“INSPIRATION BOOK AND TOOL KIT ON CULTURE AN LEARNING, BASED ON THE WORK IN THE CREATLEARN PROJECT ON THE COMMON THEME OF “CIVIL COURAGE”

You can download it wholly or in the parts you are interested in as pdf’s.

Also in January a research report on the work in Kalmar schools by researcher Birgitta Gustafsson  from the Linnaeus University will be published. In swedish and hopefully in english.

Keep up the good work!

Björn Samuelsson

 

Södermöreskolan Kalmar log book report

3) Project activity (up until February 2013)

T he activities – all about the common theme “Civil courage” – involved in the project here at Södermöreskolan, started in last September with a forum theater called “blue eyed and brown eyed”. A consult (an actor) came to the school to talk to the pupils in the 9 grade. He told them that he had been invited to the school by the school management as the school was concerned about their behavior and their way of communicating. The pupils (extremely nice and well behaving!) somehow accepted this explanation. The actor then started off his play, a very provocative one with the theme that brown eyed people are better and more valuable than people with blue eyes. The pupils were quite shocked and followed the instructions and orders they got for quite a long time. Finally some of them started to question and protest. This was also the goal with the theatre, that the pupils would find the courage not to accept what they were told to do, to have the civil courage to stop it. Many of the pupils were deeply touched by the experience, some were very angry, some very sad. The play was then followed by group discussions about civil courage and what it takes not just to follow or automatically do what others do. It was amazing to listen to these discussions. The pupils were really opening up and many wise things were said. The pupils also wrote logbooks about how they had experienced the play and the following discussions.

This theatre was during the autumn followed up by different kinds of dilemma exercises/discussions. Different situations/dilemmas were presented to the pupils and they argued and motivated how the thought they would have reacted in these situations.

On the 5 of October all pupils went to cinema to watch “Caddish for a friend”, a film about civil courage.

In October the pupils started working in different workshops. This work was continued during the whole autumn. At one station they had to react on different conflicts that were presented to them by actors from Byteatern. The pupils were taught ways to strengthen their civil courage and not to be stuck in the role of victims and that they always have means to influence their own situation.

At another station, under guidance of experts from Reaktor Sydost, they made short films using their mobil telephones. In the films they presented dilemmas of civil courage.

At the third station the pupils started an art work how to describe civil courage through art. First the pupils watched different films, we used a materiel called “Play role” from “Forum för levande historia”. They watched short films about the “audience roll”, discussed what would be possible to do or not to do in different situations. The pupils also analyzed pictures from the Second World War and discussed why people often remain spectators, what prevents you from intervening. After this inspiration process the pupils were divided in groups and got a task to describe civil courage in steel cubes measuring about 1 cubic meter.

At the fourth station, also using material from “Spelar roll – Play role”, the pupils wrote texts about the “spectator role”.

Later in the autumn the pupils worked parallel in a another project “Act and react – civil courage”, that was connected to the CreatLearn project. The pupils participated in workshops where they created performances in small cubes resulting in short films now being showed in the local buses in Kalmar and at the museum of art in Kalmar.

In January – after much creative thinking and working – the steel cubes were completed and it was also decided that the cubes were to be exposed in the Kalmar city park. Together with pupils from another school in Kalmar, the Lars Kagg School, our pupils designed lightening installations that then were put on place and electrified by the pupils from Lars Kagg.

Last week, February the 13 in the evening, the cubes were presented at a vernissage in the park. The press and all the pupils together with their parents enjoyed a magic experience in a snowy park. The lit cubes made a great impression!

So far we consider the project as a big success. The pupils have been very interested, motivated and engaged.

The fact that they have been in this creative progress for quite a long time has as a result that they have developed a maturity and depth in their thinking that they didn’t have at the beginning of the project. It’s interesting to see that the pupils themselves are aware of this and of the inner journey that they are making.

The main problem during the whole process so far has been the organization of the work. Although the involving teachers have met regularly with the participating art workers much of the organization work has been done by the teachers. The organization of the school itself, with all the 16 different subjects where the pupils are to be assessed in each for itself is another problem. Teachers are feeling stress when pupils are taken away from their normally scheduled lessons and can sometimes have difficulties in seeing the benefits of working in other ways.

Södermöreskolan Kalmar log book report

1) Local project – description 2) Starting point

 Our former experiences of cultural activities in school are that the activities, even if they in themselves are very good, tend to be a parallel activity, not something that is included in the daily school work. This can have a point – culture in a way always makes sense, but when culture come to school as isolated events we don’t use the whole spectra of possibilities in the meeting school and culture. By many teachers this events/activities are also more considered as something that disturbs and takes time from the “normal” education.

With the CreatLearn project culture doesn’t come to school but is a part of the daily school work. The cultural events/activities are not being planned outside school by cultural workers alone, but teachers, pupils and cultural workers together. In this way the cultural activities can be integrated in the daily school work and a broader arsenal of education methods will be found that in a prolongation will attribute to the goal of developing “creative” and “free-thinking” pupils.

Education and inspiration in Gothenburg

A Creatlearn group of eleven people from Kalmar took part in an inspiring education, Play Role, organized by Forum for Living History at The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg on 17th of August. Teachers from Södermöreskolan och Falkenbergskolan, project participants from Kalmar Municipality, Byteatern, Reaktor Sydost and Riksteatern. www.levandehistoria.se

Starting point for Byteatern.

Starting point for Byteatern.

Byteatern has extensive experience in working with schools in various projects related to our performances in the theater. For some years we have been out of school with the project \ “Become a man \” and coupled to the educational process of an artistic process and designed the show and performance art that has artistic qualities with students and teachers.

The new now is that we are planning the project with teachers and students on a theme that is not directly linked to any perfomance or theaterpiece. The ambition is that it will result in some form of artistic expression, but it is the process and student achievement that is most important.

The theater gets to know the world of school and pupils ‘and teachers’ needs. We also need to take stock and assess the knowledge we have at the theater in relation to the pedagogical. The question arises – how can we use these skills in school and can the school teach us something that inspires us in our artistic work in the theater. Can two different disciplines meet and fertilize each other?

 

CreatLearn – Falkenbergsskolan Sweden

1. The local project – description

Falkenbergsskolan is working together in this project with “Byteatern” (the local theatre) and “Reaktor Sydost” (a resource centre for young film makers). We are a group of five teachers involved in the project and the the subjects covered are Maths, Natural Sciences, Social Studies, English and Swedish.

We will work with our 52 pupils in year 9 (15 years old). Our plan is to use forum theatre, flash mobs and movie making for example. We also intend to integrate civil courage in our regular curriculum.

We hope to make our pupils aware of how they act towards each other both in real life and on the Internet, for example in social media. Hopefully, they will also be better at standing up for themselves and others.

The starting point for our project is August 2012 and will continue during the school year.

2. Starting point.

We have experience of working with the local theatre, film music and cinema. We have also worked with “time travels” with the local museum.

The potential as we see it is the opportunity to use creative ways of learning to learn new things and involve more subjects in our teaching. We are interested in this project because we want to develop our way of teaching and we think the main theme “civil courage” is very important. It is also a great opportunity to take part of other schools’ thoughts about civil courage and how they integrate creative learning in their teaching.