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‘Can you stay and make tomorrow never come’ A report on the distinctive qualities of Creative Practitioners involved in

Talk About Tomorrow, a Creative Partnerships Tendring Project

By Ruth Sapsed, May 2006

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Introduction............................................................................................................................................ 3

2

1.1

Talk about Tomorrow ............................................................................................................. 3

1.2

The Research ......................................................................................................................... 4

Discussion......................................................................................................................................... 7

2.1 The Creative Practitioners..................................................................................................... 7 2.1.a Process-led ..................................................................................................................... 7 2.1.b Child-Centred.................................................................................................................. 8 2.1.c The role of the Creative Practitioners ........................................................................ 10 2.1.d Space, Time and Resources ...................................................................................... 12 2.1.e Summary ....................................................................................................................... 18 2.2 The Children .......................................................................................................................... 19 2.2.a What They Felt and Noticed ....................................................................................... 19 2.2.b Learning Behaviours That Matter............................................................................... 23 2.2.c Language Development .............................................................................................. 30 2.2.d Therapeutic Potential................................................................................................... 31 2.2.e Summary ....................................................................................................................... 31 2.3 The Educators.......................................................................................................................... 32 2.3.a Emotional Response........................................................................................... 32 2.3.b New Opportunities .............................................................................................. 34 2.3.c Impact on Practice .............................................................................................. 36 2.3.d Summary............................................................................................................. 38 3

Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 40

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Appendix .......................................................................................................................... 42

4.1 Practical Issues and Lessons Learnt.......................................................................... 42 4.1.a School Support .................................................................................................... 42 4.1.b Projects without a dedicated classroom teacher ................................................. 43 4.1.c Supervision issues............................................................................................... 44 4.1.d Induction Days................................................................................................................. 44 4.1.e Space................................................................................................................... 45 4.1.f Size of Groups...................................................................................................... 47 4.1.g Observation days................................................................................................. 48 4.1.h Tension between process and outcomes............................................................ 48 4.1.i ‘Art’ ....................................................................................................................... 49 4.1.j Building Partnerships ........................................................................................... 49 4.1.k The Educators Role in the Projects ..................................................................... 50 4.1.l Lessons Learnt..................................................................................................... 51 5

Acknowledgements......................................................................................................... 53

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Introduction ‘Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties’ Eric Fromm

Creativity is increasingly at the centre of the learning and teaching discourse but it is difficult to pin down, particularly in school settings. This research, commissioned by Creative Partnerships Tendring, looks in detail at the practice of a group of Creative Practitioners working in schools to support the development of creativity in children.

Creative Partnerships is a government-funded programme delivered through Arts Council England, which aims to give children in deprived areas throughout England the opportunity to develop creativity in learning and participate in cultural activities. Its vision is based on developing long-term partnerships between schools and cultural and creative organisations in order to ‘animate the national curriculum and to enrich school life by making the best use of UK’s creative wealth’.

Anita Belli, Director of Creative Partnerships Tendring, invited Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination and Shape Cambridge to complete the programme of 4 day residencies begun in 2005 with the project 21st Century Schools. This became Talk about Tomorrow and involved six schools in Harwich and Clacton-On-Sea.

1.1 Talk about Tomorrow The residencies in each setting were four days in total, most often in two day blocks spread across several weeks. Two Creative Practitioners worked both with the Educators and the groups of children nominated by their schools. The Creative Practitioners came from a wide range of backgrounds including visual art, film-making, poetry, architecture and rocket science.

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Building on the experiences from 21st Century Schools, the Educators were invited to attend two induction days with the Creative Practitioners, to allocate time to planning and reflecting on the project, and to come together at the end of the project to share experiences and think about the next steps.

The ethos of the approach to learning that would underpin the project was introduced at the first induction day. This has been developed by Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, an artist-led initiative that works to empower children and their carers, as well as people in the wider community to work with their own creativity. All of the artists involved in the project are part of this initiative.

There were six participating schools in Tendring in total. Each project differed in terms of how the groups were made up. The secondary school placed the project in the art department and offered it to their Gifted and Talented Children. Three of the primary schools assigned the project to one particular class and their teacher. One project worked with both the year 6 classes, whilst another worked with a group of children who have been identified as having special educational needs drawn from across key stage 2. The size of the groups varied from around to 15 to 60.

Some schools involved Teaching Assistants in the projects. The generic term Educators was used throughout the project to embrace all those involved in an educational capacity in the schools.

1.2 The Research

The research question was stimulated by the desire within Creative Partnerships to ‘learn more about the ways in which Creative Practitioners

bring distinctive qualities to the learning environment (in terms of ideas,

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language, approach, qualities and values). It was decided that the research should explore:

In what ways do Creative Practitioners differ from teachers in their practice? What are the distinctive characteristics of their creative practice?

This required in depth qualitative research to be undertaken during the individual projects. Quantitative data would not have been adequate to describe the experiences of those involved in the necessary depth. Detailed observations and interviews were crucial in order to capture these insights. It was also important to address the views of multiple stakeholders – those of the children, the Creative Practitioners, and the teachers.

Diverse and creative methods of documentation were used for data collection, including:

Reflective journals by Creative Practitioners

Target observations by teachers of Creative Practitioners

Photographic journals by teachers of Creative Practitioners

In depth interviews with individual Educators

In depth interviews with Creative Practitioners

Target observations by researcher of Creative Practitioners

Interviews with small groups of children

Observations of children

The data were analysed using thematic coding. The aim is to ‘understand’ the data by presenting it as themes that arise from it, organised in a meaningful and useful manner. By immersing oneself in the data, provisional themes are generated which are then applied and developed in order to identify as precisely as possible those that occur most commonly. The result is a coding manual that identifies the key themes that describe the essence of the data. Issues of dependability (particularly in terms of a good audit trail),

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confirmability (the use of triangulation across the data sets), credibility and reflexivity were given priority.

These themes are presented below with discussion and comments as appropriate. Other issues that were identified during the research, but are not related to answering the specific research question, have been included in the Appendix.

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2

Discussion

The discussion is made up of three sections. The first will examine what the Creative Practitioners actually did. It will describe and illustrate their own practice, based on both their own commentary and the observations made by the Educators.

The second section will address the children’s perspective and include a description of their emotional response to the projects and the learning behaviours that were observed. The third section will look at the issues that arose for the Educators.

The discussion is interspersed with a number of boxes which illustrate some specific examples of the creative opportunities that the children experienced.

2.1

The Creative Practitioners

Four themes were identifiable that relate to what the Creative Practitioners actually did in the projects. The ethos of the Creative Practitioners was to establish a practice that was process led, child-centred and site specific. These themes powerfully illustrate the distinctive elements of the practice of the Creative Practitioners involved in Talk About Tomorrow.

2.1.a Process-led The Creative Practitioners placed great emphasis on the process of actually making the work. The projects were process-led. This is in contrast to the outcome orientation more commonly observed in schools today. The children were at the centre of the experience, and they determined the approach taken by the Creative Practitioners. Whilst the Creative Practitioners always had careful and detailed plans or intentions to the work, these were devised in

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response to their observations of the children and were used flexibly throughout the process, being amended or extended or left out as appropriate.

‘what is extremely important to note is that none of these ways of working were planned from the beginning rather they unfolded as the project grew out of uncovering appropriate ways of working from spending time with the children, inspired by and facilitating means of getting to know them and their ways of communicating how they see their environment’ (Creative Practitioner)

The Creative Practitioners took time to engage with and respond to the children. The emphasis was on collaboration with the children and supporting their decision-making. Risk taking is actively encouraged.

‘we leave the door open for other things to happen as we go along’ (Creative Practitioner)

‘ We work with uncertainty and embrace chance and spontaneity. We do make decisions but as much as possible we collaborate with the children and enable and support children in their own decision-making. We place a strong value on the process of making work. The outcome is less important and never predetermined.’ (Creative Practitioner)

2.1.b Child-Centred The Children were at the centre of the process – it was theirs to own and direct and the emphasis was on their learning and experiences. In these projects the children were cast in the role of researchers, investigators, explorers. Active participation was a key element:

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'‘when you go on trips you get to find out about the world, because you can discover things’ (Primary child)

‘we allowed them to make choices and decisions’ (Creative Practitioner)

‘we encourage the children to have some ownership of the process. i.e. we will maintain a loose structure and loosely direct the 4 days but we aim not to dictate or be concerned about achieving a uniform outcome.; (Creative Practitioner)

The Creative Practitioners intention was to facilitate rather than direct their learning. They created opportunities and then supported the children in taking ownership and control of the process. The children were encouraged to experiment and explore and space was given for unplanned experiences.

Here a Creative Practitioner describes an unexpected experiment that the children engaged in. This ultimately led to a degree of chaos and confusion as the experiment finally collapsed but the Creative Practitioners and Educators supported the children throughout, commenting on and engaging with the experiment the children had discovered.

‘A group of the children had started throwing balls of plasticine at one of the rooflights that was blocked out with paper. Quite curiously the balls were slipping through a gap between two sheets of lining paper that we had used to cut out the light. The balls were staying inside, on top of the paper. It was a lovely moment of play which drew the attention of a number of the kids and was indeed quite magical in its effect so we did not stop this activity at first but allowed it to evolve, which it did! It developed into a game of ingenuity, i.e. How to get the

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balls down? (They managed this by finding a long stick and bouncing the paper to flick the balls back out).’ (Creative Practitioner)

A critical element of this approach is to remove the emphasis on a right answer and the concurrent need to stay ‘on a pre-specified task’. The removal of named objectives and stated outcomes, enabled the children to determine their own progress and learning. A note in one reflective diary of a Creative Practitioner reminds herself to ‘create spaces, allow room for silences,

reflection by all’. ‘I hoped that the children noticed that they were not being judged, they were outside the bounds of good or bad, that there was no right or wrong. This results in a sense of ‘being allowed to experiment, to fail (by their standards, not ours) and realise it was still OK.’ (Creative Practitioner)

Instead of directing or correcting the children, Creative Practitioners

‘encouraged them to build on their own versions or interpretations…. celebrated it’. 2.1.c The role of the Creative Practitioners

Creative Practitioners took up a stance during the projects that was alongside the children, rather than as an ‘expert’ in front of them with answers. They were co-learners with the children, seeing and discovering with them.

‘We encourage children to explore their own ideas and we take them on a journey that allows them to do so. We aim not to give them ideas or to suggest too much on discussing their work. We try to absorb their stories and suggest options and avenues that they may wish to

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explore. Maybe this…? Maybe that…? What do you think? How?’ (Creative Practitioner)

They were able to connect with the children’s ideas and creativity and facilitate this. For some of the Educators this was in marked contrast with their own perceptions of their ability to connect in this way.

‘their understanding of where the kids were trying to get to was way beyond – I looked at some but thought where on earth…. but the Creative Practitioners would walk up and connect instantly’ (Primary Teacher)

The interaction below recorded by one Primary Teacher illustrates this approach well. The Creative Practitioner offers a commentary to the child, describing what they have done and genuinely celebrating it. This validates it and acknowledges the child’s achievement.

M has been working on his for ten minutes. He is completely engrossed in positioning objects from the beach, choosing carefully from the table display and checking effects from each placement on the OHP. Creative Practitioner: What else have you added M? M: Can tops. Creative Practitioner: What wonderful shapes! M: I’m putting more sand on now. I think it needs more. Creative Practitioner: That’s giving it lots more texture, it looks brilliant. Children using projector behind M produce a green background for him, then change it to orange. M is pleased with the different effects. Creative Practitioner returns to admire with him.

The language used by the Creative Practitioners in their reflections includes words like facilitate, enable, stimulate ideas, encourage, flexibility, break boundaries. Creative Practitioners were observed using strategies such as

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assisting, discussing, exploring together, trying out ideas with the children, offering options, watching, supporting, engaging, being non directive, using open-ended questions, taking time to follow a thread, listening, puzzling out loud.

‘they were giving and getting the children to make choices and think/decide for themselves…the end produce grows along the way and although the Creative Practitioners have some ideas where it’s going, the children make the ultimate choices’. (Primary Teacher)

Playfulness, too, is central to the approach taken by Creative Practitioners, particularly in terms of a capacity to turn things around and see them from new perspectives. Planning notes from one reflective diary illustrate this neatly as they describe the process of thinking about the project during their observation and planning time in the school:

‘Throughout the ongoing course/process of discussions we think about the title of the project ‘talk about tomorrow’ in which there is the verb talk (implying thought/reflection). So we imagine a neologism which could exist in the future to translate this thought into action. The children could elaborate meanings for a new verb: TO MORROW. In this way there is a further projection in the title. …. The morrowing continues….’ (Creative Practitioner)

2.1.d Space, Time and Resources

The attitudes of the Creative Practitioners to issues of space and time were striking. Schools are almost always short of space and these tend to be filled and decorated with work. Time too is carefully allocated and planned out.

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Throughout these projects, the Creative Practitioners negotiated for spaces that they felt could be ‘emptied’ in order that the children weren’t ‘squeezed

out’. Displays were covered over by white sheets or paper, furniture was moved in order so that floors could to be fully accessible, rooms were darkened so that specific sources of light could be introduced. This allowed the children to project their own thoughts and ideas – it became what a Creative Practitioner described as ‘a space that was open to transformation’.

‘the space would lend itself well to being ‘neutralised’ for our purposes, i.e. lined with paper and dust sheets to cover all the general collections of craft art produced by the school during the year that is pinned on walls. This neutralising of the space we feel is an important factor in providing a suitable space for creativity; it is our means of providing a ‘fresh canvas’ that we feel allows the children to properly observe their work, to stand back, to see and to reflect on their creations.’ (Creative Practitioner)

Simple changes were made in order to allow spaces to be experienced differently such as: covering a classroom with white sheets in order to ‘empty

it out’; or covering a floor with warm insulating material so that sustained periods of sitting and working barefoot were possible. The Creative Practitioners engaged all their senses when interacting with the spaces and they supported the children to do the same. In one project, as the children were introduced to the materials they were encouraged to take their shoes off, to listen to and feel the surface and to talk about their experiences with it.

The environments that the schools inhabited were also significant. The Creative Practitioners themselves engaged with these environments and also took time with the children observing how they responded, noticing what they found significant. In some cases these were areas that could easily be considered more ‘marginal’ or were ‘overlooked’.

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Creative Opportunity: Illustration 1

‘Our decision to take the children to the beach, as a way of connecting with their immediate and particular environment beyond the school, served as a creative spur to the project. The children were stimulated by the experiential approach – looking for materials to work with, recording the sounds of the wind and the sea, seeing how far they could carry a one inch thick piece of ice in their gloved hands etc The children were very playful, and highly motivated. We gave them time and free rein to see how they would respond to the elements and the landscape’ (Creative Practitioner) When you go on trips you get to find out about the world, because you can discover things’ (Primary Child)

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The resources that the Creative Practitioners provided were simple – cardboard, string, tape, packing materials, brown paper, pipe cleaners etc and also treasures collected from their trips – crabs legs, stones, ice (before it melts) and so on. One project was offered a bolt of red lace as the only thing available in the school. It became the focus of the project. This simplifying approach to the materials leaves space for the children to represent their own ideas and experiment and reflects again the Creative Practitioner’s belief in the children as rich, strong, powerful learners.

‘ I just drew it and it became something else.’ (Primary child) ‘We ‘play’ with a range of resources and materials – some familiar, some less so – and use volume and scale to provoke a different response’ (Creative Practitioner)

Creative Opportunity: Illustration 2 Simple materials and large spaces were offered to the children where possible. Introducing the materials, the creative practitioner told the children on this project to ‘think of this as a giant piece of paper – your paper for the day’.

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Light boxes were also a significant resource for all the projects enabling the children to project images, experiment with colours and materials and experience transformations.

‘The overhead projectors were great for this as they change the scale of things and create all sorts of distortions and shadows.’ (Creative Practitioner)

This simple approach that was both fresh to the children and inherently playful was also designed by the Creative Practitioners to encourage responses that were their own rather than the more habitual responses that standard art materials and familiar spaces elicit. The Creative Practitioners offered the children time to ‘unlearn’ and to then fill the spaces and time with their own ideas and responses. It sometimes took the children some time to realise:

‘we are in the process of knowlingly disconnecting the existing system at this moment. It is a bit like an electrical circuit – we need to turn off the current momentarily in order to install something new. We are returning to zero as they did in Black Mountain (a ground breaking college in America).’ (Creative Practitioner)

Time as an empty space was also important in the projects. Time to reflect, time to play, time to experiment. Time here was used as a blank canvas in the same way that the physical spaces were – as blank canvases that the children were invited to project into and transform.

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Creative Opportunity: Illustration 3

Reflecting on the end of the first day, the children in this project passed a thread of string across the group as they took it in turns to speak: ‘I was in a rush to get to school today

because I was so excited …I can’t wait until tomorrow’

Spontaneously, when the session ended, the children lifted their arms and slid under the web they had woven, delighting in the sensations and control they are experienced.

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2.1.e Summary

The distinctive elements of the practice of Creative Practitioners that this research identified then were that they used a process led approach, they placed the child at the centre in the role of researcher and experimenter, they worked alongside the children as facilitators, and they gave freedom to the children by offering materials, spaces and time that were simplified and openended.

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2.2

The Children

The children’s response to the approach taken by the Creative Practitioners is of critical importance. It is necessary to consider both their views and what was observed of their behaviour. This section looks both at what they felt and noticed but also at the learning behaviours that were observed and the therapeutic potential of this approach.

2.2.a What They Felt and Noticed

There were three striking themes here: an emotional dimension related to the children’s evident delight and enjoyment in the projects, a sense of freedom and removal of anxiety about the need ‘to get it right’, and finally an awareness of the different approach to space and time.

Emotional Dimension

The comments from the children during and after the projects were overwhelmingly positive. “I feel happy’ was a common statement - clearly the children enjoyed the experience. They had fun.

‘This feels like golden time’ (Primary child) ‘It’s work and fun together’ (Primary child)

The Educators involved also commented on the evident pleasure that the children took in this way of working.

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‘I’ve seen more smiles in these days than I ever normally see’ (Teaching Assistant)

‘there wasn’t any tummy aches, there wasn’t any sickness, or need to go to the toilet …health was incredibly good in those few days because there wasn’t any reason to want to escape….it was good for their health’ (Teaching Assistant)

The children could recognise that they were engaged in something both different and exciting that they were learning from.

‘It doesn’t feel like school…it feels like some place you’ve never been to before….your first day in a new place….no (not scarey) because you know where everything is’ (Primary child)

‘It feels like we’re playing with toys…normally it feels hard and boring, this feel easy and exciting and very fun’ (Primary child)

For many of the children, this approach significantly boosted their confidence and raised their self-esteem. The freedom to experiment and try things out offered the children boundless opportunities to learn. The change in attitude for many of the children was striking – they were engaged and willing to take part. One educator commented: ‘I never head anyone say ‘I can’t do this’

‘they didn’t look at anything as a problem – they had a completely different attitude to it all – if you give them stuff in class they can get stroppy when it doesn’t work – here the majority was relaxed, not up tight, got to get it right – it wasn’t thought of as a problem’ (Primary Teacher)

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‘they gave so much more …not confident children but they all spoke more’ (Primary Teacher) For a few there was some initial anxiety, related to not knowing what was expected of them. One of the secondary school children commented ‘I like it when things are explained…It feels a bit confusing, though that’s ok’. A number of teachers commented that this was particularly the case for the more able students who are perhaps more in tune with the outcome focus generally found in their lessons.

Freedom

The sense of freedom that the projects gave the children – to experiment and explore, to talk and move around, to have ideas and to play – was very liberating for the children.

‘ it’s cool…a relief.. I don’t have to ask about whether it’s right or wrong...I can just do it…not like numeracy where I keep having to check …it’s more free, I feel free’ (Primary child)

‘the teachers think that high grades are important…the Creative Practitioners are trying to make us think about ourselves and to talk about issues…I feel as though I can achieve what I want to do’ (Secondary child)

‘I learned that you shouldn’t just think about it, you should let your imagination run through’ (Primary child)

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They themselves noticed this and celebrated it. The older children reflected on how it enhanced their own sense of self-esteem, whilst the younger children were sometimes surprised at the skills they discovered in themselves: ‘I didn’t

know that I could make up a good poem.’

Creative Opportunity: Illustration 4

The children were read a poem. They then cut it up and used the words to rewrite their own poems. The teaching assistant commented: ‘my attention was particularly drawn to the behaviour of two children. The first child, a notorious daydreamer, was suddenly very alive and focussed to the point of taking the lead in group situations. She expressed her delight to me that she couldn’t make mistakes because today nothing was wrong. The second child usually finds working in a group very problematic. However he kept with us and ended the first morning expressing his enjoyment…they wanted to read them to any adult present. They also wanted to change things, asking ‘will Il be able to alter them?’

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Children At The Centre

The children also recognised that the focus was different in terms of the control being more in their hands – the child-centred nature of the approach discussed earlier. They noticed that the Creative Practitioners were there to work alongside them, to experiment with them.

‘they don’t tell us what to do…they give us some ideas...but we can use our own ideas…makes me feel more important...here we have our own say…it’s all about us..here we let our own ideas pop out and can prove that we’re good at stuff…here we’re always happy’ (Secondary child)

‘their ideas are more understandable…they’re more adaptable....they try to involve us..they seem to want to do things, to help and get messy…they don’t’ talk at us, they talk to us’ (Secondary child)

2.2.b Learning Behaviours That Matter

The children demonstrated a range of powerful learning behaviours. They were observed initiating, debating, helping, supporting, encouraging turn taking, respecting others, praising each other, compromising, using openended questions with each other, exploring, hypothesising, offering ideas, demonstrating things, categorising, collaborating.

Collaboration

The children themselves noticed the extent to which they collaborated and worked together in teams. They saw a different side to each other.

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‘I was surprised that we didn’t argue’ (Primary child)

‘By mixing art in with other subjects we’ve learnt that subjects have a personality…We’re learning to work in teams, to make stuff now, to not always get what you want, about how people are and friendship and stuff…it feels like we’re in control, that we’re trusted, it’s a treat’ (Secondary child)

This approach to learning enabled what were striking levels of collaboration and cooperation for many of the Educators. Some Educators were particularly surprised by the degree of turn-taking and mutual support that they observed and struck by the children’s ability to work together – ‘I was amazed at how

flexible they were’.

‘They were very proud of it, quite surprised with what they’d been able to build – at the beginning they’d tended to work individually or in pairs and then they’d seen how it was building up with the bigger group and then at the very end although some were a little reluctant to share their work they realised they’d got to and they were just so pleased with how the class worked together to make that – as they started to work it all fell together which was really good for that class – a very good project for a new class to do something like that’ (Primary Teacher)

This took time to develop in some of the projects, as the children did not always recognise the new boundaries and opportunities immediately.

They seemed to have got a sixth sense by the end of it all it was amazing – someone would be going past and they’d say ‘oh I’ve got that and you need it’. I couldn’t believe they were getting on so well because

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it didn’t start out like that / at the begining it was all ‘I want that tape’ and then they’d try to keep possession of it and then it kind of grew with the project – they were just sharing so much’ (Primary Teacher)

Creative Opportunity: Illustration 5

A PE session, introduced by the Creative Practitioner in the following way: ‘we’re going to try and make the lace dance…we need

coordination.,,,.what does that mean…..yes working together, not looking around….you’ve got to feel the tension in the lace…let’s see if it works’

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Egalitarian

Working in a child-centred and process-led way, levelled the playing field for the children and enabled a degree of inclusivity not normally experienced. The Educators frequently commented that they couldn’t tell their gifted and talented from their less able students and that they witnessed different children taking the lead.

‘kids that really struggle with curriculum really flourished throughout this project’ (SEN Co-ordinator)

This approach enabled all the children to feel and be successful. It reduced the emphasis on what Dweck (1999)1 calls a ‘performance orientation’, providing an environment more focused on a ‘learning orientation.’

‘a lot of them are so het up with ‘is it right, is this what I’m supposed to be doing’ and none of the activities could have a right and a wrong, and those children who are a bit nervous because it might not be right, there was nothing to be nervous of ..they could just have a go and play and enjoy..there wasn’t that feeling of got to meet this standard – I think that side of it was really good for them’ (Primary Teacher)

1 1

Dweck C.S (1999), Self-Theories:Their Role in Motivation, Personality and Development; Philadelphia, Taylor & Francis

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Creative Opportunity: Illustration 6

The year 7 boy who produced these books was extremely self-effacing and withdrawn. He worked almost entirely on the periphery of the project.

The work he produced was strikingly original. The creative practitioner involved commented ‘he was taking everything in with incredible thought and

was creating his own impressive interpretation of the Talk about Tomorrow title; a written discussion about tomorrow through one-page story books’.

Whilst initially reluctant to take part in the final sharing for parents, he finally mounted his books and placed them centrally in the hall and took the time to show them to his colleagues, his family and other parents. J commented that ‘I like working like this…I feel happier and like I want to come to school..the

work is funner…I’m working with people a lot better….I’ve met three new people..I don’t normally as I just sit down but I’ve made friends here..I’ve learnt about what people are like and what they want’

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Absorbed and Empowered

The children’s behaviour demonstrated how this approach empowered them:

‘I know what I’m going to write’. They were motivated and engaged by the work. They rose to the challenges offered them by the Creative Practitioners and were able to carry this new sense of their own abilities on into their other work.

‘ they tried and retried and changed the process and had a great sense of achievement and they carried that enthusiasm right back to the classroom so when we embarked on the poetry it wasn’t like ‘ohh poetry’ it was like’ ah, I know what I’m going to write’ so the impact was immediate .to think we had 60 children in there, possibly 6 or 7 with major emotional and behaviour problems and we only had one minor incident across all the days – even the most disaffected children were in there, hands on, completing tasks, working on a task all because of it…so the impact is boundless’ (Primary Teacher)

Often they were so absorbed that they worked past the bell or requested to come back in during breaks.

‘This child here is normally very bored, he doesn’t talk but look how involved he is. This one can get very angry, he feels hated and is normally taken out but today it’s 12.15 and he’s still here’ (Teaching Assistant)

Even when there were issues with behaviour in the SEN group, the educator observed that all the children stayed in the room, that no-one had to be removed - ‘this isn’t kicking off…they’ve stayed in the room’

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Creative Opportunity: Illustration 7 In a project with year 6 students, they made figures from wire and mud-rock. Chairs were then made for their characters and later, back in class, stories and poetry written about them. The teacher commented that:

‘their understanding of the character that they’d made, the chair that they’d made –they could really easily put that into a poem – it felt like it had a purpose to them – they could look at it into the future – what purpose would their chair serve and some of the poetry that we’ve got out of it is absoloutely magical…we’re going to put it all round the school and on our website, it’s a key to opening up poetry for us.’ It’s a seat made for two But only one person’s sat there It’s red, blue and gold It’s not very old

If you sit and wait on this chair People might stop and stare On this chair sat a boy Then he found his true joy

Happily couple have become united on me Sadly couples have broken up on me I remember when I was a tree At that point couples proposed under me

I am a magic chair I have no arms and no hair I make people fall in love They fit together like a hand and a glove - a poem by 3 boys

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2.2.c Language Development

The opportunities the projects provided for language development were also significant. The children were involved in debating and describing their experiences both with one another and with the adults involved.

‘They were definitely negotiating about spaces and equipment and resources. They were taking it in turns a lot better and getting in more curious questions – trying things out, they were looking at everything that was given them and really using their resources.’ (Primary Teacher) Creative Opportunity: Illustration 8

A ‘word hoover’ where children read the poems they’d composed to the rest of the class. The Teaching Assistant watched amazed as one child rushed to perform their poem to the rest of the class in the ‘word hoover’. Having commented before that this sort of activity wouldn’t suit the children, she afterwards said ‘I am overly

impressed..these are not the usual learning gains…they’ve learnt better communication and collaboration….in terms of speaking and listening and it’s seemed to lift their self-esteem…became like a level playing field..they’re not broken down into groups..they seemed to get vibe that could all equally achieve’.

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2.2.d Therapeutic Potential

A number of adults observed the therapeutic potential inherent in this way of working. It enabled the children to express their emotions, often quite powerful and difficult ones, and also to consider other perspectives.

‘I’ve noticed differences since the project.. eg in our anger management group – the children are able to see lots of different perspectives…they had opened up, widened….I attribute this to project and how they were able to work and try out new ideas…they had all taken away something ….teachers can’t get time to hear this but I can maybe work with this in later sessions’ (SEN co-ordinator)

2.2.e Summary

The children were very aware of and responsive to the environments for learning that the Creative Practitioners enabled. They sensed that there were new opportunities for themselves, and they were excited and motivated about this. All those involved observed an enormous range of powerful learning behaviours. The children were collaborating, negotiating, supporting and experimenting.

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2.3 The Educators The main themes in this section relate to the emotional dimension in the responses of the Educators, the new opportunities that they experienced through being part of these projects and the impact that this had on their own practice.

2.3.a Emotional Response

Many of the Educators commented that they were unsure at first. For some it was initially confusing:

‘This for us was a totally different experience..we didn’t know where we were going’ (Primary Teacher)

‘I felt panicy on the first day …it felt a bit like chaos ,…I’ve just started teaching so I like to know where I’m at.. but we planned it together with the Creative Practitioners…by the end of the day I could see where it was going.’ (Primary Teacher)

The approach taken by the Creative Practitioners was in marked contrast to the carefully orchestrated day a teacher is expected to deliver. The emphasis on process as opposed to outcomes and the redirection of their role as fellow learners alongside the children rather than keepers of knowledge was often uncomfortable for the Educators:

‘I felt a bit unsure. I’m used to knowing what’s going on and you do have to let it go a bit. The children were asking me what we were going

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to be doing and I had to say I don’t know, I was a bit uncomfortable with that ..not knowing what end product was going to be’ (Primary Teacher)

‘as staff we teach that way – we know where we’re heading, that ‘s our goal to get there whereas this for us was a totally different experience – we found it hard – we didn’t know where we were going’ (Primary Teacher)

The current thrust in educational practice is to state the learning objectives at the outset of a lesson and then to set up a range of activities in order to achieve those learning objectives already identified. Spaces are filled and time is carefully allocated. The focus is on outcomes and measurable deliverables with the teacher responsible for and in control of the learning. This approach is both unpopular with many teachers, and in contrast with how most older teachers were trained, but teachers often comment that they feel powerless in the face of the curriculum and government demands to do otherwise. The approach to enabling learning in these projects was quite different from the outcome focus of many learning environments today.

The Creative Practitioners referred to the impact of this outcome-focused practice in their reflections on their observation days - ‘every minute is served,

controlled, output focused’. They were acutely aware of the lack of time and space and freedom to explore for the children.

‘Children who are ‘unoccupied’ or not involved in some activity are

directed or instructed ‘to do’ something. No value is seen to be attached to contemplative time and space’ (Creative Practitioner)

Working alongside the Creative Practitioners offered the Educators an opportunity to try out a different approach. Ultimately as the projects

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progressed, the response of the Educators to this way of working was positive. They recognised the impact on the children and were delighted with the outcomes.

‘we had no idea we could get this…we hoped for success but we didn’t’ realise that this was the sort of detail and sort of motivation we were going to get’ (Primary Teacher)

‘as a teacher it was extremely rewarding to be a part of, very rewarding’ (Primary Teacher)

2.3.b New Opportunities

The Educators were particularly struck with the opportunities they were given to see their children with renewed vision. The Creative Practitioners were enabling the children to show different parts of themselves. The Educators were struck by the many behaviours they witnessed and skills they hadn’t appreciated. They talked of being ‘enlightened’ and ‘surprised’.

‘ we saw another side to the children…gave us better understanding…difficult not to get closed in views …we try not to make judgements but seeing those year 6 boys with their tiny bits of clay and treasures they had found and watching them sensitively put them together …seeing they’re not just brutes with fists’ (SEN Co-ordinator)

‘I now know more about the children as individuals’

(Teaching Assistant)

They appreciated the inclusive nature of the approach and the opportunities they were given to see the children as individuals.

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‘I really liked that I could praise all the kids…don’t have many opportunities to give positive feedback normally’ (Teaching Assistant)

The Educators also recognised that this approach could deliver substantial gains in terms of social and personal development for their children.

‘children from this area need a lot of work on their cooperation skills – if they get on better in class then hopefully will get on better outside too so it has a big knock on effect – this way of working supports developing those skills and also puts less pressure on less academic child because I can see those who struggle with more standard tasks in numeracy or literacy really feeing freer to have a go with this – there’s not a sense that have to do this or will fail – I think we’d end up with happier children’ (Primary Teacher) They were also delighted with the sense of time and space they enjoyed through the projects. They could stand back and take time to observe and listen and engage in a more meaningful way with individuals.

‘felt during project that had time to allow children to make a discovery, have things happen and we could go with it….there was time to work with individuals and explore things’ (Primary Teacher)

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2.3.c Impact on Practice

There are many striking accounts by the Educators on how this experience has impacted on their own practice. The Educators were very aware of the differences they could observe in the children, and they began to compare this new way of practicing with their own, questioning what elements they might try to incorporate. One Head Teacher, who embraced the project in her school with enormous enthusiasm, felt the Creative Practitioners offered powerful role models to her staff.

‘Creative Practitioners are facilitators not Educators…this is a helpful model.,,. We need to move away from having a teacher up front delivering learning. Two particular problems with this approach – it’s exhausting and demanding for the teacher always to be the showman but also can result in passive learning and narrow outcomes… I want the Creative Practitioners to be role models for how to work in a different way and how to work in a different environment – its not just about how you work with kids but also how you work with the environment and change things…their model of delivery is key....about space, place, independence and interdependence’ (Head Teacher)

For many of the Educators, it was an opportunity to adapt and try out alternative approaches they’d not experienced before whilst for others it was a return to a style of teaching they used to engage in. They were able to take risks and try out a new way of being with the children. ‘This way of planning lessons that gives them space….before this was a bit of a scarey thing…I don’t like to travel into the unknown..the children weren’t scared, I was…I didn’t know what they would have at the end but realised it didn’t matter’ (Primary Teacher)

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‘it feels so different from usual…with my class I never stop talking..this is so relaxing. This feels more like when I started teaching’ (Primary Teacher)

The Educators reflected on the impact of providing a child-centred, processled approach both on the children and on themselves. The children become more motivated and engaged, which simultaneously offers the Educators greater opportunities and space.

‘I personally got that whilst might take a bit longer to plan a theme based approach the outcome is so much more rewarding not only for us as teachers but for the pupils …. it is so fruitful and so rewarding that it would be worth extra input at start to actually get kids motivated because they actually take it over, they become the process, they allow you to plan more easily because you feel their direction rather than them feeling yours’ (Primary Teacher)

They recognised that offering the children space to discover and experiment enables all the children the opportunity to participate.

‘We’ve realised this creative focus is another way into being with the children…safer for them as couldn’t be wrong… both of us planning to work differently – offer more creative opportunities so everyone can participate’ (SEN Co-ordinator)

‘We did what I needed to cover but from their perspective….I got into it…it’s nice the not knowing..I like that idea that can make something of it that you want ..that there is less structure…it gives them a chance to interpret as they feel’ (Primary Teacher)

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Some of the Educators have already tried out new approaches since the projects have finished and have been struck by the outcomes. For some this has been a new approach to planning their lessons but also a change in the emphasis that they place on process as opposed to outcomes:

‘I’m more relaxed about setting goals – especially with my GCSE students’ (Secondary Teacher)

‘It’s made me think about how I plan ..I will try and think how I can make things more imaginative. …It’s having the confidence to put it into practice…I feel this has given me a chance to do that eg. RE is a big one I’ve changed already ..lots before was based on stories but now we’ve done acting and drawing…I’ve tried to look at things with them in other ways…It scares me a bit this way of planning..there’s not as much structure ..but these links do make so much sense’ (Primary Teacher)

2.3.d Summary

Whilst for many of the Educators then the experience was initially uncomfortable, involvement in these projects has offered them many opportunities. They have been able to observe at first hand the impact on their children of working in a process-led, child-centred way. They have appreciated the many powerful learning behaviours that this approach enables. Perhaps most importantly there is a sense of belief in this approach to learning and a commitment to embrace it into their own practice:

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‘what I’ve gained now I’ve seen it actually work is I would be encouraged to actually give them a problem and say ‘’ there you go, work as a group and see what you come up with – I’m not going to talk so much about end products – I’ve already tried it last week – I left the resources for them to find – they loved the freedom – it was much more open ended’ (Primary Teacher)

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3 Conclusion The desire within Creative Partnerships is to ‘learn more about the ways in

which Creative Practitioners bring distinctive qualities to the learning environment’. This research has identified and described the distinctive qualities of the twelve Creative Practitioners involved in Talk About Tomorrow. It has also looked closely at how the children and Educators responded to these new approaches to enabling learning.

The Creative Practitioners use an approach that is child-centred, process-led and site-specific. They cast themselves in the role of facilitator and co-learner alongside the children. Spaces are created that the children can transform, time is allowed for experimentation and reflection, and resources are kept simple.

The children notice the differences. They are released from the anxiety that there is a right answer. They are excited and motivated and become enthusiastic researchers and learners. Powerful learning behaviours results, particularly in terms of collaborating, negotiating, including and being included.

For many of the Educators involved, there was some initial anxiety about this approach and confusion over their role in the projects. The projects ultimately provided the Educators with many different opportunities – to see their children in another light, to adopt different roles, and to experience the impact of this approach to learning. There was a striking sense of belief and enthusiasm amongst the Educators present at the final sharing day for Talk

About Tomorrow, which took place after the research was finished. There was a sense of purpose and a desire to develop further their own creative practice.

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A question that follows naturally from these projects to is how to build more democratic and discursive models of partnership between Educators and Creative Practitioners? Should the aim be for Creative Practitioners to mesh their practice in with the needs of the Educators and the curriculum and to what extent is this possible? The response of one Head Teacher involved in

Talk About Tomorrow was that this would be working with a faulty system which many are questioning. The most significant impact they can have is as role models for an alternative approach to learning.

Guy Claxton (2004)2 , Professor of Education and Psychology at Bristol University, has described children’s ‘brilliant natural learning ability’. He argues for an emphasis on enabling children to learn - ‘we should be helping

them to develop supple and nimble minds so that they will be able to learn whatever they will need to’. The context, he says, is critical in order that all ways of learning are enabled: learning through immersion in experience, through imitation, through imagination, through intuition and through intellect. This was the context that was created for all those involved in the Talk About

Tomorrow projects with such striking results.

2

Learning is Learnable (and We Ought to Teach It), in the National Commission for Education Report Ten Years On, edited by Sir John Cassell, 2004 Talk About Tomorrow Research, May 2006

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4 Appendix 4.1 Practical Issues and Lessons Learnt There were a number of practical issues that arose from the process. These do not form part of the research question but are relevant for future projects. 4.1.a School Support Introducing the whole school to the projects and gaining support was an issue in a number of the settings. A number of the teachers commented that they wished that more of their colleagues had known about what they were doing, whilst many of the Creative Practitioners felt that the wider school community neither understood nor took the time to engage with the work.

Most of the settings had very little contact with any other staff not a part of the projects, despite attempts to create opportunities for dialogue and enquiry.

One project in particular experienced some negative attitudes from other staff. There were misunderstandings of why particular children had been selected and a general perception that bad behaviour was being rewarded.

In contrast, one school deliberately encouraged the use of the hall in order that the project was as visible as possible and stimulated as much discussion and debate as possible. The Head teacher played an active part: visiting, engaging and encouraging debate and reflection from all present. It was striking that in this school a classroom was specifically cleared out for the project, which the Creative Practitioners set up as a dark space. The Head asked that it be deliberately kept that way in order that other teachers could bring their children in to use it on the subsequent days.

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‘introducing Creative Partnerships to teachers is best done as a workshop specifically for them so that more time can be spent discussing the merits’ (Creative Practitioner) 4.1.b Projects without a dedicated classroom teacher This was a significant issue for a number of the projects and had a number of implications: -

Children who were drawn together from different classes for the specific project did not have the opportunity to share this new way of learning with their regular classmates.

-

The lack of a class teacher necessarily also reduced the opportunities for the Educators to experience something new with their own class and reflect on how this approach can facilitate learning for the whole group.

-

Without a particular class to observe during the observation days, the Creative Practitioners had less opportunity to gain valuable insights prior to planning the projects themselves.

-

There were also supervision issues as children wanted to return to their classrooms.

‘It is also significant that the children who came together did not otherwise exist as a class group, coming instead from different classes. This affected the observation prior to the residency and I feel we didn’t spend nearly enough time with them allowing them to unfold the theme. For these reasons the group itself were consequently rather peripheral in the observation as a whole, which centered instead on the school and its environs and was shaped by us more than it otherwise might have been’ (Creative Practitioner)

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4.1.c Supervision issues This was an issue for a number of the projects, particularly when working with vulnerable children. Whilst creating very powerful learning environments, it is also the case that this way of working has the potential to uncover emotions and memories children that there may be neither space nor expertise to deal with.

‘I was aware that no safety net was in place ….perhaps children left

feeling very vulnerable but in that setting there was no time to check before they leave’ (SEN co-ordinator)

One particular project had several incidences where a number of the children involved started to talk openly about subjects such as suicide and isolation.

There were also incidences of children being left with the Creative Practitioners unsupervised during breaks. 4.1.d Induction Days The response to these days was largely positive. Creative Practitioners felt they had already met so that the first meetings in the schools could start with a degree of familiarity. They also felt that there was already a sense of shared purpose.

It was noticeable that where the teachers hadn’t been able to attend, the Creative Practitioners found that these first meetings had to be spent briefing the teachers on the ethos of the work. Those teachers who had missed these days acknowledged in the interviews how much harder they had found it to engage with the projects initially.

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One teacher commented that watching the children map their journeys had prompted her to remember the experience of mapping her own at the induction day:

‘I’m glad that I had the experience myself now when I watch the children’. (Primary Teacher) 4.1.e Space Physical space is always a problem in schools. Each of the projects struggled with it in their own way. Those projects that did have dedicated spaces, such as the use of a hall or classroom from which they didn’t have to constantly clear work commented on the freedom this gave both them and the children to explore and experience the new ways of learning that were being introduced.

One of the projects had no dedicated space to work in which caused some particular problems and required an incredible amount of flexibility from all those involved. It is described and depicted in some detail below:

‘it proved a difficult space to work in as we encountered too much disruption due to the adjacent classes passing through our work area, it also got very hot as there was insufficient direct ventilation.

Figure 1: the initial space chosen

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We were also concerned about disrupting the adjacent classes too much with noise and high excitement / energy levels so we decided to work in another room called the ‘beach’ on day 3. The’Beach’ was not ideal as it was carpeted, had no wall space due to computer desks on three sides and a kitchen on the other (See figure 2). It was a successful compromise however as we had more control over the group and we were not constantly worried about disturbing the other classes. One hugely beneficial aspect of the Beach room was that there was access to an outdoor space off it, this was used by a number of the most disruptive children. The ability to ‘break out’ into the outdoors was calming and prevented those children getting into conflict with other kids (they had enough space and were sufficiently removed from the other children so that they couldn’t wind each other up). On day 4 we worked in another room that had rooflights like the first one, but which was smaller and was completely enclosed. This was also successful, in part, as we only needed to be there for a morning and could spill over into the adjacent beach room when things got too claustrophobic. (Creative Practitioner)

Figure 2: ‘The Beach’, the space for the second half of the project

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Another project was sited in the art department of a large secondary school but with no regular access to a room. There were times when rooms were locked and the Creative Practitioners were left waiting outside with the children, on other occasions they had to pack up and move mid session. This had an impact both on the process but also in terms of preparation, as setting up for sessions was sometimes not possible. 4.1.f Size of Groups The numbers involved in the projects varied enormously. One project worked with two whole year 6 groups in one hall, whilst another split one class and worked with only half of them (14/15) in a similar sized hall. In another project the Creative Practitioners worked independently with half of the class using two spaces, a classroom and a hall,

‘I was disappointed that we had a really large group, this limited us in certain respects with what was practicable. However it did contribute to making it a very energetic shared experience. It also probably meant there was less reflection.’ (Creative Practitioner)

It was noticeable that those projects with smaller groups were able to allow more uninterrupted and child-centred experiences and required less control from the Educators. Creative Practitioners involved with small groups described how they were able to respond immediately to the children’s thoughts and ideas, which those in larger groups were unable to.

‘my experience with smaller groups shows that they can allowed much more quickly to be experimental, to be a bit more ‘loose’…(large groups) means that the freedom of developing out of our framework is so limited ..I am a bit disappointed about the difficultly (impossible!) of

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opening up the work…teachers are supportive but stop too many ‘actions’…there is always a strong influence of the more lively or ‘difficult’ students. It shows again: smaller groups would be far more creative, as one can be part of a ‘creative’ session – guide a little better and support the lively ones to make an effort’ (Creative Practitioner) 4.1.g Observation days These days allowed invaluable time to watch and learn about the approach of the school and reflect on the ability of the children to respond. This often served to reinforce the importance for the Creative Practitioners of their own approach. A reflection from one diary comments: ‘every minute everything is

served, controlled, output focused.’

It also gave the Creative Practitioners the opportunity to engage with the staff about the project and negotiate as much as possible: ‘the teachers are very

supportive, but I feel very restricted by the outcomes given …I believe our project should be freed from that. I can’t really get through to them. Are they anxious? Will there be hell as they lose control?…my worries: too outcome focused! I don’t like the pressure for that – feel restricted.’ 4.1.h Tension between process and outcomes This is a continual theme for many involved work of this nature. There was often pressure at the outset for the Creative Practitioners to state the outcomes they expected. Many of the projects concluded with some kind of assembly or sharing. Whilst not inappropriate it did sometimes mean that valuable project time was spent preparing the work rather than continuing the creative process.

Reflection in one journal after working on the final day to present the work and leave a more formal display suggests: ‘was it not at the end looking as if we Talk About Tomorrow Research, May 2006

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are outcome focused..is it therefore not a danger to have a presentation at all in mind..but children do like to show…better could be an open day – last day – where work in progress is exhibited’.

Again the Educators were involved in work that steped away from the standard format now used in schools of naming the outcomes at the beginning. For some of the Educators it clearly took time to feel comfortable with this approach. This comment from a Creative Practitioner’s diary after day 2 ‘I feel they (the Educators) are also far more relaxed and

trusting…because they are more confident they find and accept solutions’.

The secondary school project focused on career aspirations and it was noticeable to the Creative Practitioners that some children changed and sometimes lowered these before the final presentation. The Creative Practitioner speculated that this was when reality started to intrude, there was an awareness that their ideas were going to be seen….’their imagination

being exposed…perhaps the kids were protecting their parents’ . Comments from the parents at the event certainly suggested the importance influence of their own aspirations for their children. 4.1.i

‘Art’

There was still a tendency for some Educators and schools to see the projects as ‘art’. Despite advice from the Creative Practitioners that this was not appropriate, the project in the secondary school took place in the art department, under the supervision of the Head of Art. This can result in the project being labelled as an ‘art projects’ thus limiting it’s potential impact. 4.1.j

Building Partnerships

This was a complex issue and the projects approached this differently. All of the Creative Practitioners saw it as their responsibility to model good creative

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practice and support an atmosphere of reflection and potential change with the Educators they were working with.

This was more successful with some than others, although almost all the projects had achieved quite striking levels of trust and respect by the end of the process.

One particular project built the Teacher into their programme as a co-facilitator where the activities were shared equally between the 3. This was introduced right from a session led during an observation day. This approach evolved from their reflections on past projects: we have tried to arrive with our own

process before but have found that the school didn’t see the point or value it even though they could see the children were engaged by it. We’ve tried increasingly to approach it in a more integrated way..meshing the process into the classroom one rather than relying on the teachers to have the insight. The teachers experience it this way.’ The approach took time to develop and settle down but the positive reflections from both the Teacher and her Teaching Assistant on the extent of the impact on their own practice were significant.

This project also forged partnerships both with a sizeable local organisation and various visitors, drawing on their skills and potential to inspire the children in many ways. 4.1.k The Educators Role in the Projects The data suggests that this was to some extent unclear for many of the Educators and Creative Practitioners. Whilst some of the Creative Practitioners looked to create opportunities for the Educators to take a cofacilitator role, some of the Educators felt that they should stay back in order not to lead or in any way influence the children.

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‘I’ve deliberately held back else they would look to me for leadership and my ideas and we want their ideas’ (Primary Teacher)

One Creative Practitioner ‘was disappointed that the teachers adopted

positions of observation outside or on the periphery of the project sadly. Although encouraged to join in, they offered support but very little participation took place. The teacher did not facilitate any activities although invited to by me’.

It is likely that this was in part due to the positive experiences of being observers. A number of the Educators commented on the positive benefits of undertaking the observations, citing many examples of seeing unexpected dimensions to the children.

‘I’ve seen things you don’t see when you’re up close. I saw a particularly shy child yesterday belly laughing..normally just shuffles about, eyes on the floor…he was making an instrument and really belly laughing…that was the first time I’ve seen his teeth’ (Teaching Assistant) 4.1.l

Lessons Learnt

This data suggests some important lessons for future projects: -

To plan how to introduce projects to the whole school in order to enable support and increase the potential impact of the work

-

To place the projects with a whole class and their teacher ideally and ensure that there are dedicated teachers assigned to the projects that are present throughout.

-

To address the supervision issue.

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That an ideal group size is 14/15, though projects work successfully with one whole class.

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-

To ensure there are induction days and include an experiential element,

-

That an appropriate space for the project is critical.

-

That the observation days enabled valuable insights to the school and the children.

-

That there is a tension between process-led work and the need to share the outcomes with the rest of the school and parents.

-

That projects should not be labelled as ‘art’.

-

That there is potential to mesh the practice of Creative Practitioners quite closely with that of the Educators.

-

That there is potential for these projects to involve other external partners.

-

That there is potential for the Educators to take on a co-facilitator role and get more immediate personal experience of working in this way.

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That offering time for Educators to observe their children was invaluable.

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5 Acknowledgements With thanks to the Educators, Children and Creative Practitioners who took part in Talk About Tomorrow and participated so enthusiastically in the research process.

Mandy Maddock, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, for her invaluable support with all aspects of it.

Anita Belli, Creative Partnerships Tendring, for having the vision to commission it.

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Can you stay and make tomorrow never come  

A report on the distinctive qualities of Creative Practitioners involved in Talk About Tomorrow, a Creative Partnerships Tendring Project....

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