The Art of Learning

by Eona Craig, Director of Development

I have recently joined CCE and, just like key projects like the Art of Learning, have been emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually engaged from the off.

One of my first tasks is to support the deep learning of artists, teachers, senior leaders, pupils and project partners to embed creativity, use the arts across the curriculum and explore the executive functions of the brain within high-functioning classrooms. No tall order, and yet the sense of enthusiasm, exploration and evolution is palpable right across the project team. The Art of Learning is in a second year of a pilot that is supported by Education Scotland, Creative Scotland and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It is one of seven pilots across the UK looking at professional development for teachers using the arts and creativity at their core. The projects are varied but none is as complex as the Art of Learning, which takes place in five visionary primary schools in East, South and North Ayrshire.

Three days of training set the artists, teachers and senior leaders off on a thoughtful and probing journey where trust and respect for everyone’s potential to contribute and learn was clearly valued. Open and ongoing dialogue was the core feature of the training with plasterers, chameleons, acrostic poetry and a wish bag offering lighter moments in three otherwise intense days together.

Just as we hope with the youngest learners, those in class, the exercises encouraged and established dialogue and debate, bouncing ideas around, being experimental, taking risks, trying new things, getting it wrong … it was an open-ended, active and practical yet supportive and challenging experience for everyone involved. There were some surprising twists and turns and we agreed that expecting the unexpected was our chance for deep learning and true enquiry.

The project runs until late spring 2018 and I look forward to watching this unusual and engaging project unfold before my very fresh CCE eyes …