Monday 20 April 2009


I've been reading a Futurelab document entitled Curriculum and Teaching Innovation which makes reference to an organisation called 5x5x5=creativity. Based on an early years model of student centred education, the project's philosophy and aims (listed below) are clearly related to our own and those of Creative Partnerships generally. Much of this thinking is also reflected in Futurelab's own alternative to the national curriculum which they call Enquiring Minds. I wonder if we could learn anything from their research so far? How easily might some of these principles and working practices translate into a secondary school setting?

5x5x5 aims to:
  • demonstrate ways in which creativity can be fostered in young children and fire their interest in learning
  • influence educational practice by establishing creativity as an essential foundation of learning
  • produce research to demonstrate the value of creative enquiry, relationships and environments in helping children develop as confident, creative thinkers
  • share the research findings as widely as possible, creating a legacy for the future
  • provide integrated training and mentoring for participating teachers, artists and cultural settings

5x5x5 philosophy

The project is inspired by the creative educational approach of early years settings in Reggio Emilia. This internationally celebrated approach pioneered a collaborative way of working with young children that allows them to express their ideas in many creative ways, ‘in 100 languages'.

The key philosophical principles of 5x5x5:

  • children are seen as innate and creative knowledge builders, explorers and co-constructors of their learning
  • educators and artists are enablers and companions in the children's learning within a culture of listening
  • learning is focussed on the process of the children's explorations, not the end product
  • documenting children's learning journeys is our method for evaluating and reflecting upon the children's thinking and learning
  • the development of a creative learning community of teachers, artists, co-workers in cultural centres, parents and children
  • involving family and community in life-long learning

'Children need the freedom to appreciate the infinite resources of their hands, their eyes and their ears, the resources of forms, materials sounds and colours. They need the freedom to realise how reason, thought and imagination can create continuous interweaving of things, and can move and shake the world.'

Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia preschools

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