I have been an active artist with the 5x5x5=Creativity project in the South West of England from 2005 until 2009, working with schools in Bath and North East Somerset.
5x5x5=creativity is an independent, arts-based action research organisation. It involves groups of artists, educators and cultural centres working in partnership to support young children in their exploration and expression of ideas – and in doing so helps them develop valuable creative skills for life.
5x5x5 is inspired by the celebrated Reggio Emilia educational approach in Northern Italy that respects children as strong, capable protagonists in their own learning. It recognises children’s innate inquisitiveness, and affords them the space, time and individual adult attention to explore and learn from the world around them.
This child-informed approach is distinguished by a unique commitment to the role of documentation and research in learning and teaching – and by the participating adults’ role as companions, not leaders, of the children.
Our research findings clearly demonstrate the value of fostering creative enquiry by empowering children to take the lead. 5x5x5 children enjoy an extraordinary, exhilarating journey through which they explore the world around them and discover the joys of proactive learning. They emerge notably more confident, with enhanced self-esteem – better able to engage, express themselves and problem-solve.
Established in 2000, 5x5x5=creativity has become nationally recognised as a long-term research project of vitality and innovation. We are keen to use our research results to contribute to an international, critical debate about education in a social democracy, and ultimately to build an educational culture that can change lives.
‘5x5x5=creativity helps improve the life chances of children by developing their confidence in themselves as creative learners, thinkers and problem solvers whilst inspiring higher levels of motivation and engagement in their learning.’
Sally Jaeckle, Service Manager for Early Years Services in Bristol