Connecting Arts Education

The Arts as the bridge between Humans and Nature

The arts have since dawn of humanity focused on relations between humans and nature. From the early images in caves to contemporary storytelling in film this is a central concern in the arts.

In today’s world, appreciation of our fellow humans is closely interrelated with the appreciation of other cultures – with intercultural learning as the pedagogical response. Likewise, interest and care for nature is today largely transformed to a concern for the environment – with education for sustainable development as the corresponding concept in teaching and learning.


The global UNESCO goals

Through UNESCO, the global community, a few years ago, agreed that Arts Education must improve access and quality as well as its ability to address the world’s cultural and social challenges through arts. Among the many cultural and social challenges in today’s world, UNESCO in particular points to intercultural learning and education for sustainable development as core priorities for education.

In CICLO, children will use arts as way to connect humans and nature. CICLO’s goals build on UNESCO’s goals and seek to help students to appreciate and learn about other humans through the arts, as well as to learn about our relations with nature.

With CICLO, teachers and students will, thus, join a global community interested in developing access to and quality of Arts Education, intercultural learning and education for sustainable development.


The Arts as fuel for communicating sustainability

The central idea of CICLO is to challenge the students through their work with art and by working with artists to re-imagine how their future neighborhood – their “hood” can develop and become sustainable.

As part of this process, students will communicate their arts and creative ideas on “sustainability” on a blog shared with a class in another country. They will conclude by showing their results in a performance/exhibition to their peers, families and communities.

The Arts become fuel for communicating sustainability.


“My Hood” as the center of the world for children

Essential for leaning is the students’ local community – their neighborhood or “my hood” in colloquial terms. In the eyes of children their hood is the center of the world.

“My Hood” is a real hood, but it must also be the students’ imagination on their future “hood”. In CICLO, the focus is the imagination and the creativity which can be generated through the arts on “my hood”.

The “hood” is a common thread across all the schools involved in CICLO across the four countries. Reflecting on your own “hood” and learning about the “hood” in other communities and countries is central.

Read an example from Børnekulturhus Ama’rs draft to the book “Our hood – the beach, Architecture and design”.


Intercultural learning: Mutual respect and recognition

From the classroom it is possible to explore the knowledge, the opportunities, the adventures and the experiences of the twinning with students in another country who are also exploring how “to make my hood sustainable” through arts education has to offer.

The values in intercultural learning – including an open mind, mutual tolerance and respect – are a good foundation of a successful teamwork and trust in cooperation across borders, subjects and cultures.

In CICLO, intercultural learning can be viewed from a double perspective: Firstly, the students’ encounter with artists and addressing sustainability through the arts, secondly, they encounter a foreign group of students and a foreign artist via the internet.

Mutual respect and recognition of each other’s differences is essential for all participants of CICLO. It is important to note that all statements and thoughts shared in the classroom are expressed in a cultural and local context. The overall intention is to communicate results discovered in the classroom. In this respect, the students’ work must be acknowledged as a local contribution, as the point is to communicate and share the local context and culture to the receiving group outside this local context in another country and culture. From this starting point, the students can successfully explore the local culture and society of their counterparts.

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