REGION: Faroe Islands
DAILY OFFER: Daytime activities inside Gøtu

Short story: Daginstutitionen inni á Gøtu (2022)

- How have you experienced the co-creation between artist/cultural educator/cultural school teacher, educators and children and possibly researcher?

From the start, we have agreed on how the adults behave, who is actively involved in the dance and who takes care of the children who are "cautious" and who and how do we deal with the children who do not want to participate. We have decided that in principle everyone can participate, however, no one should be pressured to participate, but we want everyone to be in the room where the "workshop" takes place.

We have learned that it is important for staff to be actively participating, while at the same time distributing the staff so that some sit with the children who are not active.

This has been a good strategy, as the entire staff group has had an "active" role, being in the room and watching the children get used to the activities in the "workshops".

Participants agree that the "artist workshop" was the most important "workshop" in the program. It was where the adults got to test themselves. The artist got to try out his ideas and dances. The staff got to test themselves in dance and movement. The staff also got to experience what happens to us when someone is not active and participating. It became clear that the adults need to coordinate with each other so that everyone knows what each other is doing. It was also important that they tested the materials and found out what works, what they had at the institution and what they needed to get.

This was crucial to ensure that when they were with the children, they were able to concentrate on supporting the children to have a good experience.

The action learning principle has been crucial for co-creation. We have reflected on the activities and talked about the development of children and staff. There are several stories of children who have moved from just wanting to sit with an adult and observe, to having the courage to participate in the dance/play. There are also stories of staff who were more involved in the "artist's workshop" than with the children. And a story about a child who had sat with the staff for the first 2 days, but on the 3rd day the child did not want to participate at first, but when the staff followed their own desire and chose to participate, the child gained courage and desire and joined in the play/dance.

There are also children who previously didn't play or talk to each other, but have now made contact and shown interest in each other.

- How have children's perspectives been expressed/included?

Most children were interested and wanted to participate. They watched and copied the artist. They looked at each other, laughed and had fun together.

It also happened that a kindergarten child took/was allowed to lead the dance and both children and adult followed the child in its dance and movement.

- Do children play different games and with different people than usual?

Yes, we see this in both nursery and kindergarten. Imagination has become a bigger part of play.

- How do pedagogical staff act differently than they did before PlayArt?

The staff have been inspired to play more with dance and imagination. They have seen the fun and joy they have gained together. They have become more confident and dare to be more "loose" and free in their work

- What has it been like to work with action learning?

It's fantastic. The pedagogical processes have become clearer.

It has become more evident that - we are more free and happy in our work, as the work set is clear and time is set aside to reflect, test and prepare on a weekly basis and together in the staff group.

- To the artist/cultural mediator/cultural school teacher, if present: What have you gained from participating in PlayArt?

It has been super interesting. It's great to work only with process, without focusing on product. Not having to "perform" is great, especially nowadays in modern society.

I was very nervous working with such small children, especially nursery children. I have learned that nursery children don't cry as much as I thought and that teachers dare to sing loudly.

That structure is important. That everyone knows their job and that we help each other execute the plan, even if there are staff shortages or stormy weather.

That it has been good to meet twice a week.

I've learned that what you're afraid of, you can come to love - I've learned to love working with nursery children and have plans to start something privately in that area.

How great it is when everyone holds up their end of the bargain.

This has been an amazing process - a gift to me.

- What are the pedagogical staff still/now curious about?

The kindergarten is curious about what it takes to get the children who have stayed on the fringes involved. One of the staff members has "held the fort" for the children who did not dare to engage in fantasy play, dance and movement. In the kindergarten, they will continue to investigate what they can do/change so that these children can also find the joy of fantasy play, dance and movement.

They will also try to see what will happen if they sit down to draw after playing with imagination, dance and movement.

The kindergarten will try working in smaller groups of children to see if it has an impact on the "cautious" children

The nursery will stick to singing and dancing more in their daily life. They will use more music, dance and movement.

It has become clear to the staff in the nursery that preparation has a big impact on the success of the activity. The fact that the entire staff knows the pedagogical work set-up, their role and knows what needs to happen and what they need to do, frees the staff and allows them to be more "loose" and spontaneous in their everyday work.

- How will you use art, culture and aesthetic processes in the further process?

We will stick with the action learning model, as we have seen how good a pedagogical tool it is. It has also highlighted the importance of a clear common pedagogical mindset, preparation, planned activity, reflection and adjustment before the next course.

We will work more around child groups.

We will try painting/drawing after the activities

We want to dance more outside.

Maybe use pictures and video to see/clarify how we/the children experience themselves in the activities.

- What points for attention should we take forward?

Making time for joint meetings with the action learning model as a starting point.

We will also look at the groups of children - perhaps introducing joint activities for the oldest in the nursery and the youngest in the kindergarten.

- Other comments:

It has been good to have the workshop twice a week (Monday and Wednesday). Wednesday was better as the children were more tired on Monday