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Creative Learning - Fundamental not Ornamental


Creativity across the global education landscape is considered a fundamental skill that will help future generations thrive. It can support young people to be more engaged in learning by fostering imagination and curiosity. Potentially more impactful, it can ensure that they find learning meaningful by connecting learning with the world around them as well as things they care about. After formal education ends, creativity is valued as the most desirable ability from employers, even above mathematical and logical reasoning (World Economic Forum).

Creative Learning

Access to high-quality creative education is critical for all our young people. Access to creative education is particularly important for children from low-income backgrounds who may only have opportunities to engage with arts and culture through their schools. Studies show that children who do not have access to arts and culture are at a disadvantage both economically and educationally in comparison with those that do. A system which means that only more privileged young people are able to access arts and culture does a disservice both to those young people who suffer as a result, and to a society that believes in the importance of social mobility and equality of opportunity.

Creative Industries The creative industries deliver economic, social and reputational value. They add over £100bn to the UK’s economy and are growing at twice the rate of the general economy. The sector employs more than two million people and expects to create one million more jobs by 2030.

Beyond these economic benefits, the creative industries continue to tackle regional inequalities, build communities, and enable individuals to lead lives that are happier, healthier, more sociable, and enriched through access to the arts, culture and creativity.

There is enormous potential to go further. Despite their great successes, our creative industries are often under-capitalised, suffer from skills shortages that impede growth, and are hampered by a lack of diversity and unequal access to the opportunities that organisations and individuals need to reach their full potential.

While talent and creativity can be found everywhere, access to the money and networks needed to succeed cannot. The result is lost opportunities for individuals and communities as well as a cost to the national economy.

Creativity and the Arts

A Social Mobility Commission study reported that children aged 10 to 15 from low-income families are three times less likely than wealthier peers to engage in out-of-school creative activities.

So Articulate’s work focuses on creative habits of mind. We use the arts as a stepping-stone to creativity, a high value commodity in the workplace of the future, not just in the cultural landscape or the creative industries.

We have worked hard in the last three years to understand what we can do to help and now focus on these key themes:

· 16 industry- and art-forms are employed to benefit marginalised young Scots

· arts education, creative learning and cultural practices, including digital, are prioritised

· all ages and stages of child development are supported

· an asset-based, person-centred and relational values approach is core

· Social Pedagogy and creative learning pedagogies combine

· practice is rooted in evidence and research, including around arts and neuro-science

· the teaching artists are of the highest calibre and their approach is trauma-informed

· creative voice is nurtured for social, educational and economic improvement (artivism)

· programmes are built upon the UNCRC, specifically articles 12, 29 and 31

· high value is placed on quality, authentic co-design with partners and participants.

At Articulate, we see creativity as crucial to solving problems both small and large. Whether personal challenges or those that impact billions, creative solutions are in high demand.

Creativity is also a mindset that helps children (and adults) adapt, no matter what happens. We believe that every child is creative, and that ability can be improved as they, and we, all grow.

Written for University of the West of Scotland’s Centre for Culture, Sport and Events blog - February 2020

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