LAKU Project

Cooperation project of Culture and Early Childhood Education 2017–2019

The purpose of the project is to create a permanent cultural cooperation structure and cultural education plan for all children attending early childhood education in Espoo. The project seeks new operating models that support the fulfilment of Espoo’s early childhood education plan. The operating models are developed in close cooperation with Early Childhood Education and experts in the field of art and culture.

The project aims to help cultural actors in developing their offering so that new art-oriented operating forms are created alongside the traditional forms of audience-centred work to be applied in early childhood education. The realisation of the emphases included in the new national early childhood education plan requires support from cultural actors and new operating models. The goal is not only to strengthen art experiences and gain basic information about performances or exhibitions; the key idea is that cultural actors can support the goals of the early childhood education plan and help children, for example, in learning to listen, in understanding the act of watching and physicality, in understanding the surrounding world and seeing cultural heritage in their own local environment.

The project wishes to dispel the idea of art and culture as elitist activities and, instead, to link art with playfulness and being silly. Play is a key form of learning to a child in early childhood education. The project can, in its own part, introduce playfulness with the help of art and culture to the learning environments and operating culture of early childhood education. The project aims to shake off the current nature of cultural contents tied to a specific location. The duration and continuation of art content in the everyday day-care centre activities should be included in the basic idea of operations.

Principles

  • Involvement of children
  • Observing cultural diversity in cultural contents
  • High pedagogic quality
  • Equality between children, groups and areas
  • Combining cultural contents to other operations and to form entities
  • Playfulness and being silly
  • Linking to the goals of the early childhood education plan
  • Promoting a sense of community with families and in the areas
  • Observing the everyday life at day-care centres

Project progression

The project was launched in autumn 2017; since then, the planning group has promoted the project. The group comprises representatives of culture, Finnish Early Education and Swedish-language Education Services. The Chair is Kaisa Koskela from the Cultural Unit. The planning group drives forward a new way of planning the cultural education model. The project also has a steering group: Susanna Tommila (Chair), Virpi Mattila, Barbro Högström, Raija Laine, Jaana Särmälä, Tiina Kasvi and Kaisa Koskela (Secretary).

During autumn 2018 and early 2019, the project will pilot new cultural education models. The pilots will be monitored and assessed in many different ways. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and thesis writers from Metropolia and Humak University of Applied Sciences will participate in the assessment.

Pilot projects

New, innovative operating models will be piloted during practices within the project. In autumn 2018 and early 2019, pilots will be implemented in total in 27 day-care centres in cooperation with seven cultural actors. In addition, the project will pilot educator training with the Finnish National Opera and Ballet and Helinä Rautavaara Museum.
The success of the pilots will be assessed and discussed in theses and with the help of an assessment produced by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Pilots at early childhood education units:

  • EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, groups: Luhtaniitty day-care centre, Tuomarila day-care centre, Kungsgård day-care centre
  • Espoo City Museum, groups: Puutarhuri day-care centre, Laaksolahti day-care centre, Yläkartano day-care centre, Mattberget day-care centre
  • Art House Pikku-Aurora, groups: Tillinmäki day-care centre
  • Metka Centre for Media Education, groups: Westendinpuisto day-care centre, Kepeli day-care centre, Taimitarha day-care centre
  • Glims & Gloms dance company, groups: Nupuri day-care centre, Kuninkainen day-care centre, Eestinmetsä day-care centre, Nuottakunta day-care centre, Silkkiniitty day-care centre
  • Tapiola Sinfonietta, groups: Hösmärinpuisto day-care centre, Kauklahti day-care centre, Ajurinmäki day-care centre, Lintumetsä day-care centre, Opinmäki day-care centre
  • Theatre Hevosenkenkä, groups: Suvela day-care centre, Aurora day-care centre, Eestinmalmi day-care centre, Lystimäki day-care centre, Koivumankkaa day-care centre, Kilonpuiston lastentalo open day-care centre

Enquiries

Kaisa Koskela, Project Coordinator / Cultural Unit 
kaisa.k.koskela@espoo.fi or tel. 040 190 8254

Jaana Särmälä, Finnish Early Education
jaana.sarmala@espoo.fi or tel. 050 591 3421