A Call for Spaces of Liberated Learning

Sixteen years after the publication of CCI’s first resource, Enemies of Boredom, we are delighted to be sharing a new provocation – A Call for Spaces of Liberated Learning – created by artist writers Gabby Arenge and Emily Dowdeswell. It is offered as a spark for conversations for anyone interested in thinking about creating spaces where children can experience ‘liberated learning’ – spaces for flourishing.

This unique paper sculpture has been designed by artist Susanne Jasilek to be cut and folded and then displayed, to encourage debate and discussion and action. We love sharing this with colleagues so do please email if you like to discuss using this resource with people you work with -  here also is short film of Neil cutting and folding his.

Enemies of Boredom was an evaluation of The Hundred Languages of Children Exhibition and Programme of Events CCI was part of planning. It was a significant milestone for our charity, building connections with many wonderful colleagues we’ve worked with since. In 2020 two colleagues, Gabby and Emily – researchers we had met through ArtScapers and their work at the University of Cambridge - invited people linked to the exhibition to share stories of what had happened since and also to dream with them about the future.

Many conversations later they reflected how:

The principles of Reggio Emilia have planted seeds among our community, and we spoke of how those seeds have grown in different ways. We heard about spaces both real and imagined where children flourish - spaces these people have helped create so often in the past and continue to support today. Their words summoned a space for hopefulness. Since then we’ve been asking how we can make the reflections visible to collectively carry their insights and experiences forward.

Serendipitously, the Journal of Imaginary Research was accepting submissions of new short fictional pieces on the theme of a utopian, a hopeful, a better future. We felt this open-ended prompt aligned with a way of being and thinking that sought careful provocations and minimal instructions.  Our words were published (page 32) by the Journal in November 2020. Next, we described the emergence of this short fictional piece in a special edition of the National Association of Environmental Education (NAEE) Journal, published this month, on creative ways to bring about change for ourselves, our communities and the wider world. Finally, we thought about how to create bridges through simple materials that enfolded our thanks to those who had contributed: something tactile, an activity unfolding that could be both a reminder of how we got to where we are and, for those new to these conversations, a call for where to go in the future.

With thanks to Anna Townley, Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, Idit Nathan, Issam Kourbaj, Jane Chudleigh, Karl Foster, Mandy Swann, Mary Connor, Mary Jane Drummond, Paula Ayliffe, Penny Hay, Robin Duckett, Ruth Sapsed, Sally Todd, Sharon Honig, and Sue Bainbridge.

A Call for Spaces of Liberated Learning