A Different Light
Allens Croft Infant School and Bright Space CIC, Birmingham
(March – September 2009)
I developed an experimental and open ended action research project involving ten children from Reception Class, their teacher and a Creative Agent from Bright Space CIC. Together we agreed to research the impacts of an open ended enquiry on children and to experiment with the school’s built environment over the course of five days. Our enquiry was also shaped by the teacher’s recent trip to Reggio Emila.
On the first day I transformed a space adjoining the classroom into a studio and stocked it with carefully chosen drawing materials and taped paper to the floor and walls. The teacher and I observed the children from the moment they entered the space and took photographs of their creative processes intervening only when the children asked for help or when we wanted to introduce something new. At the end of each day the teacher and I discussed our observations with each other which informed my planning for the next session. At the beginning every day we shared our documentation with the children. This process opened up many questions for the teacher about their practice including how can open ended experimentation be adapted to a whole class situation? I produced A Different Light – Reflections on Devising Projects and Open Ended Processes, specifically to capture our processes and children’s responses in order to support the teacher in implementing what we learnt with her class after the project finished.