International Journal of Art & Design Education

5x5x5 = Creativity in the Early Years

Volume 23.3   2004



5x5x5 = Creativity in the Early Years has involved five early years settings, five artists and five cultural centres working in partnership to support young children (3-6 years) in their exploration, communication and expression of creative ideas. This year-long research project has been inspired by the approach to education and the creative arts in early years settings in Reggio Emilia, Northern Italy. The three aims have been evaluated, they were: to demonstrate ways in which creativity and innovation can be fostered in and with young children; to influence early years educational practice by establishing creativity as an essential foundation of early learning; and to share findings as widely as possible, creating a legacy for the future. This article examines the collaborative processes between artists, educators and cultural centres as they worked with young children using a creative and reflective cycle. The underpinning principles and the role of professional development have been essential to the success of the project. Findings show that careful observations and documentation of children’s words will provide insight into their ideas and understandings. As adults it is our role to facilitate and support children’s depth of learning: by respecting children and taking time to make observations and connections with the children’s thinking, we can refine our own efforts in supporting their learning more effectively.