In early August I was invited to Shenzhen, China as the external consultant for the Fun Drawing company. Fun Drawing specialises in pre-school art, design and creative classes for students between the ages of 4-12 years. Fun Drawing have over 20 years experience in the field of creative education and have over 100 schools across the major cites in China.
I spent a week in Shenzhen working directly with Fun Drawing’s research and development team, reviewing current curriculum and teaching methodologies. It was my role to develop approaches to integrate and adapt UK art, design and creative teaching, learning, theories, strategies and approaches into the curriculum.
Across the week, we worked together to develop a range of new projects, looking at the learning styles and interests of the different age groups. The focus was on developing a more holistic approach to skills acquisition and competencies and also greater integration of creative thinking and action based learning, directly linked to UK creative education models and practices.
One area of key research was the identification and use of primary research sources, in the form of integrating gallery and site visits into the programme of study. This led to taking 30 students to the the Team Lab Exhibition and Research Project, in Shenzhen. The exhibition led by a group of artists from Japan focused on the application of digital, interactive light based installation and technology. The drawings produced were then used to instigate a class in the teaching studio, where students expanded on their experiences and drawings through collage, drawing and painting.
This was a extremely exciting, simulating and rewarding experience. I was also able to meet with the children’s parents, over 60% of them had studied in the UK and/or the US and high valued their experience and hoped their children would also have such opportunities in the future.
I’m looking forward to the next stage of the project and the implementation of the newly developed curriculum. I will be returning to Shenzhen in October, to speak at Fun Drawing’s Annual Conference and present the current research and development.