KULT is a nationwide project that has the noble aim of strengthening day-care children's encounter with art and culture both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Exposure to arts and culture is a natural part of a child's early socialisation and a good investment in young children's health and social and cultural development. The benefits of letting children watch art, listen to music, hear stories and experience dance, theatre and heritage education are twofold: The experience itself provides the child with strong, valuable impulses that have value in themselves in the here and now, but which can also inspire new games, stories and activities that - supported by the educator - both bring joy and can be steps on the child's path towards its nearest zone of development (Vygotsky).
Experiencing art and culture can be exhilarating, 'fun' and inspiring. However, if visits to museums, theatres, etc. are to have an impact beyond the 'magical now', children themselves need to be given the opportunity to actively acquire the artistic idioms. The better one masters one's languages (this applies to all forms of language), the more precisely and differentiated one can understand one's world and express oneself about it.
As part of the project KULT Trut&Lut gave a concert in Tumlelunden, Viborg - Watch the film here.
Roles of the educator
As an educator and cultural mediator, you have several roles in relation to the child's cultural encounter. In the KULT project we have a special focus on three of these roles:
- Cultural mediator
The educator introduces the children to art and culture, reads/narrates e.g. fairy tales, goes to the theatre and the museum.
The educator initiates aesthetic activities with the children, such as poetry, fairy tales and theatre for or with them.
The educator supports and facilitates the children's own games and aesthetic activities, for example, setting up an adventure room where the children can play fairy tales, or a workshop where the children can paint, an IT room where the children can make their own stories in, for example, Book Creator, iMovie - or whatever the children's current interests are.
In the Kult project, these roles play out in three phases:
- The inspiration phase (impulse, moodiness)
- The experience phase (art and culture meeting)
- The processing phase (immersion)
From impression to expression
Between impressions and expression, the child's experiences are transformed into knowledge and identity through an aesthetic medium. In plain English, this means that the child who, through the educator, becomes interested in Vikings, for example, and who then experiences the Viking exhibition directly in order to finally process the experience through play, drawing, storytelling, singing, etc. (aesthetic media) in the educator's setting, acquires new knowledge and skills in the field. In this way, the child comes to see himself as someone who knows and can do something about the theme of Vikings, which stimulates his identity development. When this is achieved, it will subsequently be reflected in the child's games and (self-)stories, regardless of the medium.
The model below is best understood by imagining a concrete experience:
There is a circus in town, the institution has received some free tickets, and the educator, as an impulse giver, has talked about what circus is, shown photos, played circus music and a few days before the performance taken the children to the site to look at the tents and animals (inspiration phase).
After the performance (experience phase) and back in the institution, the children are allowed to draw what they found most exciting about the circus: their impressions (processing phase). In dialogue with the teacher, who also helps with the technical aspects of drawing, the children gradually express their impressions of the circus. Through the medium of drawing, the impressions gradually reach their 'final felt form' and the children are satisfied. However, the form is no more 'final' than it can be repeated and perhaps improved on a later occasion.