Why did you choose to focus on co-creation with children?
We see children as the creators of world citizens. Therefore, it is imperative to give the children's perspectives and active participation in our common world a more central place. Children's understandings and ways of acquiring knowledge and being in the world can be learned by adults, just as children learn from their interactions with adults all the time. We want to make room for childrens playful and flexible approaches to the world, and for children and adults to explore together. We believe that co-creation with children is a way to a better life and society in the Capital of Children.
What are the key conclusions of the research report?
Adults must explore the child's perspectives through a playful, experimental and exploratory approach to the world, where the adult takes the perspectives of children and actively plays a co-educational role in relation to the child, where they explore something together.
Co-creation with children has an intrinsic value because it is fun, educational and challenging for children and adults to create something together and share a cause.
Co-creation is a way of achieving deeper learning because the child learns more and remembers better if the child is engaged and active in acquiring knowing and experiencing more directly and physical through interaction with others and with the substance and matter. Co-creation is therefor a challenge to goal-directed learning ans is instead placing more focus on the development of the '21st. century skills. "
Do you have any concrete examples of where co-creation between children and adults has succeeded?
Yes, we have several examples of daycare facilities and schools in Billund Builds who have incorporated co-creation as a method to get the children's perspectives and investigative approaches to the world or to a problem, more actively with play. For example, some daycare providers saw how children aged 1-2 years were deeply concerned with researching materials and building animals of these materials in a playful, investigative and creative way that was not controlled by the adults, but by the children's own preoccupation and inspiration from others - and facilitated with the support of the adults who had not previously experienced the children so concentrated and persistent in the process.
Do you have a good advice if an educator or a parent want to be better at co-creating?
Follow the children's perspective. Be curious and non-judgmental about children's perspectives and ways of exploring the world. Follow the child and see it from their perspectives and engage with the opportunities. Grab the child's invitation and invite the child into a joint exploratory process and activity.
Try it out and use co-creation as a methodical habit in the everyday life. Creation only happens by doing so. You become clearer about what and how to try your best - and the roles become more familiar and safe, so you can have both short and long co-creative processes. The more you do it, the more fun it gets.
What will be the next projects for CoC Playful Minds in relation to co-creation with children?
Doing it in practice and doing it more in our programs and projects. From there, we need to gather experience and share knowledge so that we can practice it with children and young people - and other adults in Billund. We also need to become clear about the effect of co-creation. So there is a lot to address. The next thing is that we:
- Continuously expand our toolbox with methods of co-creation
- Expand our understanding and facilitation of co-creation with examples and narratives on how co-creation can be done and how it works
- Invite children, young people, parents, daycare centers, schools, associations, companies, etc. to test co-creation and to share knowledge and experiences
- Gather more knowledge through evaluation and feedback
- Develop methods, models and knowledge through further research in co-creation with Aarhus University and Aalborg University, among others