Expert interviews and art statistics
The project New Cultural Horizons tries to find the best inclusive practices for art and culture hobbies and children with special education needs.
– The topic is also on the agenda of the Finnish government, project researcher Satu Piispa-Hakala says.
One aim of the government is to enable a hobby for every Finnish child. That includes also art and culture hobbies. If possible, a hobby should be integrated to school day.
– I’ve started the research by reading a lot of statistics and reports of the work done before on this field. The plan is to interview experts who have developed inclusive practices for children or youth with special education needs, she adds.
It is important to know what North Karelian children, their parents and teachers of art and culture hobbies need for enabling inclusion. Surveys for these groups are implemented during the spring 2020. The results are used for planning several inclusive pilots on the field of art and culture. The next step with the research is to find schools and other organizations for piloting these practices. Before the pilots, there will be special trainings for teachers of art and culture hobbies. This will help in getting the best practices to everyday use.
The expertise and experience of the families and parents of children with special education needs are carefully considered.
– The key-element is the active involvement of children. That means that children take part in planning the action in the group. Also, when they have special education needs, Piispa-Hakala says.