A Holistic Pedagogical Practice from Finland – new publication

Activating creativities by emphasising health and wellbeing: a Holistic Pedagogical practice from Finland

Book chapter written by Kristóf Fenyvesi, Christopher S. Brownell, Jukka Sinnemäki and Zsolt Lavicza

Published in the book:

Sculpting New Creativities in Primary Education

Edited by Pam Burnard and Michelle Loughrey

This chapter describes a creative and innovative pedagogical approach that has been developed within the Finnish education system. This approach focuses on the co-authoring and development of primary school learners’ wellbeing, including physical and mental health. We describe this approach using a series of short narratives that centre on the everyday classroom practice of one Finnish teacher, Jukka Sinnemäki. The examples concentrate on the sculpting of the learning process and the environment, and weave together a developmental narrative to highlight the importance of the slow and careful emergence of a classroom learning community that emphasises safety, respect and concern for its members. We describe how the students and their teacher have transformed their school environment to reflect their individual and collective needs, skills, emotional capacities and values. The goal of this creative process is to maximise each of the students’ full potential and support them in finding motivation and joy in learning and life; in short, to flourish. The examples will show how, over a 20-year career, Sinnemäki left traditional school hierarchies behind to focus on sculpting a thriving children’s community of learners, including their physical capacities, personalities and identities.

The book Sculpting New Creativities in Primary Education introduces the new term ‘creativities’ with cutting edge examples of creativities research that has influenced the thinking and work of teachers and school leaders in their practice. Co-edited by one of the leading international experts in creativity and the arts, this book is packed with imaginative ideas and practical classroom suggestions underpinned by theory and research to help teachers become research-informed and research-generating.

Sculpting New Creativities in Primary Education will inspire us, invite us to think, and share ways in which research is informing and enabling a role for new and creative practices in primary education.

About the Editors

Pam Burnard is Professor of Arts, Creativities and Educations at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She Chairs the University of Cambridge Arts and Creativities Research Group and is co-editor-in-chief of the international journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity.

Michelle Loughrey is a successful teacher and education leader with over two decades’ experience working in education, leading schools most recently as Headteacher. As an educational consultant she provides skilled coaching and strategic support to individuals, teams, schools and trusts.

More about the book here.

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