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Vision Forum, Linköpings universitet, Karolinska institutet together with their partners Integritat in Mexico City and Asociación de Colegios Privados in Guatemala City are organizing a series of workshop and public events in Mexico, Guatemala and Sweden in the near future. The project draws together international artists, musicians and neuroscientists for a meetings to reflect on the relationship between learning and how science and art have similar roots.

There is a growing understanding and recognition of the power of children’s early thinking and learning as well as a belief that science may be a particularly important domain in early childhood, serving not only to build a basis for future scientific understanding but also to build important skills and attitudes for learning. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that the difference between is very small between what is “science” and what is “artistic investigation” in a contemporary sense when the education has a “child-centered” approach where children get to formulate their own ideas and questions. Can children who grow up in poverty develop better if they are engaged in scientific and artistic discovery at an early age?

The project investigates how contemporary art and science together can help children in Central America to develop important skills including: language, working with one another, motor control and mathematical understanding. The reality of a both a good science and art curriculum is that certain phenomena and basic concepts are determined by the teacher. Once a phenomenon is introduced and children begin their explorations, their questions may guide much of what follows. The project sets out to understand how a parallel art and science curriculum can support poor children in Guatemala

The benefits of dialogues between art and science has a long and well-documented history practically as well as philosophically and economically. With the increased specialisation in both disciplines these meeting become increasingly important. However, the difference in language, methodology and pressure on visible results endangers the dialogues. Both our experiences and preliminary studies in learning suggests that children’s discovery of the world retain a “global” aspect where the discovery of art and science is relatively similar. The project will develop this understanding further and will investigate the individual and common roots in children’s curiosity and desire to discover the world by allowing a group of artists and researchers to both work with children and to revisit their own childhood experiences in order to see if this opens for a better understanding and starting points for interdisciplinary dialogues. The project specially focuses on the similarity in formulation of “hypothesis” and “problem formulation” as well as the projected satisfaction when the project is completed.

In the long term the project aspires to create better opportunities for poor children in Central America to create better lives for themselves and through that fight poverty and create a more equal society. This will be implicated through a better education by means simple, cost efficient and creative art and science exercises being incorporated into their curriculum.

The project will also create a better understanding how artist and scientists can dialogue and work together by investigating their common roots in childhood experiences and by revisiting these by allowing artists and scientists work together with educators both from Europe and Central America.
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