Code of Care Chair

How a school contributed to the public social debate using creativity

Annie Jeppesen, Head Teacher at the Bifrost school

'The purpose of the Bifrost school's involvement in the project, was the desire to give children the opportunity to directly be part of the public debate and make a decision about the values of social responsibility. Not only through the small and up close, but also the big picture. At the same time the project was part of our values at the Bifrost school, including the fact that art can be something special in relation to learning. We believe that the aesthetic learning process is linked to the fact that the students must learn personal and social skills and learn to take care of themselves and the society that they are part of'.

 

Tina Ovesen, Teacher at the Bifrost school

'We wanted to give the school's oldest students an insight and practical experience in the innovative workflow and its project management. Therefore, we gave them leadership responsibility in the groups of their younger schoolmates. Before starting, we prepared them for the task through a thorough introduction to the project's objectives and its schedule, including our expectations regarding their role and abilities to create motivating sense of community in the groups'.

 

FACTS

About the student's roles in the project:

Year 8-9 had the responsibility of project leaders. 

Year 3-7 were performing the activities.

The students from year 8 and year 9 say: 

'The project made sense to us, because it makes sense to others - unlike other times where the focus is on ourselves and the process itself ... in this case the actual product is important.'

 

When art and social debate are on the school curriculum

The Bifrost school is a Danish school which focuses on community-related education. Therefore, the school participated in a large-scale event in 2013 leading up to the CSR Awards that year.

The event, called 'Code of Care Chair', was organized by the non-profit organization, Code of Care. They work to encourage companies in Denmark to take greater social responsibility for people who are outside the labour market.

The idea was to decorate a chair for every thousand unemployed people who, in that year, fell outside the labour market due to mental or physical reasons. There was a total of 543 chairs.

Many people showed their support by decorating chairs for the event; politicians, artists and schools. All the chairs were sold at auction after the presentation to the public, from which all the funds donated went towards the work for the promotion of greater social responsibility in Danish companies.

The Bifrost school contributed 20 chairs, decorated creatively by children with their own reflections on social responsibility.

The school's students were given roles in the project. The Year 8-9 had the responsibility of project leaders, whilst the Year 3-7 were creatively performing the activities

 

The practical progress of the project

 

The orientation phase: 

The children were introduced to the event, 
'Code of Care Chair'. 

The phase included visual inspiration and the school's expectations for the quality of  the process as well as the results. They worked together to choose and write down the keywords for the overall message.

The design phase: 
In each group, the children told each other about the feelings they each wanted to promote about social responsibility, and they drew and coloured in at least one proposal each for the group's chair. In addition, they reflected on the choice of technique, materials and the message that might be included. After this, the group selected the best chair.

The production phase: 
​Each group worked together to complete their own chair. In addition, the groups wrote an eloquent, Haiku-inspired poem about their decoration. 

Exhibition preview / event:  
​An exhibition preview (or a kind of dress rehearsal) was held at the school prior to the presentation of the groups' finished chairs at the official event, where the children's performance etc. was 'polished' to look their best.