From 2013–2017, Oppland County Municipality implemented Creative Partnership, a programme that brings artists into the school for long collaborations with a teacher and a student group, in schools in the county. The initiative arose as a continuation of the support scheme Kriblemidler (funds intended to stimulate tingling or thrill in schools) within The Cultural Rucksack, and was created with inspiration and support from Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) and its program Creative Partnerships in England.
Following completion of the programme, the project leaders became interested in the Art of Learning project CCE was running in Scotland in a partnership with Education Scotland, Creative Scotland and CEDETI, a research institute at Pontifical Catholic University in Chile, with funding provided by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. After visiting Scotland the research pilot was launched. This research pilot studied what possible improvement of executive functions (EF) an implementation of a 12-week, rich, art-based learning program called The Art of Learning (AoL) might bring to the children involved.
After going through all collected qualitative and quantitative data, the results clearly indicate that a curriculum using the arts as method over time is beneficial for the development of EF in children. The group of children who took part in the AoL had a significantly better development of their EF than the control group. Additionally, schools report that their classes have become better at cooperation, the children have fewer conflicts amongst each other, and the children are able to keep track throughout longer conversations than before. They also report children feeling safer in their class and groups where everyone feels included. Teachers also report how the pupils have improved their vocabulary and some teachers feel that life as a teacher has become easier.