Over the past three years, CCE has been successfully working with the Plades Foundation in Frutillar, Chile, to develop and deliver a Creative Schools initiative. As part of the assessment process in this and other international programmes, CCE has been using an app developed by The Center for the Development of Inclusion Technologies (CEDETI) of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The app invites children to play a selection of games. Their performance in the games is used to assess their Executive Functions (EFs). EFs include inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility and it is CCE’s belief that the practices deployed within our creative learning programmes help children and young people develop their EFs, with the most positive results being seen in children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Through our testing of children and young people across the globe, we have been able to create benchmark figures and establish the norms which we would expect to see as EFs develop in children. Without interventions, EFs improve over time and the international data shows a fairly consistent rate of improvement. In Frutillar, we are delighted to see that the practices that have been adopted within the Creative Schools programme have led to an improvement in EF scores above the norms we have seen elsewhere. The graph below shows the results from testing children from a private school (Kopernikus) and schools from disadvantage backgrounds, all of which have been part of the Creative Schools initiative in Frutillar. International research would predict that pupils in the private school to have a higher EF scores at the start than the pupils in the public schools and that is what we found. Over period of the project, the scores of the children in both the public private school improved at the same rate, but in both cases at a much faster rate than we would expect from the international data we have collected.