The purpose of the SPEDUCULT-project is to strengthen and expand the SPEDUTEC-network, built in a previous NPHZ project, with the focus on added cultural value, on the one hand, and by further linking it with national and international level multisensory special interest societies and networks, on the other hand. ‘Strengthening’ here refers to increasing our knowledge and understanding of various sociocultural aspects of multisensory environments’ (MSEs) framework in the culturally versatile Nordic and Baltic countries.
Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) can briefly be defined as designated and controlled space designed to alert or calm the person’s senses in order to enhance several purposes like playing, learning, health promotion, rehabilitation and over all increasing quality of life, feeling better and happier. Multisensory framework is part of methodological and practical studies within special education and social studies in higher education. In order to develop forward studies and practices of MSEs’ framework in Nordic and Baltic countries, more researched and documented knowledge, shared experiences, and cross-sectoral networking is needed. Our Nordic-Baltic project co-operation between five countries and nine partner institutions, within an activity framework of five seminars, workshops and survey, shall address these areas.
Activities comprise of the survey of the current MSE’s culture (education, methods & practises), exchange of experiences, and dissemination of the results. The project is also looking for best practices of applied MSEs to provide new practical ideas to design arousal and calming sensory activity. Outcomes of project will be presented at national and international conferences and as a multimedia report.
The SPEDUCULT aims are
- To survey current MSE-cultures on a Nordic-Baltic Level, in order to improve quality and innovation of studies and practices of MSE in systems for lifelong learning: in higher education, in adult education and in special education at primary school in the participating countries.
- To provide new practical ideas for designing sensory activity of arousal and calming with best practices of applied MSEs.
- To strengthen and expand the SPEDUTEC Nordplus Horizontal network with new partners, institutions and organisations.
- To disseminate up-to-date MSE knowledge and practices for a broader audience interested in MSEs in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
- Häme University of Applied Sciences, Education and Research Center for Wellbeing (FI-HAMK) (coordinator)
- The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (NO-AHO)
- Lund University, Certec (SE-LU)
- City of Helsinki, Department of Social and Health Care, Services for the Disabled (FI-Services for the Disabled)
- Käo Basic School (EE-Käo Basic School)
- Via University College (DK-VIA)
- ISNA-mse International snoezelen association-multi sensory environment (DK-ISNA-mse)
- City of Gothenburg, Eldorado (SE-Eldorado)
- NTNU- Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NO-NTNU)
The Kick-off meeting, was held in Oslo, Norway 21.-23.11.2017. The program was designed to provide all participants understanding of the Norwegian way to understand multisensory environments (MSEs) and the theoretical background of that in connection with the Nature. Both AHO and NTNU offer special knowledge and previous experience of designing the pedagogical and co-creative use of MSE with a lifelong perspective, from children with disabilities, to elderly people with dementia. Both AHO and NTNU values are to contribute to creating a better world, not only through knowledge, but also through its application, design, and motivational use of cultural objects, with focus on the link between technology and the human individual as user, consumer and co-creator of the everyday culture he or she lives in. Technology can be anything from digital-networked to physical materials, music, textile, or combinations, such as smart textiles or interactive computer based sound-toys and networked furnitures in home environments with social media capabilities. The on-site visiting places gave us practical understanding how everything works with real clients from lifelong perspective. We also learned, how deeply sensory arousal and calming down is interwined within nature in Nordic Countries.
The survey of current MSE cultures in Nordic-Baltic countries was done together with partners from each participant country. In looking for the current MSEs cultures in Nordic-Baltic countries, the survey’s main focuses areas were defined as
1) MSE Therapy, Learning & Recreational settings,
2) MSE education of therapists, teachers, designers & other practitioners,
3) Design of MSE services, and
4) MSE collaboration & Network.
The planning was done at monthly online meetings and at Norwegian and Finnish face-to-face meetings.
The survey questionnaire was originally done in English and then translated to Danish, to Estonian, to Finnish, to Norwegian and to Swedish. It was implemented by using the Webropol online survey and analysis tool. In collecting the MSEs information, collaboration was done with the national multisensory societies and networks (Norske Sanserom, Svenska snoezelen nätverket, Snoezelnätverket Södra sverge, Snoezelnet.dk and Suomen multisenso/Papunet). The survey was introduced as a voluntary action to members of the networks and to key persons of these societies and networks. The survey link was sent to the key person of the society or network, who spread the link to members the way it was proper in a network, f.ex. on webpages.
Analysis of the survey results started at the 4th meeting in Estonia Nov 2018. The final results dissemination for the SPEDUCULT partners took place at the 5th meeting in Denmark June 2019.
The second meeting was held in Helsinki-Hämeenlinna area in Finland 6.-8.6.2018. Here is the Helsinki-Hämeenlinna meeting program. The program was designed to provide all participants understanding of the Finnish way to apply multisensory perspective and effects to various learning environments, for example to museums, to calm down or to enrich the environment. In this meaning two site visits were done, first to Theater Museum and another to The Finnish Nature Center. The visit and workshop at the Theater Museum taught how to use low and high tech, clothes, masks and facial expressions to create more efficient learning experiences. The workshop result product was documented as a video to Speducult-project’s facebook: . The Nature Center provided various aspects of natures’s calming environments, processes and effects. At the second day, there was an open half day’s Miniseminar for the broader audience. The Miniseminar, which was streamed online and the documented miniseminar is to seen in youtube now at address. There are also smaller video documentations from the workshop found at the Speducult’s facebook pages.
The third face-to-face seminar and workshop of MSE was held in, Tallinn, Estonia/Baltic, 14.-16.11.2018. Here’s the Tallinn meeting program. The program was designed to provide all participants understanding of the Baltic way to understand multisensory environments (MSEs), activities and environmental aspects that calm down over stimulation or activate sensorial input. We also found out the Baltic connection with the Nature, especially bok has important role in experiencing and establishing multisensory stimulation. From a point of a view of art as a source of multisensory experience, we learned easy hands on artistic activities that are usable with all aged people with sensorial deficiencies.>
The fourth face-to-face seminar and workshop of MSE was held in Scanderborg and Via University of Applied Sciences, Denmark 12.-13.6.2019 with some extra program 14.-15.6.2019. The program was planned and organised by Danish partners from Via University College and ISNA DK. Here is the Danish program. First day was build around National Solund Music Festival, in which we had a small Speducult music project (Speducult participants from Denmark and Finland). We visited Hertha village, where we learned more about how individually chosen daily activities and farming provide source for multisensory experiences and environments.
The fifth and closing face-to-face seminar and workshop of MSE was held in Eldorado, Gothenborg, Sweden 20.-22.11.2019. The program was planned by Eldorado and Lund University partners. Here is the Swedish program. In the beginning of the first day we looked back all previous f-to-f meetings and experienced highlights during the project. Later we learned how Eldorado Music Café provides multisensory environment and experiences within playing, singing and dancing activities. The second day we had a workshop around new Eldorado MSEs. We learned how the best practices learned in previous f-to-f meetings had been applied into the new Eldorado MSEs. In workshops, Speducult partners provided also ideas how to improve the new Eldorado environment and activities even further on.