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ecl in practice


ecl is practical and solution oriented. Results are achieved by working innovatively – finding the difference that will make a difference – and that means using research and enquiry to scan the horizon for new insights, and ensure there is space to be creative. The diagram shows how these three elements – Research, Creativity and Action – combine to form an iterative practice, with each element feeding into and off the other.


There is no one place to start. For instance, practitioners facing issues will often begin with action, using the resources and ideas offered by others, but hopefully giving a little time to reflect on what has happened and sharing their learning and new insights. Academics and researchers will be more interested in generating new theory about the nature and relationship between emotional wellbeing, creativity and learning. Whilst Catalysts will often be interested in taking insights and turning emerging ideas into resources – tools, programmes and innovative interventions.

Together the three aspects form a unique, co-creative practice that supports breakthrough. 

The work of the foundation is based on 2 principles: whole child and whole system, an understanding that education is about so much more that the cognitive and that a child is part of a wider system which includes her family, her community, her culture. The UK department of education has called this approach, ‘a new paradigm in education’. Skilled ecl catalysts work hand in hand with teachers, leaders, parents and care-givers to create learning environments based on these principles.


our Approach 

Co-creation and Play are central to how we work link to Values We encourage catalysts and practitioners to become well skilled in ecl practice but then to mix it with their own practice – creating something fresh and authentic that is fit for purpose in own context. With ecl there are no ‘right’ answers (at the back of the book or otherwise) just an invitation to step into a co-creative process with others to develop fresh approaches to education and care that meet specific needs and make use of new opportunities.

The foundation makes use of a unique innovation process that begins with a breakthrough question, sparked by a pressing issue or inspiring insight, and ends with a breakthrough solution. It is a process that guides action by blending enquiry with creativity, research with development, and importantly uses all our faculties of cognition, emotion and intuition.