Negotiating the enactment of the arts curriculum in early years classrooms: Opening spaces to reveal other ways of knowing

Presentation


Watson, Marthy. 2022. "Negotiating the enactment of the arts curriculum in early years classrooms: Opening spaces to reveal other ways of knowing." Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2022 Annual Conference. Adelaide, South Australia 27 Nov - 01 Dec 2022 Australia. Australian Association for Research in Education.
Paper/Presentation Title

Negotiating the enactment of the arts curriculum in early years classrooms: Opening spaces to reveal other ways of knowing

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsWatson, Marthy
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the Annual International Australian Association for Research in Education Conference 2022 (AARE 2022)
Year2022
PublisherAustralian Association for Research in Education
Place of PublicationAustralia
Web Address (URL) of Conference Proceedingshttps://www.aare.edu.au/news/save-the-date-aare-2022-annual-conference/
Conference/EventAustralian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2022 Annual Conference
Event Details
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) 2022 Annual Conference
Delivery
In person
Event Date
27 Nov 2022 to end of 01 Dec 2022
Event Location
Adelaide, South Australia
Event Venue
University of South Australia
Event Web Address (URL)
Abstract

The arts are deeply suited to assisting young children in understanding their world, offering opportunities for creative ways to explore divergence and diversity. Greene (2001) posits that students in the arts should be exposed to hands-on learning, thereby opening spaces to create authentic conversations, dialogue, and critical thinking that provokes questioning. Moreover, shared memories and a place where students can speak in their "own idioms" (p. 274) should be part of the curriculum. However, the marginalisation of the arts and the increasing pressure to privilege the academic efforts of literacy and numeracy in schools consign students' arts experiences to the margins. The paper traces the investigation of how the Australian Curriculum: The Arts F - 10 is enacted in Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms in Queensland. Using the reflective arts-based lens of a/r/tography, the project involved 30 urban, rural and remote primary schools across Queensland. Classroom and specialist arts teachers were interviewed to look inward and reflect on their lived and not yet imagined experiences of the enactment of the arts curriculum in their classrooms. The collection of artefacts created by teachers and their students also gave insight into learning, teaching and the place of the arts in schools. The paper reports on the identification of a diverse range of responses that points to the complexity of integrating the arts strands to deliver an authentic curriculum. Issues such as the lack of curriculum support in schools and workforce retention in rural areas were cited as hindrances to the enactment of the curriculum. However, a collaboration between teachers led to contagious practice and was evident in student responses. The research adds to a greater understanding and appreciation of the application of the Australian Arts curriculum in schools. In particular, it adds to the identification of critical success factors for its implementation for teachers, schools and curriculum writers. The research findings enable teachers to identify, build on, and improve student outcomes and work towards a strengthened collective effort for improvements when practising the arts in schools.

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ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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