Using the Creative Arts to Improve Teaching and Learning
Pre-service teachers need to experience innovative and imaginative teaching and learning at the tertiary level if they are to feel empowered to change transmissive educational practices that often exist in primary schools. This longitudinal study analyses one unit of study offered in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) program in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. The unit, Integrating the Creative Arts, aimed to challenge final year, primary education student teachers to explore the use of arts practice and pedagogy in imaginative and unfamiliar ways. Course content was negotiated with the student teachers and included such innovative strategies as 'interpreting our own space' (Allen, 2002), 'collage as metaphor' (McDermott, 2005) and 'creative teaching as improvisational performance'(Sawyer, 2005). Implementing such a unit of study has not been without its challenges since it was first offered in 2002! The paper discusses and evaluates the evolution of such a unit of study from the perspectives of the teachers, the students and the primary schools involved.
Keywords: Creative arts, Teaching and learning, Tertiary context
Asst. Prof Robyn Gibson
Senior lecturer, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney
Dr. Robyn Ann Ewing
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney