Arts Education Research and the Australian Context
While many would argue for the richness and complexity of learning in the arts context, arts eductaors and researchers alike conclude that learning in the arts has value beyond the specific arts subjects thmselves. Studies such as Champions of Change (Fiske, 1999), Reviewing Education and the Arts Project (REAP) (Hetland & Winner, 2001), Critical Links (Deasy, 2002) and the recent Evaluation of School-based Arts Education Programmes in Australian Schools (ACER, 2004) have indicated that important cognitive and social processes and capabilities are developed in arts learning experiences. As a result, such research has raised the awareness of the potential for the arts to enhance learning both in the arts thmselves and across the curriculum. Moreover, the evidecne suggests that this is particularly poternt for those students who are at-risk, disengaged and/or underachieving. This paper highlights the paucity of arts education research in Australia and argues that there is an urgent need for substantial studies into the impact of arts education within the Australian context.
Keywords: Arts education research, Social and academic benefits, Australian context
Asst. Prof Robyn Gibson
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney
Dr Michael Anderson
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney