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What the arts teach and how it shows (in the time of COVID-19)


Selkrig, M and Coleman, K and MacDonald, AJ, What the arts teach and how it shows (in the time of COVID-19), Professional Voice, 13, (2) pp. 31-41. ISSN 1445-4165 (2020) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

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The place and role of the arts within school curriculum (and more broadly in society) has always been and remains fragile and contested (Selkrig & Bottrell, 2018). As we have re-positioned ourselves, readied our classrooms and laptops for a return to another term in stage 3 lockdown, we can again feel the weight on the arts to provide the play, wellbeing and creative space to support the anxieties and fears of students and their families across our schools. Our fragility is clearly manifested in this time of COVID-19 where, while living in a state that prides itself as the arts and cultural centre of the nation, the arts sector in Victoria closed rapidly, had a short stint at opening up and again has had to close the doors. The arts in 2020 have found themselves in dire straits, with artists and arts workers across industries continuing to wonder what the future of the arts could be like post-covid. While we have seen small glimpses of a new normal for the arts between stage 3 first round and stage 3 second round, it is still the arts that buoy us with care and empathy as we head back into lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne. There is ample evidence from various parts of the world (including Australia) that highlight the value and benefits of the arts and arts rich learning environments for young people before and during COVID-19. Despite this, the arts can become diminished in school settings due to competing demands on time and space.

During this health crisis, there appears to be a heightened awareness and appreciation of the arts. In this article, we return to a key thinker in the field of arts education, Elliot Eisner (2002) and a seminal work authored by him. We use his work to reflect on and consider what the arts have taught and shown us in guiding us through times of uncertainty, while keeping us hopeful and reinforcing why there is the necessity for the arts within the school curriculum. Throughout the article we have linked and connected to various examples of how arts learning experiences are being offered by our communities. These hyperlinks serve as resources for you to explore how the arts, arts education and artists are supporting each other such as this Art Education Australia link: collaborative digital learning and teaching space.

Item Details

Item Type:Professional, Non Refereed Article
Keywords:visual art, art education, COVID19, teaching in crises, remote learning
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Teacher education and professional development of educators
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:MacDonald, AJ (Dr Abbey MacDonald)
ID Code:140462
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2020-08-19
Last Modified:2020-11-13
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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