Arts learning to light up young minds in the classroom

13 February 2023

As children settle into a new school year free from COVID-19 lockdowns and online learning' CQUniversity arts researcher Dr Linda Lorenza will take a look into Australian classrooms to identify how arts learning contributes to students' and families' re-engagement with school education.

Led by Dr Lorenza in collaboration with University of Technology Sydney Education teacher education academic Dr Don Carter' the study aims to demonstrate how arts learning improves primary-aged students' well-being and self-esteem' can reduce stress and anxiety' and develops students' socialisation skills.

'The last few years of COVID-19 lockdowns and online learning has resulted in tired teachers' disengaged students with exhausted parents and caregivers'' Dr Lorenza said.

'Primary-aged students have neither had enough time at school to experience collaborative learning nor to develop relationships with their peers.'

To help identify' explore and evaluate the perspectives of online arts learning experiences' the researchers have released a national survey targeted at primary-aged students' their teachers and their parents/caregivers.

'The study will have a national impact as it will report from across Australia. This research will collect' categorise and collate these arts learning events.

'It will help us to discover where socialisation occurred in online arts learning from the student' parent and teacher perspective'' Dr Lorenza explained.

'We will learn how the participants see these online experiences linking with face-to-face arts learning' and providing opportunities for enhanced socialisation and interpersonal communication' reducing anxiety and stress and improving students' well-being and self-esteem.

'For participating primary students' the survey will be able to audio record responses so we can hear their experiences without these young students feeling pressure to write or type their responses.

'Our goal was to make the survey experience as fun and interactive as possible.'

The primary arts learning online survey is open now and closes Thursday' 6 April 2022.

Scan the QR code below to participate.

Teaching survey QR

Dr Lorenza said results from these surveys will contribute to a larger research agenda with case study examples of best practice from the project reported back to teachers.

'Teachers will be given the support needed to engage students in positive collaborative arts learning experiences that contribute to students' capacity to collaborate; recognise and respect differing perspectives; develop self-confidence and self-efficacy.'

Research partner' Dr Carter said 'the findings of the project will help strengthen teacher education programs and better prepare our pre-service teachers for a career in the classroom.'

To help support this important research' the study was awarded an Emerging Priorities Program (EPP) grant valued at $190'631.

Established by the Australian Government Department of Education' the EPP funds projects that assist school communities to respond to emerging priorities in school education' including to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.