Transferring community arts practices and pedagogies to teacher education

Year: 2013

Author: Knight, Linda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Having a sustained career in community arts can develop in the community artist, particular understandings of the terms 'practices' and 'pedagogies' that may be quite different to the ways they might be conceptualised, officiated and enacted in other settings.  Coming into Teacher Education after 20 years as a community artist I was confronted with very different practice and pedagogy norms, standards and assumptions around teaching arts in schools, that my early childhood, primary and secondary arts education students held.  This paper firstly presents on my development as a community artist, followed by the ways I have used the practices and pedagogies of my community arts experiences to theorise on arts education and to develop methodological approaches to creating arts with children in school contexts as a basis for teaching arts education to preservice students heading into early childhood, primary or secondary teaching careers. I will draw on a number of specific examples whereby my students were actively involved in developing concepts, activities and then participating in community arts events as part of their tertiary studies, such as developing Big Draw events in Canberra, ACT, and installations as part of Out Of The Box festival, Brisbane. I will focus on how the students benefitted from participating in these events in terms of expanding their art making repertoires as well as their teaching methods and practices. I will conclude the paper by articulating on how participation in community arts events and applying the pedagogies and practices of community artists is beneficial to teacher education students in that it can: * assist in demonstrating to students good quality arts education methodologies * expose to students how children behave and produce art when the students are not using regular teaching pedagogies * help iterate that community artist practices and pedagogies can be extremely effective and productive in school-based arts education  * provide immersive experiences that may inform future teaching practices