International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 10 Number 3

January 11, 2009

Enhancing Social Capital in Children via School-Based Community Cultural Development Projects: A Pilot Study

Laurie Buys
Evonne Miller
Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Citation: Buys, L. & Miller, E. (2009). Enhancing social capital in children via school-based community cultural development projects: A pilot study. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 10(3). Retrieved [date] from
This exploratory pilot study investigates the extent to which participating in a community cultural development (CCD) initiative builds social capital among children. An independent youth arts organisation implemented two cultural activities, developing a compact disc of original music and designing mosaic artworks for a library courtyard, in two schools located in a socio-economically disadvantaged area of South-East Queensland, Australia. After participation in the project, 39 primary school children aged 9 to 13 years completed a generic Social Capital in Children Questionnaire designed specifically for evaluating arts projects. Findings support the role of CCD within schools for enhancing social capital in young people, identifying a range of positive impacts regarding self-concept, reciprocity, feelings of obligation, extended networks and trust. The results suggest that program components, such as facilitating 'friendship' connections between children and designing activities that incorporate the sharing of materials, equipment and tools to facilitate reciprocity, should be an important focus for developing arts programs within a social capital framework.

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