2020 Volume 21

Articles and Abstracts


Volume 21 Number 1: Linds, W., Sjollema, S., Victor, J., Eninew, L., & Goulet, L. (2020). Widening the angle: Film as alternative pedagogy for wellness in Indigenous youth.

Indigenous youth face numerous challenges in terms of their well-being. Colonization enforced land and cultural loss, fractured relationships, and restricted the use of the imagination and agentic capacity (Colonial policies, structures, and approaches in education have been detrimental to Indigenous youth (Nardozi, 2013). Many First Nations leaders, community members, and youth have expressed a need for a wider range of activities that move beyond Western models of knowledge and learning (Goulet & Goulet, 2015). School curricula in Indigenous communities are incorporating alternative pedagogical tools, such as the arts, that not only allow youth to explore and express their realities and interests but that also offer them holistic ways of learning and knowing (Yuen et al., 2013). This article describes a participatory arts research project which featured film production and was delivered in the context of a grade 10 Communications Media course. The research took place at a First Nations high school in a Neehithuw (Woodland Cree) community in northern Saskatchewan. This article highlights the content of the films produced, the benefits of the filmmaking experience, and the challenges faced by the teacher and students during the process.

Volume 21 Number 2: Svendler Nielsen, C, Samuel, G.M., Wilson, L., & Vedel. K.A. (2020). ‘Seeing’ and ‘being seen’: An embodied and culturally sensitive arts-integrated pedagogy creating enriched conditions for learning in multi-cultural schools.

This article explores the pedagogy developed for enriching conditions for learning among 10-11 year-old children in culturally diverse schools in Cape Town and Copenhagen in an artistic-educational project led by an intercultural group of artist-educators, teachers and researchers from Denmark and South Africa. The group created a workshop format in the cross-over between dance and visual arts focused on the theme of climate change, the elements of nature (water, air, earth and fire) and their importance in the southern and the northern hemispheres. Based on a hermeneutic phenomenological analysis (van Manen, 1990) that connects the children’s experiences and the artist-educators’ experiences of how learning became possible in different ways, it is argued that enriched conditions for learning can be fostered through integrating art forms (here dance and visual arts) and by tools that constitute an embodied and culturally sensitive pedagogy.

Volume 21 Number 3: Kenny, A. (2020). The ‘back and forth’ of musician-teacher partnership in a New York City school.

Teaching artists are often a central feature of arts-in-education work in North American schools. This article examines a teaching artist’s engagement in one New York City school, with three classroom teachers, as part of the Philharmonic Schools program. Through a qualitative case study approach, musician-teacher partnership within one public school is problematized. Data was collected over seven months through in-class observations, classroom teacher and teaching artist interviews, and a teaching artist reflective log. Findings reveal how the classroom teachers and teaching artist journeyed together to deliver music in their classrooms, projected musician/teacher identities, negotiated roles within the partnership, created reflective spaces and mutually informed each other’s practice. Thus, the complexity of, but also the possibilities and pathways for, dialogic music-in-education partnerships are revealed.

Volume 21 Number 4: Andersen, J., Watkins, M., Brown, R., & Quay, J. (2020). Narrative inquiry, pedagogical tact and the gallery educator.

This paper responds to the need for a deeper understanding of gallery educator practice. Focusing on a significant encounter in a major city public gallery, it describes how narrative inquiry offers new insights into how experienced gallery educators shape school education sessions based on prior knowledge and experience, and in-the-moment observations and judgements. Responding to artworks, artists, gallery spaces, and students’ needs and interests, gallery educator practice is infused with ‘pedagogical tact’. Narrative inquiry makes this complex teaching visible and, in doing so, affords a valuable approach to professional learning.

Volume 21 Number 5: Bellugi, D. (2020). “It’s Just Such a Strange Tension”: Discourses of Authenticity in the Creative Arts in Higher Education.

This paper explores the conflicts engendered during the artist’s formation due to repeated submission to assessment in formal creative arts education. In a comparative qualitative study of two visuals arts practice undergraduate curricula, the underlying interpretative approaches to intentionality were uncovered to comprehend the impact of the hidden curriculum at those higher education institutions. Across both sites, nominal authenticity emerged consistently as the most valued criterion which artist-students referenced in their self-assessments of the success and quality of their artworks, and of their identities as members of the professional community of practice. This criterion for self-assessment ran parallel to, and at times against, the persistent disregard of the artist-students’ actual intentionality as a valid referent within the summative assessment practices of both the academic institutions studied. Within this paper, constructions of creativity, authorship and the relationship of these to interpretation, set the scene for exploring the traces, slippages and nuances between the discourses of authenticity which emerged. Drawing from empirical qualitative data generated from artist-students, artist-academics, curriculum documentation and observations of assessment, the contexts around these emerging discourses are discussed, and their significance for the novice artist’s experience, and the agency of artist-teachers, explored.

Volume 21 Number 6: Mesías-Lema, J. M., López-Ganet, T., Calviño-Santos, G. (2020). Atmospheres: Shattering the architecture to generate another educational discourse in art education.

This article seeks to share the experience gained in the expository project Atmospheres for Educational Change, a curatorial proposal focused on education that took place at Normal, the cultural intervention space at the University of A Coruña, aimed at criticizing the position of contemporary art in education and society. Atmospheres reflected on the life and routines of individuals in collectivity. It invited the spectator to an interaction between the aesthetic artificiality of the created environment and the naturalness of the sensations generated within. These were environments that invited discomfort, with artistic installations that functioned as social agitators—politically incorrect and educationally transformative.

Volume 21 Number 7: Kvammen, A.C., Hagen, J.K., Parker, S. (2020). Exploring new methodical options: Collaborative teaching involving song, dance and the Alexander Technique.

In an attempt to bridge the gap between the distinct pedagogical strategies often employed in the respective fields of song and dance, this study investigates how collaborative teaching and dialogue can serve as a starting point in finding new teaching and learning methods. This pilot study involving three teacher-researchers and three students aims to show how the practical work of Alexander Technique (AT) applies the theory of embodied cognition and embodied learning in a practical context. Findings suggest that education and learning processes in the field of musical theatre need to have their foundation in the domain of embodied learning. We argue that the dichotomies between mind and body influence methodology and the way we use language; we propose AT as a method to guide collaborative teaching in order to discover how the student learns in an embodied way, implementing principles from AT in the teaching of musical theatre students.

Volume 21 Number 8: Sivenius, A., & Friman, I. (2020). Can I? Dare I?

This article describes the role of an arts-based research project in the lives of young people participating in a youth workshop. The participants shared stories about their past, present and future with words and pictures. We sought to answer the question: What is the meaning of looking at one’s own life story in the context of a communal art project? We familiarized ourselves with a youth workshop via staff interviews, observation and through documents. The goal of the project was to produce a work of art in eight weeks. During the two months, the young people in the project described their lives in written assignments, made paintings of their lives so far, wrote working diaries and were interviewed. The paintings together formed a larger whole, which was on display at a shopping mall. The study opens new points of view by analyzing the meanings produced by those who participated in the project.

Volume 21 Number 9: Bremmer, M. & van Hoek, E. (2020). Teamplayers: 4CO-teaching in arts education in primary education.

This article describes the qualitative study of the redesigning of a course based on the Canadian “4CO-teaching method” for student teachers. This method consists of four different phases of co-teaching: co-design, co-execution, co-debriefing, and co-reflection. Through this way of co-teaching, student teachers in both primary education and in arts education (theatre, dance, and visual arts) were taught how to design arts lessons for primary education together, how to carry them out as a couple, and how to jointly reflect on their lessons. The course, called “Teamplayers”, aimed to teach these student teachers how to complement their knowledge and skills during the designing and teaching of arts lessons and, thus, enhance the quality of arts education. This research study evaluated the design of Teamplayers and the students’ experience with the method of 4CO-teaching with the aim of improving the course.

Volume 21 Number 10: Toscher, B. (2020). The Skills and Knowledge Gap in Higher Music Education: An Exploratory Empirical Study.

Research claims that entrepreneurial skills and knowledge are important for the careers of musicians (Bennett, 2016; Breivik, Selvik, Bakke, Welde & Jermstad, 2015; Coulson, 2012). Alumni of higher music education (HME) report “a gap between the perceived importance of such [entrepreneurial] skills and their acquisition” (Miller, Dumford & Johnson 2017, p. 11). As a response, institutes of HME have integrated arts entrepreneurship education to help music students acquire these skills and knowledge to a greater extent (Beckman, 2005, 2007). Yet, specifically which entrepreneurial skills and knowledge (Lackeus, 2015) arts entrepreneurship education helps students acquire lacks empirical support and articulation. In this exploratory pilot study, I create, disseminate and use exploratory data analysis (Tukey, 1977) to understand the descriptive statistics of survey responses from teachers and students of HME in Norway. Respondents rated the perceived importance and acquisition of a variety of skills and knowledge while considering students’ future careers. Students also reported to what extent they felt they learned entrepreneurship through their current study program. Consistent with previous research, the findings show a “gap between the perceived acquisition of skills and the importance of such skills” (Miller et al., 2017, p. 11) in HME. The largest gaps in this study are for the following specific skills and knowledge: sales/marketing, market/industry, financial, social media, and business planning. Additionally, as students report they felt they learned entrepreneurship to increasingly larger extents, this gap is closed and narrowed. This shared tendency between the increased extent of entrepreneurship learned by music students and the perceived increase in the acquisition of various skills and knowledge is new insight for the field. Implications for arts entrepreneurship practitioners are discussed in addition to some ideas for future in-depth research.

Volume 21 Number 11: Rockell, K. (2020). Knowing Noh and ‘Nō-ing’ English through Intercultural Performing Arts.

This paper takes the form of a detailed report discussing the development, rehearsal and presentation of a short English language Noh-style play performed by Japanese university students in 2018–2019. It shares students’ perceptions in response to the flow of rehearsals and performances, which were documented with ethnomusicological fieldwork methods. Music and drama are increasingly recognized internationally as effective vehicles for language education and in this case the aspiration to master ‘a tool of global communication’ is coupled with local sensibility and an important Japanese heritage tradition. Contemporary cyber-culture immersed Japanese youth sometimes express little interest in traditions such as Noh. This project prompted a greater appreciation of traditional Japanese culture amongst such students. The benefits of regular practice of the declamatory speech that is basic to Noh chanting was also found to be particularly beneficial to students’ confidence with spoken English.

Volume 21 Number 12: Moilanen, J. H. & Mertala, P-O. (2020). The meaningful memories of visual arts education for preservice generalist teachers: What is remembered, why, and from where?

Research that examines generalist preservice teachers’ memories from the viewpoint of a specific subject is scarce. As generalist teachers’ self-efficacy varies between subjects, subject-oriented research is needed. This qualitative study explores the meaningful memories of visual arts education for twenty-one preservice generalist teachers in Finland. The data, analyzed via an abductive approach and a constant comparison method, consists of participants’ written memories. According to the findings, the nature of preservice generalist teachers’ memories of visual arts education is a result of negotiation between personal (i.e., their personal relationship with visual arts) and structural (i.e., changes in curricula) aspects. Teachers were presented as playing important mediatory roles between these two domains, as both the positive and negative memories of the participants often included personified descriptions of their teachers. The implications for both visual arts and teacher education are also provided.

Volume 21 Number 13: Walton, C. W. (2020). “It just made me want to do better for myself”: Performing arts education and academic performance for African American male high school students.

A wide body of research has been conducted which examines the relationship between arts engagement and academic performance for the general population of students in U.S. schools. To date, few studies have been conducted that examine the effects of arts-based learning experiences on African American males’ academic performance. To address this gap in the literature, this case study uses interviews and post-graduation outcomes to explore the effects of school-based performing arts engagement on academic performance among African American male high school students. Findings from this project indicate that immersion in school-based performing arts learning experiences strengthens academic skills development, improves overall school performance, and enhances post-school outcomes for African American male high school students. These findings suggest that bolstering arts-based school curricula and increasing access to performing arts learning experiences may improve school outcomes for African American males who attend U.S. public schools.

Volume 21 Number 14: Johnson-Green, E., Lee, C., & Flannery, M. (2020). A Musical Perspective on STEM: Evaluating the EcoSonic Playground Project From a Co-equal STEAM Integration Standpoint.

Research on teaching and learning in integrated education has focused on connections between arts and non-arts domains to provide a comprehensive experience for K-12 learners. Recently, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education has explored arts integration for more effective STEM learning. However, effective integration is often elusive; the arts are sometimes diluted as a consequence of well-intentioned integration within STEM subjects, with STEM learning risking similar superficial treatment within arts curricula. This qualitative pilot study focuses on The EcoSonic Playground Project (ESPP) – an integrated STEAM project for students of all ages – and evaluates its effectiveness from a co-equal integration standpoint, where participants use skills across STEM and arts areas equally in service of a common, musical goal. Findings suggested that this project supported, the application of existing cognitive and social-emotional skills and STEAM practices within an arts framework while fostering in participants the synthesis of new connections among skill areas. While recognizing findings are context specific, conclusions and recommendations may be of particular interest to educators and researchers exploring STEAM or other arts integration initiatives in the classroom.

Volume 21 Number 15: Hogle, L. A., & Bramble, C. (2020). Teacher agency through duoethnography: Pedagogical DNA in a community of learner-teachers.

Through a duoethnographic study (Norris, 2008), Caitlyn, a newly graduated music educator and now masters student, and I, a seasoned music educator and new music teacher educator at Caitlyn’s alma mater, collaboratively explored the experience of preservice teaching from our divergent roles and generational perspectives. Seeking to understand development of music teacher agency, we entered into a process of duoethnographic dialogue journaling as a primary data source. Ascribing to the tenets of this innovative qualitative methodology, we created and interrogated interwoven dialogic narratives as we mutually investigated curricular approaches to and practices of the last year of preservice music education. The co-constructed process of duoethnography (a) enabled us to synthesize theory and research method with practice; (b) fostered development of professional identities through reflection within equitable and collegial relationships; (c) and potentially mitigated fears as each participant experienced emancipatory dialogue toward positive change, heightening music teacher agency.

Volume 21 Number 16: Robin, A. (2020). Colores de Latinoamérica: Teaching Latin American art in London (Ontario, Canada).

This article is a reflection as a teaching scholar of Latin American art in London, Ontario, a city, as many others in Canada, where there is no major Latin American collectionfor students to visit. The experiences narrated are related to a specific course taught in the Fall of 2016 at Western University and to two exhibitions that took place during that time in London, TransAMERICAS: A Sign, a Situation, a Concept at Museum London and Mountains & Rivers Without End at the Artlab Gallery of the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre at Western University. It is furthermore informed by the experience of teaching Latin American visual culture to non-art history students in Spanish for many years. This essay dialogues with practices of active and experiential learning, specifically for language learners. It offers the voices and insights of the students, detailing how the exhibitions were perceived and experienced by them, through their written essays and in-class discussions.

Volume 21 Number 17: Rufo, D. (2020). Tagging tabletops: How children’s drawings on school furniture offer insight into their learning.

In the spring of 2011, a teacher allowed his fourth and fifth grade students to draw and write on their classroom tables. What began as a few names eventually turned into a series of frenetic marks that completely covered the tabletops. Over the course of two years, new groups of students brought with them another cycle of marking that evolved in the form of notations, designs, and even carvings. The teacher documented this process over the years collecting data in the form of digital photographs, video clips, email communiqués, and teacher journal entries. This paper presents an analysis of the data, a discussion on the effects of allowing general elementary classroom students a significant degree of creative agency, and the pedagogical impacts of that agency.

Volume 21 Number 18: Aspán, M. (2020). The tale of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf as a multi-literacy tool for reflection and embodied learning.

This article concerns how teaching artists, associated with the Swedish Royal Opera, provided aesthetic opportunities to students during a three-year school project. One intervention is scrutinized in which the storybook of Red Riding Hood was used as a starting point for further aesthetic learning, culminating in a shadow theatre performance. With an ethnographic approach, the study identifies how a folk story can act as a multi-literacy tool for learning. The children’s working processes and performance are interpreted under the inspiration of the Performance Cycle (Landay & Wootton, 2012) focusing on the reflective process.

Via a pragmatic discourse analysis, interview data from focus groups with children show that the interventions offer varied learning opportunities. Three themes emerge from the analysis of the children’s perspectives on the arts project, as learning opportunities linked to; (i) the material and the construction assignment; (ii) embodiment and emotionality; and (iii) social aspects and the importance of social interaction and friendship.

Volume 21 Number 19: Lehtonen, A., Österlind, E., & Viirret, T.L. (2020). Drama in education for sustainability: Becoming connected through embodiment.

In this article, we argue that drama can serve as an interconnecting method for climate change education. In this study, we elaborate the practice of drama and participation experiences through three drama workshops: 1) process drama work on the global, social, and individual aspects of climate change, 2) outdoor drama practice on relations to nature, and 3) reflections through drama practice. The human dimension of the sustainability issues, conditions of interdependence, and collaboration were explored and manifested through the drama practices, which created frames for embodied, creative and cognitive dialogues between people with different perspectives. Being differently—as experienced through the embodied, collective, and creative practices of drama—seemed to promote experiences of interconnectedness, widen perspectives of sustainability, and motivate acting differently.


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