The Heart of Innovation: Arts Education in the Middle Years
The middle years of schooling are considered critical to the development of adolescents. 'Tweens and young teens face many challenges during these years between childhood and adulthood. Adolescent brain development, online safety, dealing with bullying and peer pressure, and body image are only a few areas of concern for teachers and parents of middle year's students. Schools have a responsibility to not only provide students with the opportunity to develop skills which will help them to make informed decisions, but also to provide a safe and supportive environments that enable students to develop the skills of resilience. Arts education in the middle years offers an opportunity to move beyond the challenges of adolescence, and into a place where solving problems through creative thinking and innovative design is celebrated. This chapter begins by exploring the relationship between arts education and the adolescent experience. The two vignettes included in this chapter offer practical ideas for middle year's teachers. The first vignette demonstrates how to prepare the learning environment to enhance creativity and innovation for middle year's students. The second vignette provides information on suggested art education activities which are specifically designed to support the social and emotional wellbeing of adolescents. The chapter concludes with reflections from the author on the future of arts education in Australian schools.
Tapping into classroom practice of the arts: from inside out
Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators