The University of Melbourne
UNIMELB_WARDDAVIES-Anastaszia_VYT-LOCAL-2024.mp4 (134.02 MB)


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Version 2 2024-06-06, 04:04
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posted on 2024-06-06, 04:04 authored by Anastaszia Ward-DaviesAnastaszia Ward-Davies

This stop-motion animation tells the unfolding story of my arts-based research undertaken through a Doctor of Education at the University of Melbourne.

While there is a curricular impetus to authentically and explicitly teach critical and creative thinking skills in secondary schools, and research indicates that these curriculum goals emphasise necessary skills for twenty-first century learners, our teachers are struggling to keep afloat. This research initially sought to explore the conditions for young people to be agile, critical and creative but the data I collected with a team of visual art and design teachers tells a story of teaching in crisis. These teachers told stories of walking fragile lines, precariously poised between burnout and determination to embed critical and creative thinking curriculums.

A turn to an arts-led, practice-based approach seeks to explore what critical and creative play looks like as professional learning for teachers, and how this can be embedded in classrooms for students. How can practice and play create opportunities for agile, critical and creative thinking when schools are in crisis? Can this enable communities of support and practice for both teachers and students?

Audio transcript: Young people live in complex times. We know that to weather - let alone tackle - these complexities, young people need to be agile, critical and creative thinkers.  

In secondary school, the onus is often on our art education departments to enable the curriculums that develop these skills. But teachers are caught in these complexities, too – teacher burnout and COVID’s impacts continue to reverberate inside and outside education. How can teachers help young people to be agile, critical and creative in times of crisis if they’re also working in crisis? 

My Doctor of Education generates creative, non-traditional research outputs that allow me to explore the complex ecosystem of speculative, relational inquiry where everything is entangled. I’m authentically collaborating with art teachers to wonder: How can teachers use arts-led skills to think critically and creatively and work through these crises? How can this rjpple out into schools and support our students? 


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