Intergenerational arts education: enacting creative sustainability in teacher education

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    This presentation is about an intergenerational art education project in Australia that brings togetheryoung and old community members. The aim of the project is to develop a model for pre-serviceteacher education in the arts that simultaneously builds the creative capacities of pre-serviceteachers and the local community. The work conjoins multiple generations from ages 8-80+ years inshared art making that challenge boundaries around age, creativity, arts education and scholarship.This work has resonance beyond the Australian context and is here presented as a model thatresponds to UNESCO’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through intergenerationallearning in the arts. In this presentation we describe how Monash University pre-service teachers,local primary school children and University of the Third Age (U3A) participants come together toform collaborative partnerships by using the arts and shared life experiences to explore learning andteaching possibilities. This qualitative case study that employs arts-based and narrative methods, isframed by developments in creative aging and 21st century pedagogies. We bring together debatesin arts education and creativity to argue for empowering the minority voices of the children and theelderly in our community. We propose that by conceptualising different generations’ potentialcreative capacities and resources as artists, teachers and researchers that we are creating a means topromote sustainable learning across the lifespan.By embedding these intergenerational experiences into Bachelor of Education degree arts units, thepre-service teachers and participants make art, design and enact teaching and research experienceswith children and senior citizens. Through immersive co-inquiries participants explore a diversearray of traditional and contemporary art forms, such as still life painting, stop-motion animations,iPad artworks, sun printing, microscopic photography and collage. Participants also develop theirvisual literacies together as they write, illustrate, design and publish analogue and digital picturebooks. Of central concern to this presentation is the development of their artist/researcher/teacherroles, as all participants are positioned as co-artists, co-researchers, and co-teachers. We show howthese co-participatory Arts Reach events are a crucial means to experience intersubjectivepositionings and cross the theory, praxis and practice divide. As a result of this on-going study werethink the people university students interact with in their studies and why. This presentationconcludes that intergenerational arts-making is a means to “Ensure inclusive and equitable qualityeducation and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.” (UNESCO SustainableDevelopment Goal 4,
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2016
    EventWorld Alliance for Arts Education 2016 - HangZhou, China
    Duration: 2 Dec 20165 Dec 2016
    Conference number: 6th


    ConferenceWorld Alliance for Arts Education 2016
    Abbreviated titleWAAE 2016


    • Pedagogy and partnerships
    • intergenerational
    • art
    • education
    • creativity
    • aging

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