The arts offer distinct and powerful ways of experiencing, representing and making meaning of the world. They make a significant contribution to education where learning can occur ‘in’, ‘through’, ‘with’ and ‘about’ the Arts. The Arts Education team are committed to ensuring quality arts education is provided and accessible to all learners in all contexts.
We are a vibrant and curious group with wide and diverse interests across teaching, research and engagement. Our philosophy is underpinned by a focus on:
- creative and innovative pedagogies and curricula
- student-centred, reflective learning
- collaborative, multimethod and multidisciplinary approaches to research
- engagement and learning in diverse community contexts and settings
- inclusive and sustainable arts education across policy development.
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
100 Leicester Street
Parkville, VIC 3010
The Arts Education team support pro-active and collaborative approaches to research and research-led teaching. Our focus is on the nexus between practice and research and the power of arts-rich pedagogies and curricula across community settings and in the contexts of life-wide and lifelong learning.
The knowledge, skills, dispositions and capacities such as creativity developed through arts education are essential for the personal, social, community and working lives of all individuals. Our artistic and creative forms of scholarship and research inform and drive our continuously evolving courses, subjects and teaching approaches. We pursue ways of developing, supporting and fostering creativity in our students and across all educational systems – formal, non-formal and informal – through our engagement with the community.
Spotlight on research
The Arts Education team are dedicated in to advancing the Teaching and Learning of Arts through investigative research projects analysing new and existing methodologies.
Graduate research students
We have a number of graduate researchers engaged in research degrees across a broad spectrum of projects.
There are many ways to engage in arts education at MGSE, both as an undergraduate and postgraduate student.
Spotlight on teaching and professional learning
Space and preparing secondary drama teachers
In preparation for secondary drama teaching, the Drama Learning Area students explore both the discipline content and pedagogical approaches through practical workshops (praxis).
Arts and artistry
This is an elective subject in the Master of Teaching that focusses on a cross arts immersive experience for both the teacher candidates and primary aged children, culminating in a student-designed 'Arts Day'.
Study Arts Education at MGSE
We offer a suite of Breadth subjects for undergraduates at the University of Melbourne. We offer Master of Teaching programs and pathways for secondary specialists in drama, media, music and the visual arts. The primary generalist program provides a pathway for those wishing to focus on arts education and the arts is also offered in Early Childhood.
The Master of Education includes an Arts Education specialisation of four subjects within the degree suitable for arts and arts education specialists and arts professionals. By working with and alongside members of our team, there are opportunities to explore areas such as: the artistic and cultural curriculum the teacher as artist, the artist as teacher arts pedagogy and learning in the arts creativity and the arts education in the community the teacher as researcher in arts-based contexts communities of arts practice.
Become a Teacher
Master of Teaching
Teacher candidates undertaking a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) have the opportunity to undertake extended practical and theoretical studies based on learning about and through visual arts, drama, movement and music in early childhood.
Available arts education subjects:
Primary – opportunities for the generalist teacher
In the first year of study, teacher candidates undertaking a Master of Teaching (Primary) undertake eighteen weeks of intensive practical and theoretical studies based on learning about and through visual arts, drama, movement and music. Students also have the opportunity to select an elective arts subject in the second year of the program.
Available arts education subjects:
Primary – arts pathway
Master of Teaching (Primary) students can choose to take an Arts Pathway and this will be acknowledged by a certificate presented to them upon graduation.
View the Handbook entry for the Master of Teaching to see all requirements for the Arts pathway.
Teacher candidates undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and the Master of Teaching (Secondary) are required to undertake studies in two key learning areas. View secondary learning area guidelines for more information.
Available arts education subjects:
Drama (one learning area)
Music (two learning areas)
- Learning Area Music A (Classroom) 1
- Learning Area Music A (Classroom) 2
- Learning Area Music B CoCurricular 1
- Learning Area Music B CoCurricular 2
Visual Arts (two learning areas)
- Courses for Education Professionals
The Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) is widely recognised as a leader in Australian education research.
Our Arts Education experts have a wealth of experience in supervising research students for a diverse range of arts, education and cross–disciplinary projects.
View more information about current and past student research projects
Arts Education offers a range of breadth subjects which targets over 350 undergraduate students per year from a diverse range of faculties within the university.
- Creative projects: digital technologies
- Creativity, play and the arts
- Story and the Arts
- Youth/arts: expressing cultural identities
- Drawing, painting and sensory knowing
- Spontaneous drama improv and learning communities
- School of rock and informal education
- Printing, collage and social engagement
- Devising drama in learning communities
The Arts Education team engage with a range of organisations, from both the public and private sector, and we are committed to developing partnerships with a diverse range of organisations. Our collaborations range from small scale, in-school projects to major, mulit- partner research projects. More information about our research collaborations and partnerships can be found at Research.
studioFive is building connections with the community at large. One of these initiatives is establishing an Artist in Residence program that connects artists and the community with the students and staff across the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. While still in the fledgling stage as a program, there have been a number of fruitful collaborations over the last two years.
Artist in Residence
Andrew Swainston: No Fixed Address - Contemporary Indigenous Music
Contemporary Indigenous music is culturally rich and influential in shaping Australian popular music. MGSE music education was proud to host No Fixed Address who performed their music and participated in a Q&A session.
Andrew Swainston: The Good Girl Song Project & Voyage
The Good Girl Song Project & Voyage recounted the little- known history of Australian female migration during the 1830s and represented a powerful intersection of music, drama and social history.
This Kyrgystan Artists residency showcased the practices of master felt makers and textile artists of the Kyrgyz Republic, an independent country located in the heart of Central Asia.
Clare McFadden is a writer, artist and educator and has worked in arts education with children, young people, and communities in both Australia and the United States.
studioFive is the arts education teaching, learning and research space in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. It hosts the Melbourne UNESCO Observatory of Arts Education, a member of a network of Arts Education Observatories in the Asia-Pacific Region, under the Co-Directorship of Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret and Dr Kate Coleman and UNTWIN’s Arts Education Research for Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development under the coordination of Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret.
Melbourne UNESCO Observatory of Arts Education
The Melbourne Arts Education Observatory contributes to the development of community and identity and stimulates innovation to foster social understanding and tolerance, distinguishing the University of Melbourne, the City of Melbourne, and Australia as global cultural and educational leaders.
The University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN)
The University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN) was conceived as a way to advance research, training and programme development in all of UNESCO’s fields of competence by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through the transfer of knowledge across borders.
Arts Education Research For Cultural Diversity And Sustainable Development: Unitwin Members & Partners
Find information about the Melbourne Graduate School of Education's fellow Unitwin Members and Partners.
UNESCO is responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It strengthens the ties between nations and societies, and mobilises the wider public so that each child and citizen:
- has access to quality education – a basic human right and an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable development
- may grow and live in a cultural environment rich in diversity and dialogue, where heritage serves as a bridge between generations and peoples
- can fully benefit from scientific advances
- and can enjoy full freedom of expression; the basis of democracy, development and human dignity.
UNESCO’s messages are of increasing importance today, in a globalized world where interconnections and diversity must serve as opportunities to build peace in the minds of men and women. A major outcome of UNESCO’s Second World Conference on Arts Education held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea in 2010, was The Seoul Agenda, which has been an important guide for arts education.
Goals of The Seoul Agenda
- Ensure that arts education is accessible as a fundamental and sustainable component of a high-quality renewal of education
- Assure that arts education activities and programmes are of a high quality in conception and delivery
- Apply arts education principles and practices to contribute to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world
Our experts teach arts and general education subjects, supervise research higher degree students, and conduct their own original research.
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