Professor John O'Toole
This study has investigated the effects on children, over time, of artists working with them in purpose-built art and play environments. Melbourne City Council's ArtPlay runs diverse workshops for children aged 3-13, across all art forms, combining active play and art-making. The study has sought to identify and define the children's engagement in these workshops, and to map the effects in terms of cognitive learning and cultural citizenship. Outcomes include defining engagement in tthis context and the increased understanding of the links between art, play and children's engagement in them. The impact of the workshops on children's learning and cultural citizenship have also been examined as well as the programming, training and program implementation at ArtPlay and beyond. The final report is currently being written.
The project may be described primarily as ecological (highly contextualized) action research. The approach has used a combination of ethnographical case study and action research to identify and map some of the effects, immediate and residual, on the participants, in terms of engagement, cognitive outcomes and 'cultural citizenship', which emerged from a Pilot Programas the three key categories to investigate. Children have been the primary focus of the research, while various support systems (eg, family, school, community) have been be a secondary focus. The research is multi-focal and multi-vocal, thus representing multiple points of view including the views and voices of children, parents, artists, teachers and policy makers. The role of professional artists in the life and development of children and young people in the context of ArtPlay has been examined across a range of artforms. A selection of Artplay programs from 2007-2011 have been documented and analysed and the data collection has used a range of instruments including surveys, observations, interviews, focus groups, video and photography as well as artefacts and outcomes of the activities and workshops; reflective art-work, journals and narratives generated in response to the activities.
Australia Council for the Arts, CCPI Grant 2009
Brown, R. (2011) What art practices enable children to be, become and belong as cultural citizens? Interpreting Cultural Citizenship at Artplay. Australian Art Education (in press)
Brown, R. & Chilianis, M. (2010) Interpreting Engagement at ArtPlay. Australian Art Education 33 (1), 44-54
Brown, R., Andersen, J. & Weatherald, H. (2010) Exploring engagement at ArtPlay: What factors influence the engagement of children and families in an artist-led community-based workshop? Australian Journal of Early Childhood. 34 (3), 124-133
Andersen, J. & Brown, R. (2010) 'Theatre for, with and by young children: Our 'Wishhh''. Lowdown the National Magazine for Youth Performing Arts in Australia. Featured Article May. http://www.lowdown.net.au/FeatureArticle/Pocketfo.
Anderson, C., Jeanneret, N. & Brown, R. (2007). Learning, engagement and cultural citizenship at ArtPlay: What engages children in artist-led music programs, and why? Victorian Journal for Music Education. pp.39-51
Jeanneret, N. & Brown, R. (2007) Living the arts: The City of Melbourne and ArtPlay. Music Education Research: Values and Initiatives Proceedings of the XXIX Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Research. Melbourne: AARME
Sinclair, C., Donelan, K., Bird, J., O'Toole, J., & Freebody, K., (2008). Drama: Social dreaming in the twenty-first century. In C. Sinclair, N. Jeanneret & J. O'Toole (Eds) Education and the Arts: Principles and Practices for Teaching. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Brown, R., Spain, S. & Jeanneret, N. (2011) What is engaging for children and families and how do you know? Come Out Children's Festival Delegate Forum. Adelaide, 25th April.
Brown, R. & Spain, S. (2011) What sparks engagement? Interpreting children's engagement in artist-led programs at ArtPlay. Vision to Reality Conference. Queensland Studies Authority. Brisbane, 27-29 April
Brown, R. & Spain, S. (2010) 'Researching ArtPlay: Learning about, with and for young people'. Changing Habitats. Are children and young people democratizing culture? Young People and the Arts National Symposium, Brisbane, 8-10 June
Brown, R, Jeanneret, N., Spain, S. & Chilianis, M. (2010) Mapping Children's Engagement, Learning and Cultural Citizenship in Art Play. 17th International Conference on Learning. Hong Kong Institute of Education. 6-9 July, Hong Kong
Brown, R. (2010) Engaging Children and Families. City of Melbourne Staff Forum (Arts and Culture and Community Services). Artplay, 10th September 2010
Brown, R. & Perkins, K. (2010) 'Does involvement in art spark engagement? Interpreting student engagement in artist-led school programs at ArtPlay'. Views, Values and Visions, the South East Asia-Pacific Regional Congress of the International Society for Art Education (InSEA). Melbourne, Australia 14th - 16th October
Brown, R. (2010) 'Does engagement with artists promote cultural citizenship for young people?'Views, Values and Visions, the South East Asia-Pacific Regional Congress of the International Society for Art Education (InSEA). Melbourne, Australia 14th - 16th October
Brown, R, Jeanneret, N., Spain, S. & Chilianis, M. (2010) Mapping children's engagement, learning and cultural citizenship at ArtPlay. Artistic and Creative Education Colloquium, October, 2010, University of Melbourne, Parkvile
Brown, R. (2009) Mapping Engagement at ArtPlay. What engages young children and their families in artist-led ArtPlay programs and why? 11th Early Childhood Research (In partnership with ARECE) Conference. Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. Jan 22 – 23.
Brown, R. (2008) Identifying and mapping engagement, learning and cultural citizenship for children undertaking artist-led workshops at ArtPlay. Australian Research in Early Childhood Conference. Monash University, Frankston, Victoria. Jan. 22-23
Brown, R. Engaging artists at ArtPlay. (2008) Promoting cultural citizenship for children through artist-led workshops. The Creative Use of Schools and Facilities Conference. Cultural Development Network. Colac, Victoria. June
Brown, R. Engaging artists at ArtPlay. (2008) Promoting cultural citizenship for children through artist-led workshops. InSEA World Congress: Osaka, Japan. August
Brown, R. (2007) Mapping Engagement at ArtPlay. Artistic and Creative Education Colloquiim. The University of Melbourne, Parkville, May
Brown, R. (2006) Researching ArtPlay. Arts Education Australian Conference, Monash University, Melbourne.