MOORE, Sarah Jane

PhD University of Sydney 2015 Pages:

Title Reconciliation through Music and Art. A study in Two Schools

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The case-study research presented here investigates student, teacher, principal and Aboriginal Teaching Assistant (ATA) understandings of Reconciliation. It focuses on an exploration of the impact of song writing and art making Reconciliation projects in two primary schools. The research set out to discover whether involvement in Reconciliation focussed arts projects could assist student, teachers, principals and teacher assistants to explore and develop their understandings of Reconciliation. This research project was conducted in 2009 in three combined year five/​six classes in two very different schools: the first school was located in a regional setting in the Northern Territory (NT) and the second school was in an urban setting in Tasmania. The research undertaken was underpinned by Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theory and Egan’s (1998) research on how children make meaning from stories. The research was informed by an Aboriginal research framework (Martin, 2003; 2007; 2008a) and adopted an arts-informed and narrative approach (Knowles &​ Cole, 2008). These methodological approaches enabled story, song, image, performance and writing to be presented. The data was gathered through semi-structured interviews, student definitions, song lyrics, t-shirt designs and researcher observations. The findings of this research demonstrate that song writing and art making in primary schools can provide transformative learning opportunities for children, teachers, principals and teaching assistants to explore, develop and communicate their understandings of Reconciliation.

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