We are delighted to post the second of three blogs on an arts education project conducted by teachers in the department. In this first post, Ben and Gail introduce their project.
Ben Van Praag & Dr Gail Forey, Department of Education, University of Bath
As the week went on and group bonded, there were lots of opportunities for interactive, enthusiastic discussion that raised questions, issues, and concerns about the students’ dream jobs. The group investigated what they would need to do to be able to achieve their dream jobs. Students had the opportunity to discuss and visually represent personal qualities, such as perseverance, confidence, and creativity that would support them in reaching their future goals. They also discussed the skills they would need and how where they could acquire those skills, which included college and university courses. The group used these discussions and creative activities to write, practise and deliver one-minute individual presentations. This not only supported them in planning for their futures, it gave them the opportunity to develop their language and confidence.
The initial excitement was heightened when students started to learn how to safely use spray paint to draw, fill in and outline a design. Throughout the week, students were responsible for painting virtually all of the mural under the guidance of the lead researcher. The aim was to transform a long-standing uninspiring shipping container, used to store PE equipment in the playground into a piece of artwork that would motivate, enthuse and provide a more fun background. The undeniable highlight of the week was the ultimate completion of the co-created large-scale artwork. The colourful, engaging design was a collage of words and images representing the jobs the students wished to do in the future. The pupils also had the opportunity to independently paint their designs without support on one side of the container. (Read about the challenges and outcomes of the project in the next blog post in mid-March, 2022).