SCISConnections

The Arts and Geography

Gabrielle England

Free, practical digital resources that support the Australian Curriculum

Education Services Australia (ESA) partnered with Australian teachers' associations and other national not-for-profit organisations to develop practical, classroom-related digital resources that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Created by teachers for teachers, the free resources below will help educators to implement the Australian Curriculum across the Phase 2 key learning areas of The Arts and Geography.

Funded by the Australian Government, these resources aim to support teachers to develop flexible learning approaches and to integrate digital resources into classroom teaching.

ARTS:LIVE

www.artslive.com.au

ArtsLive logo

ARTS:LIVE enables students and teachers to access in-depth, Australian Curriculum aligned, classroom-ready, interactive learning from anywhere in Australia, regardless of their existing skills and knowledge.

The website provides an interactive learning platform that promotes active collaboration between teachers and students across five Art Forms: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts.

The Song Room (www.songrooom.org.au), a national not-for-profit organisation, worked in partnership with leading arts organisations and arts education specialists to produce ARTS:LIVE, a major national initiative aimed at achieving sustainable music and arts learning in school communities.

ARTS:LIVE features:

  • over 400 media-rich interactive resources available for the delivery of Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts lessons, ranging from one class to a whole term for all year levels from early years to Year 10
  • resource content developed in collaboration with arts expert partners, such as Heide Museum of Modern Art, Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) and AusDance
  • resources in a range of formats including videos, text, audio files, images and much more, all featuring expert musicians, or performing and visual artists
  • educational content in a range of 'ready to use' resources, including teacher notes, activity guides and Australian Arts Curriculum alignment documents
  • guidance and support to incorporate the arts content into the classroom
  • opportunities to further develop skills in teaching The Arts or link with Song Room workshop programmes.

All resources are free and available via the ARTS:LIVE website.

Arts: Packages of Practice (Arts POP)

www.artspop.org.au

Wanguri Primary School, Darwin Year 6 drumming ensemble.
Wanguri Primary School, Darwin Year 6 drumming ensemble.
Photography by Andrew Thomson. © Education Services Australia.

Arts-POP is a site to turn the idea of Arts education into the practice of Arts education. It was developed by the Creative Industries Faculty of the Queensland University of Technology and Education Services Australia in partnership with leading Arts education specialists. The site supports the introduction of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, Foundation to Year 10.

The site, which delivers expert advice in the arts through Packages of Practice (Arts-POP), helps Australian teachers develop lessons, units of work and classroom strategies. Arts-Pop is making a deep and lasting impact, ensuring the place of the arts in the mainstream of Australian education.

Of the ten packages that make up Arts-POP, five are art-form specific, with a package dedicated to Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts. These packages illustrate how a unit of work can be designed, delivered and evaluated to show how specific aesthetic knowledge and skills can be achieved and made visible. The packages contain lesson plans, rich film modelling the delivery of key content episodes, Australian Curriculum Content descriptors, advice for teachers as well as opportunities and extensions, references and resources.

The five art-form Arts-POP packages

Metamorphosis, the Dance Arts-POP outlines a unit of work which has been designed to allow young children at Foundation level to explore their ideas and understandings of the life cycle of the butterfly.

The Treasure of Trivandrum, the Drama Arts-POP, comprises 5 x 1.5-hour sessions for Year 4 and has been devised to demonstrate how students can simultaneously learn multiple subject areas and general capabilities through drama. In schools, students learn in and through their play, which transforms into making dramatic art and sometimes presenting it to others. As students engage in responding to and reflecting upon their own and others' drama work, they learn about drama.

'Multimodal storytelling' the Media Arts-POP, provides an opportunity to experience newer forms of creation and communication. It involves creating representations of the world and telling stories through communication technologies. The Year 4 class package consists of three 40-minute lessons, one 120-minute lesson, plus extra time to allow for follow up and completion of tasks.

'African Drumming: Making and responding to rhythms, notation and compositions', the Music Arts-POP, outlines a unit for Year 6 level. This unit engages students in learning about rhythmic notation, composing musical phrases and performing African drumming patterns using real and constructed djembe drums. African Drumming consists of music lessons over six weeks where students compose, notate, perform and record music using digital and information communication technology.

 Artwork in the process of completion from the Abstractable Me curriculum unit
Artwork in the process of completion from the Abstractable Me curriculum unit.
Photography by Andrew Thomson. © Education Services Australia.

Abstractable Me, the Visual Arts-POP outlines a Year 5 unit of work, devised to demonstrate how students can engage in the interrelated processes of making, presenting and critiquing visual art works. Students explore the elements, materials, techniques and processes that can be used to shape their artworks and communicate ideas through their artworks. Students communicate ideas through exhibition of their artworks in both informal and formal environments. 'Making, Presenting and Critiquing' involves:

  • observing, reflecting on, and evaluating in oral, written or visual form the student's own visual artworks and those of others
  • the elements of art and the principles of design and composition
  • critiquing visual artworks.

The package is implemented over eight weeks, and comprises 8 x 45minute lessons and one full-day excursion to an art gallery.

The five behind-the-scenes Arts-POP packages

The remaining five packages address the challenges of implementing The Arts curriculum for teachers, school leaders and school communities. By exploring the 'Managing space', 'Managing time', 'Managing resources' and 'Teacher expertise' packages teachers will be able to develop strategies that address their use of space, time and resources deployed, and build their own expertise in arts education. 'Impact and value', the final package, demonstrates the value and impact of high-quality arts education on students, classrooms, schools and communities.

GeogSpace

www.geogspace.edu.au

Geogspace homepage
Geogspace homepage. Pinnacles formations in Nambung National Park,
Western Australia. © Rob Berry. Used with permission.

GeogSpace is an initiative of the Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) supported by the resources of ESA. GeogSpace provides materials to support primary and secondary teachers in implementing the Australian Curriculum: Geography. It has been developed by AGTA's team of practising geography teachers who are dedicated to ensuring all schools across Australia have access to a unique resource that reflects best practice using current technology and pedagogies.

GeogSpace offers quality primary and secondary geography resource materials for all teachers of geography, including those that are very experienced and those just commencing their involvement in the discipline. The materials support teachers to develop their knowledge, skills and pedagogical capacity to teach geography of the highest quality.

GeogSpace comprises two major resource sections, Core units and Support units.

Core units

Core units have three sections for each of the stages of schooling.

  • Key understandings
  • Inquiry and skills
  • Exemplars

Core units comprise illustrations of practice for stages of schooling described in the Australian Curriculum: Geography.

The illustrations contain classroom-ready ideas and resources that reflect the dynamism of this exciting learning area. Each illustration is linked to the Australian Curriculum: Geography and provides opportunities for students to actively engage in learning, whether it be through undertaking class research, practical activities, field investigations or through taking local action.

Table showing units from Australian Curriculum Geography illustrated on Geogspace

Support units

Support units provide illustrations of practice designed to support teachers'professional learning and provide guidance, information and resources in eight areas of geographical education.

  • Thinking geographically
  • Why teach Geography?
  • Professional practice
  • Fieldwork
  • ICTs in Geography
  • Assessment in Geography
  • Language of Geography
  • Geographical inquiry

The GeogSpace resources can be accessed directly via the GeogSpace website, and through Scootle.

References

ARTS:LIVE www.artslive.com.au

Arts: Packages of Practice (Arts POP) www.artspop.com

GeogSpace www.geogspace.edu.au

Scootle www.scootle.edu.au

 

Gabrielle England photograph

Gabrielle England

Senior Manager

Education Services Australia