MAKING ART MATTERING: ENGAGING (WITH) ART IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND
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This article examines the special nature of Te Whāriki, Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood national curriculum, as a dynamic social, cultural document through an exploration of two art-inspired imaginary case studies. Thinking with Te Whāriki retains the potential to ignite thinking post-developmentally about art, pedagogy and practice in teacher education, and in the field. It offers examples of how creating spaces for engaging (with) art as pedagogy acts as a catalyst for change, art offers a dynamic way of knowing, and being-with the different life-worlds we inhabit. While new paradigms for thinking and practicing art in education continue to push the boundaries of developmentally and individually responsive child-centred pedagogies, an emphasis on multiple literacies often gets in the way. This prohibits opportunities for engaging in other more complex approaches to pedagogy and art as a subject-content knowledge, something essential for developing a rich curriculum framework. The article draws on research that emphasises the importance of teacher education in opening up spaces for thinking about (the history of) art in/and of education as more than a communication/language tool. It considers an inclusive and broad knowledge-building-communities approach that values the contribution that art, artists, and others offer the 21st early learning environments we find ourselves in.
133 – 153
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