Artists-In-Schools-Scheme (AISS) for Pre-school: Examining Partnerships and Professional Development in and through the Arts

Project Number
NAC-AISS for Pre-Sch Examining Partnership

Project Duration
March 2015 - September 2016


Research studies on artist-teacher partnerships in educational settings ranging from primary to secondary schools, tertiary institutions and professional development programs, have pointed to the rewarding characteristics of these partnerships alongside the tensions and dilemmas particularly where full collaboration or collaborative planning processes have not been engendered in the partnership (Burnard & Swann, 2010). One of the key drivers for successful teacher-artist partnerships is the "opportunity for participants to reflect on their experiences, beliefs and practices and to build ongoing relationships in which 'partnerships' between artists and teachers are supported by professional development programs" (Chappell & Craft, 2009; Jeffrey, 2005). Interestingly, there is currently very little research that serves to illuminate why and how arts practitioners partner with pre-schools and the impact of such par1nerships on child engagement and learning. While there is acknowledgement of the role of the artists as meaningful and rich resource for schools and the community, there are no known interpretive frameworks that provide artists and the organizations that employ them, with a guide to reflect deeply and critically on their practice involving young children in pre-school contexts. This knowledge would inform future professional arts partnership policies and programs in early childhood settings for both education systems and arts organisations.

Funding Source
Jason Ang, National Arts Council

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