Author: Australia Council for the Arts
The Australia Council in a submission to the House of Representatives Inquiry into the Education of Boys, seeks to establish a case for the importance of the positive intervention of arts education.
We consider and indeed reference the fact that arts education, its disciplines and methodologies offers strategies to enhance boys* educational, social, cultural and thereby personal development and achievement. The Australia Council considers that there is a strong case for further attention and resourcing of arts education, given its centrality to delivering successful educational outcomes for Australia*s young people.
We base our case on the premise that boys and girls are different and unique and require a repertoire of diverse teaching approaches to meet their different needs. However, it is also eminently clear to us that there are similar principles and practices that can be found to characterise arts education and that prevail in delivering good educational outcomes for both.
The Council, in supporting this approach turns its attention to a complex model of gender and its impact on equity, identifying the fact that differences between male and female learning patterns are affected by a range of other intersecting socio-economic as well as physiological factors. Gender cannot be considered in isolation despite its importance. Young people as early as the age of four are indicating preferences for different learning content. This may well have to do with physiological as well as social and cultural reasons. Young children also evidence preferred learning styles which cross gender boundaries and can be explained through reference to cognitive psychology.
The Council takes a long-term view of general educational practice and forecasts that it will change to become more arts education inclusive in order to meet the demands of a rapidly changing society.
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