Tuesday, 13 Nov 2012

13 November 2012: The Arts can, and should, play a central role in the early years of life to lay an optimal foundation for children’s life chances, according to Robyn Ewing, the editor of Creative Arts in the Lives of Young Children, published by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and launched today in Sydney.

“There is unequivocal research evidence that there are strong links between high-quality arts-rich education and students’ academic and affective achievement,” said Ewing, Professor of Teacher Education and the Arts at the University of Sydney. “More than that, engaging in Arts processes and experiences can provide the potential to reshape the way learning is conceived and organised in educational contexts.

“We can learn much as educators, parents and caregivers by allowing children to engage in imaginative and aesthetic experiences. Our own creativity and imagination can be reignited as we re-discover the importance of play in lifelong learning.”

Writing in the Foreword to the book, Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett, Artistic Directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, say we need to ensure that the Arts are embedded in the early childhood curriculum for all children.

While literacy and numeracy are vital outcomes of education, Upton and Blanchett argue that the Arts ought to be given voice and genuine consideration in the early childhood curriculum.

“There is a great deal of research which would suggest quite clearly that play, particularly dramatic play, is a vital part of education,” Upton and Blanchett write.

That research underpins the vignettes and practical activities presented in each chapter of  Creative Arts in the Lives of Young Children. Written by 10 contributing teachers and academics for early childhood educators as well as parents and caregivers, the book includes topics from play and storytelling, to literature, drama, puppetry, music, visual media and art
appreciation. 

Creative Arts in the Lives of Young Children addresses the potential for quality Arts experiences in the early years to achieve transformational outcomes for children in terms of imaginative play, creativity and problem-solving, and the appreciation of cultural diversity as well as the development of habits of mind to help children flourish in the ever-changing 21st century.

Creative Arts in the Lives of Young Children: Play, imagination and learning (ACER Press, 2012) will be launched by Cath Keenan, former journalist and co-founder of the Sydney Story Factory in Redfern, at the Martian Embassy, Sydney Story Factory on 13 November. Print copies can be purchased from the ACER Online Shop or by contacting customer service on 1800 338 402 or via email on sales@acer.edu.au

****************ENDS****************

Media enquiries: Steve Holden, 03 9277 5582 or 0419 340 058 communications@acer.edu.au