The place of The Arts and Drama in schools and more broadly in the community is almost continuously under threat. Over the past decade, enrolments of Queensland students electing to study The Arts in senior secondary has decreased by 40%. The Arts are devalued and underfunded, and are often marginalised, largely due to a reductive and narrow view of education policy.
Today we see a push to increase rankings in standardised tests including NAPLAN and PISA, an overemphasis on narrow literacy and numeracy testing, a limited and reductive focus on some skills and knowledge such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) that too often excludes The Arts.
The role of The Arts in developing academic and non-academic aspects of children are often ignored. Yet, an enormous body of Australian and International research continues to demonstrate the critical role of The Arts can play in transforming and improving student learning and well-being.
This presentation aims to share key arguments, policy, and research that we can use to advocate for Drama and The Arts in our schools from the economic outcomes of the arts industry through to the impact The Arts can have on student academic achievement and well-being.
Presented by Dr John Saunders