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Children's experiences in arts-infused elementary education Open Access


Other title
identity and children
children's experience
place and children
arts-based research
arts-infused education
children as mentors
arts education
children's conversations
elementary education
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hobday-Kusch, Jody
Supervisor and department
Dr. Miriam Cooley, Department of Elementary Education
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Christina Rinaldi, Department of Educational Psychology
Dr. Larry Prochner, Department of Elementary Education
Dr. Christine Marme Thompson, Pennsylvania State University (External Examiner)
Dr. Patti Pente, Department of Elementary Education
Dr. Diane Conrad, Department of Secondary Education
Department of Elementary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Education
Degree level
Children’s experiences are the cornerstone of all that matters in elementary schools. It is therefore the purpose of this study to shed further light into what those experiences might be, particularly as they are present in arts-infused education. Over a period of almost two school years I followed a group of primary grade students in and out of their classrooms at Central Arts Elementary School in an urban mid-Western Canadian school district. Through conversation, recordings, artwork, scripts, and visual images, as teacher-researcher-artist, I collected a series of moments that I believe best describes the nature of these students’ experiences in arts-infused education. Concepts of identity, place, imagination, and self were explored. I considered the lived curriculum of the classroom, and also the ways in which the children’s experiences with the arts resonated alongside my own artistic endeavours. The study is a multi-method inquiry informed by arts-based, narrative, and ethnographical research practices. There are elements of ethnodrama, in the ways in which some events are portrayed through scripted descriptions in a concluding chapter of the work. Children’s art, and the art of classroom life are revealed through both image and text. Puppets, masks, and a variety of other artistic media are brought forward for the purposes of consideration and discussion. In all, the work is unique in its attention to the words of children, and extended researcher engagement. Implications of the study include the importance of listening to children when they speak, continuing to offer the arts as pathways to greater awareness in schools, and considering children’s relationships as powerful mentoring experiences for one another.
License granted by Jody Hobday-Kusch ( on 2009-08-14T17:18:12Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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