Children's experiences in arts-infused elementary education

  • Author / Creator
    Hobday-Kusch, Jody
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2009
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Diane Conrad, Department of Secondary Education
    • Dr. Christine Marme Thompson, Pennsylvania State University (External Examiner)
    • Dr. Larry Prochner, Department of Elementary Education
    • Dr. Patti Pente, Department of Elementary Education
    • Dr. Christina Rinaldi, Department of Educational Psychology