This paper reports on a small-scale research inquiry, designed to support teachers in a Melbourne primary school to bring together the arts, reading and writing in their classrooms in ways that create possibilities for "art-full" teaching and learning. The principal, concerned by underperformance on State literacy tests of the school's largely working-class and NESB population, requested David Hornsby and other members of the project team from the Education Faculty at La Trobe University to offer whole-school professional development. The focus was on developing oral language as a foundation for literacy learning, enacting Britton's claim that "reading and writing float on a sea of talk". The project team introduced the teachers to a range of innovative classroom practices for using visual and performance arts, literature, music and crafts. Drawing on video, interviews and writing samples, a number of teachers worked collaboratively with the research team to develop case studies of individual students with a range of literacy aptitudes and social skills. A key research question was: "What do children take from their engagement in arts-based activities into reading of literary texts, and potentially into writing from the perspective of another character?" In this paper we ponder this from three vantage points: by outlining the informing principles in our research project; confirming insights from current interdisciplinary work about children learning to see, do, act and say in play; and analysing the research data from the initial phase.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Arts-based inquiry, Children's literature, Creative arts, Multiliteracies, Pedagogy, Play, Reading, Visual arts, Writing in role
Journal English Teaching
Citation
Grant, A. (Audrey), Hutchison, K. (Kirsten), Hornsby, D.J, & Brooke, S. (Sarah). (2008). Creative pedagogies: "Art-full" reading and writing. English Teaching, 7(1), 57–72.