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SWAY

What

SWAY was a multi-arts performance project that connected students and teachers from Tullawong State High School, Caboolture East Primary School and the Caboolture community, with professional teacher-artists and academics from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

SWAY facilitated student learning and understanding, created links between curriculum areas, and provided multiple pathways for student understanding, engagement and creativity.

Structured as a series of collaboratively facilitated workshops, students were supported to develop their individual creativity through exploring dance, visual art, music, storytelling and film. This culminated in a performance for the Tullawong State High School and local community. 

The project was developed by Avril Huddy (QUT, Creative Industries - Dance) and Tullawong State High School and was designed around four discrete but integrated approaches including creative development, mentoring and professional development, education and community engagement.

When

December 2014 to June 2015

Where

Caboolture, Queensland

Key stats

  • 200 students
  • 10 educators
  • 13 artists

Arts Queensland contribution

$20,000 – Artist in Residence program

Children dancing

Outcomes

  • Students were engaged in a range of activities that promoted self-paced, sharing and cooperative learning and encouraged independent and interdependent learning, all life-long learning skills.
  • New modes of engagement were embedded in the design and delivery of SWAY activities – moving beyond traditional problem-based and collaborative learning methods, to practice-led approaches and action research methodologies.  
  • New ways for artists to work collaboratively were explored through the residency with a tiered structure being adopted. This structure supported internal mentoring and professional development between emerging, early, mid-career and senior artists on the team as well as providing mentoring and professional development opportunities for all educators.
  • QUT Dance are continuing to collaborate with each of the schools through program review, mentorship and teaching activities.

Learnings and reflections

Avril Huddy provided the following reflections about the project:

It is extremely important to build relationships with schools, teachers and staff that span projects, terms and years. This depth is a requirement for innovative, successful projects. You cannot underestimate the negotiation process and the ground work required to facilitate efficient and effective creative projects within schools.

Often the individual artist doesn’t have sufficient skills to communicate effectively in a curriculum-oriented education system, so I developed an intergenerational delivery team with a rich mix of artistic firepower, experience, youth and a sophisticated breadth of teaching skills in both educational curriculum settings and broader community contexts.  

Contact for further information

Avril Huddy, QUT

Email: a.huddy@qut.edu.au 

All images courtesy Avril Huddy.

 

A pdf version of the SWAY case study (PDF) (318.97 KB)  is available.

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